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Pinus pinaster
Maritime pine

Maritime pine (Pinus pinaster) is a fast-growing, medium-sized coniferous tree native to the western Mediterranean Sea. It has been cultivated and is now naturally found in other parts of central and southern Europe and in North Africa.

The wood is used for constructions, furniture and poles, while its resin is tapped to make rosin and turpentine. Other uses include stabilisation of dunes and slopes, as shelterbelts near coastal areas and for production of plant nursery substrates.   

The light-demanding tree includes several different subspecies with high genetic diversity and is found in a wide ecological range. Originally, the tree grew in warm and humid regions but, as a result of many years of cultivation and adaptation outside its natural range, it is now able to tolerate various conditions, including frost, summer drought and calcareous and poor soils. It grows in altitudes between sea level and 2000 m in pure or mixed stands. Maritime pine is considered invasive in the southern hemisphere.

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Technical guidelines for genetic conservation and use

Pinus pinaster - Technical guidelines for genetic conservation and use for maritime pine

Publication Year: 2002
Author: Alía, R.; Martín, S.

Seed source selection
Taking into consideration the important differences in growth, stem form and adaptation of the different populations, seed source selection has to be carefully analyzed based on the results of provenance trials. Selection is dependent on the main objective of the plantation (protection, wood production, etc.), and in most countries descriptions of the base material are available to assist in selecting the most suitable for afforestation.

In situ conservation areas
These are the best means of preserving the adaptive potential of the species in the long term. Given the breeding system of the species, special care has to be taken to establish conservation stands of sufficient size to reduce the effect of inbreeding and external contamination. As in other conifers, areas greater than 20 ha are necessary to ensure enough regeneration to maintain the genetic variability of the species. A network of conservation areas covering the most contrasting areas in the distribution range of the species would be a method to preserve the natural stands of the species.
Ex situ conservation 
This form of conservation is based on different activities, such as clonal banks, seed banks and plantations using seeds from the threatened populations. Clonal banks are mainly used in populations with large economic (or ecological) value. Seed banks are very effective methods of preserving the adaptiveness of the target populations, because of the heavy seed production in Maritime pine, and the possibility of conserving the seed (or pollen) for a prolonged period of time. At present there are many activities in different countries that could be considered as a starting point for the conservation of the species.


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