A combined molecular, morphological, and fossil analysis places Araucaria hunsteinii into a clade with A. bidwillii, sister to a clade containing A. araucana and A. angustifolia, sister to a clade containing the rest of the species in Araucaria (Escapa and Catalano 2013).
"A pyramidal tree to 85 m. tall, to 3 m. in girth, becoming open and flat-topped with age. Bark dark brown, fissured, exfoliating in corky plates, resinous. Bark on branchlets deep red. Branchlets whorled. Juvenile leaves awl-shaped. Adult leaves lanceolate, 6-15 cm. long by 1-2 cm. wide, needle-like, flattened, attenuate, with linear venation, clustered near ends of branchlets. Male cones cylindrical, 20 cm. long by 1.8-2.5 cm. wide, microsporophylls lanceolate Female cone ovoid-oblong, 15-20 cm. long by 12.5 cm. wide, scales with small recurved bracts. Seeds triangular; nut to 2.5 cm. long , relatively narrow; wings broad to 2.5 cm. wide. Cotyledons 2, germination epigeal" (Silba 1986).
NE New Guinea: Bulolo Valley, 600-2000 m (Silba 1986).
Zone 10 (cold hardiness limit between -1°C and +4.4°C) (Bannister and Neuner 2001).
See also: the "Distribution and Ecology" section of A. cunninghamii var. papuana.
There is a record of a tree 89 m tall (Carder 1995, de Laubenfels 1988). If this record is valid (I have seen no confirming evidence), this would rank it as one of the tallest trees in the world, and certainly the tallest in the Araucariaceae.
"In the Owen Stanley Mountains [of Papua New Guinea] a National Park shared between several Provinces (Central, Oro and Milne Bay) should be established. It should include the high altitude areas of the Owen Stanley Ranges, in particular Mts. Albert Edward, Tafa, Scratchley, Obree, Victory (local name: Kerorova), Dayman, and Suckling. The area is of exceptional biological interest with a great variety of plant and animal species. For example ... because of its natural stands of Hoop and Klinkii pine trees. In conclusion there are strong reasons to propose the Owen Stanley Ranges for World Heritage Area listing...
"The Hunstein Mountains in East Sepik Province represent a biologically very diverse area which requires protection as a Reserve. ... The area is the type locality for Araucaria hunsteinii. It includes extensive stands of the endemic Kauri species (Agathis labillardieri ) which deserve protection. There is fear that the area might be logged to extract the Kauri, hence it is an important area for protection as soon as possible" (Filer 1991).
Escapa, I. H. and S. A. Catalano. 2013. Phylogenetic analysis of Araucariaceae: integrating molecules, morphology, and fossils. Int. J. Plant Sci. 174(8):1153–1170. DOI: 10.1086/672369.
Enright, N.J. 1982. The ecology of Araucaria species in New Guinea. I. Ordination studies of forest types and environments. Australian Journal of Ecology 7(1): 23-38. Abstract: Previous studies of the ecology and regeneration strategies of Araucaria cunninghamii and A. hunsteinii in New Guinea rainforests have treated these species as ecologically identical and disagree concerning their ability to maintain a stable population size in forest communities dominated by angiosperms. Vegetation data from a number of 0.5 ha forest sites in New Guinea are analysed in order to characterize forest types and their environmental regimes in the altitudinal zone from 700 to 1500 m a.s.l. Particular attention is paid to forests containing Araucaria species. Subsequent regression of environmental data on the position of sites in ordination space shows that forest types are separated along gradients related to altitude and rainfall on the one hand, and soil nutrient concentrations on the other. A. cunninghamii is generally found in wetter and less nutrient-rich sites than A. hunsteinii. The analysis of species presence data, as opposed to quantitative data, shows that whilst forest types are easily differentiated according to their dominant species, changes in floristic composition are subtle along the altitudinal and other gradients recognized.
Enright, N.J. 1982. The ecology of Araucaria species in New Guinea. II. Pattern in the distribution of young and mature individuals and light requirements of seedlings. Australian Journal of Ecology 7(1):39-48. ABSTRACT: A. hunsteinii [is] a gap regenerator and A. cunninghamii a shade-tolerant species... A. hunsteinii is more dependent on high light intensity than A. cunninghamii for the production of biomass.
Enright, N.J. 1982. The ecology ofAraucaria species in New Guinea. III. Population dynamics of sample stands. Australian Journal of Ecology 7(3):227-237. ABSTRACT: Life table data for ... A. hunsteinii ... are presented. It is argued that A. hunsteinii is a gap regenerating species and cannot regenerate beneath a closed canopy.
Enright, N.J. 1982. Does Araucaria hunsteinii compete with its neighbours? Australian Journal of Ecology 7(1):97-99. ABSTRACT: A comparison of the proportion of total stand basal area contributed by A. hunsteinii ... suggest that A. hunsteinii avoids competition with other tree species. Several hypotheses which may explain this phenomenon are advanced.
Last Modified 2017-05-11