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photo

Foliage on a greenhouse tree at Royal Botanical Gardens Kew [C.J. Earle, 2010.06.14].

photo

Growing leader on the tree shown above [C.J. Earle, 2010.06.14].

map

Distribution map (redrawn from de Laubenfels 1972).

 

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Conservation status 2010: protocol 3.1

Araucaria nemorosa

de Laubenfels 1969

Common names

Boise araucaria (Silba 1986).

Taxonomic notes

A concise summary of the species' taxonomy is provided by Waters et al. (2002), pages 11-12. I recommend reading this short piece now, if you're interested; it is available online HERE. Waters et al. (2002) also report that a person named Bernard Suprin has reported a single tree near Port Boise that appears to be a hybrid of Araucaria columnaris and A. nemorosa, with pollen cones resembling those of A. nemorosa but foliage resembling that of A. columnaris.

Description

"A tree to 15 m tall, with an oval or conical crown. Branchlets 8-12 mm. in diameter. Juvenile leaves needle-like, lanceolate, curved inwards, relatively thick. Adult leaves imbricate, lanceolate, narrow, scale-like, midrib prominent, keeled dorsally, 6-10 mm. long by 1.5-3 mm. wide, apex bluntly acute and incurved. Male cone cylindrical, 8 cm. long by 14 mm. wide, microsporophylls triangular, pollen sacs 6. Female cone ovoid, 11 cm. long by 5-9 cm. wide, with long reflexed bracts 12-20 mm. long. Seeds to 30 mm. long, nut somewhat rectangular, wings broadly ovate. Cotyledons 4, germination epigeal" (Silba 1986).

Distribution and Ecology

New Caledonia. According to Waters et al. (2002): "Araucaria nemorosa is known onIy from the region around Port Boise, south of the Plaine des Lacs, east of the Baie de Prony and southwest of Goro. Although populations have been reported from a number of sites between Cap Ndoua and Cap Reine Charlotte, almost all of these (with the exception of one tiny inland population ...), are in coastal forest less than 2 km inland (usually less than 1 km inland) and at altitudes less than 100 m (usually less than 20 m) above sea-leveI. Annual rainfall in the Port Boise area is approximately 2500-3000 mm (ORSTOM 1981); soils and underlying rocks in the Port Boise area, are impoverished indurated ferritic soils overlying peridotites, as throughout the southern part of Grande Terre (ORSTOM 1981). The coastal forest at Port Boise has been characterized as low altitude dense evergreen forest (Morat et al. 1981), and the angiosperm trees within it form a canopy at a height of c. 10 m. The coastal rocks and adjacent cliffs support an extremely narrow (<10m wide) and extremely dense population of Araucaria columnaris, a formation described by Jaffre (1995) and first noted in 1774 (Hoare 1982). As well as coastal forest and isolated human settlement, there are extensive areas of scrub on black Iaterized rock (known as cuirasse (Enright and Goldblum 1998)) c. 1m to 1.5m high, often dominated by Baeckea ericoides Schlect. These areas are typically slightly further inland than the forest and possibly represent secondary vegetation after deforestation or fire, although there is no evidence of either forest exploitation or a history of recent fire. This comparatively depauperate formation blends into typical maquis sensu Morat et al. (1981), which is slightly higher (c. 2 m or more) and with abundant Gymnostoma L.A.S. Johnson. Occasional stands of the common New Caledonian tree Melaleuca quinquenervia are also present, with thick deposits of fallen leaves and little or no understorey." Waters et al. (2002) also present a demographic study of three of the eight known populations of the species.

The IUCN reports that this species is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild due to a limited, severely fragmented range with ongoing decline in both extent of habitat and size of populations.

Big tree

The largest tree found by Waters et al. (2002) was 65 to 70 cm dbh.

Oldest

The only available age estimates are from the demographic work by Waters et al. (2002); they used extrapolated growth rates to estimate that the oldest trees in their study were about 80 years old.

Dendrochronology

Some work is described by Waters et al. (2002), who took 21 samples and found that they contained up to about 150 rings. However, they expressed doubts that the rings are in fact produced annually.

Ethnobotany

Observations

Remarks

Citations

Hoare, M.E. (ed.). 1982. The Resolution Journal of Johann Reinhold Forster 1772-1775. 4 vols. London: The Hakluyt Society.

Morat, P., Jaffre, T., Veillon, J.M., and MacKee, H.S. 1981. Vegetation. In ORSTOM. Atlas de Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances. Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer, Paris.

ORSTOM. 1981. Atlas de Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances. Office de la Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-Mer, Paris.

Waters, T., C.A. Galley, R. Palmer, S.T. Turvey, and N.M. Wilkinson. 2002. Report of the Oxford University Expedition to New Caledonia. Oxford University.

See also

Association Endemia, a site devoted to New Caledonian species. Has excellent photos, a range map, and other information. In French.

Last Modified 2012-11-23