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Pine tree (Pinus halepensis)

Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) is a coniferous species, which cover about 3.5 millions hectares in the Mediterranean area. It extends from 9° longitude west in Morocco to 36° longitude east in Jordan, and from 45° latitude north in France to 31°30' latitude in Palestine.

Throughout its range, it individualizes several races and ecotypes related to localities, altitude and soil substrate. Its origin in Morocco, Spain and France is likely natural and Moroccan populations seem to be relic. An isoenzyme-based macrogeographical differentiation study as well as a provenance and progeny test indicated that Moroccan Aleppo pine constitutes a particular race in the Mediterranean basin. Its distribution in this country is highly discontinuous from the Mediterranean coast in the north as far as the south west of the high Atlas. So, it is present from a height of zero meters in the north (Rif Mountain) to 2600 m in the central high Atlas.

More details (Fr). Diversité génétique des populations de pin d'alep (Pinus halepensis L.) au Maroc (étude basée sur des données moléculaires générées par électrophorèse

Pine tree (Pinus halepensis). Morocco populations

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pinus halepensis populations in Morocco

The geographic situation of Morocco, surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea at the North, the Atlantic Ocean at the West and the Desert at the South and the South-west corresponds to a large range of bioclimate, where Aleppo pine exhibits unusual adaptability. It comes into contact with Teraclinis articulata in hot Semi-arid bioclimate, essentially in Eastern Morocco, and Cedrus altantica in fresh sub-humid bioclimate in the middle Atlas..

In term of reforestation in Morocco, artificial forests where Aleppo pine is the most used tree represent about 5.8%. However, no data related to the variability and adaptability of this species are available. One of principal objectives of the BAP Laboratory is the analysis of the genetic variability within and between Moroccan Aleppo pine populations using firstly morphological characters. Taking into account the importance of this species for reforestation in Morocco, there is a considerable interest in knowledge on its geographic variability and adaptability

In Morocco, Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis Mill.) is the most used species in reforestation. However, no data is available about its intraspecific variation and adaptability. Morphological traits of 15 natural populations located on a North-East South-West orientation, representing its natural distribution in Morocco, were used to assess geographic variation of this species. Seed size (length, width, depth, weight and 1000 seed weight), wing length and width, cone length and width and needle length were measured for 760 trees (43-65 trees per population). A correlation matrix between morphological characters and geographic parameters (altitude, latitude north and longitude west) exhibited negative and positive correlations of seed size with the latitude and longitude parameters, respectively. Also cone characters correlated positively with altitude. Thus, populations originating from the South-West region (High Atlas and a part of Middle Atlas) showed high values of Aleppo pine characters. Factorial component analysis (FCA) and hierarchical classification of all populations lead to the formation of two major groups (South-West and North-East) containing, each one, two minor groups. Geographic pattern of Aleppo pine distribution and its adaptability in Morocco are discussed in this study.

See details in Boulli, A., M.Baaziz & O.M'hirit. 2000. Euphytica 65, 109-113.

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Pine tree (Pinus halepensis). Morocco populations