Plant Diversity ›› 2019, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (02): 75-83.DOI: 10.1016/j.pld.2018.05.002

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Conserving and restoring the Caicos pine forests: The first decade

Michele Dani Sancheza, Bryan Naqqi Mancob, Junel Blaiseb, Marcella Corcorana, Martin Allen Hamiltona   

  1. a The Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 3AE, UK;
    b Department of Environment and Coastal Resources, National Environmental Centre, Lower Bight Road, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Received:2018-02-09 Revised:2018-05-14 Online:2019-04-25 Published:2019-05-18
  • Contact: Michele Dani Sanchez

Abstract: The severe and rapid attack on the Caicos pine Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis (Pinaceae) by the nonnative invasive pine tortoise scale, Toumeyella parvicornis, has resulted in the death of most of the trees in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) in just over a decade. Local and international conservation efforts have enabled the necessary multi-disciplinary research, data gathering, and monitoring to develop and implement a restoration strategy for this endemic tree from the Bahaman archipelago. The native plant nursery established on North Caicos and horticultural expertise acquired throughout the years were crucial to the successful rescue of Caicos pine saplings from the wild populations and cultivation of new saplings grown from locally sourced seeds. These saplings have been used to establish six Restoration Trial Plots on Pine Cay and a seed orchard on North Caicos in TCI. Core Conservation Areas (CCAs) for the Caicos pine forests have been identified and mapped. To date, forest within the Pine Cay CCA has been supplemented by planting more than 450 pine trees, which have survived at a high (>80%) rate.

Key words: Pine forest restoration, Plant nursery, Pinus caribaea var. bahamensis, Caribbean, Conservation, Turks and Caicos Islands