Pine Tree Growth Locations
Why do pine trees not grow south of the equator?
The natural distribution of the pines is the northern hemisphere:
However, pines have become introduced into the southern hemisphere through
Anthony R. Brach, Ph.D.
Some pine trees do live south of the equator but we (I live in Australia)
do not have the huge forests of native conifers that you have in the
Even in the northern hemisphere conifers are only found in two forest types:
The coniferous forests called (as a group) Tiaga are the most extensive on
Earth. Tiaga is found in the high latitudes where it is cold and there is
little rain but the ground is not permanently frozen. In the Northern
hemisphere this vegetation forms a band that stretches across Canada and
Eurasia just south of the arctic Tundra.
The southern hemisphere does not have Tiaga because we do not have much
land far enough south (except for Antarctica which is too far south to
support Tiaga). In the south we have very little land in higher latitudes.
2. Temperate rainforest
I believe that some temperate rainforests in the northern hemisphere (eg
North America) are dominated by conifers (eg. Californian redwood). In
Australia we have some forests of this type and some are coniferous but
often they are dominated by a tree called the southern beech. Even if they
were dominated by conifers (as they are in only some places in the northern
hemisphere) this type of vegetation is rare in southern Australia, Africa
and South America because it is too dry to support forest of this kind and
in Australia and Africa fires also reduce the amount of temperate
rainforest that northern hemisphere conifers could thrive in.
In short, there is virtually no land in the southern hemisphere with the
environmental conditions that could support coniferous forests - so we
don't have them
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Update: June 2012