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Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:18 pm
by Steve Galehouse
NTS-

Will's mention in the "Big fat hophornbeam" thread that the largest of that species and sweetgum were found in the mountains of Mexico caused me to look up other familiar species which range south of the Tropic of Cancer. In addition to those two species, shagbark hickory, flowering dogwood, American beech, and sycamore are present in tropical Mexico, as well as hornbeam(Carpinus), black cherry, and white pine(!), which make into Mexico and even into Guatemala. Hornbeam and hophornbeam make it into Honduras as well as Mexico and Guatemala, while sweetgum even gets into Nicaragua. I wish we had photos and data from those areas.

A good source for native ranges is here: http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/data/atlas/little/


Steve

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:19 pm
by Rand
<blink blink> It never really occurred to me that these species might go this far south. I guess you get a little too used to looking at popular field guides that show range maps only showing the continental US & maybe a bit of canada.

I guess this indicates that a big chunk of the Eastern broadleaf ecosystem spent the last ice age camped out in the mountains of mexico?

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 6:24 pm
by Steve Galehouse
Rand-

Yes, I think Mexico and Central America was a refugium for a number of eastern trees. Here is a range map of white pine:
white pine range.JPG
Steve

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:24 pm
by edfrank
There were a couple of earlier posts about these disjunct Mexican populations on the website:

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/forest ... isjunt.htm

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... oaxaca.htm

Ed

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 9:55 pm
by Larry Tucei
Steve, Fasinating post. I always wondered about modern range maps. Florida for example has many of the same species in Torreya State Park that grow well up into northern Georgia, Alabama, and even Tennesee. I'm sure that pre-european Forests had many species in regions that they are not found at the present. Since the Forest was mostly all clear cut many species did not come back from such sudden drastic change. Larry

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:05 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Wow! Ok, looking at white pine in southern Mexico is rapidly rising to the top of my to-do list.
-AJ

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:13 pm
by AndrewJoslin
Steve Galehouse wrote:...while sweetgum even gets into Nicaragua. I wish we had photos and data from those areas.
I imagine sweetgum could achieve some impressive height/girth in tropical habitat.
-AJ

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:19 pm
by AndrewJoslin
edfrank wrote:There were a couple of earlier posts about these disjunct Mexican populations on the website:

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/forest ... isjunt.htm
I see Mr. Leverett asked the same question about Mexican sweetgum a few years back. I think the ENTS need to hold a Mexico rendezvous someday!
-AJ

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 8:57 am
by Neil
Thanks Steve for slicing out this thread.

I, too, was shocked when studying tree distributions when seeing that some of our eastern friends went so far into Mexico. I, too would love to see these species way, way down south. Just wanted to add one more species - Nyssa sylvatica: http://esp.cr.usgs.gov/data/atlas/little/nysssylv.pdf

neil

Re: Familiar eastern trees which range into the tropics

Posted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:51 am
by Rand
edfrank wrote:There were a couple of earlier posts about these disjunct Mexican populations on the website:

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/forest ... isjunt.htm

http://www.nativetreesociety.org/fieldt ... oaxaca.htm

Ed
Thanks for digging up those old posts. Makes for some interesting reading.