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Flora of Brazil

Paraná Pine Tree

Brazil Travel / Ecotourism – Our guided tours include visits to Araucaria (Paraná pine) forests in the State of São Paulo, particulary at Serra da Mantiqueira (Campos do Jordão and Itatiaia).

Paraná pine (Araucaria angustifolia) is the most important timber species in Brazil. Although an abundant species, it has undergone continuous decline in the extent of its occurrence through logging. The original extent of Araucaria forest, estimated at 200,000 km², is believed to have declined by more than 80% in the last century. In Rio Grande do Sul, for instance, the forest area, over half of which was made up of Paraná Pine, has plummeted from 40 to just 3%.

The Paraguay population is small and confined to Alto Paraná. Seeding trees are scarce. Small relict populations, covering less than 1,000 ha, in north-east Misiones, Argentina, are all that remain of the forest that in 1960 covered 210,000 ha. Paraná Pine is included on the official list compiled by IBAMA of threatened Brazilian plants. In addition to the massive exploitation for timber, 3,400 tonnes per annum of fruit and seeds are collected for human consumption.

The Paraná pine grows to 30 m high and bears branches in a circle about the stems. As the tree matures, the lower branches drop off, leaving a long, bare trunk with a crown of upturned branches tufted at the ends – Ecotravel & Tours / Brazil.