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Svolnick pine

The Svolnick pine.

The Svolnick pine (Pinus svolnica) is a rare and endangered pine tree that only occurs on a small stretch of land surrounding the Svolnick River. It is the only pine tree that is native to the Svolnick Moor. The tree is rare as its habitat is very small and secluded. Overall speaking, the Svolnick Moor is way too moist to support pine trees, but a small area surrounding Svolnick River is dry enough to support pines. This area is located close to point where the Nahrodin river flows into the Dien River. It lies a little bit higher than most other areas in the swamp and generally stays dry, even in the wettest season. As it lies in the middle of the swamp, it allowed the development of a unique species, as it was isolated from the general Oceana pine species.

The population of mature trees is estimated to be relatively stable, with about 500 trees measuring over four meters in height. The maximum height of the tree is about eight to ten meters.

Efforts to cultivate the tree have thusfar mostly been in vain, as the tree prefers the swampy grounds of the Svolnick Moor that do not occur elsewhere in Lovia. Trial plantations at the border of Svolnick Moor and the Southern Beaver River Forests have been more successful, but growth rates are slower than in the area where the tree is a native species. Success of cultivation depends on soil structure, acidity, moistness, and competition of other vegetations. To get the exact mixture is a very difficult and labor-intensive job, especially in a natural environment. As of now, no other areas than the small native habitat and even smaller stretches of land at the border of the Svolnick Moor have proven to be suitable for the plant to grow and reach a mature stage.

Athough it has a stable population and no direct threats, the Svolnick pine is listed on Wikinational Conservation Organization's "Wildlife at risk" list as endangered. This choice was made due to its small habitat and possible future climate change in the region, although no serious changes have been observed in the climate of Southern Oceana. The area in which the pine grows, Svolnick Moor, is protected by the Oceana State Department of Environmental Affairs. Especially the area in which the trees grow is heavily restricted to visitors. The State Department has created rules that no tree may be cut in the natural park without prior approval and instructions by a deputy of the department. Oceana State Police enforce these rules and frequently patrol the area, which is heavily monitored by the State Department.

Evolution Edit

The Svolnick pine shows the same adaptations to the marshy underground and circumstances as Pinus elliottii (the slash pine), which is common in the southeastern United States. The exact relationship between the Svolnick pine, Pinus elliottii, and the Oceana pine has not yet been determined by DNA research, but it has been suggested that the Svolnick pine is probably most related to the Oceana pine.

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