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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The natural distribution of the 615 species of conifers recognized in A Handbook of the World’s Conifers is the subject of this book Atlas of the World's Conifers. The Swedish palaeobotanist Rudolf Florin published the first global atlas at family and genus levels of all known conifers, both fossil and recent. The book is much more inclusive and detailed both because of its inclusion of all species in addition to these higher ranks and due to its methods, using techniques not available to Florin. Pinus albicaulis is declining rapidly in parts of its wide range due to attacks by two different pathogenic organisms; Pinus flexilis is not affected. Picea abies returned to occupy much of its former range each time, albeit successively less far into Atlantic Western Europe; Picea omorika was much less successful and is now confined to one small refugium in the Balkans.

Keywords:conifer distribution; Picea abies; Picea omorika; Pinus albicaulis; Pinus flexilis

10.1163/9789004211810_002
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