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Uvillo

Uvillo

Eugenia haematocarpa

Status Endangered
Listed November 25, 1994
Family Myrtaceae (Myrtle)
Description Small tree with elliptic leathery feathers.
Habitat Forests.
Threats Forest management practices, natural catastrophes.
Range Puerto Rico

Description

Eugenia haematocarpa is a small tree, 20 ft (6 m) in height and 4-5 in (12-13 cm) in diameter. The elliptic leathery leaves are 5-7 in (13-18 cm) long and 2 in (6-8 cm) wide, almost stalkless, hairless, dull dark green on the upper surface, and light green beneath. Blades contain many slender, slightly raised side veins, forming a prominent network. The flowers are produced on the trunks, with slender, nearly equal stalks. Flowers have a four-lobed calyx, four rounded light pink petals 0.1 in (3 mm) long and numerous stamens. The fruit is a dark red, round berry containing a 0.7-in (1.6-cm) seed. Little is known about the life history and reproductive biology of this species.

Habitat

Four of the known sites occur within the Caribbean National Forest, managed by the U. S. Forest Service. Humidity ranges from 90-100% on cloudy days. Precipitation varies from 118-177 in (300 to 450 cm) annually, with a relatively dry season occurring from February to April. The Luquillo Mountains are of volcanic origin, and igneous rocks, mostly and esitic in nature, cover the area. Basalt is the parent rock throughout these mountains. The palo colorado forest, one of four forest types, is found at elevations greater than 2,132 ft (650 m). The floor of the palo colorado forest is covered by a thick organic surface layer. It is an evergreen forest with two strata which are not sharply defined. Tree height is generally less than 49 ft (15 m), crowns are low and trees branch profusely. Cyrilla racemiflora or palo colorado is the most prominent species in this type of forest.

The tabonuco forest type occupies the greatest land area in the Caribbean National Forest. It is best developed at elevations below 1,968 ft (600 m) and frequently the tabonuco tree (Dacryodes excelsa ) is the dominant species. Three tree strata are obvious: a discontinuous upper strata, a second continuous strata at 65 ft (20 m) and understory. The forest floor is only sparsely vegetated. Bromeliads, lianas, vines, and arborescent ferns are frequently observed. Leaves are mesophyllous, and shade leaves tend to be covered with epiphytic growth. Another dominant tree, motillo (Sloanea berteriana ) bears characteristic buttress roots.

Distribution

Uvillo is endemic to the island of Puerto Rico where it is currently known from five localities in the Sierra de Luquillo and the Sierra de Cayey. Less than 50 plants are known from four populations in the Caribbean National Forest in the Sierra de Luquillo, managed by the U. S. Forest Service. A population of approximately 15 plants occurs on private land adjacent to the Carite Commonwealth Forest in the Sierra de Cayey.

Threats

Forest management practices such as the establishment and maintenance of plantations, selective cutting, trail and road construction and maintenance, and shelter construction may affect the species. In addition, the extreme rarity of the species makes it vulnerable to natural catastrophes, such as the passage of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. All localities where the species occurs were affected by the hurricane.

Conservation and Recovery

Propagation for the establishment of new populations or the enhancement of existing ones is a priority for the recovery of this species.

Contacts

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Regional Office, Division of Endangered Species
1875 Century Blvd., Suite 200
Atlanta, Georgia 30345
http://southeast.fws.gov/

Caribbean Field Office
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Post Office Box 491
Boquerón, Puerto Rico 00622-0491
Telephone: (787) 851-7297
Fax: (787) 851-7440

References

Brown, S., A. E. Lugo, S. Silander, and L. Liegel.1983. "Research history and opportunities in the Luquillo Experimental Forest." General Technical Report SO-44. U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Forest Experiment Station, New Orleans, Louisiana. 128 pp.

Center for Plant Conservation. 1992. "Report on rare plants of Puerto Rico." Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, Missouri.

Little, E. L., Jr., R. O. Woodbury, and F. H. Wadsworth. 1974. Trees of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Second Volume. Agriculture Handbook No. 449, U. S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Washington, D.C. 1024 pp.

Proctor, G. R. 1991. "Plantas de Puerto Rico de Interes Especial: Estado y Recomendaciones." Publicación Científica Miscel nea No. 2. Departamento de Recursos Naturales de Puerto Rico. 196 pp.

U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 1994. "Determination of endangered status for two Puerto Rican trees." Federal Register 59(226):60565-60568.

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