It’s been one of those kind of weeks at work, so apologies for too few entries. On the other hand, a nod of appreciation to boobook48@Flickr (aka Lorraine Phelan) for sharing this photograph of a serene scene from Loch Maree, Scotland. Thank you!
Wikipedia provides a well-rounded look at the historical and biological importance of Loch Maree, so that’s worth a read.
Broadly distributed through much of Eurasia, the Scots pines of Loch Maree represent, I suppose, the northwestern present extent of the species, though there are a few populations further west in Portugal and Spain, and it is found further north throughout Scandinavia, Finland and Russia. It also previously occurred naturally in Ireland, but was extirpated there. The Loch Maree population is special; to directly quote The Gymnosperm Database entry for Pinus sylvestris: “Trees from the extreme west of the range, in NW Scotland (Loch Maree area, Wester Ross)…show resin chemistry and adaptations to oceanic climates not found in the rest of the species’ range. These trees are thought to have survived the ice ages on nunataks off NW Ireland and/or W Scotland, or are possibly derived from Spanish populations (Forrest 1980, 1982; Kinloch et al. 1986); as yet there has been no research as to whether this small endangered population deserves taxonomic recognition.”