English II

Geographical Distribution of Pine Tree (Pinus spp.) in Joseon Dynasty


Past distributions of Korean pine (Pinus ko- raiensis) were reconstructed based upon descrip- tions of historical records of local products and by-products. The extensive distribution of Kore- an pine during the 19th century and from 1530 to 1660 in high montane areas of eastern and northern Korea may indicate a relatively cooler climate. Counties with Korean pine were few in 1454 and 1760 as well as in 1931, which may im- ply a milder climate at those times.

Korean pine (Pinus koraiensis) was frequently present in northern, central and eastern regions Pyeongannam-do and Pyeonganbuk-do (84 counties), and Hamgyeongnam-do and Hamgyeo- ngbuk-do (69 counties) of North Korea, and Gangwon-do (94 counties), Gyeongsangnam-do and Gyeongsangbuk-do (83 counties), and Chungcheongnam-do and Chungcheongbuk-do (46 counties) of South Korea. On the other hand, the species are rare in the lowlands mostly located on the western portion of the Korean Peninsula where the climate is relatively mild and wet, i.e., Jeollanam-do and Jeollabuk-do (18 counties) and Gyeonggi-do (13 counties) of South Korea, and Hwanghaenam-do and Hwanghaebuk-do (23 counties) of North Korea. 

Descriptions of local products and tributes from historical documents of Korea were successfully used to reconstruct spatial and temporal changes in species for the vegetation history during histor- ic times.

Korean red pine (Pinus densiflora) is mainly distributed in the eastern regions like Gyeong- sang-do and Gangwon-do. This could be ex- plained by a distinct topographic condition of Korea due to the north-south running Taebaeksan- maek (Taebaek Mountain Range), conditions with rocky land and high altitude, relatively moderate temperatures and low humidity, and by the natu- ral environment and arti cial conditions. A mild climate also explains the abundance of Korean red pine in Jeollanam-do, Jeollabuk-do, Chungc- heongnam-do, and Chungcheongbuk-do.

Areas of the temporal distribution of the Kore- an red pine (Pinus densi ora) based on historical literature are 107 sites in year 1454, 133 in 1531, 139 in 1660, 148 in 1760, 162 in 1842 – 1845, 125 in 1864, and 27 in 1931. Korean red pine has been widely distributed across the nation from 1531 to 1864, however, a decrease in population is observed around the Gyeonggi-do region in 1760 and 1864, compared to 1660 and 1842 – 1845. The species has been observed at 841 sites from 1454 to 1931, 107 sites from 1454, which increased to 162 sites from 1842 to 1845. The area of Korean red pine forests had decreased around 1931 due to excess forest use and forest lumbering under Japanese occupation. The ex- tensive afforestation policies that started in 1970s has led to arti cial planting of the species.