Some of them are rare and unknown.. 73,000 species of trees on Earth

A new global study estimated the number of tree species on the Earth’s surface at more than 73,000 species, of which more than 9,000 have not yet been discovered.

These new estimates, which the researchers prepared based on the largest tree database ever created, exceed those known today by about 14%.

Knowing how many species live on Earth is one of the fundamental questions in ecology, and given the enormous logistical and financial difficulties and taxonomic problems associated with defining the concept of species that can prevent an accurate answer, the global numbers of species – including those of trees – are still unknown. precisely.

More types than expected

For this purpose, an international team of researchers comprising nearly 150 scientists conducted a procedure study Comprehensive results were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences after merging a set of different databases into one massive global database.

The results of the analysis of the pooled databases revealed -according to press release It was published on the American Purdue University website – which supervised the completion of the study on January 31 last – that there are more than 64 thousand and 100 documented species of trees around the world, with a slight difference in what a previous study found that counted 60 thousand Kind of trees on the planet.

At another stage, scientists used new statistical methods to estimate the total number of unique tree species in all biomes on land, such as tropical rainforests, boreal forests, and savannas, including species that scientists have yet to discover.

The results showed that the total number of tree species on Earth is about 73,300, which means that it is likely that there are 9,200 species that have not yet been discovered.

These new estimates exceed those known to date by about 14%, according to the researchers, who say their new study is more accurate than its predecessors because it uses a more comprehensive data set and more advanced statistical methods.

The forest cover on land contains thousands of undiscovered species so far (NASA)

South America is the epicenter of diversity and unknown species

According to to report Posted on the Eurek Alert website, approximately half to two thirds of all tree species already known worldwide are found in tropical and subtropical moist forests, which are rich in species, and tropical and subtropical dry forests may also contain on large numbers of undiscovered tree species.

In this new study, the importance of the regions of South America as the largest habitat for the diversity of trees has emerged, as it contains 27,000 known species, and about 4,000 other species that have not yet been discovered, representing approximately 40% of the total undiscovered species in the world.

This region also contains the largest estimated number of rare tree species (about 8200), in addition to about half of the endemic tree species that are not found in any other region of the world.

The Amazon rainforest is the most diverse, but human activity negatively affects it due to logging (Getty Images)

The researchers believe that areas where the undiscovered tree species are concentrated include the humid tropical and subtropical forests of the Amazon basin, as well as the Andean forests at altitudes between 1,000 and 3,500 metres.

The study also showed that most of the undiscovered species are likely to be rare and of limited spatial distribution, which could make them particularly vulnerable to human-caused disturbances, such as forest destruction and climate change, and the authors say the new findings will help prioritize forest conservation efforts.

mention that previous scientific study It counted the presence of nearly 3 trillion trees on Earth, and that human activity negatively affects their abundance in forests by cutting down about 15 billion trees every year. It also showed that the number of trees in the world has decreased by about 46% since the beginning of human civilization 12 thousand years ago.

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