New Study on Tree Species

Around hundred scientists from different parts of the world came together and studied about different tree species. They found that there are 73,000 tree species in the world. Of these only 64,000 is known to humans.

What did the scientists find?

43% of the tree species in the world occur in South America. 22% occur in Eurasia. 16% occur in Africa. 15% occur in North America. 11% occur in Oceania.

Study about South America

40% of the undiscovered tree species are in South America. Also, South America has the largest number of rare tree species. It has 8,200 rare tree species. South America has the highest number of endemic species. Endemics species are those tree species that occurs only in that region and nowhere else in the world.

Most of the undiscovered tree species in South America were found in tropical and sub-tropical moist forest of the continent. These forests are in the Amazon River basin. Some of these rare species are also found in Andean forest at altitudes between 1000 metres and 3500 metres.

How were the tree species counted?

The Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative (GFBI) data base was used. The GFBI has records of 38 million trees. This includes more than 28,192 species. The scientists also used the data from TREE CHANGE. The combined data sets provided information about 64,100 tree species.

Significance

The study will help in establishing a quantitative benchmark. It could contribute to forest conservation efforts. Also, the study will help in future discovery of new trees.

Inference

The forests of South America should be protected largely. The forests here are threatened by fires, climate change, deforestation and other anthropogenic activities.

GFBI

It is a multi – stakeholder research collaboration. It works around forest sciences. It is platform for international forest education and research dissemination.

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