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How many types of trees are there on Earth

Despite the fact that man destroys entire forests, an incredible variety of tree species remains on our planet. Scientists from Purdue University, USA, for the first time tried to estimate how many different types of trees exist on Earth!

Фото від Kamchatka

An analysis of a huge number of international studies shows that in total there are about 73,000 species of trees on Earth, but only about 64,000 of them have been documented so far.

The rest, according to the authors of the new work, is about 9200 undiscovered tree species that have so far escaped scientific attention and study.

“We have combined separate data sets into one global array of information,” says environmentalist Jingjing Liang. “Counting the number of tree species around the world is like a puzzle, the pieces of which are scattered all over the world.”

In this case, the puzzle consisted of combining two extensive datasets on trees – one belonging to the Global Initiative for the Conservation of Forest Biodiversity, coordinated by Liang, and a database called TreeChange.

The data pooling project has collected a global array of information on the occurrence of tree species in a grid of more than nine thousand cells with a size of 100*100 kilometers on the planet.

With statistical adjustments taking into account the comparative richness of biomes in different regions, the researchers concluded that there are probably about 9,200 tree species still to be discovered, although they fully recognize that this is an estimate based on incomplete data, including areas where tree species mapping and analysis are limited.

“Our estimates on a continental scale show that approximately 43% of all tree species on Earth grow in South America, followed by Eurasia (22%), Africa (16%), North America (15%) and Oceania (11%),” the researchers write. “There are probably more unknown species in South America than on any other continent.”


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