The number of tree species on Earth

Gatti, Roberto Cazzolla, Reich, Peter B., Gamarra, Javier G.P., Crowther, Tom, Hui, Cang, Morera, Albert, Bastin, Jean-Francois, de-Miguel, Sergio, Nabuurs, Gert-Jan, Svenning, Jens-Christian, Serra-Diaz, Josep M., Merow, Cory, Enquist, Brian, Kamenetsky, Maria, Lee, Junho, Zhu, Jun, Fang, Jinyun, Jacobs, Douglass F., Pijanowski, Bryan, Banerjee, Arindam, Giaquinto, Robert A., Alberti, Giorgio, Almeyda Zambrano, Angelica Maria, Alvarez-Davila, Esteban, Araujo-murakami, Alejandro, Avitabile, Valerio, Aymard, Gerardo A., Balazy, Radomir, Baraloto, Chris, Barroso, Jorcely G., Bastian, Meredith L., Birnbaum, Philippe, Bitariho, Robert, Bogaert, Jan, Bongers, Frans, Bouriaud, Olivier, Brancalion, Pedro H.S., Brearley, Francis Q., Broadbent, Eben North, Bussotti, Filippo, Castro da Silva, Wendeson, Gomes Cesar, Ricardo, Cesljar, Goran, Moscoso, Victor Chama, Chen, Han Y.H., Cienciala, Emil, Clark, Connie J., Coomes, David A., Dayanandan, Selvadurai, Decuyper, Mathieu, Dee, Laura E., Del Aguila Pasquel, Jhon, Derroire, Geraldine, Djuikouo, Marie Noel Kamdem, Van Do, Tran, Dolezal, Jiri, Dordevic, Ilija D., Engel, Julien, Fayle, Tom M., Feldpausch, Ted R., Fridman, Jonas K., Harris, David J., Hemp, Andreas, Hengeveld, Geerten, Herault, Bruno, Herold, Martin, Ibanez, Thomas, Jagodzinski, Andrzej M., Jaroszewicz, Bogdan, Jeffery, Kathryn J., Johannsen, Vivian Kvist, Jucker, Tommaso, Kangur, Ahto, Karminov, Victor N., Kartawinata, Kuswata, Kennard, Deborah K., Kepfer-Rojas, Sebastian, Keppel, Gunnar, Khan, Mohammed Latif, Khare, Pramod Kumar, Kileen, Timothy J., Kim, Hyun Seok, Korjus, Henn, Kumar, Amit, Kumar, Ashwani, Laarmann, Diana, Labriere, Nicolas, Lang, Mait, Lewis, Simon L., Lukina, Natalia, Maitner, Brian S., Malhi, Yadvinder, Marshall, Andrew R., Martynenko, Olga V., Mendoza, Abel L. Monteagudo, Ontikov, Petr V., Ortiz-Malavasi, Edgar, Camacho, Nadir C. Pallqui, Paquette, Alain, Park, Minjee, Parthasarathy, Narayanaswamy, Peri, Pablo Luis, Petronelli, Pascal, Pfautsch, Sebastian, Phillips, Oliver L., Picard, Nicolas, Piotto, Daniel, Poorter, Lourens, Poulsen, John R., Pretzsch, Hans, Ramirez-Angulo, Hirma, Correa, Zorayda Restrepo, Rodeghiero, Mirco, Gonzales, Rocio Del Pilar Rojas, Rolim, Samir G., Rovero, Francesco, Rutishauser, Ervan, Saikia, Purabi, Salas-Eljatib, Christian, Schepaschenko, Dmitry, Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael, Seben, Vladimir, Silveira, Marcos, Slik, Ferry, Sonke, Bonaventure, Souza, Alexandre F., Sterenczak, Krzysztof Jan, Svoboda, Miroslav, Taedoumg, Hermann, Tchebakova, Nadja, Terborgh, John, Tikhonova, Elena, Torres-lezama, Armando, van der Plas, Fons, Vasquez, Rodolfo, Viana, Helder, Vibrans, Alexander C., Vilanova, Emilio, Vos, Vincent A., Wang, Hua-Feng, Westerlund, Bertil, White, Lee J. T., Wiser, Susan K., Zawila-Niedzwiecki, Tomasz, Zemagho, Lise, Zhu, Zhi-Xin, Zo-Bi, Irie C., and Liang, Jingjing (2022) The number of tree species on Earth. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119 (6). e2115329119.

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Abstract

One of the most fundamental questions in ecology is how many species inhabit the Earth. However, due to massive logistical and financial challenges and taxonomic difficulties connected to the species concept definition, the global numbers of species, including those of important and well-studied life forms such as trees, still remain largely unknown. Here, based on global ground-sourced data, we estimate the total tree species richness at global, continental, and biome levels. Our results indicate that there are ∼73,000 tree species globally, among which ∼9,000 tree species are yet to be discovered. Roughly 40% of undiscovered tree species are in South America. Moreover, almost one-third of all tree species to be discovered may be rare, with very low populations and limited spatial distribution (likely in remote tropical lowlands and mountains). These findings highlight the vulnerability of global forest biodiversity to anthropogenic changes in land use and climate, which disproportionately threaten rare species and thus, global tree richness.

Item ID: 73140
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1091-6490
Keywords: biodiversity, forests, hyperdominance, rarity, richness
Copyright Information: Copyright © 2022 the Author(s). Published by PNAS. This open access article is distributed under Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (CC BY).
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2022 08:37
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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