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Study finds that there are still 9,200 tree species to be discovered

Study finds that there are still 9,200 tree species to be discovered

Although most people struggle to name more then a dozen tree species, The studyThe Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences published a report that gathered data from all over the globe to show that there are approximately 73,000 types of trees in the world. Some 9,200 are not yet accounted for.

The study authors found that nearly a third of the undiscovered tree varieties are likely to be rare with low dispersion. This makes them vulnerable to climate change.

The climate in South America, where more than 40% of the undiscovered tree species live, has been historically stable. This means that the flora has not evolved to adapt to sudden changes.

But the climate crisis is not over. More extreme weatherResearch suggests that these trees from South America will struggle to survive due to climate changes and changes in precipitation patterns.

Peter Reich, coauthor of the study and Director of Institute for Global Change Biology at University of Michigan and Distinguished McKnight University professor at University of Minnesota, stated that this study is about knowing where we are before it’s gone.

“We know that climate change and deforestation are causing the loss of trees. Species are becoming extinct.” Reich said that it was important to know this. “But, it’s more important to know what you have in order to not lose it.”

An aerial view of part of the Amazon rainforest. Researchers noted that trees in South America are particularly vulnerable to the climate crisis.
Trees are an important part of the planet’s biodiversity and one of the most extensive and widespread floras. They Carbon dioxide can be pulled out of the atmosphereMany birds and insects live in these trees, which produce breathable oxygen. According to the study, biodiversity among trees is essential for forest ecosystem stability. Estimating tree species populations makes it easier to prioritize conservation efforts in light of climate change’s tightening grip on the planet.

Reich stated in a press release that “By establishing an quantitative benchmark, this study can contribute to tree- and forest conservation efforts as well as the future discovery of new species in certain areas of the world,” Reich added.

These World Heritage Forests have gone from removing carbon from the atmosphere to emitting it

This research reveals how little we really know about this remarkable organism, and it has inspired researchers to seek out more.

“These types of studies help to understand how resilient [trees]Reich said that they are likely to be vulnerable to climate change.” “And the less resilient, just adds information and pressure to us to solve the climate crises sooner rather than later.”

Two sources of data were combined by researchers to create the largest forest database in the world, TREECHANGE and the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative. Researchers combined the two datasets to create a statistical model that included data on known tree species. This allowed them to estimate the likelihood of discovering more.

“Each set is made by someone who goes out into a forest and stands and measures every tree, collecting information about their species, sizes, and other characteristics. Jingjing Liang from Purdue University, co-author of the study and coordinator for the Global Forest Biodiversity Initiative, said in a press release that counting the tree species worldwide is like a puzzle with pieces all over the globe.

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Reich stated, “I believe this work hopefully helps understand the urgency of what’s being done, and will help make changes that we actually know how to make in terms how we use energy, make energy, grow our food, and how we live on this planet.”

“We can make these changes because we know that they can be done in an economically neutral or profitable way.”

This story has been updated in order to reflect the publication date.

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