Total Amazonian tree species tally is at 11,676 so far: Study

Total Amazonian tree species tally is at 11,676 so far: Study

There are vast numbers of tree species in the Amazon rainforest in comparison to elsewhere worldwide. It would take over 300 years to record them all. In fact, for the past three centuries, intrepid explorers have been collecting data and recording information regarding the different tree species in the Amazon.

A latest study conducted by scientists from the Field Museum of Natural History suggested that the total Amazonian tree species tally is at 11,676 so far.

Before this latest research, nobody has dared to exactly count and catalog the tree species in the Amazon rainforest. Tropical forest ecologist Nigel Pitman, one of the study authors, said that prior to this paper, they didn’t possess a list of Amazonian trees.

But according to the estimations of a 2013 report by the same group of Field Museum scientists, there must be nearly 16,000 tree species as a whole.

Now, in the latest study, Pitman and his colleagues studied over 500,000 digitized samples of flowers, leaves and fruits, coming up with what they have called the first list of every known tree type in Amazon.

The research team analyzed digitized records from worldwide to produce the final list. The earliest samples were collected in 1707, and the newest has been gathered last year.

Pitman added that the list of 11,676 tree species could mean that their 2013 estimate is ‘good’ and that 4,000 of the uncommon tree species in the Amazon haven’t been found and recorded so far.

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