The Botanic Gardens Conservation: Scientists Create List Of All Known Tree Species [VIDEO]
A group of scientists from the United Kingdom have compiled information in a database the first-ever list of all known tree species that they hope will be a useful tool for conservationists and for research.
The Botanic Gardens Conservation International is the world's largest plant conservation network. Their list of all known tree species was collated from data from over 500 member organizations. They peg the number of tree species all over the world at 60,065. The data from the study showed that over half of the tree species are endemic and extremely vulnerable to extinction because of extreme weather events or human activity, BBC reported.
The digitized list of all known tree species is named GlobalTreeSearch and includes geographical information where each species of tree is found. The study confirmed that there are no tree species at all in the polar regions while the near-Arctic section of North America only registered less than 1,400 tree species. The region that had the most number of species was in Brazil with 8,715 tree species and 50 percent of those species were endemic, NPR reported.
While digital databases are available in specific regions, there has been no effort to compile them in one place. The information that could be gathered from GlobalTreeSearch can help develop a course of action in conservation of a specific species. This also makes the data available to the scientific community, some of which have never been accessible to many scientists before. The database boasts of one important feature, geo-referencing, that allows researchers to locate individual tree species.
The number on the list is expected to change as more tree species are discovered, renamed, or may have gone extinct.
The scientists involved in the study describe the database as the culmination of the work of thousands of botanists and taxonomists over the centuries.