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  • Instituto Sinchi en los medios

    • There are so many Amazonian tree species, we won’t discover the last one for 300 years

      There are more different kinds of trees in the Amazon rainforest than anywhere else on earth, but the exact number has long been a mystery. In 2013, scientists estimated that the number of species was around 16,000–no one had ever counted them all up, though. In a new paper in Scientific Reports, the same scientists delved into museum collections from around the world to confirm just how many tree species have been recorded in the Amazon so far–and how many have yet to be discovered.Nigel Pitman, The Field Museum’s Mellon Senior Conservation Ecologist, explains, “Hans ter Steege at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center led an international team of botanists who tallied up the number of species in more than half a million museum specimens collected in the Amazon between 1707 and 2015, and we came away with a list of 11,676 Amazonian tree species. We interpret this to mean that our 2013 estimate of 16,000 species is good, and that about 4,000 of the rarest Amazonian trees remain to be discovered and described.”“Since 1900, between fifty and two hundred new trees have been discovered in the Amazon every year,” adds Pitman. “Our analysis suggests that we won’t be done discovering new tree species there for three more centuries.”...http://healthmedicinet.com/i/there-are-so-many-amazonian-tree-species-we-wont-discover-the-last-one-for-300-years/

    • The discovery of the Amazonian tree flora with an updated checklist of all known tree taxa

      Amazonia is the most biodiverse rainforest on Earth, and the debate over how many tree species grow there remains contentious. Here we provide a checklist of all tree species collected to date, and describe spatial and temporal trends in data accumulation. We report 530,025 unique collections of trees in Amazonia, dating between 1707 and 2015, for a total of 11,676 species in 1225 genera and 140 families. These figures support recent estimates of 16,000 total Amazonian tree species based on ecological plot data from the Amazonian Tree Diversity Network. Botanical collection in Amazonia is characterized by three major peaks, centred around 1840, 1920, and 1980, which are associated with flora projects and the establishment of inventory plots. Most collections were made in the 20th century. The number of collections has increased exponentially, but shows a slowdown in the last two decades. We find that a species’ range size is a better predictor of the number of times it has been collected than the species’ estimated basin-wide population size. Finding, describing, and documenting the distribution of the remaining species will require coordinated efforts at under-collected sites...http://www.nature.com/articles/srep29549

 


 

 

 

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