If you were to scavenge the world to see just how many different kinds of trees there were, you would find so many that you couldn’t count them all on your hands and feet.
In fact, UK-based researchers with Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) took part in a recent study took the time to look over plant records and found that there are around 60,065 different tree species all over the world.
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Their findings have been published in The Journal of Sustainable Forestry.
"This is 'big science' involving the work of thousands of botanists over a period of centuries, and the advent of digital checklists and databases over the past few decades have made the collation and refinement of so many data sources possible," the researchers write in the paper.
With so many different variations of trees in the world, you can’t help but wonder just how many more there would be if mankind had left all of those that used to exist on most of the world’s land alone instead of developing it all to make room for homes, businesses, and roads.
While the research doesn’t go that far into detail, it does break that 60k number down a little bit to show us which places in the world have the most tree diversity and which places have the least.
Brazil takes the cake for having the world’s most diverse selection of trees, as the researchers report counting 8,715 different tree varieties residing there. Colombia and Indonesia come in as close runner-ups, having similar figures that are just slightly less than Brazil: 5,776 and 5,142 respectively.
At the bottom of the food chain is North America, which reportedly had fewer than 1,400 different tree varieties in total; a generally low figure for such a large land mass. Obviously, the continent of Antarctica can’t be counted because absolutely no trees exist there to begin with.
Making matters even worse, a large number of these trees are reportedly endangered or at risk of going extinct because of deforestation and land development.
While the research isn’t currently in the business of trying to find ways to save all the trees, it does work as a springboard for other scientists to work with, as this is one of the first studies to actually implement real figures in terms of living tree diversity in the world today.