More than 9,000 species of trees can await their discovery

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The land is home to many more types of trees than once thought.

There are about 64,100 known species of trees on our planet. Scientists estimate there may also be another 9,200 or more species. It’s just not yet found. If this is true, then the total number of trees on Earth will be about 73,300.

To achieve this new assessment, researchers analyzed global forest data. They used statistics to calculate how many species could exist. They then subtracted a number of species known to science. It gave them an estimate of how many new species can still await discovery.

Roberto Catzola Gatti is a biologist at the University of Bologna in Italy. He and his team reported their findings Feb. 8 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It can be home to more than a third of invisible species Amazon region of South America. Any undiscovered trees there are probably rare, says Katzola Gati.

His team’s new findings could help focus efforts to save the Amazon. Fires and logging are rapidly erasing its habitat. Many plants and animals can be erased from the map before they can be detected.

Without biodiversity, says Katzola Gatti, “we don’t have much of a chance of keeping our planet alive.”

More than 9,000 species of trees can await their discovery

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