New Delhi :
According to a new study of World’s Plants, Earth is home to 60,065 species of trees.
The research was published in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry and it may help to identify and conserve rare and threatened species on our planet.
Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) in the UK compiled the tree list by using data gathered from a network of 500 member organisations.
The study declared that Brazil was the nation with the greatest number of tree species with 8,715 varieties whereas the near-Arctic region of North America had the fewest number of species, with less than 1,400 - apart from the polar regions, which have no trees.
More than half of the species (58 percent) were endemic in just one country, suggesting that they were vulnerable to potential threats, such as deforestation from extreme weather events or human activity.
About 300 species have been identified as critically endangered as they had fewer than 50 individuals remaining in the wild.
Paul Smith, BGCI secretary general said that it was not possible to accurately estimate the number of tree species in the world until now because the data has only just been digitised.
“A lot of the data is not readily available to the public. The digitisation of this data, in effect, is the culmination of centuries of work”, said Smith.
An important factor of the study is the geo-referencing of the tree species, which allow conservationists to locate individual species, he added.
“Getting location information, such as which countries do these trees occur in, gives us key information for conservation purposes”, Smith told the ‘BBC News’.
“That is hugely useful for us in prioritising which ones we need to do conservation action on and which ones we need to do assessments to find out what their status is”, he added.