(Mirror Daily, United States) – Scientists have recently discovered that Amazon has countless tree species which need over 300 years to be cataloged. Over the past three centuries, researchers have been collecting information about more than 12000 tree species throughout the Amazon.
Until now, the entire tree list consists of 11,676 species based on the statistics established by a group of scientists from the Field Museum of Natural History.
According to Nigel Pitman, study author, and tropical forest ecologist, no one has attempted before to establish an accurate list of all tree species. The same team identified about 16,000 total tree species back in 2013, when they conducted a similar survey.
Pitman and his team tried a different approach this time as they analyzed over 500,000 digitized samples of fruits, leaves, and flowers. This way, they managed to establish the first list of all Amazon tree species cataloged under a particular name.
Scientists needed to search through archives dating between 1707 and 2015. They stressed that 11,676 tree species were given a name but compared to the total list from 2013, 4,000 other rare species haven’t been cataloged yet.
Also, starting from the 1990s, around 200 new species of trees have been discovered in Amazon every year. Ecologists stated that they will double their efforts to continue their investigation as many other species haven’t been found yet.
Pitman confessed that even if scientists keep finding new species, their work will go on for another 300 years to have a complete list.
It means that, as the team declared, their catalog is far from being complete and thoroughly organized compared to the ones made by taxonomists who are best at this activity. The group’s target was to develop a fundamental list that can be completed by other scientists in the future.
According to Hans Ter Steege, one of the researchers, this list will be a valuable asset for ecologists who study and monitor the Amazon rainforest. Also, every scientist will have a better perspective about the rich environment of the Amazon, which needs to be preserved and protected from so many threats.
Conservation efforts need to be done in order to stop the deforestation of the rainforest. Also, pollution and human excess had a severe impact on this ecosystem as many species of plants, tree, insects, birds, mammals, and other animals have become extinct or they are on the verge of extinction.