Consistent patterns of common species across tropical tree communities

By Patrick Greenfield
The Guardian UK
January 11, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Just 2% of rainforest tree species account for 50% of the trees found in tropical forests across Africa, the Amazon and south-east Asia, a new study has found. Mirroring patterns found elsewhere in the natural world, researchers have discovered that a few tree species dominate the world’s major rainforests, with thousands of rare species making up the rest. Led by University College London researchers and published in the Nature journal, the international collaboration of 356 scientists uncovered almost identical patterns of tree diversity across the world’s rainforests, which are the most biodiverse places on the planet. The researchers estimate that just 1,000 species account for half of Earth’s 800 billion trees in tropical rainforests, with 46,000 species making up the remainder. …The team of scientists demonstrated that while African tropical forests have fewer total species compared with the Amazon and south-east Asia, their diversity follows the same pattern.

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