Home Blogs German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research creates map of world tree diversity

German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research creates map of world tree diversity

Our planet’s biodiversity is one of our most treasured possession. However, there is a fragmented picture that we possess of this diversity. Researchers have succeeded in creating data from a wide range of resources, a global chart displaying number of tree classes.

Researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have succeeded in constructing, from scattered data, a world map of biodiversity showing numbers of tree species.

Role of Demographics

With the help of this revised chart, researchers were able to understand not only the global classification but also the abundance of tree species. Weather, temperature does play a pivotal role, however, the number of trees in a particular demographic location depends on its longitudinal scale of surveillance. This new approach could eventually assist to further improve a comprehensive protection.

Recent Changes

The biodiversity globally is going through substantial changes, more importantly its preservation is becoming a huge task that humans currently face. In unison, we are still trying to evaluate the reasons why some geographical locations are rich in biodiversity while some there areas with scarce vegetation. Also, the reason why some locations are rich in tree species than others still remain a mystery.

Climatic Implications

Can we also consider factors like climate change that is inevitable, previous ice-age that we are seeing today? The knowledge that we humans possess has its limitations and with many loopholes, especially in locations where biodiversity is too high. Bridging this gap by surveying the entire plant is near to impossible.

Satellite images can help in filling this gap when assembling this data on forest cover, but these methods are also inadequate. The need of the hour is to not just count the trees but also the identification of the species. In the tropical regions, there are varied species of trees in a single hectare that can only be identified via site visits. This makes certain areas not being surveyed for biodiversity and it is imperative that they might be surveyed at all.  

Declassification of Trees

Most countries know exactly which species of trees lie in which area, but they are mostly unaware of their exact location. Also, whether these species are common species or rare ones. Researchers have apparently developed what can be called as a statistical yet a tactical model to fill these blank spaces on the map to estimate the exact number of tree species. The plan is that this model is a combination of variable information on the surveyed areas with relevant information on the country and it assimilates recognized data on environmental factors that are beyond human control. The result would definitely be a comprehensive layout of all the forested areas on our planet.

Using modern mechanisms, researchers are able to calculate not only the exact number of trees but also their size. This has enabled them to inspect the exact causes of this discrepancy that is currently prevailing on our planet. According to their analysis, highest number of tree species can be found in hot areas. There is also a predominant factor that different places with same climate conditions also affect the number of tree species.