Researchers have recently conducted an extensive research on the Amazonian tree species for gathering information on the diversity of the biggest tropical rainforest in the world. They have come to know that out of the 15,000+ tree species living in this part of the world, around 8,690 species might be facing the threat of extinction.
That’s not all; as researchers have observed the Amazonian trends imitated in tropical forests around the globe, it can be expected that over 40,000 tropical tree species are at similar risk. Nigel Pitman, a coauthor of the study, said that it’s not that the situation in the Amazon rainforest has suddenly turned worse for some tree species.
According to Pitman, he and his colleagues are just providing us with a fresh estimate of the kind of impact the historical deforestation has had on tree species and how we will be affected by this forest loss.
This is not the first time a study team is investigating the population dynamics of the Amazon rainforest. However, this is surely the very first study to use parameters presented by the International Union for Conservation of Nature for defining endangered and threatened species.
Pitman, who is currently associated with the Center for Tropical Conservation at the Duke University, stated that he and his co-researchers were looking to communicate the study results using a language that gets shared all through the tropics and, of course, Amazonia. According to Pitman, this study is a bit different because they placed their measurements into one of the most widely used currencies i.e. the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List.
As recently obtained statistics show that 36-57% of the tree species in the Amazon have been listed as threatened by the IUCN, the future is currently looking a bit dim for the diverse tropical rainforest. However, researchers feel that protected reserves might assist in saving the rainforest.
They have reported a one-to-one association between the overall size of the forest and the population size of the individual species.
The study’s lead author Hans Ter Steege, when explaining, said that if 50% of the entire forest area remains protected, then 50% of all the popular tree species must remain protected.