Skip to main content

Globally, over 15 per cent of all tree species face extinction threat (downtoearth, )

The world’s first global list of tree species is out and it’s touted as a major step towards effective forest conservation.

During Paris climate change negotiations in 2015, conservation of trees and sustainable management of forests were recognised as crucial activities for addressing climate change. However, until now, there has not been any global list of tree species around the world. Our knowledge of the number of tree species was sparse. But effective forest conservation needs species-specific information and action.

The Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has recently created a database called GlobalTreeSearch to "support global research, conservation, and botanically-based interventions, including forest landscape restoration".

Facts about tree species

Based on the analysis of published data sources and experts’ input, the number of tree species currently known to science is 60,065.
Nearly half of all tree species (45 per cent) are found in just ten families, with the three most tree-rich families being Leguminosae, Rubiaceae, and Myrtaceae.
Credit: BGCI
Credit: BGCI

Brazil, which recently lost about 9,000 sq km of Amazon to deforestation, has the highest number tree species. It is followed by Colombia and Indonesia.
Besides Australia, Brazil and China, countries such as Indonesia, Madagascar and Papua New Guinea have the maximum number of country-endemic tree species.
Nearly 58 per cent of all tree species are endemic to a single country only.
The Karomia gigas species (or Chinese Hats tree) was found to have only one population of trees still living—just six trees in a remote part of Tanzania. Over-harvesting of the tree for construction and furniture-making drove it to extinction.
Top 10 countries with the largest number of endemic species. Credit: BGCI
Top 10 countries with the largest number of endemic species. Credit: BGCI

Trees facing extinction threat

According to the research, the conservation status of only about 20,000 tree species (or 30 per cent of the world’s trees) is currently known. But of those assessed, almost half―or 9,600 tree species―of them are considered threatened with extinction. It means, around 15 per cent of all tree species are under threat.

Researchers have concluded that more than 300 species are critically endangered, with just 50 or fewer individual trees for each species left in the wild.

Seeds of the Chinese Hats tree found only in Tanzania. Credit: Kirsty Shaw / BGCI
Seeds of the Chinese Hats tree found only in Tanzania. Credit: Kirsty Shaw / BGCI

Importance of Global TreeSearch

The BGCI engaged experts from botanical institutions across the world over a period of two years and consulted over 500 published references to create Global TreeSearch—the first comprehensive list of the world’s tree species and their country-wise distributions. This list has been reviewed by more than 30 experts chosen on the basis of their taxonomic or regional expertise. This database can be used as “a tool for monitoring and managing tree species diversity, forests and carbon stocks on a global, regional and/or national level”.

According to Craig Beatty of the IUCN Global Forest and Climate Change Programme (GFCCP), “GlobalTreeSearch provides us with a baseline inventory of tree species for each country we work in, and the foundational knowledge that is required to ensure that restoration planning and activity can effectively contribute to improved livelihoods and ecology through the restoration of tree species”.

Popular posts from this blog

Current Affairs MCQ for UPSC Exams – 21 December 2016

Q.1- Which of the following is/are correct regarding Nirbhaya missile?

1. It is a cruise missile
2. It is hypersonic in speed
A. 1 only
B. 2 only
C. Both
D. None

Q.2- Khanjar-III is military exercise between which of the following countries?

A. India and Russia
B. Russia and China
C. India and Kyrgyzstan
D. Russia and Afghanistan

Q.3- UPI has been in news recently, what is the full form of UPI?

A. Unified Payment Interchange
B. Unified Payment Interface
C. Unified process interchange
D. Unified process interface
 .
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Answer  1-A, 2 -C, 3-B

Cloud seeding

Demonstrating the function of the flare rack that carries silver iodide for cloud-seeding through an aircraft. 
Water is essential for life on the earth. Precipitation from the skies is the only source for it. India and the rest of Asia are dependent on the monsoons for rains. While the South West Monsoon is the main source for India as a whole, Tamil Nadu and coastal areas of South Andhra Pradesh get the benefit of the North East Monsoon, which is just a less dependable beat on the reversal of the South West Monsoon winds.

Indian Polity Elections (MCQ )

1. Who of the following has the responsibility of the registration of voters
a) Individual voters
b) Government
c) Election commission
d) Corporations


2. Democracy exists in India, without peoples participation and co operation democracy will fail. This implies that
a) Government should compel people to participate and cooperate with it
b) People from the government
c) People should participate and cooperate with the government
d) India should opt for the presidential system


3. Which of the following are not the functions of the election commission
1) Conduct of election for the post of the speaker and the deputy speaker, Lok sabha and the deputy chairman, Rajya sabha
2) Conduct of elections to the state legislative assemblies
3) Deciding on all doubts and disputes arising out of elections

a) 1 and 2
b) 1 and 3
c) 2 and 3
d) 2

4. Which of the following electoral systems have not been adopted for various elections in India
1) System of direct elections on the basis of adult suffrage
2…