Nearly four hundred billion trees belonging to 16,000 different species grow in the spectacular South American rainforest.
Over 100 specialists researched information from 1,170 surveys to calculate the figure, spotlighting the region’s remarkable scale and diversity.
The Amazon Basin’s enormous size and tough terrain has traditionally hampered studies of tree communities to a local or regional level, in turn hindering science and conservation efforts.
The Earth’s biggest pool of tropical carbon has been a “black box for ecologists”, according to research author Dr Nigel Pitman, from The Field Museum in Chicago.
But the new findings give the first estimates of the abundance, frequency and distribution of many thousands of Amazonian trees.
Extracting the information, collected over 10 years, indicates that greater Amazonia hosts about 390 billion individual trees; including Brazil nut, chocolate and acai berry.
The area covered comprises the Amazon Basin (including parts of Brazil, Peru, Columbia) and the Guiana Shield (Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana), covering an area about the size of the 48 North American states.
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