An estimate of the number of tropical tree species

J. W Ferry Slik, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Shin Ichiro Aiba, Patricia Alvarez-Loayza, Luciana F. Alves, Peter Ashton, Patricia Balvanera, Meredith L. Bastian, Peter J. Bellingham, Eduardo Van Den Berg, Luis Bernacci, Polyanna Da Conceição Bispo, Lilian Blanc, Katrin Böhning-Gaese, Pascal Boeckx, Frans Bongers, Brad Boyle, Matt Bradford, Francis Q. Brearley, Mireille Breuer Ndoundou HockembaSarayudh Bunyavejchewin, Darley Calderado Leal Matos, Miguel Castillo-Santiago, Eduardo L M Catharino, Shauna Lee Chai, Yukai Chen, Robert K. Colwell, Chazdon L. Robin, Connie Clark, David B. Clark, Deborah A. Clark, Heike Culmsee, Kipiro Damas, Handanakere S. Dattaraja, Gilles Dauby, Priya Davidar, Saara J. DeWalt, Jean Louis Doucet, Alvaro Duque, Giselda Durigan, Karl A O Eichhorn, Pedro V. Eisenlohr, Eduardo Eler, Corneille Ewango, Nina Farwig, Kenneth J. Feeley, Leandro Ferreira, Richard Field, Ary T. De Oliveira Filho, Christine Fletcher, Olle Forshed, Geraldo Franco, Gabriella Fredriksson, Thomas Gillespie, Jean François Gillet, Giriraj Amarnath, Daniel M. Griffith, James Grogan, Nimal Gunatilleke, David Harris, Rhett Harrison, Andy Hector, Jürgen Homeier, Nobuo Imai, Akira Itoh, Patrick A. Jansen, Carlos A. Joly, Bernardus H J De Jong, Kuswata Kartawinata, Elizabeth Kearsley, Daniel L. Kelly, David Kenfack, Michael Kessler, Kanehiro Kitayama, Robert Kooyman, Eileen Larney, Yves Laumonier, Susan Laurance, William F. Laurance, Michael J. Lawes, Ieda Leao Do Amaral, Susan G. Letche, Jeremy Lindsell, Xinghui Lu, Asyraf Mansor, Antti Marjokorpi, Emanuel H. Martin, Henrik Meilby, Felipe P L Melo, Daniel J. Metcalfe, Vincent P. Medjibe, Jean Paul Metzger, Jerome Millet, D. Mohandass, Juan C. Montero, Márcio De Morisson Valeriano, Badru Mugerwa, Hidetoshi Nagamasu, Reuben Nilus, Susana Ochoa-Gaona, Onrizal, Navendu Page, Pia Parolin, Marc Parren, Narayanaswamy Parthasarathy, Ekananda Paudel, Andrea Permana, Maria T F Piedade, Nigel C A Pitman, Lourens Poorter, Axel D. Poulsen, John Poulsen, Jennifer Powers, Rama C. Prasad, Jean Philippe Puyravaud, Jean Claude Razafimahaimodison, Jan Reitsma, João Roberto Dos Santos, Wilson Roberto Spironello, Hugo Romero-Saltos, Francesco Rovero, Andes Hamuraby Rozak, Kalle Ruokolainen, Ervan Rutishauser, Felipe Saiter, Philippe Saner, Braulio A. Santos, Fernanda Santos, Swapan K. Sarker, Manichanh Satdichanh, Christine B. Schmitt, Jochen Schöngart, Mark Schulze, Marcio S. Suganuma, Douglas Sheil, Eduardo Da Silva Pinheiro, Plinio Sist, Tariq Stevart, Raman Sukumar, I. Fang Sun, Terry Sunderand, H. S. Suresh, Eizi Suzuki, Marcelo Tabarelli, Jangwei Tang, Natália Targhetta, Ida Theilade, Duncan W. Thomas, Peguy Tchouto, Johanna Hurtado, Renato Valencia, Johan L C H Van Valkenburg, Tran Van Do, Rodolfo Vasquez, Hans Verbeeck, Victor Adekunle, Simone A. Vieira, Campbell O. Webb, Timothy Whitfeld, Serge A. Wich, John Williams, Florian Wittmann, Hannsjoerg Wöll, Xiaobo Yang, C. Yves Adou Yao, Sandra L. Yap, Tsuyoshi Yoneda, Rakan A. Zahawi, Rahmad Zakaria, Runguo Zang, Rafael L. De Assis, Bruno Garcia Luize, Eduardo M. Venticinque

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The high species richness of tropical forests has long been recognized, yet there remains substantial uncertainty regarding the actual number of tropical tree species. Using a pantropical tree inventory database from closed canopy forests, consisting of 657,630 trees belonging to 11,371 species, we use a fitted value of Fisher's alpha and an approximate pantropical stem total to estimate the minimum number of tropical forest tree species to fall between ∼40,000 and ∼53,000, i.e., at the high end of previous estimates. Contrary to common assumption, the Indo-Pacific region was found to be as species-rich as the Neotropics, with both regions having a minimum of ∼19,000-25,000 tree species. Continental Africa is relatively depauperate with a minimum of ∼4,500-6,000 tree species. Very few species are shared among the African, American, and the Indo-Pacific regions. We provide a methodological framework for estimating species richness in trees that may help refine species richness estimates of tree-dependent taxa.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7472-7477
    Number of pages6
    JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
    Volume112
    Issue number24
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2015

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    Slik, J. W. F., Arroyo-Rodríguez, V., Aiba, S. I., Alvarez-Loayza, P., Alves, L. F., Ashton, P., Balvanera, P., Bastian, M. L., Bellingham, P. J., Van Den Berg, E., Bernacci, L., Da Conceição Bispo, P., Blanc, L., Böhning-Gaese, K., Boeckx, P., Bongers, F., Boyle, B., Bradford, M., Brearley, F. Q., ... Venticinque, E. M. (2015). An estimate of the number of tropical tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112(24), 7472-7477. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1423147112