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Tree species diversity under pressure

In a new global study of more than 46,000 species of trees, an international team of researchers has shown that many tree species are under substantial pressure and poorly protected. The research team, headed by Aarhus University, has also studied how this situation can be improved by means of ambitious and smart designation of new protected natural areas.

Trees play an important role for natural ecosystems, for our climate and for societies across the world. However, recent research shows that many tree species are rare, and are at risk of disappearing.

This is why Jens-Christian Svenning, professor of biology at Aarhus University, took the initiative to conduct this large-scale research project. He is the director of the Center for Biodiversity Dynamics in a Changing World (BIOCHANGE) and was previously involved in mapping the Earth's tree species.

The study shows that for the 46,752 tree species included in the study, half of the distribution of each tree species is in landscapes without any protected areas. On average, that is. For 13.6 per cent of the species, there is no protection at all -- and they all have limited distribution, which in itself makes them vulnerable.

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Thursday, June 23, 2022