Tree diversity is fundamental for forest ecosystem stability and services. However, because of limited available data, estimates of tree diversity at large geographic domains still rely heavily on published lists of species descriptions that are geographically uneven in coverage. These limitations have precluded efforts to generate a global perspective. Here, based on a ground-sourced global database, we estimate the number of tree species at biome, continental, and global scales. We estimated a global tree richness (≈73,300) that is ≈14% higher than numbers known today, with most undiscovered species being rare, continentally endemic, and tropical or subtropical. These results highlight the vulnerability of global tree species diversity to anthropogenic changes.

 ETH Zurich - Crowther Lab

Affiliate Partner

Crowther Lab

Type of publication

Journal Article

Type of Ecosystem


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