Mapping tree density at a global scale

Crowther, T. W.; Glick, H. B.; Covey, K. R.; Bettigole, C.; Maynard, D. S.; Thomas, S. M.; Smith, J. R.; Hintler, G.; Duguid, M. C.; Amatulli, G.; Tuanmu, M.-N.; Jetz, W.; Salas, C.; Stam, C.; Piotto, D.; Tavani, R.; Green, S.; Bruce, G.; Williams, S. J.; Wiser, S. K.; ... (2015). Mapping tree density at a global scale. Nature, 525(7568), pp. 201-205. Macmillan Journals Ltd. 10.1038/nature14967

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The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees, approximately 1.39 trillion exist in tropical and subtropical forests, with 0.74 trillion in boreal regions and 0.61 trillion in temperate regions. Biome-level trends in tree density demonstrate the importance of climate and topography in controlling local tree densities at finer scales, as well as the overwhelming effect of humans across most of the world. Based on our projected tree densities, we estimate that over 15 billion trees are cut down each year, and the global number of trees has fallen by approximately 46% since the start of human civilization.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research (OCCR)
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS) > Plant Ecology
08 Faculty of Science > Department of Biology > Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)

UniBE Contributor:

Fischer, Markus

Subjects:

500 Science > 580 Plants (Botany)

ISSN:

0028-0836

Publisher:

Macmillan Journals Ltd.

Language:

English

Submitter:

Peter Alfred von Ballmoos-Haas

Date Deposited:

04 Nov 2015 16:05

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2015 16:05

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/nature14967

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Environmental sciences, Forestry, Forest ecology

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.72539

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/72539

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