How many trees does planet Earth have?

As per a report published in Nature in 2015, we have an estimated number of 3 (three) trillion trees on our Earth! That’s roughly 400 trees for every person on our planet! Using data from existing studies and indexes and devising a strategic method to map tree density on a global scale. The project focused on accumulating data on the type of trees and the number of trees on our planet (excluding Antarctica). 429, 775 ground-sourced measurements of tree density were used from 6 continents to determine the figure of 3 trillion trees. This kind of mapping considers forest trees in all the various biomes on our planet from desert to tundra to grassland landscapes. 42.8% of the planet’s trees exist in tropical and sub-tropical regions, 24.2% are in boreal biomes and 21.8% in temperate biomes.

Method

The researchers developed predictive regression models for forested areas around 14 biomes. These models link tree density to spatially explicit remote sensing and geographic information systems layers of topography, climate, vegetation characteristics and anthropogenic land use.

 

A negative relationship was found between tree density and anthropogenic land use which exemplifies how humans contend with forests for space. The study has also measured a loss of 15.3 billion trees on an annual basis due to deforestation, forest management, disturbances and land use change!

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