Mon, Oct 28, 2013 - Page 11 News List

227 tree species dominate Amazon landscape

A student and professor cover dry leaf samples with bags as they study climate change in the Amazon rainforest at Tambopata National Reserve in Madre de Dios, Peru on Dec. 3 last year.

Photo: Reuters

Despite being home to about 16,000 tree species, just 227 “hyperdominant” species account for half of Amazonia’s total trees, a study suggests.

An international team of researchers found that the region was, in total, home to an estimated 390 billion trees. Writing in Science, they added that the rarest 11,000 species made up only 0.12% of the tree cover.

The results were based on a survey of 1,170 plots and half a million trees across the six million square kilometer area, often described as the lungs of the world.

The authors said that the underlying cause of the hyper dominance of the 227 species, which accounted for 1.4% of the estimated number of species in the region, remained unknown.

The lead author Hans ter Steege said, “We don’t really know why these species are so incredibly dominant because they do not have any particular ecological feature that stands out.”

The most dominant species was identified as Euterpe precatoria, a palm tree native to central and southern America, with a mean estimate population of more than five billion individuals within Amazonia.

Conversely, the researchers noted that the rarest 5,800 species had communities with fewer than 1,000 individuals.

(Liberty Times)










1. dominate v.


(zhan4 zhu3 yao4 di4 wei4; zhi1 pei4; kong4 zhi4)

例: Taipei 101 dominates the Taipei skyline.


2. account for adj.

佔;做出說明 (zhan4; zuo4 chu1 shuo1 ming2)

例: Police said that the identities of 46 people are still not accounted for.


3. stand out v. phr.

醒目;突出;傑出 (xing3 mu4; tu2 chu1; jie2 chu1)

例: She stood out among the students by her self-discipline.


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