Sunday, 6 September 2015

Counting Every Tree On Earth

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Trees occupy much of the Earth's land surface. Trees play a wide range of roles in our global ecosystem, from sequestering atmospheric carbon to pulling nutrients to the surface from deep within the soil.

Until now, scientists have relied primarily on satellite images to provide estimates of global forest area. Such techniques have not addressed tree numbers, which are important for understanding biological processes and ecosystem structure. So just how many trees are out there? One billion, ten billion, one hundred billion?

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