Only a few tree species dominate the Amazon rain forest

Seasonally flooded forest along the Jau River in Jau National Park in the central Amazon, the second-largest forest reserve in South America, covering an area greater than 2.2 million hectares.

The Amazon is the largest and most diverse rain forest in the world — about 10 percent of all known species on Earth dwell there — but only a few dozen of the Amazon’s thousands of tree species rule the jungle, researchers recently found.
This new analysis can help reveal which Amazon tree species face the most severe threats of extinction and which areas there are most in need of protection, scientists added.
Until now, researchers’ knowledge of the types of trees in the Amazon and where they were located was based on analyses of regions — the rain forest’s vast expanse made it challenging to survey in its entirety. For instance, scientists didn’t even know the most common tree species in the Amazon.

To help shed light on this giant rain forest’s tree composition, more than 120 scientists catalogued any trees with stems thicker than 3.9 inches (10 centimeters) at 1,170 different locations throughout Amazonia, the 2.3-million-square-mile area (6 million square kilometers) surrounding the Amazon River. They found that approximately 16,000 tree species made up this region.

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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at www.amooseinamapletree.com. She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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