Tuesday, 24 July 2012

What we know and don’t know about earth’s missing biodiversity – Known unknowns

Is it 2 or 50 million species? Rumsfeld was right - Courtesy of the National University of Singapore
July 2012. Most of the world's species are still unknown to science although many researchers grappled to address the question of how many species there are on Earth over the recent decades. Estimates of non-microbial diversity on Earth provided by researchers range from 2 million to over 50 million species, with great uncertainties in numbers of insects, fungi, nematodes, and deep-sea organisms.
Plants and birds are well known - Insects and fungi still a mystery
Some groups of species, such as plants and birds, are well-known, with scientists discovering relatively few new ones each year. For insects and fungi, however, it is almost impossible to guess how many unknown species there are.
The researchers emphasise the importance of technology such as DNA barcoding, new databases and crowd-sourcing, that could greatly accelerate the rate of species discovery.
Unknown biodiversity: Estimates
In their study, lead researcher Brett R. Scheffers and his colleagues collated information from numerous studies that attempt to estimate numbers and characteristics of unknown biodiversity. What may seem like straight forward questions about the Earth's biodiversity are "deceptively complex", warned the researchers

No comments:

Post a comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails

ShareThis