Nearly 12,000 Amazon Tree Species Are Found

After 300 Years of Collecting, Nearly 12,000 Amazon Tree Species Are Found

Trilobites

By NICHOLAS ST. FLEUR

A tree shows the height of floodwaters in 2014 near Manaus, Brazil on the Amazon river. Credit Paulo Fridman/Corbis, via Getty Images

 

The Putumayo basin of Loreto, Peru, located within the Amazonian forest. Credit Nigel Pitman/The Field Museum

If Pokémon Go players think catching 151 different pocket monsters on their smartphones is tough, imagine trying to collect more than 15,000.

That’s what botanists studying the trees of the Amazon rain forest have been attempting for more than 300 years. So far, intrepid explorers have found a total of 11,676 different tree species, a new study reports.

After analyzing more than 500,000 digitized samples taken of fruits, flowers and leaves, a team of ecologists has compiled what they call the first list of every known tree type in the Amazon. They published their findings Wednesday in the journal Scientific Reports. Read more.