According to what researchers are calling the first “scientifically credible” estimate, there are 14 percent more tree species than previously thought. Experts believe that 9,200 species out of a total of 73,300 are yet to be discovered. On the other hand, the majority of rare species are found in tropical forests, which are rapidly vanishing due to climate change and deforestation.

Dr. Peter Reich of the University of Minnesota in St Paul told that the findings “highlight the vulnerability of global forest biodiversity.” “Our data will help us assess where biodiversity is the most threatened,” he told in an interview. “This is in the tropics and subtropics of South America, Africa, Asia, and Oceania and those are places where we discovered hotspots of known and unknown rare species.” “Knowing about these hotspots, hopefully, can help prioritize future conservation efforts,” Dr. Peter Reich adds.

Natural forests with a varied range of species are the healthiest and most productive, as well as being critical to the global economy and ecosystem. The majority of deforestation takes place in tropical countries, where it is spurred mostly by the production of ingredients for Western cuisines.