Welcome to Amazon Tree Diversity Network
The forests of the Amazon basin and Guiana Shield (Amazonia) arguably hold the greatest biodiversity on Earth: an estimated 1300 species of birds, 427 species of mammals and 50,000 species of seed plants. Recent decades have seen a major international effort to inventory tree communities in Amazonia, but the vast extent and record diversity of these forests have hampered an understanding of basin-wide patterns.
What are the patterns of diversity, why are they there, how did the incredible diversity originate and how is it maintained? These are fundamental questions we need to answer to understand this incredible region and to be able to better utilize and protect its diversity. The Amazon Tree Diversity Network manages a large plot dataset to help answer these questions.
In 2003 the work of ATDN resulted the first accurate and robust map of tree alpha-diversity of the Amazon. We unravelled relationships between climate and diversity. The combination of the above results and use of functional groups, successfully tried in some of our Guyana plots, and now also in the Amazon, can perhaps help us to predict the effect of global change in these important and beautiful forests. We estimated the total number of tree species in the Amazon, their population sizes, and conservation status and many other projects are ongoing.
Identification of trees still remains probematic. To help are currently constructing an Amazon-wide checklist of all trees. We intend to use this list to construct a virtual tree flora for the Amazon. To assist in further identification of our trees we also plan a Barcoding the Amazon project. If you are willing to contribute barcodes or funding for this project, please follow this link.
ATDN works in collaboration with several other groups and has been funded by various sources. See our LINKS page for our partners and funders.