Earth has more tree species than we thought 地球樹木種類高出已知數量

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據估計,世界上的樹木種類要比人們此前認為的多出 14% ,研究人員稱之為首個 「科學可信」 的評估。經估測,共有 7 3300 種樹木,研究人員猜測這其中仍有 9200 個樹種尚未被發現。

The question of how many species exist on Earth isn’t easy to answer, even for trees, which are among the largest and most ubiquitous of living things. Past estimates have come up with a figure of about 60,000 or so different types of tree.

地球上到底存在多少物種?這個問題不容易回答,就算是對於最大、最常見的生物之一 —— 樹木來說,亦是如此。據以前的估計,大約有6萬種不同類型的樹木。

But scientists now think that’s an underestimate, suggesting thousands of rare species unknown to science are still to be discovered, particularly in tropical rainforests such as the Amazon.

但科學家現在認為,我們低估了樹木種類的真正數量,也就是說,還有數以千計科學界尚未知曉的稀有物種有待被發現,尤其是在亞馬遜等熱帶雨林中。

The data, based on advanced statistical analysis of a huge global database of trees, will be used to help assess priorities for conservation.

這些數據來自對一個龐大的全球樹木數據庫的先進統計分析,將被用來幫助評估樹木保護的優先次序。

Forests play an essential role in absorbing carbon dioxide emissions and regulating the climate. Yet, they’re increasingly being lost to logging, fires and global heating ­– particularly in the parts of the world that harbour the most rare and undiscovered species.

森林在吸收二氧化碳排放和調節氣候方面起著至關重要的作用。然而,森林受到伐木、火災和全球變暖的影響,正在日益減少,這在世界上坐擁最稀有和未被發現物種的地區尤為嚴重。

詞彙表

ubiquitous 普遍存在的,無處不在的
estimates 估計
rare 稀有的
priorities 優先次序
regulating 調節

閱讀理解:請在讀完上文後,回答下列問題。

1. How many different types of trees did scientists previously think there were?

2. Where does a lot of logging and fires particularly occur?

3. What do scientists think is still to be discovered?

4. How will the new data about tree species help protect them?

答案  

1. How many different types of trees did scientists previously think there were?
Past estimates showed there were about 60,000 or so different types of tree.

2. Where does a lot of logging and fires particularly occur?
It particularly occurs in the parts of the world that harbour the rarest and undiscovered species.

3. What do scientists think is still to be discovered?
They think thousands of rare species of trees, unknown to science, are still to be discovered.

4. How will the new data about tree species help protect them?
The data, based on advanced statistical analysis of a huge global database of trees will be used to help assess priorities for conservation.