alexa How many species are there on Earth and in the ocean?
Genetics & Molecular Biology

Genetics & Molecular Biology

Fungal Genomics & Biology

Author(s): Mora C, Tittensor DP, Adl S, Simpson AG, Worm B

Abstract Share this page

Abstract The diversity of life is one of the most striking aspects of our planet; hence knowing how many species inhabit Earth is among the most fundamental questions in science. Yet the answer to this question remains enigmatic, as efforts to sample the world's biodiversity to date have been limited and thus have precluded direct quantification of global species richness, and because indirect estimates rely on assumptions that have proven highly controversial. Here we show that the higher taxonomic classification of species (i.e., the assignment of species to phylum, class, order, family, and genus) follows a consistent and predictable pattern from which the total number of species in a taxonomic group can be estimated. This approach was validated against well-known taxa, and when applied to all domains of life, it predicts ~8.7 million (± 1.3 million SE) eukaryotic species globally, of which ~2.2 million (± 0.18 million SE) are marine. In spite of 250 years of taxonomic classification and over 1.2 million species already catalogued in a central database, our results suggest that some 86\% of existing species on Earth and 91\% of species in the ocean still await description. Renewed interest in further exploration and taxonomy is required if this significant gap in our knowledge of life on Earth is to be closed.
This article was published in PLoS Biol and referenced in Fungal Genomics & Biology

Relevant Expert PPTs

Relevant Speaker PPTs

Recommended Conferences

  • World Congress on Mycology
    September 11-13, 2017 Los Angeles, USA
  • International Conference on Microbial Ecology
    September 18-20, 2017 Toronto, Canada
  • International Conference on Fungal Diseases & Control
    September 25-26, 2017 Dubai, UAE
  • 2nd International Conference on Mycology & Mushrooms
    September 25-26, 2017 Chicago, USA

Relevant Topics

Peer Reviewed Journals
 
Make the best use of Scientific Research and information from our 700 + peer reviewed, Open Access Journals
International Conferences 2017-18
 
Meet Inspiring Speakers and Experts at our 3000+ Global Annual Meetings

Contact Us

 
© 2008-2017 OMICS International - Open Access Publisher. Best viewed in Mozilla Firefox | Google Chrome | Above IE 7.0 version
adwords