How many species are there?

‘How many species are there’ is a question receiving more attention from biologists and reasons for this are suggested. Different methods of answering this question are examined and include: counting all species; extrapolations from known faunas and regions; extrapolations from samples; methods using ecological models; censusing taxonomists' views. Most of these methods indicate that global totals of 5 to 15 million species are reasonable. The implications of much higher estimates of 30 million species or more are examined, particularly the question of where these millions of species might be found.

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Stork, N.E. How many species are there?. Biodivers Conserv 2, 215–232 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00056669

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Keywords

  • global species estimates
  • insects
  • species richness