How any species inhabit Earth? The Indiana University researchers have answered this daunting question by collecting large datasets and basing their estimate using scaling laws. The estimates made in the past have not been as accurate because the under-sampling of microorganisms. The IU researchers compiled microbial, plant, and animal community datasets from government, academic and citizen science sources, creating the largest dataset ever. This compilation represented over 5.6 million microscopic and nonmicroscopic species from 35,000 locations across all the world's oceans and continents. Studying this dataset, the researchers estimated that our planet is home to more than 1 trillion species of which we have identified only one-thousandth of 1 percent. The results suggest that it is a huge challenge to identify every microbial species that exists on the planet.
Read more in Science Daily.