Biodiversity

Below you can see the breakdown of the total weight of living organisms (biomass) estimated to be currently living on Earth. Biomass is here counted in gigatons of carbon.

You can use the filters on the right to look at all Taxa (broad biological categories) or to concentrate on animals. You can also filter according to territories: terrestrial – including birds and soil, terrestrial deep subsurface – deeper than 8m from the surface, marine – oceans, lakes, rivers etc, and marine deep subsurface which extends up to around 6km underneath the seafloor.

There is an argument here for removing from these estimations the 300 gt of tree trunks and stems which are mostly non-living lignified tissue, and the viruses, archaea and bacteria of the deep subterranian levels (both terrestrial and marine) as these organisms are metabolically dormant. It’s worth noting, that even without tree trunks and stems, plants still dominate the global biomass of Earth with 150 gt.

*Source: Yinon M. Bar-OnRob Phillips, and Ron Milo. 2018. “The biomass distribution on Earth”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. http://www.pnas.org/content/115/25/6506

Here you can see the correlation between the total population of taxa, and their corresponding biomass. Note that populations are presented in powers of ten, so every step indicates a tenfold increase of population.

*Source: Yinon M. Bar-OnRob Phillips, and Ron Milo. 2018. “The biomass distribution on Earth”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. http://www.pnas.org/content/115/25/6506

Leave a Reply

Close Menu