Visualizing the Arborsphere

Way back in 1999, a colleague and I were looking for a name for our planned arboriculture and urban forestry consulting firm. Somewhere along the way, I came up with the word "arborsphere". The word flowed from my awareness of existing world-encompassing concepts like atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Since we were to be specializing in trees, 'arbor' or 'dendro' seemed like the appropriate prefixes for a new company name. I reasoned that this "arborsphere" would be a component of the biosphere and include all the trees on earth, from the deepest lowland root to the top-most branch tip of the highest elevation tree. A year or two later, an internet search found the word "arborsphere" already existing, but to describe a domed enclosure for conducting growth or other controlled experiments related to trees. Seems I had re-invented the wheel, at least etymologically. Oh well. We never did form our company and the word/name stayed in my back pocket for another 15 years.

Early in 2021, I wondered: could iNaturalist be used to visualize this notion of an arborsphere? To start, I tried to come up with a list of all the "tree" species in the world. The problem with compiling the trees of the world is that, unlike ferns or mosses, trees are not one distinct taxonomic group. After finding a suitable list of all tree species online, my first attempt was to simply create one project with a big list of inclusions. That turned out to not be ideal. After reading up on iNaturalist's project types, I decided the best approach was to actually make five projects. The first four would be collection projects that simply aggregate observations world-wide based on lists of species inclusions and exclusions. The fifth would be an umbrella project for the other four.

The collection projects for the four types of trees in the world:
Ginkgos, Cycads, and Tree Ferns

Umbrella Project: The Arborsphere

Posted on Οκτώβριος 12, 2021 1208 ΜΜ by arborsphere arborsphere


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