One in five types of plant worldwide is at risk of extinction from threats such as farming and logging that are wrecking many habitats according to a new report.
The report by Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in England has provided the first comprehensive assessment of the world's plants. That assessment concluded that, excluding algae, mosses, liverworts and hornworts, there are approximately 390,900 plant species known to science, of which an estimated 369,000 are flowering plants.
Compiled by a team of more than 80 scientists, this 84-page report is the most complete evaluation of the world's plants ever carried out. Due to be updated every year, the publication of the State of the World's Plants report coincided with a scientific symposium on 11 and 12 May at the Botanical Gardens in the London suburbs.
Despite 21 per cent of all the species being threatened with extinction, the report also said new plants were still being discovered, such as a 1.5 metre (5 feet) tall insect-eating plant on a mountaintop in Brazil in 2015.
"There's a huge change going on, mainly agricultural change and land for urbanization," said Kathy Willis, RBG Kew's director of science.
Willis said a rising world population of more than 7 billion people need food and places to live and that scientists should be pragmatic and help identify areas most in need of conservation.
View May 12, 2016 EurActiv.com article
View May 11, 2016 Discovery News article
View April 23, 2012 CBC News article
View 2016 State Of The World's Plants Report
View Center for Biological Diversity The Extinction Crisis page