A new study reveals a far greater diversity of plants on earth than previously estimated. Writing in the latest Plant Talk magazine (published on 12 June), leading botanist and conservationist Dr David Bramwell calculates that there are around 422,000 species of flowering plants (termed Angiosperms) in the world. Until now, most scientists had worked from a much lower figure of some 270,000 or 320,000 species.
The increased estimate shows that there is an even more urgent need to complete the global inventory of plant diversity. Much of this botanical wealth is in parts of the world where species-rich tropical and Mediterranean habitats are disappearing the fastest.
Dr Bramwell said, "The plant kingdom is even richer than we thought. It is even more urgent to find the people to identify the species and classify them before it is too late."
Rosemary Gooding | alfa
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