Thursday, 22 August, 2019

Almost 600 plant species have become extinct in the last 250 years

More than 500 species of plants have disappeared in the past 250 years Plant extinction 'bad news for all species'
Elijah Vega | 13 June, 2019, 18:29

Nearly 600 plant species have disappeared from the wild over the past 250 years.

The enviornment's seed-bearing vegetation had been disappearing at a fee of almost 3 species a year since 1900 ― which is as much as 500 instances elevated than would be expected as a outcomes of pure forces alone, in line with the very most titillating perceive yet of plant extinctions.

Most plants are killed on the Islands in the tropics and in areas with a Mediterranean climate. That figure is four times higher than the official number publicized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which documents endangered and extinct species. "It is frightening not just because of the 571 number but because I think that is a gross underestimate". This is significant because plant extinctions endanger other organisms, ecosystems and the ability of humans to survive on our planet.

At least 571 plant species, from the Chile sandalwood to the St. Helena olive, have gone extinct in the wild over the past 250 years, according to a new study that has biodiversity experts anxious about what the findings suggest for the future of life on Earth. And islands are in particular silent because they're likely to uncover species found nowhere else in the field and are in particular inclined to environmental modifications, says Humphreys.

Now a team of scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in the United Kingdom, and Stockholm University have put together the first global analysis of plant extinction data, covering around 90,000 species-and the results are sobering. The islands of Hawaii proved the single most risky place for plant species, with 79 extinctions reported there since 1900.

"Most people can name a mammal or a bird that went extinct in the last century, but few can name an extinct plant", said Dr. eylis Humphreys from the University of Stockholm.

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"This study is the first time we have an overview of what plants have already become extinct, where they have disappeared from and how quickly this is happening", she said.

But there was one positive from the paper: 430 species once considered extinct had gone on to be rediscovered.

"To stop plant extinction, we need to record all the plants across the world - the naming of new species is a critical piece of the puzzle in the wider push to prioritize conservation of our precious natural world for generations to come", co-author Maria S. Vorontsova said. The main cause of extinction was destruction and loss of habitat, often due to human activity. However, it should be noted that 90 percent of these rediscovered plants have a high extinction risk.

'This new understanding of plant extinction will help us predict (and try to prevent) future extinctions of plants, as well as other organisms.

Commenting on the research, Dr Rob Salguero-Gómez, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, said: 'Plants underpin and provide key resources to entire ecosystems worldwide.

A plan of plant extinctions produced by the team shows that flowers in areas of high biodiversity and burgeoning human populations, akin to Madagascar, the Brazilian rainforests, India and South Africa, are most in peril (leer "Extinction sample").

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