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One in five plants at risk of extinction

by webdev

September 29, 2010

Biodiversity experts in England have assessed that one-fifth of all plant species are threatened with extinction, reports BBC.com.

The study, conducted by the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, the Natural History Museum of London and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, reveals that the threat is due to habitat loss caused human activity, specifically the conversion of natural habitat for agriculture and livestock use.

For the study, 1,500 species of flowering plants were sampled. Most of the plants at risk appear to be of the tropical variety, reports the news source.

The study has many experts concerned, “Plant life is vital to our very existence providing us with food, water, medicines, and the ability to mitigate and adapt to climate change,” Caroline Spelman, the UK’s Environment Secretary, told the news source.

Results of this study come as governments around the world prepare to meet in Japan for the United Nations Biodiversity Summit this October.

In an attempt to save what they can, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and its partners have collected seeds from 10 percent of the world’s wild floral plant species and aim to conserve 25 percent by 2020, reports EurekaAlert.org.

 

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