Over 500 Plant Species Wiped Out
571 plant species have been wiped out, a report has found.
Such frightening extinction has been caused by - yes, you guessed it - the industrial revolution and mankind’s ignorance towards the destruction of Planet Earth.
Why should this new information worry us?
Well, as Dr Eimear Nic Lughadha, from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, said, “Plants underpin all life on Earth.” Part of the team who compiled the report, Dr Nic Lughadha continued to reinforce the knowledge that plants provide our oxygen, food and ecosystems. They truly are vital to our world as we know it.
Plants versus animals: which have we destroyed more?
Simply put: the number of plants that have faded from the wild is more than twice the number of extinct birds, mammals and amphibians... combined. According to the new study, the extent of our plant extinction is even far worse than scientists previously imagined, with the new total arriving at a figure four times the number of extinct plants recorded in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s red list.
Can it get worse from here?
Absolutely. Dr Maria Vorontsova, also at Kew, poses a valid concern when she asks “How are you going to check the entirety of the Amazon for your lost plant?”
This question suggests there may be even more species which have gone extinct which are yet unknown.
Furthermore, there are a number of “living dead” plants, where the last survivors have zero chance of reproducing. This may be because only one sex remains, or the big animals needed to spread their seeds are extinct, to offer examples.
To summarise, our flora is fading. Fast.
You can play your part in combating climate change and helping save our planet species from mass extinction. For more information on how to become more sustainable, please read this article from BBC News, where Green bloggers give their top tips to be more eco-friendly.