Many plant species at risk of extinction—and we're blind to danger this poses to life on Earth

phys.org | 5/27/2019 | Staff
gracey (Posted by) Level 3
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Up to 1 million species may go extinct due to human activity according to a recent report, some within decades. We all know the mammals in trouble—polar bears, giant pandas and snow leopards—but how many of us could name an endangered plant? A 2019 report assessed 28,000 plant species and concluded that about half of them were threatened with extinction.

This failure to notice and appreciate plants has been termed "plant blindness," and it's particularly worrying because there are significantly more plant species at risk than mammals, despite the latter hogging most of our attention.

Minute - Cure - Plant - Blindness - Are

Luckily, we developed a one minute cure for plant blindness that's free and easy to do. Simply stop what you're doing and look around. Are you in a room with wood or fiberboard floorboards or furniture? Do you see wallpaper, books or tissues? These are all made from plants. Your clothes may be made from plant fibers, such as cotton and linen. Perhaps you have food, fruit juice or a glass of wine nearby. Even if you're in an office with plastic furniture, carpet tiles and wearing a polyester suit, these were made from oil generated over millions of years from plant and animal remains. Our lives are utterly dependent on plants, so why don't we see them?

Our lack of appreciation for plants is a fairly recent thing. Our history tells a very different story. The dawn of farming around 12,000 years ago was when people became obsessed with growing plants for food, changing the way we live and our planet forever. Starting with domesticating cereals such as barley, rice and wheat, humanity's increasing population and sedentary communities depended on their ability to farm, leading to entire civilizations focused on agriculture.

Industrialisation - Revolution - Agriculture - Increases - Cereal

Industrialisation and the more recent "green revolution" in agriculture led to incredible increases in cereal production and...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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