The botanical gardens ‘key to save the plants.”

Cambridge University Botanic Garden

The world, the botanical gardens contain about a third of all known plants, and to protect the 40% of the species in via of extinction, a study has found.

The scientists say that with one in five of the plants on the brink of extinction, botanical collections hold the key to the saving of rare plants life.

In the first detailed study of cultivated plants in the botanical gardens, they have registered more than 100,000 species.

Efforts are needed to target some of our rarest plants, they say.

“This is the first time that we have carried out a comprehensive evaluation to look at the wide range of plants grown, managed and preserved in a botanical garden,” said Dr. Paul Smith, General Secretary of the charity Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

“So, for the first time, we know what we have and, perhaps most important, what is missing from the botanical gardens.”

Tropical plants are under-represented in the inventory of the species. In the meantime, the primitive plants such as mosses, have been lesser in number than exotic specimens, such as orchids and lilies.

“The botanical gardens support in their lives, the collections and seed banks is a surprising variety of plant diversity,” Dr. Smith explained.

“We think that the gardens should be much more than what they can grow in a way that is unique and that no other garden or experts have ever grown before.”

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

About 500 million people visit botanic gardens every year. In addition to being popular attractions for visitors, a center of learning and education, and to conduct valuable research and conservation work.

The study, published in the journal Nature Plants, the gaps in the botanical collections of more than 1,000 institutions.

Many botanical gardens are located in the Northern Hemisphere, where tropical species are more difficult to maintain as they need to be grown in heated greenhouses.

Tropical plants are best grown in their country of origin, but there are very less facilities in the Southern Hemisphere.

In addition, only 10% of the global collections are dedicated to endangered species, suggesting the botanic gardens could do more to preserve some of the most vulnerable of the world of plants.

Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Dr Samuel Brockington, University of Cambridge, is a curator at the university botanical garden and co-investigator of the study.

He said that the global network of botanical gardens was our best hope for saving some of the most endangered plants.

“Currently, it is estimated that about one-fifth of the plant diversity is under threat, but there is no technical reason why any plant species should become extinct,” he said.

“If we do not conserve our plant diversity, the humanity, the struggle to solve the global challenges of food and fuel, the security, environmental degradation and climate change.”

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