State of the World's Plants Report


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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew released in May its State of the World's Plants Report. The study encompasses the assessment of current knowledge concerning the diversity of world's plants, the description and assessment of hazards, as well as the evaluation of preventive attempts made to avoid them.

The report makes it possible to discover that scientists have described approx. 391 thousand species of vascular plants to date, 369 thousand of them being constituted by flowering plants. What appears interesting, there are approx. two thousand species of vascular plants subject to such a description per annum. To provide an example, throughout the year of 2015 there were such plants discovered for science, as a leguminous tree growing up to 45 metres (Gilbertiodendron maximum), more than 90 species of begonias, 13 newly-found species of onion family plants and a close relative to the sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), among others. Most of them have been discovered throughout the field research, a few of them - within the collections of herbaria, yet the discovery of a one-and-a-half-metre-high carnivorous plant (Drosera magnifica) in a Facebook-posted photograph appeared to be the most interesting finding. There is still a lot to be discovered, as the authors of the report admit.

The section devoted to recent trends in scientific research focused on plant diseases is also particularly interesting. Between the years of 2010 and 2016, the majority of scientific papers published concerned fungal diseases, out of which 4,905 studies were devoted to Fusarium oxysporum, the second place having been occupied by bacterial diseases, with Pseudomonas syringae pathovars assuming certain leadership among such research, having had 1,752 scientific publications devoted to it, while the Cucumber Mosaic Virus (767 scientific studies published) would lead the group of viral diseases placed third within this comparison.

The full report can be found here.

Source: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Image courtesy: Amandad
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