Humans make use of tens of thousands of different kinds of plants, many rare and endangered.
Humans make use of tens of thousands of different kinds of plants, many rare and endangered. Troublingly, most useful plant species grow outside protected areas, new research finds.
For the study, scientists mapped the distribution of more than 35,000 plant species used by people for, among other things, food, fuel, medicine, animal fodder, construction, or craft-making. The analysis accounted for both cultivated plants and plants grown in the wild.
While 16 percent of land worldwide is currently protected, plant species used by people are more likely to fall outside protected areas than within them, the study found. This is especially true of rare plants.
Read more at: Yale Environment 360
Endangered baobab trees in Madagascar. People eat the fruit of the baobab, use its bark as medicine, and make ropes from its fibers. (Photo Credit: Royal Botanic Gardens, KEW)