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Report highlights importance of preserving Australia’s plant biodiversity

Thunderstorm in Australian Outback by Reto Fetz CC BY-NC-SA 2.0Kew Gardens has released its second annual State of the World’s Plants report. Last year’s report named Australia as one of the top three places in the world to discover new plant species, but also estimated that it is home to 12% of the world’s threatened plants.

This year’s report deepens the research from the previous year. For example it increases our understanding of the reasons why particular plants may be more vulnerable to extinction and which plant families contain the highest percentage of medicinal plants. It also maps the major traits associated with a plant’s resilience to climate change, which include thicker leaves, efficient water-use strategies, deeper roots and higher wood density.

The report also looks at threats to various plant species, including the increased need for food production and a particular focus on wildfires, seeking to understand how patterns of burning may be affected by factors such as changing land use and climate change.

Read more: State of the World’s Plants: One in five of the world’s plants at risk of extinction, Kew botanists say by Lucy Carter on ABC News

Found by Starfish

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