TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: Disappearing Opportunities
Endangered PlantsA 20 year joint study by 16 organizations found that at least 34,000 of the world's 270,000 fern, conifer, and flowering plant species, or about one in eight, is endangered with extinction. Scientists warn that the number of threatened species is probably considerably higher since many the flora of many developing countries is poorly catalogued. In general, the more detailed a country's plant inventory, the higher its proportion of endangered species. For example, the US, with one of the best studied biotas, had 29% of its 16,000 plant species considered endangered. This loss of variability among agricultural plant species has significant implications for agriculture worldwide.