The new tally is part of a report carried out by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. It is its first global assessment of the world’s flora. The study also found that 2,034 new plant species were discovered in 2015.
However, the report warns that 21% of plants are at risk of extinction, with threats including climate change, habitat loss, disease and invasive species. The researchers came up with their new plant total by searching through existing databases.
In total, they now estimate that, excluding algae, mosses, liverworts and hornworts, there are 390,900 plants, of which approximately 369,400 are flowering. The report also found that more than 10% of the parts of the Earth that are covered with vegetation are highly sensitive to climate change. However the longer-term effects were not yet clear.
Source – The Hindu