Field of Science

Plant Endangered Species - We have met the enemy, and some of them are us.

Typical, typical, and tragically sad. The Life Lines blog about endangered species based on an article in Science points out that all major groups of vertebrates are in trouble. But look at the data. Which group is suffering the most by a huge margin, by a factor of two? Yes, cycads, the most ancient living lineage of seed plants, the virtual dinosaurs of the plant kingdom. 60% of species are rated vulnerable (vu), endangered (en), or critically endangered (cr), and they have the largest proportion of species extinct in the wild (ew), and nary a mention. This is unfortunately a very typical example of the zoo-bias that permeates biology. Wish there were corrective lens for plant blindness.

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