A third of plant species in tropical Africa are threatened with extinction, a new study suggests. Plants are crucial to many ecosystems and life in general, providing food and oxygen, as well as being the source of myriad materials and medicines. However, human activities including logging, mining and agriculture pose a major threat.
While the extinction risk of animals around the world has been well studied, the risk facing many plants remains unclear: 86% of mammal species have been assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its Red List, compared with only 8% of plant species. Now experts say they have come up with a rapid approach to give a preliminary classification.