With changes in crop cycles, specialised seeds, deep ploughing and land with poor productivity being set aside, wild flowers have been driven to the edges of fields, where they struggle to survive. In the Paris area, a third of them have disappeared already and another third is threatened with extinction. The poppy is still abundant all over France, but corncockle and darnel, among others, are in a precarious situation.
Botanists started being worried in the 1960s, because the flowers are a good indication of biodiversity on farmland, and they provide food for many pollinating insects. In the long term losing these pollinators will damage farming itself, because even cereals need to be pollinated.
Check out one of the illustrations in Brainpicking’s review of a recent book on the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (“which stands today as the oldest natural history museum in the Western Hemisphere,” and just celebrated its 200th...
The New York Botanical Garden; the Missouri Botanical Garden; The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have announced plans to develop the World Flora - the first modern, online catalog of the world's plants - by the year 2020. This massive undertaking will include the compilation of information on up to 400,000 plant species worldwide. It will also achieve a primary target of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, an ambitious effort first adopted by the United Nations' Convention on Biological Diversity in 2002, to halt the continuing loss of plant biodiversity around the globe.
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