When you hear about the abundance of life on earth, what do you picture? For many people, it’s animals – but awareness of plant diversity is growing rapidly.
Our planet has nearly 300,000 species of flowering plants. Among animals, only beetles can compete with that number. There are more species of ferns than birds, more mints than mammals, and more beans than butterflies. Measured in total mass, plants make up 82% of all life on land across the globe.
Jacob Suissa, assistant professor of plant evolutionary biology, and Ben Goulet-Scott, higher education and laboratory coordinator at Harvard Forest, Harvard University, are plant scientists and co-founders of Let’s Botanize, an educational nonprofit that uses plant life to teach about ecology, evolution and biodiversity. In the past several years they have witnessed a botanical boom, with participation in plant-based hobbies surging. From cultivating houseplants to foraging for wild foods and outdoor gardening, plant appreciation is on the rise.
Suisa and Goulet-Scott share their expertise on the benefits of botanizing in an article for The Conversation.
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Cindi King (865-974-0937, email@example.com)