‘Forgotten’ Plants a Boon for Biodiversity

‘Forgotten’ Plants a Boon for Biodiversity
Feb 25, 2021

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A disproportionate three quarters of human food consumption derives from only 12 plant species and five types of animal, according to a story published as part of “Follow the Food,” a series produced by Britain’s BBC.

More than half of plant-based calories and proteins derive from the three main staple crops, rice, maize and wheat.

Yet, at least 30,000 of the 350,000 known plant species are edible, according to the story. Despite this massive potential, only 170 species of plant are cultivated for food to a significant degree.

But uniformity can put plants in jeopardy. They are susceptible to disease and pests, food security risks that are exacerbated by climate change and tend to increase as diversity dips, which is why biodiversity is important in this context.

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