Conservation and climate change news
Plants have an essential role to play in mitigating the effects of climate change, because they take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Conversely, if forests are destroyed by burning, then carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere. Deforestation accounts for about one fifth of the world’s carbon emissions.
However, plants are threatened by environmental changes including climate change. Conserving plants is therefore critical to any sustainable solution to environmental change.
Seed banks provide an insurance policy against the extinction of plant species in the wild and provide options for their future use. This is good news for our conservation efforts in Mauritius where in some cases only handfuls of individual plants exist.
14 Sep 2009
Over 150 years since Henry David Thoreau conducted a life-long study of the plant species in the Massachusetts countryside, scientists have re-surveyed the area to discover adverse effects of climate change.2 likes
Over-exploitation and habitat loss are just two of the factors putting plant species at risk in Kyrgyzstan. Our aim in collecting and storing the seeds of threatened plants is to provide an insurance policy against their extinction in the wild.
14 Sep 2009
A comprehensive survey reveals the future of British bluebell woods is at risk of cross-fertilisation with increasing non-native varieties that are spreading from gardens to the countryside.11 likes
Find out how staff at Kew's Herbarium help scientists at the Millennium Seed Bank to identify the seeds they collect to the correct plant species. Botanical keys in floras and monographs facilitate identification.
Since 2003 Kew's Millennium Seed Bank partnership has supplied seed samples for use in research that investigates the priority sustainable development areas of water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity.
09 Sep 2009
Through our own 250 years of evolution, Kew has become a global centre of plant science tackling urgent environmental challenges. Kew has described, identified and catalogued plants around the world, building the greatest concentration of botanical knowledge on the planet.7 likes
Twenty-three per cent of Australian floral species are listed as under threat of extinction
Plants are grown out (usually under glass) for four reasons: harvesting fresher or more seed; identification; research; and display.
The seeds are stored at -20°C and may live for hundreds of years.
Keep up to date with events and news from Kew
Spanish moss is a superb 'air plant' which grows in silverish festoons up to 30 m long, hanging from tree limbs, cliffs and even telephone wires.