Mycorrhizal research supports orchid conservation in Madagascar

Madagascar is home to more than 1,000 species of orchid of which about 90% are endemic. Kew’s Head of Conservation Biotechnology, Viswambharan Sarasan, describes progress in the identification of orchid mycorrhizae, and how this could help future orchid conservation and restoration programmes.

Plants: From Roots to Riches

Kew's Director of Science, Professor Kathy Willis, describes the BBC Radio 4 series Plants: From Roots to Riches, which goes to air today at 1.45pm. The series provides a unique examination of the major breakthroughs in botanical science, as seen through the lens of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

Kew’s new Tropical Plant Identification Handbook

A new book written by botanists from Kew’s Herbarium aims to convey information about tropical plant families in an easy-to-use and accessible format. Timothy Utteridge, Head of the South-East Asia Team and generalist botanist in Kew’s Herbarium, describes how the book was developed.

How quickly do tropical forests recover from disturbance?

Disturbance is not a new phenomenon in tropical forests, yet we know relatively little about how these systems have responded to perturbations in the past. Palaeoecologist Lydia Cole describes her recent research comparing relative forest recovery rates across tropical regions, disturbance types and frequencies of perturbation through time.

Island plant diversity: endangered and under-explored

This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity highlights the uniqueness of island biodiversity and the threats it faces, yet so much of island diversity remains essentially unknown. Assistant Keeper of Kew’s Herbarium and palm expert Bill Baker makes the case for Kew’s work on island plant exploration.

The medicinal plant names maze

Liz Dauncey, Business Development Officer for Kew’s Medicinal Plant Names Services, tells us how their work enables safer and more effective communication by those using medicinal plants.

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