Why plants matter by Reuters

They are the foundation of life on Earth, providing food, medicine, building materials and clean air but across the world, plant species are disappearing fast.

The world contains around 423,000 plant species on land — about 78 times the number of recorded mammal species. Altogether, this greenery represents 82% of the weight of all living things.

Here we explain the role plants play in the environment and visualise how few plants have been properly assessed compared to vertebrates and invertebrates.

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