Monday, September 20, 2010

Real Number of Flowering Plant Species of the World Pegged Closer to 400,000

Now that is a surprise. More than 600,000 plant species have been deleted by the by scientists, from the dictionary of life, after a comprehensive assessment. There was obviously duplication. The study team was led by UK and US scientists. Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, is a key partner.
The duplication had resulted in a list of more than 1 million flowering plant species. Scientists have been naming new plant species without realizing that many were in fact the same.
The scientist put under the scan existing plant lists and worked out an "accepted" name for each species. So far the researchers have found 301,000 accepted species, 480,000 alternative names, and have 240,000 left to assess. In some cases, plants thought to be the same have been assessed to be different species using DNA techniques.
The project has taken nearly three years and the official results will be announced later this year.

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