Assessing the rate of extinction of plants is not easy. Information about extinction in the past is fragmentary, and the plants themselves are distributed unevenly on the planet. For example, 12 thousand plant species live in Madagascar, 80% of which are not distributed anywhere else. And on the island of Great Britain – less than two thousand species of plants, and endemic of them – less than 5%. However, it was the oases of biodiversity that became the "hot spots" of extinction.
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In the course of the study, scientists examined information on nearly 300 relatively recent extinctions of various plants. It turned out that the key factor in this process was human activity: agriculture and urbanization.
Especially vulnerable were herbaceous plants. Scientists call the loss of their species one of the most dangerous challenges facing humanity.