Imagine this: you step outside and feel the barren, rough, red Earth beneath your feet. There's not a single plant in sightno rustling of the leaves, no mighty towering trees to block the severe winds, and the scorching heat of the sun searing upon your face because there's no shade. And when you take a whiff of air, you feel nothing filling up the space inside your lungs, liberating your body's activities. What's wrong with this picture? It's not possible, of course. Even though plants aren't the building blocks of life, they're pretty close and without them, most of life wouldn't existYOU wouldn't exist.
In my research, I will go in-depth about biodiversitywhich defines as a quantity of the relative diversity among organisms present in various ecosystems (WordIQ). My research will focus mainly on the importance of plants/concern over plant extinction, rare, threatened, and endangered species, ways to prevent this from happening around our area, among other things.
Why plants are essential to biomass/distress over plant extinction
As you may already know, plants are essential to the biomass through a list of numerous reasons. Plants provide for many important aspects of life, such as oxygen, food, medicines, beauty and tranquility. So what's the agony over just a couple of vanished plant species? Research shows that if plant species continue to decline in major ecosystems, it could lead to the sixth mass extinction on planet Earth.
According to experiments and statistics conducted by scientists, 28 percent of plants have decreased over the last 20 years. These results were supported by extensive destitution of habitats affected by human activities (Ananthaswamy, 2004). Each year, an estimated 17,000 to 100,000 species perish from our planet (World IQ, 2004).
Reasons for US-wise status of rare, threatened, and endangered species and process of listing
Some reasons for these "rare, threatened, and endangered" plant types are caused by nitrogen pollution. Based on recent studies experimented by some UK colleagues of the Open University in Milton Keynes, they found the soil/plant richness of high nitrogen-pollution concentrated areas was much lower than that of low-pollution concentrated areas. These results were drawn from samples taken from 68 different grassland sites.
The number of species in each site varied by a wide marginwhich ranged from an average of 7.2 to 27.6 species per site (Ananthaswamy, 2004).
Based upon the same experiments and samples taken, it was concluded that the atmospheric nitrogen pollution was caused by the burning of fossil fuels and rigorous agriculture (Ananthaswamy, 2004).
According to the 2004 release of the Threatened and Endangered Species System (TESS) information, there are 599 endangered plants and 147 threatened plants in the US alone (TESS, 2004). These listings rely on a very stern legal system. Whether they can be labeled "rare", "threatened," or "endangered", it is determined by the measure of endangerment the species sustain. An "endangered" type is one that is in jeopardy of extinction throughout all or a major fraction of its range. A "threatened" species is one that is likely to become in danger of extinction in the future (UFWS, 2004).
Ways for prevention of plant dissolution/ rewards
Here in DeKalb County, we have several different threatened plant species. They are: Bay-star Vine, Flatrock Onion, Granite Rock Stonecrop, Indian Olive, Piedmont Barren Strawberry, and the Pool Sprite Snorkelwort. We have one endangered plant: it is the Black-spored Quillwort (UFWS, 2004).
There are over 542 discrete approved ecosystem recovery plans. Some plans cover more than one species while a few have different plans covering various parts of their ranges (TESS, 2004).
One organization is the Botanic Gardens Conservation International. It has just recently been added as a participant of the bigger organization of Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). GBIF strives to allow users to navigate and use the wide selection of biodiversity information, which can be vital to producing economic, environmental, social, and scientific repayments, conservation and study of biodiversity resources (BGCI Online, 2004).
In DeKalb County, there are many programs you can engage in to preserve plants and improve the ecosystem, such as the DeKalb Greenspacewhere information on community project assignments is available. Contributed efforts are voluntary, but they can impact a significant deal on park systems.
Some groups you can contact to restore, participate in, and raise environmental awareness issues:
-The Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve and Heritage Areawhose mission is to guarantee that the "natural, historical, and recreational resources of Arabia Mountain and its environs are protected"
-Dunwoody Nature Centermission is to "develop, improve, and preserve the twenty-two acres of park as a natural classroom for environmental education"
-Forty Oaks Nature Preserveprogram designed to recover stream banks from "invasive, non-native plants" and to renovate banks back to its natural state (DeKalb Greenspace, 2001).
Also in the nationwide list of species in extreme danger, did you know that there is actually a grant awarded for saving rare plants (Palmer, 2004)? Here in Georgia, you can get up to $200,000 for just taking part in planting longleaf pine and reviving tainted longleaf pine sitesthat is if you meet all of the specified requirements issued along with the grant (Fisher, 2004).
To sum it up, this research has covered: the importance of plants/concern over its extinction, reasons for US-wise status of rare, threatened, and endangered species and process of listing, and ways for prevention of plant dissolution/ rewards. Plants are a very vital portion to the planet. We depend on them for almost everythingfrom paper to medicines to food and even to provide shelter, shade, and clothes for us, among other things.
Without them, we wouldn't be here. They give so much for us, yet we give very little back to them. So if you have a bit of time on your hands someday, go out and plant a tree or do something that'll give back to the ecosystem!
Anathaswamy, A. (2004).
"Earth Faces Sixth Mass Extinction". New Scientist. Available
"BGCI becomes an Associate Participant in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility
(GBIF)". BGCI Online.
(2004). Available at
"Community Partnerships". DeKalb Greenspace. (2001). Available at
"Definition of Biodiversity". WordIQ.
(----). Available at
Fisher, P (2004). "Landowners Receive More than $7 Million to Conserve Imperiled
Species Through the Fiscal Year". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
"Listed Species in Dekalb County". U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (2004).
Palmer, T (2004). "Grant Awarded to Save Rare Plant". The Ledger Online. Available at
"Summary of Listed Species: Species and Recovery Plans as of 9/22/04".
and Endangered Species System (TESS). (2004). Available at
"Species Information: Threatened and Endangered Animals and Plants". U.S.
Wildlife Service. (2004). Available at