New Report Reveals Global Status of Orchids
Published:02 Nov.2023
According to the latest State of the World’s Plants and Fungi report released by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, about 45% of known flowering plant species worldwide are threatened with extinction, with orchids being one of the most threatened plant families.
Dr. Katharina Nargar, an orchid researcher from Australia's national science agency CSIRO, is a leading author of the report's chapter on orchids. She said the new report sets an important international standard for researchers and conservationists to annually track global trends in plant and fungal diversity. DNA sequencing results have challenged our previous understanding of the origins and distributions of orchids. New data suggests orchids originated in the Northern Hemisphere around 83 million years ago before spreading worldwide. Australia has over 60% of the world's orchid species that originated over 40 million years ago.
The report is based on the work of 200 international researchers from 30 countries, providing scientific basis for protecting global plant diversity. Dr. Nargar said the report raises awareness of Australia's orchid diversity and helps attract international funding support for Australian orchid conservation efforts.