Tuesday, 21 September 2010
Scientists Slash Number of World's Plants
An American-British study has reported that the true number of plant species on the earth is far short of the 1,000,000 usually reported, and may be much closer to 400,000. They credit the overcount to "centuries of scientists naming 'new' plants that had already been discovered". That's a 60% drop if anyone is doing the math. Here is a brief summary from Newser.
The drastic reduction reminds me of the story of the French efforts to measure the earth, and in the process redraw the map of France more accurately, leading to someone's quote that, "Louis XV lost more land to his cartographers than his successors have to the Germans."