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At a time when plants could help solve global environmental problems, scientists warn we must become more in touch with botanical education
The lack of botanical education and knowledge has become a problem, exacerbated by schools and universities in the UK reducing their teaching of basic plant science, including plant identification and ecology.
Researchers describe the lack of public knowledge as a self-accelerating cycle which risks “…the extinction of botanical education,” where biology is taught predominantly by people with research interests in animal science.
The paper Botanical education extinction and the fall of plant awareness demonstrates the shortage of basic botany skills, which is hampering environmental improvements – such as the inappropriate planting of trees on peatbogs which can result in increased CO2 emissions by damaging these delicate habitats, or the various incidents of valuable wildflower meadows being threatened by careless tree planting or management.