According to the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, one in five wild maple species is threatened with extinction.
There are currently 158 species of maple trees that are popular for their diversity. During the autumn season, their crowns decorate forests and parks with beautiful red, yellow, orange, and purple colors. Their natural habitats are at risk.
Wild Maples Monitoring
Declining natural habitats threaten more than 30 species of wild maples, mainly due to climate change, logging, ice fires, and deforestation. Most species occur in Asia, of which 92 species in China. Several other species have habitats in America. Botanists warn of the need to set up measures to save extremely endangered maples.
Botanists from the Botanic Gardens Conservation International will be monitoring the status of all 158 species of maples until the end of 2020. According to the first risk assessment, one-fifth of the species are endangered in the wild.
Conservation manager Dan Crowley told BBC News: “And while they are common in some of our open spaces, spaces where they are highly valued, several species are also highly threatened in the wild.”
Botanists Call for Necessary Protection
Botanists call for the protection of forests that provide habitat for maples. They also recommend storing the seeds for possible restoration of endangered species.
“We’re highly responsible for the threats that some of these species face, including urban development, agriculture, and timber harvesting, and we have the capabilities to conserve the species in the wild and also in our living collections, and we should act to do,” added Dan Crowley.
Like other trees and plants, maples are an essential part of the ecosystem. The loss of one species can cause a cascading decrease of different species from the plant and animal kingdoms.
Source and credit: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-54240554, pixabay.com