State of the world's plants and fungi 2020: Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Alexandre Antonelli, C Fry, R. J. Smith, Monique S J Simmonds, Alexander D Twyford, Paul Julian Kersey, H W Pritchard, M S Abbo, C Acedo, J Adams, A. Martyn Ainsworth, B Allkin, W Annecke, S P Bachman, K Bacon, S Bárrios, C Barstow, A Battison, E Bell, Keith BensusanM I Bidartondo, R J Blackhall-Miles, James S Borrell, Francis Q. Brearley, E Breman, R. F. A. Brewer, J Brodie, R. Cámara-Leret, R. Campostrini Forzza, P Cannon, M Carine, J Carretero, T. R Cavagnaro, M E Cazar, T Chapman, M Cheek, C Clubbe, C Cockel, J Collemare, A Cooper

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Never before has the biosphere, the thin layer of life we call home, been under such intensive and urgent threat. Deforestation rates have soared as we have cleared land to feed ever-more people, global emissions are disrupting the climate system, new pathogens threaten our crops and our health, illegal trade has eradicated entire plant populations, and non-native species are outcompeting local floras. Biodiversity is being lost – locally, regionally and globally.Yet this biodiversity sustains our lives. Open your fridge, peek into your medicine cupboard, examine your living room, feel your clothes. For thousands of years, we have searched nature to satisfy our hunger, cure our diseases, build our houses, and make our lives more comfortable. But our early exploration of useful traits in species relied on rudimentary tools, and indigenous knowledge was lost as local traditions were downplayed and globalisation emerged. As a result, humanity is still a long way from utilising the full potential of biodiversity, in particular plants and fungi, which play critical roles in ecosystems. Now, more than ever before, we need to explore the solutions they could provide to the global challenges we face.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoyal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Number of pages100
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


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