Monday, March 5, 2012

Why are plants so important?

The role of plants if frequently overlooked as we tend to take them for granted often forgetting that they play key role for our survival. Plants are primary source of food because all of our food is produced by plants, either directly or indirectly via animals that consume them.

Plants are not only an important source of food but also a very important source of energy and their role will no doubt grow as the world's hunger for energy is constantly increasing. The photosynthesis done by land plants is the ultimate source of energy and organic material in nearly all ecosystems.

Plants help protect our planet from environmental degradation and therefore keep our environment healthy (they play key role in soil development and prevent soil erosion). Plants are also key components of the water cycle and several other biogeochemical cycles.

Plants also play essential role in development of many different medicines used to treat different diseases and also help people relax (gardening and other horticultural therapies).

Plants are also used for many different aesthetic purposes (flowering plants).

There are many environmental issues that threaten plants across the globe, most notably climate change issue. The biodiversity of plants is something our planet can't survive without and therefore we have to try to protect many plant species from being destroyed by climate change.

Climate change is the biggest environmental threat plants have to face today but sadly not the only one as plants are also experiencing huge threat from pollution and deforestation.

The science of botany (as well as other related sub-sciences) is bound to face difficult challenges in years to come and is certainly in need of new research in order to tackle different environmental issues that threaten many plant species all across the globe.

Plant research needs a big step forward and this can be done only by using the most advanced technologies available to study the life of the plants.