A new study shows how common some plants, like basil, are in the world.
The study was published online on April 18, 2017 in the journal PLOS ONE.
“It is clear that these plants are everywhere, but we still do not have a comprehensive understanding of the plants that are important to us and the plants we need to protect,” said lead author Thomas R. Rennie, a professor of plant biology at University of New Mexico.
“So we decided to conduct a meta-analysis of the plant communities in different parts of the world and look for correlations and differences.
We found that the common elements among all these plants were common elements found across all different cultures.”
“The diversity of these plants makes them important for different ecological niches in the ecosystems,” said Rennies co-author James W. O’Brien, a plant ecologist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
For example, basil is found in the tropical forests of Indonesia, where the forests are highly degraded.
It is also found in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, where forests are heavily used for timber production.
Oren Behrmann, an assistant professor of botany at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said this makes basil a “powerful tool for the protection of biodiversity in these areas.”
The researchers also looked at the common environmental characteristics that people commonly use in different countries, like temperature and humidity.
The researchers found that in countries with a high degree of biodiversity, like the United States and Brazil, the plants most commonly used are common plants.
In countries with low biodiversity, such as South Africa and Vietnam, the species most commonly seen are common ones, like lily, marigold, and dandelion.
The differences in how people use these plants could be related to different ways people use the environment and how those environments are impacted by climate change.
For instance, lily is often grown in a desert, where it will become less common as the climate warms.
Marigolds can grow in the tropics where the air is drier and humidity is higher, but their leaves are usually only found in a hot, humid environment.
And dandelions are native to Asia, but they are only found there because of deforestation.
“These plants are so common, we are so reliant on them to help us stay healthy,” said O’Briens co-lead author Eric G. H. Karp, a doctoral student in plant sciences at the American University of Beirut.
“The more you understand them, the more you can make an informed decision.”
The team analyzed the plant species in more than 200 countries to find how common certain common elements are and to learn how those common elements differ across different countries.
“A lot of people use common elements to help make decisions and they have no real understanding of how they are used in different cultures,” said Behrman.
“We found that we could identify the most common common elements across different cultures by looking at their common characteristics, including the geographical location of the country.”
“In the past, we’ve used plant taxonomies as a tool for biodiversity monitoring and the data that we have from plant taxonomy has been a very limited tool,” said Hildebrandt, “but we’re getting a better understanding of plant species’ roles in the environment, and how to conserve them.”
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation.