Image: Joaquim Alves Gaspar and Tony Wills/Wikimedia Commons.
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Asking the right question

Why are there so many kinds of plants?

Image: Joaquim Alves Gaspar and Tony Wills/Wikimedia Commons.
Image: Joaquim Alves Gaspar and Tony Wills/Wikimedia Commons.

Often answers to the simplest questions are the most insightful. Take for instance the perfectly reasonable query, ‘why are there so many kinds of plants?’. This fascinating question is pondered by Professor Fred Essig (University of South Florida, USA) in his guest blog entry at Biology Online, a site that claims to provide answers to all your biology questions. I won’t give away the answer, but taking a niche-based approach Essig provides a thoughtful response that can be used by all should the same question come up in your own teaching. Cheers, Fred!

[However, one still can’t help wondering if 10,000 species of grass is too many… especially as they all look the same (or so my students tell me…) – Ed.]

Nigel Chaffey

I am a Botanist and former Senior Lecturer in Botany at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany I contributed the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that international plant science journal for almost 10 years. As a freelance plant science communicator I continue to share my Cuttingsesque items - and appraisals of books with a plant focus - with a plant-curious audience at Plant Cuttings [] (and formerly at Botany One []). In that guise my main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way) others about plants and plant-people interactions, and thereby improve humankind's botanical literacy. I'm happy to be contacted to discuss potential writing - or talking - projects and opportunities.
[ORCID: 0000-0002-4231-9082]


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