Bournemouth University

School of Conservation Sciences

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Half of the world's Magnolia species face extinction

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Magnolia New report reveals worrying statistics  

Over half the worldÂ’s Magnolia species are facing extinction in their native forest habitats, according to an authoritative new report based on research undertaken by Daniele Cicuzza and Adrian Newton of Conservation Sciences, Bournemouth University.

The Red List of the Magnoliaceae, which has been published jointly by Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and Fauna & Flora International (FFI), through the Global Trees Campaign (GTC), identifies 131 wild magnolias as being in danger of extinction, from a global total of 245 species. The research involved mapping the distribution of different Magnolia species, and overlaying these data on maps of forest cover derived from satellite remote sensing imagery. Results indicate the severe deforestation that has occurred within the geographical ranges of many Magnolia species. Popular as ornamental plants in gardens around the world, in the wild magnolias are a source of timber, food and medicines for local communities. Some two thirds of known magnolia species are found in Asia, with over 40% occurring in southern China.

According to the report half of all wild Chinese magnolias are at risk of extinction. In the Americas, north and south, where magnolias are also found in the wild, a similar picture is emerging. In Colombia, for example, the report concludes that the threat of extinction hangs over 30 of its native species.

The report can be downloaded from here.