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Botanical gardens a lifeboat for threatened plants

PARIS: Botanical gardens are a Noah's Ark for endangered plants, collectively safeguarding four out of 10 species known to face extinction, researchers said Monday. But the otherwise reassuring number hides a serious imbalance, they reported in the science journal Nature Plants. Such gardens, which often double as research centres, house only a quarter of tropical flora, as opposed to 60 percent of plants native to temperate climes. Species diversity is far richer in the tropics, but more than 90 percent of vegetal…