News Release

210 scientists highlight state of plants and fungi in Plants, People, Planet special issue

The landmark special issue is a collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

Peer-Reviewed Publication

New Phytologist Foundation

Five Key Themes

image: Five broad themes that encompass the State of the World's Plants and Fungi report 2020 are featured in this stylised illustration. (a) Resources for exploring plant and fungal properties; (b) The influence of global biodiversity policy; (c) Unlocking the useful properties of plants and fungi; (d) UK and UK Overseas Territories; (e) New insights into global knowledge of plants and fungi. view more 

Credit: Plants, People, Planet

210 scientists from around the world highlight the state of the world's plants and fungi in a landmark Plants, People, Planet Special Issue, in collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Special Issue, 'Protecting and sustainably using the world's plants and fungi', brings together the research - from 210 scientists across 42 countries - behind the 2020 State of the World's Plants and Fungi report, also released today by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This is the first time that over 200 scientists have come together and collaborated to deliver a vital update, not only on the status of the world's plant life, but also the world's fungi. Humanity's existence and well-being depends on plants and fungi - from our food and energy, to our physical and mental health. The scientists' findings plot a global roadmap that sets out what we must do to protect and sustainably use plants and fungi, now and in the future.

The data and expert opinion behind Kew's report have, for the first time, been published in a landmark Plants, People, Planet Special Issue and are freely available to read and share. This Special Issue points the way forward for future research and conservation efforts around the world for the benefit of people and the sustainable future of our planet. It highlights the strength of researchers working together and the importance of collaboration between scientific journals and botanic gardens like RBG Kew.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Kew to publish the scientific papers behind the State of the World's Plants and Fungi 2020 report," said Prof. Simon Hiscock, Editor in Chief of Plants, People, Planet. "Plants, People, Planet was founded to highlight how fundamentally important plants are to people and all life on Earth. We embrace Kew's transformative agenda to curate, conserve and explore the world's plant and fungal diversity as outlined in this landmark collection," he added.

"The data in this year's report paint a picture of a world that has turned its back on the incredible potential of the plant and fungal kingdoms to address some of the biggest challenges we face," said Professor Alexandre Antonelli, Director of Science at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. "We have particularly earmarked the gaps in our knowledge, the changes we are seeing, the species being named new to science and the shocking pace of biodiversity loss."

"The rigour and collaborative nature of the scientific work underlying the articles in the New Phytologist Foundation's Plants, People, Planet, which accompany the State of the World's Plants and Fungi report, is testimony to the incredible wealth of knowledge that exists and is now being brought to surface," added Professor Antonelli. "This has been a truly fantastic and rewarding collaboration; Plants, People, Planet is a prestigious journal that shares Kew's mission and provides free access to its contents for the benefit of all. I hope this work will help inform decisions here in the UK and all over the world as we start the most critical decade our planet has ever faced".

Using the research included in the Plants, People, Planet Special Issue we can understand and make use of the full extent of plant and fungal diversity while recognising the threats to their survival, so that we can halt biodiversity loss and unlock its full potential.


Read the Editorial: Protecting and sustainably using the world's plants and fungi.

Read the Special Issue.

For Editors:

Press contacts (Plants, People, Planet):

Bennett Young (Managing Editor)
+44 7546 258140

Sarah Lennon (Executive Editor)
+ 44 1524 594387

About Plants, People, Planet

Plants, People, Planet is a multi-disciplinary Open Access journal, owned by the New Phytologist Foundation and published by Wiley. The journal promotes outstanding plant-based research in its broadest sense and celebrates everything new, innovative and exciting in plant-focused research that is relevant to society and people's daily lives.

About the New Phytologist Foundation

The New Phytologist Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the promotion of plant science. It owns and produces the international journals New Phytologist and Plants, People, Planet.

About the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew is a world-famous scientific organisation, internationally respected for its outstanding collections as well as its scientific expertise in plant and fungal diversity, conservation and sustainable development in the UK and around the world. Kew Gardens is a major international and a top London visitor attraction. Kew Gardens' 132 hectares of landscaped gardens, and Wakehurst, Kew's Wild Botanic Garden, attract over 2.5 million visits every year. Kew Gardens was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2003 and celebrated its 260th anniversary in 2019. Wakehurst is home to Kew's Millennium Seed Bank, the largest wild plant seed bank in the world. The Kew Madagascar Conservation Centre is Kew's third research centre and only overseas office. RBG Kew receives approximately one third of its funding from Government through the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and research councils. Further funding needed to support RBG Kew's vital work comes from donors, membership and commercial activity including ticket sales.

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