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Study shows that 60 percent of plantlife can be saved

Biodiversity is one of Planet Earth’s greatest strengths. Ecosystems depend on many different plants and animals to stay healthy. When species go extinct, it’s like removing links from a chain. Too many weaknesses, and the entire system could fall apart. New research from Microsoft aims to show that while it’s an immense challenge, it’s possible to protect over 60 percent of Earth’s plant species from vanishing into the ether.

In partnership with Duke University and North Carolina State University, Microsoft researchers used computer algorithms to identify the smallest set of regions worldwide that could contain the largest numbers of plant species. The result, they say, is a model showing how putting just 17 percent of the planet’s land surface off limits to human contamination could save a huge number of important plant species.

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