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Twenty years of big plant genera - newly published article.

The big plant genera” form a significant proportion of both global plant diversity, and are of disproportionate importance for both human nutrition and planetary health. With approximately 25% of flowering plant species being a member of one of these 83 large diverse genera.

Research led by Peter Moonlight, Trinity College Dublin, and published (29th May 2024) in the Proceedings of the Royal Society shows that these big genera are getting bigger and bigger as more species are described. More than 10,000 species have been described in these 83 big genera since the year 2000.

Read the open access article here.


Moonlight Peter W., Baldaszti Ludwig, Cardoso Domingos, Elliott Alan, Särkinen Tiina and Knapp Sandra (2024). Twenty years of big plant genera Proc. R. Soc. B. 29120240702 http://​doi​.org/​10​.​1098​/​r​s​p​b​.​2024​.0702


This is an exciting big data” analysis utilising the WFO’s freely available classification data. The study made use of data from the WFO’s December 2023 release, and the WFO hope this will allow comparative revisits to this study using the our time stamped data releases in the future. 

While this study highlights these diverse genera it is also a call to arms to increase the study of, and the conservation efforts needed to protect, these incredibly diverse genera.

Posted: 29th of May 2024.