Many orchid species are threatened by land conversion and illegal harvesting. However, only a fraction of those species is included in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, because assessments require a lot of time, resources and expertise. A new approach, an automated assessment developed under the lead of biodiversity researchers from Central Germany, now shows that almost 30% of all orchid species are possibly threatened. The new approach could speed up conservation assessments of all species on Earth.
Orchids are more than just decorative—they are also economically important in horticulture, in the pharmaceutical industry and even in the food industry. For example, vanilla orchids are grown commercially for their seed pods, and the economy on the northeast of Madagascar