The first full assessment of risks to the world’s coffee plants shows that 60% of 124 known species are on the edge of extinction, reports BBC.
More than 100 types of coffee tree grow naturally in forests, including two used for the coffee we drink.Scientists say the figure is “worrying”, as wild coffee is critical for sustaining the global coffee crop. About one in five of the world’s plants is threatened with extinction, and the 60% figure is an “extremely high” one.
“If it wasn’t for wild species we wouldn’t have as much coffee to drink in the world today,” said Dr Aaron Davis of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
“Because if you look at the history of coffee cultivation, we have used wild species to make the coffee crop sustainable.”
Research published in the journal, Science Advances, found conservation measures were “inadequate” for wild coffees, including those considered “critical” for long-term global coffee production.