by Mary Jo DiLonardo

A new study finds that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement. That’s nearly twice as many species that researchers had previously estimated orany study had ever documented.

The study was published in the journal Conservation Biology by a team of 16 conservation and biology researchers from across the U.S.

Although recent studies suggest that nearly 600 plants have gone extinct around the world including 38 plants species in 16 U.S. states, instead researchers found what they describe as “a more dire situation.” Their results document 65 extinct species in 31 states, the District of Columbia, and in Ontario, Canada, suggesting more extinctions over a larger area than previously estimated.

It’s likely, they say, that the documented extinctions highly underestimate the actual number of plant species that are lost.

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