Graveyards Are Surprising Hotspots for Biodiversity

Graveyards Are Surprising Hotspots for Biodiversity

They additionally counted plant species in 30 non–burial field margin areas, to compare the graveyards’ biodiversity with another common habitat type in the region. By contrast, in the wheat fields only around one third of the native plant species were insect-pollinated. And even though the field margins contained the same total number of plant species as the graveyards, just over a quarter of these were pollinated by insects. In contrast to the prairie cemeteries in Illinois, China’s family graveyards are not legally protected or formally recognized for their biodiversity. “This could be a way to show that family graveyards really are important for ecosystem functioning and biodiversity,” adds Knapp, who was not involved in the study.

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