There are already thousands of different tree species in the world, right? We’ve got the ones we need for wood, the ones for apples, the ones for cork. And you might think that through centuries of selective breeding, we’ve already produced trees with all the characteristics we need—not to mention the prettiest roses, the hardiest wheat and the most fragrant lilies.
So with this much control over biodiversity, it’s hard to believe that a plant as important to our everyday lives as (gasp!) coffee might actually be in danger of extinction. (And don’t worry if the word biodiversity sounds complicated—it can be. Read on to see how the case in point helps make it a little easier to understand.) (more…)