Policy: Biome Awareness Disparity is BAD for tropical ecosystem conservation and restoration (J. Appl. Ecol.)

You’ve heard of “Plant Awareness Disparity” (10.1002/ppp3.10153), a term gaining popularity to highlight the fact that plants are sometimes overlooked as living organisms (replacing the abelist term “Plant Blindess”). You’ve also recently read that plants with bigger, more conspicuous flowers get more research attention (10.1038/s41477-021-00912-2)  Silviera et al. extend these observations and demonstrate that some biomes are overlooked by researchers and policymakers, in what they describe as “Biome Awareness Disparity”. The authors noted that social media posts and engagement vary with the type of biome that is being discussed, and that the scientific literature also over-reports on forested biomes as compared to open, grassland biomes. A consequence of this over-emphasis on trees and forests is an association between restoration and tree planting. Several high-profile tree-planting programs vie for donations, but at the same time few have demonstrated success. Furthermore, grasslands aren’t improved by tree planting. (Summary by Mary Williams @PlantTeaching) J. Appl. Ecol. 10.1111/1365-2664.14060.