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Why are plants important?

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Quick Answer

Plants provide food to people and animals, regulate the water cycle, create oxygen and provide a habitat for other species. Without plants, life on Earth would not be sustainable for most species, including humans.

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Why are plants important?
Credit: USFS Region 5 CC-BY 2.0

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In addition to regulating the water cycle, plants also help purify the planet's water, which is important to sustain life. Plants and trees create oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. A decrease in plants and trees means a decrease in oxygen, which humans and other species require in order to breathe. These things aside, plants are also used for medicinal purposes. Many plants have healing properties, and one-quarter of prescription drugs come from plants. Plants also store carbon, which is a fact that helps keep carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

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