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Old 03-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #1
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Smile Discussion of definitions used by Wildlife Gardeners

We have moved the discussion about the definitions we use at Wildlife Gardeners to the feedback forum because it is a more appropriate place for providing comments regarding our policies and procedures. We are always interested in the opinions of our members.

The definitions that we use here at Wildlife Gardeners will remain in the Tips for New Members sub-forum so that our new members have quick and easy access them.

Last edited by Cirsium; 06-04-2009 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:16 PM   #2
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Default Discussion of definitions used by Wildlife Gardeners

The United States Department of Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Services' definitions for "Native, Invasive, and Other Plant-Related Definitions" will be used as our guideline to better ensure Wildlife Gardeners is in the best position possible to promote environmentally sound practices to preserve biodiversity.

Native, Invasive, and Other Plant-Related Definitions | Connecticut NRCS

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Native Plant
A plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem. Note: The word native should always be used with a geographic qualifier (that is, native to New England [for example]). Only plants found in this country before European settlement are considered to be native to the United States.
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Invasive Plant
A plant that is both non-native and able to establish on many sites, grow quickly, and spread to the point of disrupting plant communities or ecosystems. Note: From the Presidential Executive Order 13112 (February 1999): 'An invasive species is defined as a species that is 1) non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and 2) whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.' In contrast to item 2) of the Executive Order, which includes plants invasive in agricultural settings, the Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group lists non-native plants as invasive only if they invade minimally managed (natural) areas.
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Non-Native Plant
A plant introduced with human help (intentionally or accidentally) to a new place or new type of habitat where it was not previously found. Note: Not all non-native plants are invasive. In fact, when many non-native plants are introduced to new places, they cannot reproduce or spread readily without continued human help (for example, many ornamental plants).
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Naturalized Plant
A non-native plant that does not need human help to reproduce and maintain itself over time in an area where it is not native. Notes: Even though their offspring reproduce and spread naturally (without human help), naturalized plants do not, over time, become native members of the local plant community. Many naturalized plants are found primarily near human-dominated areas; and, sometimes, naturalized is used (confusingly) to refer specifically to naturally reproducing, non-native plants that do not invade areas dominated by native vegetation. However, since invasive plants also reproduce and spread without human help, they also are naturalized invasives are a small, but troublesome, sub-category of naturalized plants.
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Exotic Plant
A plant not native to the continent on which it is now found. (Plants from Europe are exotic in North America; plants from North America are exotic in Japan.)
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Translocated Plant
A plant not native to the portion of the continent where it is now found. (California Poppies in New England are an example of a translocated species.)
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Opportunistic Native Plant
A native plant that is able to take advantage of disturbance to the soil or existing vegetation to spread quickly and out-compete the other plants on the disturbed site.
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Weed
Common Usage - A weed is a plant (native or non-native) that is not valued in the place where it is growing (USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)). Definition- Any plant that poses a major threat to agriculture and/or natural ecosystems within the United States.
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Noxious Weed
Common Usage - A plant that is particularly troublesome. Legal Context (Federal Plant Protection Act) - Any plant or plant product that can directly or indirectly injure or cause damage to crops (including nursery stock or plant products), livestock, poultry or other interests of agriculture, irrigation, navigation, the natural resources of the United States, the public health, or the environment.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:26 PM   #3
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Thank you for the definitions.

What do you call a native plant that, through human involvement, has become invasive in its native range? (Such as poison ivy.)

What do you call a plant that has migrated to a new region through non-human means, such as seeds carried to islands by migratory birds?
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:31 PM   #4
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Also, I am curious about this:

Quote:
A plant that is a part of the balance of nature that has developed over hundreds or thousands of years in a particular region or ecosystem.
Should that perhaps read "thousands to hundreds of thousands"? Because otherwise we could call plants introduced during colonial times "native", such as common plantain, plantago major.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:37 PM   #5
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The definition is qualified with "Only plants found in this country before European settlement are considered to be native to the United States."
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:45 PM   #6
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Ah, sorry, I read too quickly. I would still like to know the answers to my other questions, if anyone knows.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoloniferous View Post
What do you call a native plant that, through human involvement, has become invasive in its native range? (Such as poison ivy.)
Would that fit the definition of "opportunistic"?

Personally I use the term "aggressive" -


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoloniferous View Post
What do you call a plant that has migrated to a new region through non-human means, such as seeds carried to islands by migratory birds?
Naturalized, exotic or translocated...
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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Thanks Joepye.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepyeweed View Post
Would that fit the definition of "opportunistic"?
...
Sounds good to me. Anyone else have a thought on this?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joepyeweed View Post
Naturalized, exotic or translocated...
Okay. So, when does a naturalized, exotic or translocated plant or animal become "native"? For example, all "native" flora and fauna of the Hawaiian islands.

Thanks.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
What do you call a native plant that, through human involvement, has become invasive in its native range? (Such as poison ivy.)
Poison Ivy is not considered invasive, according to the definitions. If it's "not valued in the place where it's growing", you can call it a weed.
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Old 06-02-2009, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
What do you call a native plant that, through human involvement, has become invasive in its native range? (Such as poison ivy.)
I would refer to this as an opportunistic native plant or a weed.

Quote:
Okay. So, when does a naturalized, exotic or translocated plant or animal become "native"?
Never
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