Recording plant status and regeneration during single visits
Keywords:establishment, invasive, non-native, origin
Information on the origin (status) and regeneration of plant species improves our understanding of native distributions and the establishment of non-native species. However, current categories used to record status in Britain and Ireland, whilst conceptually informative, rely on a knowledge of persistence that is impossible to assess objectively during a single (one-off) recording visit. We propose five alternative categories that focus on origin (how a species arrived at a site) rather than persistence. The first two categories apply to nationally native taxa: (1) populations that are unequivocally native and (2) those that are likely to have been introduced and/or are spreading for reasons that are obscure. The other three categories cover the occurrences of any taxon, native or non-native, that is known or suspected to have been introduced to a site: (3) introductions with unknown/obscure origins; (4) deliberate introductions; and (5) accidental introductions. For the introduced categories 3-5 we recommend that botanists also record signs of regeneration, i.e. seedlings or widely scattered patches, as a more objective measure whether a species is likely to be self-sustaining in a given locality.
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