Confusion about "arrived in the region via anthropogenic means" designation for an observation

Hello! I am brand new to the forums here, and new-ish to being an active iNat user, though I first downloaded the app about 2 years ago. At the time I only understood it as something you could use to help ID plants …I had no idea about logging observations and the vast community here!

In any case, I have a question about the “arrived in the region via anthropogenic means” designation for an observation. This designation popped up for me on an observation I logged yesterday, found here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/75717837.

I noticed another observation of Trillium grandiflorum in this location received the same designation. I’m wondering if anyone can tell me why? Is it explicitly known that someone planted this trillium here? I ask because Trillium grandiflorum is most certainly native to this region. The observation occurred in a wooded park area where many other native woodland plants can be observed, including star chickweed, Jack-in-the-pulpit, bloodroot, downy yellow violets, etc. All of these are plants that are very frequently found in the same locations as Trillium grandiflorum.

So I’m not sure why it should be assumed that the trillium was planted there by humans, unless it is explicitly known that someone planted this specific trillium? I’m just not understanding why this observation should receive this designation.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and help!

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Welcome to the Forum!

These markers, anthropogenic, endemic, etc., usually come from an external source. If you’re confused about a specific taxon you can flag the taxon by going to Curation → Flag for Curation on the taxon page, about halfway down the page on the right.

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Hi zdanko, thanks so much for the welcome and the reply!

I appreciate you letting me know I can flag this…I confess though that I think I need some help figuring out what steps to take! When you say I can flag it on the taxon page, does that mean on the page for the observation? Not sure if I’m looking in the wrong place, but I’m not seeing the “Curation” option anywhere on the page. Maybe I’m missing it!

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Does look like it is native there: https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=f317

The taxon page is here: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/55402-Trillium-grandiflorum

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For some reason it is listed as introduced in Rock Creek Park only. I’m not a plant person, so I’m not sure why that might be, but you can go to the taxon page (link above) and flag with an explanation of the issue and hopefully someone more knowledgeable can evaluate/fix.

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There are two questions here: 1) Is that plant species native or introduced to the location? I don’t know much about this species, but it seems it is native and that the Introduced designation that is automatically added to your record may be incorrect. That would call for a curator’s attention to determine if that designation is erroneous. 2) Is the organism featured in your record not wild, that is was it planted/cultivated at this location even if the species is native to the region? It doesn’t look like your record is being questioned about that and the plant is indeed wild.

When I add plant records to iNat I usually add a note that the specimen I photo’d is wild (i.e., not planted or cultivated; it may be an escapee from cultivation) if that’s the case, especially for species that are common as garden plants. You can’t always tell from a photo if the plant is growing wild or is in a garden or a pot.

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As I said, you need to flag it on the taxon page, not the observation page: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/55402-Trillium-grandiflorum


Then click flag for curation.

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Thanks very much! I went to the taxon page using your link and flagged the issue. Appreciate your help!

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Thank you, appreciate your help!

This was my confusion about the terminology of different pages on the site and navigation of the site as a newbie. I was able to flag it on the taxon page. Thanks again for your help.

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If you look at other records around the Washington/Baltimore area, they are not marked as Introduced. Curious.

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The native/endemic/introduced status does not refer to a single organism. It refers to the population as a whole. Individual organisms within that population may still be either cultivated or naturally reproducing.

The source of the listing indicating the population in Rock Creek Park was introduced appears to be the National Park Service.

https://www.inaturalist.org/check_lists/359021-Species-Check-List-for-Rock-Creek-Park

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Curious indeed!

Very interesting…I went to the Information on Species in National Parks site, and Trillium grandiflorum is indeed classified as non-native on the Rock Creek Park list. Very strange. I have written to NPS to see if I can get clarification. I’m sure they’re extremely busy so not sure if/when I will hear back. I wonder if it could be a mistake?

Thanks for pointing this out!

It could be native to the area but brought to the park as replacement of died out population or as epansion of local range.

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This is what I was wondering originally as well.

But I’m getting more confused now about what the designation actually means, after looking at discussions elsewhere on the forum as well as over on iNat where I flagged the issue…

If they have the tag saying it arrived from a person does that mean it was released by scientist or like the gov? Im not sure but I thought it was Illegal to release/ capture wild animals in some areas.

No, that’s probably not the case. See these other threads:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/are-reintroduced-animals-wild/6334
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/add-a-reintroduced-establishment-category/9110/9

And the help definition:
https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#captive

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The “arrived in region via anthropogenic means” usually means that the individual observed was descended from an introduced population, which could have been purposely planted or arrived as seeds fallen off of people in the area. The individual plant was most likely not planted, and if you mean animals, they are almost certainly wild by the time of observation.

Thanks for your replies!

I think what was very confusing to me is that everything else in the park with the “anthropogenic means” designation is a clear non-native…for those who are familiar with United States East Coast plants, stuff like garlic mustard, porcelainberry, Japanese knotweed, etc. So to see this trillium given the same designation as those really threw me for a loop, because it’s very clearly a native plant in the region. But like melodi_96 and fluffyinca were suggesting, the only thing I can think of is that this specific population is known to have been planted by humans as a means of reintroduction of the species.

I have reached out to Rock Creek Park about it, and am hoping they can shed some light on the issue!

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