Hi, this is a question I think about many times.
If a botanical garden, in my case the botanical garden Magdeburg, cultivates a plant whose origin is known, wouldn’t it be favorable for researchers not to treat this plant as “cultivated” so that this location can also be found on GBIF?
Or would this special position go beyond what is feasible?
Is a wild collected plant with a known origin, cultivated in a Botanical Garden, only hobby quality or of scientific interest?
Hi, this is a question I think about many times.
Everything planted is cultivated and casual.
Things get tricky for live collections. For a dead plant in a herbarium collection, the recommendation appears to be to post as living and wild with its original location and collection time from the wild. However, for live plants in a garden it’s similar to zoo animals and they probably should be posted with the observation date and location and not wild. Part of the reason it’s different is because they keep growing and are being cared for, so by the time they are observed they might look quite different from a plant that has spent its entire life in the wild.
I’d say the same as @Marina_Gorbunova and @annkatrinrose, plants in a botanical garden are cultivated. Someone had to plant them there for them to be there, right? For instance, I found seed pods of the Common Bird’s Foot Trefoil near my location and decided to take them home and pot them. Sure they are wild where I’m at, but the one I planted isn’t; I am cultivating it.
For Kirstenbosch, in the managed part of the garden I say Not Wild.
But what is volunteering, not obviously planted I call Wild.
We have some exotic plants there, from the days when a botanical garden was a ‘cabinet of curiosities’. Many plants are indigenous to South Africa, but from elsewhere in our country - skews the distribution maps if those are called ‘wild’.
It is a judgement call for the identifier each time.
OK, thank you for your replies.
I will continue to list the plants, if I want them to be identified, as cultivated, but always give the original location. Then the information is at least preserved and are accessible to a larger circle.
If you are observing a plant in a botanical garden, you should give the location where it is now as its location. If you know where it originally came from, you can add that information to the collection notes.
If you use where the plant comes from (but not where it is now) as the location for your observation, you’ll mess up things like phenology data, as the plant is now experiencing a different climate than what is likely happening in its old location.
Well-organized botanical gardens who send out plant collectors usually collect pressed specimens in addition to living material. As the living material often dies, at least they’ll have a permanent record of the plant even if they can’t get it to grow for them, and that specimen will be available to researchers.
Yes, I agree with m_whitson. Always use the date and time and location where and when you took the photo (so, in this case, the botanical garden). Knowing where in the world that individual came from is a useful extra to add to the description.
If you were the one that collected the plant in the wild, you could add a separate iNat observation from the date and location where it was collected (without a photo if you don’t have one). You could then add a link to the botanical gardens observation in the description or comments, saying it’s the same plant. Or, on the iNat website, you could add the “same specimen over time” observation field to both observations to link them together.
If I collected seed from a wild plant population that is dwindling, and then used that seed to cultivate healthy specimens which I then reintroduced into the wild, that group of reintroduced plants would arguably be of great scientific interest - assuming all goes well and they don’t die out within the first season
They still will be casual, only their offspring will be wild, it’s completely necessarily that every planted plant is cultivated on iNat.
So what if I reintroduced a cultivated plant/s into a wild population with a very primitive seed dispersal mechanism, which in the absence of a major rainfall episode, reproduces vegetatively?
What about species that are cleistogamous?
I think trying to frame this as a black and white issue is not very helpful
This was discussed for like 100 times, it’s pretty clear, just check many old topics about reintroduction https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/observations-from-areas-under-restoration/6418
In the topic heading, you asked if such specimens (in Botanical Gardens) are of scientific interest? The answer is yes, the specimen is a representation of that taxon and can be used in various was in research, such as in comparing morphology, developing identification keys, genetic studies, propagation material for work on that species, confirmation of the performance/adaptability of that species to the climate of the ex situ location, and probably much more.
The other question, should it not be marked as cultivated/casual, on iNat, The answer was already given by others, no that’s not what iNat data is supposed to represent, which is the location of actual wild plants and other organisms.
However, the records of cultivated specimens, whether in Botanical Gardens or not, exists in the iNat database. Surely there’s some way to query that, knowing it is a data set of cultivated organisms. This absolutely would have value for the community. First, the site managers would have to change how they treat those observations. They should still be “Needs ID” instead of labeling them in a way that removes them from most of the identification queries (yes it is possible to set the toggle that includes them, but without the ability to make that setting persist for common queries, it’s a de facto non-solution).
If we had good data on what plants are present in an area, such as your own city, people could see the plants. I have a book “Trees of Seattle” that lists where various cultivated and wild trees can be found in the city of Seattle. This is wonderful resource for residents of the city who are trying to learn about the trees they see in their daily life. INat could serve this purpose with fairly little effort, I’m just not sure there’s any interest in supporting such scenarios.
The definition of cultivated and wild is ‘black and white’ on iNaturalist, as many of the other discussions will explain. But cultivated doesn’t mean that something is not of scientific interest - it could be very interesting and important for many reasons - but it’s still cultivated.
Any plant that is planted or propagated by humans is captive unless there is evidence to prove otherwise.
Captive observations can still be important, although GBIF does not care about botanical garden plants.
It’s also pretty clear that people don’t like their observations being casual, hence the 100 discussions about angling for them not to be.
It would be much less offensive if iNat used ‘Not Wild’ for the label.
Instead of snarling Casual!
I’m considering a wildflower garden, that would basically involve transplanting plants from our property a couple hundred yards to another spot on our property. Everything is still completely wild and essentially at the same location. They will be growing in the woods, not containers or “normal” gardens. But because they are transplanted, they must be marked as Captive/Cultivated? When they aren’t cultivated at all? Or am I not understanding something correctly?
Yes, if you move them, they’re no longer wild.