What would be the correct way to mark the occurrence status and establishment means for a floating seed that has arrived naturally in an area where it does not actually grow? I have a research-grade observation for Entada gigas in a local park I’m trying to mark statuses of everything for, but I am fairly certain Entada gigas does not grow there, it only has its seeds wash ashore from elsewhere. However, nobody brought it there, so I don’t think I should mark it as introduced.
why mark any establishment means or occurrence status? not everything on a checklist needs to have a value for these fields.
It’s not intentionally planted by a human, so it’s wild. In fact, if the population the seeds originated from is a native population, then the plant you’re looking should in fact be considered a native species.
I want people to understand that the plant isn’t growing in the park but that its floating seeds can be found there.
Also @raymie - it’s definitely wild, but what I’m trying to figure out isn’t whether it’s wild or not, it’s how it would be appropriate to mark its status in the park. I think that it came from somewhere other than the park, and it doesn’t feel right to mark it as native to the park if it isn’t growing there.
It’s technically correct to mark them as native.
I don’t know that that’s true. It doesn’t grow in the area at all. I’ve decided to just use the place notes to explain the situation with this plant unless I get a mod’s verdict on this.
If a bird that lives on an island dies and you find its feathers washed up on a mainland beach, you’d observe the feathers as being found on the mainland beach. Same principle applies, I think.
I think there may be a misunderstanding here. I am NOT trying to figure out how to mark an individual observation. I am trying to figure out what to mark on the species page for the park.
I agree that it might be best to just leave out an occurence and/or establishment status. From the little guidelines/descriptions for each status though, I would choose the following:
Occurance status: Irregular
Presence unpredictable, including vagrants; may be common in some years and absent in others
Establishment means: Native
Evolved in this region or arrived by non-anthropogenic means
Mods don’t really provide official “verdicts” on the forum or elsewhere (though I suppose sometimes it might seem like that) in regards to questions on iNat, though mods and other users might provide links to existing iNat documentation or previous statements from staff. Lots of people could have good thoughts on this issue. My personal opinion is that there isn’t any definite correct/incorrect answer in this case, though I’d probably mark it as “native”. If not, I just wouldn’t enter a value at all, but it’s really up to you I think.
This topic has been discussed extensively before, including comments from iNat staff confirming it would be considered wild:
The drift seed project can be seen here:
can’t that be accomplished by adding a comment to the checklist entry?
It’s a shame I can’t mark multiple solutions, but thank you @matthew_connors and @cthawley ! I think I will mark occurrence as irregular and leave establishment means unmarked. Native does seem better than the other options, but it still doesn’t seem right to me to mark a species as native outside of its range.
Yeah, that’s what I ended up doing, thanks.
That isn’t this topic at all, thanks though. This topic has nothing to do with whether the drift seed is wild or cultivated and is instead about its establishment means and occurrence status on the place page, which is different.
Perhaps so, but when Entada gigas seeds wash up on the coast of Ireland (having been carried across the Atlantic by the Gulf Stream), it would be mighty confusing to imply that it is a native Irish plant.
And this conversation now brings to mind the coconut in Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
It might be a bit confusing, but it’s still correct.
If the seed will not sprout or grow in the area, then it is not established, and therefore has no establishment means.
I would tend to agree with that. It bothers me a little that there isn’t an option to input that in the establishment means field, because it’s not “unknown,” I know it doesn’t grow here.
Outside of iNaturalist, botanists would probably label it as a waif especially if it does occasionally germinate. There are a lot of tropical plants in the North American flora that are only known from sites where the seed grew for one season and died in the first frost (such as avocado in NY).
What is really needed is a nativity (native introduced unknown) satus separate from an establishment status [terms here could vary] (wild, naturalized, not persisting, waif) but determining this level of specificity for each organism is a really big task