I suspect I’m just being a bit slow here and missing something obvious, but I’m struggling to see how this button actually performs any function. To explain:
As a test this morning I picked a random insect species and set it as introduced (I have the only observation) for the Australia checklist. I then searched for that species under some descendent places of Australia, eg NSW and Sydney, and it was showing as introduced for them as well. When I looked at the checklists for NSW and Sydney, the establishment means field had been auto-populated and ‘introduced’ was shown as the status; so even though I didn’t manually set those checklists as introduced, the status had automatically flowed down from the Australia checklist. Note that this did not require me to click the ‘Apply establishment means to descendent places’ button.
This behaviour is exactly what I would expect. If something gets listed as introduced for any given place X, then by definition it must also be introduced within all descendent places it occurs. If this isn’t the case for 100% of descendent places, then it shouldn’t get marked as introduced for the entire parent place, but rather should get marked at the relevant descendent places manually.
So already from this simple exercise, this button starts to seem a little bit useless if descendent places inherit their parent’s status automatically anyway.
But then I think about another situation. For some species, lots of individual curators apply lots of different statuses on places idiosyncratically and sometimes in conflict with each other. So let’s imagine a situation where there are hundreds of manually applied statuses for a single species in country X across all kinds of descendent places (states, counties, towns, etc), including a mixture of introduced and native statuses. Unfortunately some of them are wrong/were based on erroneous information, and this species should actually only have a status of introduced across all the places within this country. I can go to the country level checklist and amend that to introduced, however, this doesn’t actually change the descendent place statuses once they’ve already been filled in.
So I think finally, a use case for the ‘Apply establishment means to descendent places’ button. All I have to do is set the country to introduced, click the button, and then that status will override all the wrong descendent ones. But this is not what will happen. That button comes with the message that clicking it “won’t change existing values, just fill in blank ones.” But as I already demonstrated in my first example above, setting the parent place status already automatically fills in the blank statuses in descendent places without needing to press the button.
So what is the actual purpose of the button? If it isn’t required to auto-populate descendent places, and it cannot override erroneous descendent statuses, I cannot see what use it actually serves. It’s especially confusing given that, if you do click it, you get this warning pop up:
if clicking it does not change existing values, then what work could it possibly undo?