Indigenous (ecology)

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In biogeography, a species is defined as indigenous to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural process, with no human intervention.[1] The term is equivalent to native in less scientific usage. Every wild organism (as opposed to a domesticated organism) has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as indigenous. Outside this native range, a species may be introduced by human activity; it is then referred to as an introduced species within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced.[2]

The notion of 'indigenous' is of necessity a blurred concept, and is clearly a function of both time and political boundaries. Seen over long periods of time, plants take part in the constant movement of tectonic plates - species appear and may flourish, endure or become extinct, but their distribution is never static or confined to a particular geographic location.

An indigenous species is not necessarily endemic. In biology and ecology, endemic means exclusively native to the biota of a specific place. An indigenous species may occur in areas other than the one under consideration.

The terms endemic and indigenous do not imply that an organism necessarily originated or evolved from where it is found.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ CEQ (1999). Executive Order 13112
  2. ^ "Introduced species". Science Daily. Retrieved 26 December 2017. 

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