Talk:Glossary of invasion biology terms

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This seems like a strong effort, but possibly a waste of time. Creating separate glossaries for scientific articles takes away from the purpose of having articles in Wikipedia by assuming a reader will just open a glossary as part of his experience in reading about a particular subject. I find that a good assumption for a book, but a rather poor one for an on-line encyclopedia. How would you envision connecting this to the article except by making a rather intrusive announcement that a glossary page is available for the article? This is a pointless claim considering that the beauty of on-line text is the ability to have hyperlinks to definitions and further reading on any important terms or subjects raised in the article. A "terminology" page is both redundant and frankly contrary to the reason anyone would consult, read, or write an article online in the first place - Marshman 04:33, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

I must say I also find the article a bit elitist, although I confess I am clearly an elitist myself. But is it really necessary to provide the somewhat POV that various terms are or are not "common in the literature" as opposed to common usage? This approach also seems non-Wikipedian to me, even though I usually always support a strong scientific POV. On this point I certainly invite others to dispute me, as my heart would be to keep this approach as the best one. Overall, this article too much smacks of a sort of scientific back room rather than a "lets lift the masses up" approach to the subject. That is, I really would like to see all of the valuable parts of this contribution in the article on Invasive Species rather than here. I will take the responsibility to move it, but others should comment first.- Marshman 04:44, 8 December 2005 (UTC)

Wiktionary is an option for this page although we maintain that a good deal of the controversy that was originally presented on these wikipedia pages concerning invasion biology, introduced species, invasive species, invasive plants, and other related topics stemmed from the inconsistent use of terms in invasive biology as a discipline. This assertion is backed up in our literature review of these subject areas. We still find the introduction to the terms on this page, and the terms included on this page, to have value when reading through the text in the related pages. That said, we wouldn't be opposed to including this section in wiktionary if that is more appropriate. Our experience with other online reference works is that many of them have hyperlinks to glossary terms of note or interest within the text, and wikipedia is no exception, as many of the pages within wikipedia contain no more than a dictionary definition anyway at this point in time. - PBG250

I understand your point, and your assertions are correct; but not really well served by having a separate "glossary" at Wikipedia as it requires the reader to know where to go when confronted with a "fuzzy" term. Most expect terms to be defined where they read them, or at least within easy reach. I used your glossary at Wikibooks for the Ecology text, where the approach that you are attempting fits very well (it is a textbook). Here, even if you define a term in the glossary, there is absolutely no assurance that a person contributing to Invasive species or other related articles accepts, understands, or agrees with a definition in your glossary. - Marshman 22:20, 18 January 2006 (UTC)

I like it[edit]

I just today stumbled across this article, and I think it's an excellent start! I'm sure it could fit into Wikipedia very well; for ideas on how to improve it, try out List of glossaries and in particular List of cricket terms which is a featured list. In particular, I do not see a need to merge into Invasive species.

I'm not sure exactly what Marshman means about fuzzy terms, but he makes a critical point concerning cooperation with related articles. We should probably:

  • Wikify: use internal links. List of cricket terms would be a good guide here.
  • Meanwhile, look for conflicts with other Wikipedia articles. If any are found, compare references.
  • Convert references to endnote style.
  • Export the prose "introduction" section to a different article and/or inspect it for POV.

Melchoir 08:56, 8 April 2006 (UTC)


I like it too[edit]

It's clear that Mr. Marshman has a background in conservation biology or something similar, and he's done a good job of trying to sort out the very confusing terminology in this area. He has tried to keep it non-technical and concise. You will never get complete consensus on these terms, because there IS no consensus out there. BTW: The situation is even more complex in Hawaii, where some writers distinguish between species that were probably present before any human contact [native or indigenous], and species brought to the islands by Polynesians before European contact [sometimes called endemic]. Most people find the distinction useful, but can't agree on what words to use!

2007-02-1 Automated pywikipediabot message[edit]

--CopyToWiktionaryBot 05:31, 1 February 2007 (UTC)

Pseudoscience[edit]

A glossary is inappropriate for a page dealing with 'Invasion Biology' because this is not a scientific field. It may be political, religious, or subjective, but it is not scientific, because it will forever be impossible to come up with a definition for any of the terms commonly used by invasion biologists that will stand up to scientific scrutiny; meaning non-subjective, repeatable, and falsifiable. The fossil record shows that species are naturally mobile, and naturally move vast distances into radically different ecosystems. The only thing about any ecosystem that remains constant is that it is always changing as new members arrive and old members leave.

Wiki skylace 03:56, 20 June 2007 (UTC) Joseph

There are 2 recent papers that have tried to formalise definitions (Pyšek et al., 2004; Richardson et al., 2000). The definitions are somewhat dry (see below) and would need to be simplified for wikipedia.

The important point is that, at least in the field of invasion biology, the definition "invasive" should be used as a strictly biogeographical term. "Invasive" does not refer to the impact a species has on other species or to the impact on biotic or abiotic process or to the value assigned to a species by humans. In the case of plants, for example, an invasive plant should not be confused with a weed (which is an inherently subjective categorisation). The term invasive weed is synonmous with what is used in most of the article as an invasive species.

Invasion biology is a scientific discipline in the same way as the study of rare species and the causes of rarity is a scientific discipline, and the definition of an invasive species has (or rather should have) a precise meaning independent of subjective human decisions. The definition weed, however, is inherently subjective, but that does not mean that the methods used to study weeds must be unscientific.


Pyšek, P., D. M. Richardson, M. Rejmánek, G. L. Webster, M. Williamson, and J. Kirschner. 2004. Alien plants in checklists and floras: towards better communication between taxonomists and ecologists. Taxon 53:131–143.

Richardson, D. M., P. Pyšek, M. Rejmánek, M. G. Barbour, F. D. Panetta, and C. J. West. 2000. Naturalization and invasion of alien plants: concepts and definitions. Diversity and Distributions 6:93-107.

Definitions from Pyšek

Invasive plants are a subset of naturalized plants that produce reproductive offspring, often in very large numbers, at considerable distances from the parent plants, and thus have the potential to spread over a large area.

Naturalized plants are alien plants that sustain self-replacing populations for at least 10 years without direct intervention by people (or in spite of human intervention) by recruitment from seed or ramets (tillers, tubers, bulbs, fragments, etc.) capable of independent growth.

Alien plants are plant taxa in a given area (see below) whose presence there is due to intentional or unintentional human involvement, or which have arrived there without the help of people from an area in which they are alien (Fig. 2). —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 146.232.210.248 (talkcontribs) 12:25, 13 Jul 2007 (UTC)

Internal links to glossary terms[edit]

I am going to make internal links to the glossary headings to determine which have articles of exactly the same name. There may be others that use the terms, but not as title. There may also be near variants. I will try to remember to not make other changes so that this linking could be undone if it is not to editors' tastes. Please do not undo without a discussion. DCDuring 18:17, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Isn't the NPOV dispute stale?[edit]

It's been a long time since the NPOV tag (18 months or so). I didn't see any substantive discussion. What is the procedure for removing it? DCDuring 18:39, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Native Species definition[edit]

I noted that in North America there's the added point that the species must have been established by 500 CE. I've been unable to access the apparent reference. Could someone direct me or at least provide a synopsis? And let me know if this is a generally unacceptable or merely tolerated way to go about this. Kimbits (talk) 20:43, 27 February 2008 (UTC)

Note on Reading Links in Glossary[edit]

Link Color Meaning Red No WP page Blue Page (may be disambiguation page) Black WP page doesn't mention concept in biological sense

Black with "(See 'linked page in Blue')" - redirected to Blue page Black with "(See 'linked page in Black')" - WP page doesn't mention concept in a biological sense in Disambiguation page DCDuring 19:27, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

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