Talk:Montane ecosystems

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Re-organizing multiple montane ecology articles[edit]

Subalpine forest is a newly created stub. I propose merging it back into this article, leaving a redirect to Montane ecology#Subalpine zone. Please feel free to join into the discussion at Talk:Subalpine forest.

Upper montane forest is also a newly created article, with a proposed merge to Alpine-steppe. Please see the discussion of re-organizing that article at Talk:Upper montane forest, —hike395 (talk) 11:33, 10 August 2014 (UTC)

Renaming article[edit]

Unfortunately, there is no branch of ecology, named montane ecology. There is a journal called Mountain ecology (so this term exists in English). However, the topic of this lemma is not mountain ecology but life zones or better, vergetation zones in the mountains. I propose to change the title in vegetation zones in the montains. best regards, 08:11, 6 April 2016 (UTC)

Before doing any more undiscussed moves, let's gather input from relevant WikiProject(s) and reach consensus on the title of this article. After reading your comment, above, I realize that your first move had a typo in it, and that you had intended to move the article to "Mountain ecology". Let's temporarily leave it with that title while we discuss. —hike395 (talk) 11:29, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Article titles should be governed by Wikipedia's WP:NAMINGCRITERIA. Here is a table of some proposed names, and how I rate them according to the criteria:
Montane ecology Mountain ecology Ecology of mountains Vegetation zones in mountains
Recognizability Low (not common) High High High
Naturalness Low High High Low (people won't search for this)
Precision Med Med Med High (narrowly defined article scope)
Conciseness High High High Low (much longer)
Consistency High (category names) Med High (many article named Ecology of X) Low (no other articles named "Vegetation zone"
I put some comments into the table: we can discuss further.
I checked Google NGrams, and it couldn't find any examples of Montane ecology, so I agree that it fails Recognizability, so a move is justified. However, I object to Vegetation zones in mountains, because people won't search for it and it is not concise.
Henriduvent -- I think there should be a broad article about the ecology of mountains. If the contents of the article are too narrow, then the right answer is to add material to the article until it is well balanced, rather than giving the article a longer and less natural name.
What do other editors think? —hike395 (talk) 11:44, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I understand your objections, but my second title with vegetation zones in it, yes, is the most precise one. Comparing ecology of mountains and mountain ecology, I think the first one is the best (there is nothing like monatain ecology as a branch of ecology. But even then it should be merged with other articles, in the first place with Altitudinal zonation, best regards, ```` — Preceding unsigned comment added by Henriduvent (talkcontribs) 12:09, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Can you give more details about your merge proposal? Which articles do you want to merge? What should the final title of the article be?
I, also, prefer "Ecology of mountains" to "Mountain ecology". (although, there is an article titled Forest ecology, so there is parallel structure). —hike395 (talk) 12:17, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
As already mentioned there's a case for a merge with altitudinal zonation. Having glanced at the content of this article montane ecosystems (thousands of hits in google) seems to be an appropriate label. Lavateraguy (talk) 18:29, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
I am sorry but this is not true. 'Montane ecosystems' refer to montane zones or montane forests, while this article is about vegetation zones, and a bit about ecosystems in the mountains, including montane zones and other zones, such as alpine zones. best regards Henriduvent (talk) 20:03, 7 April 2016 (UTC)
Then name the article montane ecosystems; rather than arguing which of two rarely-used terms we should use (mountain ecology or montane ecology) why not stick with something that is used. Guettarda (talk) 03:31, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Just because the adjective "montane" is not as common as the adjective "mountain" does not mean we should not use it if it is correct. Plenty of articles are reached through redirects, so if a reader searches for "mountain-something" and the redirect leads to "montane-something", perhaps the reader will learn a new word. I think we should ask experts what the best title is.  – Corinne (talk) 03:57, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm opposed to "mountain ecology" - I don't think it's a thing, and I don't think it's consistent with usage. We speak of the ecology of montane and alpine systems, we speak of montane forests more than we do of mountain forests. Given what this article is about, I think "montane ecosystems" is potentially viable. That said, ecology isn't just about the plant communities, it's also about other components of the system like animals that move up and down with changing season.
I'm opposed to "mountain ecology". I'd prefer "the ecology of montane systems" to be perfectly honest, but that's not a concise-enough title. So I suppose I oppose the move and would ask that the article be moved back, pending consensus. Guettarda (talk) 04:31, 8 April 2016 (UTC) I don't know if I meet your criteria for "expert", Corinne; I have a PhD in plant ecology, but I can't claim any special expertise on the subject as it pertains to montane systems. Guettarda (talk) 04:33, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Guettarda, I didn't have any criteria in mind, but with your background, I think you would qualify as an expert. I'm just glad to see that someone agrees that the use of "montane" as an adjective is perfectly acceptable and commonly used.  – Corinne (talk) 14:37, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Support Montane ecosystem. As discussed above, "mountain" is less appropriate, and inappropriately suggests adaptive peaks. The article is about ecosystems, not about how people study mountains (e.g., not about the gear one uses to study the ecosystems of mountains). Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:35, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Henriduvent argued that montane ecosystems was unsuitable because the term excludes alpine ecosystems, but the article covers them. My expectation would have been that montane ecosystems does include alpine ecosystems. Does anyone have knowledge of usage? (Puna is described as montane and Paramo as alpine, but they occupy the same altitudinal zone.) Lavateraguy (talk) 20:34, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Lavateraguy Which Puna did you have in mind?  – Corinne (talk) 23:20, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Puna grassland Lavateraguy (talk) 08:18, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Summary: It sounds like there is a consensus (Sminthopsis84, Corinne, Guettarda, Lavateraguy, Hike395) in favor of using the general English term "montane" to mean "related to mountains", per the recognizability criteria; while Henriduvent wants to retain its technical ecological meaning to refer to the forested zone in mountains (as opposed to the alpine zone above treeline).

If I've misrepresented your opinion, please speak up. After another 1-2 days, I'll do the move to Montane ecosystem (singular). —hike395 (talk) 21:18, 9 April 2016 (UTC)

 Done Moved —hike395 (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2016 (UTC)


I can see the argument that this article is only about botanical zonation, and doesn't cover the full range of topics about the ecology of montane systems (e.g., isolation of populations on mountain peaks). There are three articles that cover altitude-related biotic zonation: Montane ecology (this one), altitudinal zonation, and life zone.

Therefore, I propose that we merge all three of these articles into life zone. I realize that "life zone" is a somewhat out-of-date term, but it is very common (see the Google ngram results) and recognizable to most readers (altitudinal zonation is a relatively technical term).

Do other editors agree with this merge? I will post a proposed merge notice on all three pages.

Assuming that editors agree with the merge, a broad overview article at Ecology of mountains or Mountain ecosystems would be a wonderful addition to WP (analogous to Britannica's). Would anyone like to take a crack at it? —hike395 (talk) 04:54, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

I don't support the merger with life zone - that concept covers the full range of bioclimatic types, not just altitudinal ones. I also think there's enough difference to maintain this article separate from altitudinal zonation - maybe some of what's here should be there, but the ecology of mountain systems is more than just 'types of vegetation' and what drives them. Guettarda (talk) 05:47, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
I support the idea of merging and separating, one article on life zones, one on ecology of mountains, and in addition perhaps articles on specific mountain zones: alpine, subalpine, montane etc. But please not montane ecology again, for all reasons that are mentioned here, best regards, Henriduvent (talk) 07:16, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
The sections of 'Altitudinal zonation', 'life zone' and 'montain ecosystems' ('montane ecology') can be rearranged. --Chris.urs-o (talk) 11:41, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Do not forget Biome, Henriduvent (talk) 13:04, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose any merger. The articles need development, not shoe-horning into one page. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 14:35, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict)──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── In the past, I have found it difficult to reach consensus on the abstract idea of merging articles. To make it concrete, I made a first attempt at a merged article, at User:Hike395/altitudinal zonation (without a lede, because I don't know the scope of the article, yet). Please take a look.

I take Guettarda's point that we mustn't mix up bioclimatic zones and altitudinal zones (hence, I would not merge biome, per Henriduvent). I think there are three paths forward:

  1. Accept the merge, accept the limited scope of the article. Call the new article Altitudinal zonation. Hope that someone starts an Ecology of mountains article.
  2. Accept the merge, accept a broad scope of the article, call the new article Ecology of mountains.
  3. Reject the merge, rename the current article Ecology of mountains, hope that editors will broaden current article.

What do editors think? Other comments / alternatives? —hike395 (talk) 14:43, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Arguments? Henriduvent (talk) 15:17, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Have been made above. This discussion is going around in circles. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 15:24, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Huh? Against rejection and against acceptance? Happy with present situation? Alternatives? best regards, Henriduvent (talk) 15:42, 8 April 2016 (UTC)
Not done Doesn't sound like there's any consensus for a merge. —hike395 (talk) 21:18, 9 April 2016 (UTC)


I still think that vegetation zones - or another ttle referring to the zone ascpect - is better as a title than montane ecology. There are two resaons:

  • Montane may mean related to mountains, but refers - in ecology - also to a specific zone, the montane zone. In the article it is not only about the montane zone.
  • In addition, the term montane ecology is not in use, nowhere.

So I propose to choose for the title vegetation zone (mountains) or vegetation zone (altitude) or a(nother) better title, Agree? Biome can be replaced ar supplmented by a redirect Vegetation zone (latitude), idea? best regards, `Henriduvent (talk) 11:32, 11 April 2016 (UTC)

I have returned the article to the original name while the discussion is ongoing. It's especially bad form when the discussion is leaning in a different direction. Guettarda (talk) 03:44, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I thought there was a consensus around Montane ecosystem and that the discussion had died out. What new information do we have? —hike395 (talk) 04:42, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion there were strong arguments against montane ecology (it is confusing, it does not exist in ecology, and the article is about zones). I thought we have to exchange arguments in stead of just voting. Am I wrong? best regards Henriduvent (talk) 06:54, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I believe that Guettarda moved it to the original name while there was still a controversy. The consensus seemed to be that montane ecology was a poor title. Henriduvent was the only editor who was against "montane" as a term meaning "related to mountains", as opposed to the ecological meaning "below the tree line" --- no other editor seemed persuaded by the argument. Merging with altitudinal zonation did not gather much support. Using "vegetation zone" has not yet gathered any support.
Are there any other arguments, especially related to WP:AT? Otherwise, we can ask for a neutral admin to close the discussion. —hike395 (talk) 13:25, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
Later -- would Mountain ecosystem be acceptable to everyone? That avoids the term "montane". —hike395 (talk) 13:32, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
No, I think there's a clear preference for "montane" which is, after all, the correct adjectival form in English and the more common usage. Guettarda (talk) 13:38, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I agree with "montane ecosystem" but I wasn't going to move it while the discussion was ongoing. While policy suggests that the page should have remained at its original title while the discussion was ongoing, I was happy to leave it where it was, but given Henriduvent's page moves against the developing consensus, it seemed appropriate to re-set things to the long-standing page name. And per WP:MR the discussion should be allowed to run at least a week, at which point I think it will be safe to go with montane ecosystem. Guettarda (talk) 13:37, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm sorry to cause a problem -- I tried to close the discussion after 5 days, which probably was not adequate. Happy to let it run longer. —hike395 (talk) 14:30, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
I am very unhappy with my role as troublemaker. But I checked it again, in my university library and on internet, and again my conclusion should be that montane is the wrong word - at least a confusing word ~- in this context. Because, again, there is a montane zone and thera are other vegetation or life zones, alpine zones etc. So please give me good sources to convince me and others that I am wrong. And please look at other articles on Wikipedia , how they use the word vegetation zones. best regards, Henriduvent (talk) 15:19, 12 April 2016 (UTC)
"Mountain" - noun. "Montane" - adjective. That's the heart of it. So páramo is a montane grassland, and we have montane tundra. Usage isn't always consistent - alpine tundra is more commonly used. But given the inconsistency of usage, it seems like the appropriate thing to do is to pick something that's used, useful (to lump different types of ecosystems together) and grammatically correct. Guettarda (talk) 04:32, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I am not convinced, and I still hope some 'mountain ecologists' or vegetation scientists are able and willing to look at it. But maybe I am wrong, and is there a world smewhere, called montane ecology. My fields of interest are ecology of West-European brook valleys and marine ecosystems, rather flat, indeed, best regards , Henriduvent (talk) 09:25, 15 April 2016 (UTC)
It seems that the discussion has not really progressed at all in the last 5 days. Is it now OK to move to montane ecosystem? —hike395 (talk) 04:03, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
Hike395 bear in mind that this is not German Wikipedia prefers big articles but smaller number of articles for maintenance. English Wikipedia prefers smaller articles, handling is easier. Regards --Chris.urs-o (talk) 05:49, 18 April 2016 (UTC)
I've given up on merging with Altitudinal zonation. I was just asking about the move that seems to have consensus, above, to montane ecosystem. —hike395 (talk) 10:15, 18 April 2016 (UTC)

Final title?[edit]

Back in June, Henriduvent (talk · contribs) moved the article to Mountain ecosystems (note plural). The consensus here seemed to prefer "Montane" to "Mountain", so I just moved the article to Montane ecosystems. The plural may or may not be correct --- WP prefers singular titles, but it seems that the article is about multiple different kinds of ecosystems (at different elevations), so I kept the plural. —hike395 (talk) 07:27, 19 July 2016 (UTC)