An introduced species is a species living outside its native distributional range, but which has arrived there by human activity, either deliberate or accidental. Non-native species can have various effects on the local ecosystem. Introduced species that become established and spread beyond the place of introduction are called invasive species; the impact of introduced species is variable. Some have a negative effect on a local ecosystem, while other introduced species may have no negative effect or only minor impact; some species have been introduced intentionally to combat pests. They are called biocontrols and may be regarded as beneficial as an alternative to pesticides in agriculture for example. In some instances the potential for being beneficial or detrimental in the long run remains unknown; the effects of introduced species on natural environments have gained much scrutiny from scientists, governments and others. The formal definition of an introduced species, from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is A species, intentionally or inadvertently brought into a region or area.
Called an exotic or non-native species. There are many terms associated with introduced species that represent subsets of introduced species, the terminology associated with introduced species is now in flux for various reasons. Examples of these terms are acclimatized, adventive and immigrant species but those terms refer to a subset of introduced species; the term "invasive" is used to describe introduced species when the introduced species causes substantial damage to the area in which it was introduced. Subset descriptions: Acclimatized species: Introduced species that have changed physically and/or behaviorally in order to adjust to their new environment. Acclimatized species are not optimally adjusted to their new environment and may just be physically/behaviorally sufficient for the new environment. Adventive speciesNaturalized species: A naturalized plant species refers to a non-native plant that does not need human help to reproduce and maintain its population in an area that it is not native to.
General description of introduced species: In the broadest and most used sense, an introduced species is synonymous with non-native and therefore applies as well to most garden and farm organisms. However, some sources add to that basic definition "and are now reproducing in the wild", which removes from consideration as introduced species that were raised or grown in gardens or farms that do not survive without tending by people. With respect to plants, these latter are in this case defined as either ornamental or cultivated plants. Introduction of a species outside its native range is all, required to be qualified as an "introduced species" such that one can distinguish between introduced species that may not occur except in cultivation, under domestication or captivity whereas others become established outside their native range and reproduce without human assistance; such species might be termed "naturalized", "established", "wild non-native species". If they further spread beyond the place of introduction and cause damage to nearby species, they are called "invasive".
The transition from introduction, to establishment and to invasion has been described in the context of plants. Introduced species are "non-native" species. Invasive species are those introduced species that spreadwidely or and cause harm, be that to the environment, human health, other valued resources or the economy. There have been calls from scientists to consider a species "invasive" only in terms of their spread and reproduction rather than the harm they may cause. According to a practical definition, an invasive species is one, introduced and become a pest in its new location, spreading by natural means; the term is used to imply both a sense of actual or potential harm. For example, U. S. Executive Order 13112 defines "invasive species" as "an alien species whose introduction does or is to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health"; the biological definition of invasive species, on the other hand, makes no reference to the harm they may cause, only to the fact that they spread beyond the area of original introduction.
Although some argue that "invasive" is a loaded word and harm is difficult to define, the fact of the matter is that organisms have and continue to be introduced to areas in which they are not native, sometimes with but without much regard to the harm that could result. From a regulatory perspective, it is neither desirable nor practical to list as undesirable or outright ban all non-native species. Regulations require a definitional distinction between non-natives that are deemed onerous and all others. Introduced pest species that are listed as invasive, best fit the definition of an invasive species. Early detection and rapid response is the most effective strategy for regulating a pest species and reducing economic and environmental impacts of an introduction In Great Britain, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 prevents the introduction of any animal not occurring in the wild or any of a list of both animals or plants introduced and proved to be invasive. By definition, a species is considered "introduced" when its transport into an area outside of its native range is human mediated.
Introductions by humans can be described as either accidental. Intentional introductions have been motivated by individuals or groups who either believe that the
Ranunculales is an order of flowering plants. Of necessity it contains the family Ranunculaceae, the buttercup family, because the name of the order is based on the name of a genus in that family. Ranunculales belongs to a paraphyletic group known as the basal eudicots, it is the most basal clade in this group. Known members include poppies and buttercups; the term Ranales was used to include the Ranunculaceae and related families, as described by Bentham and Hooker. This became replaced with Ranunculales by Melchior in 1964; the Cronquist system recognised the order, but placed it in the subclass Magnoliidae, in class Magnoliopsida. It used this circumscription: order Ranunculales family Ranunculaceae family Circaeasteraceae family Berberidaceae family Sargentodoxaceae family Lardizabalaceae family Menispermaceae family Coriariaceae family SabiaceaeIn the Cronquist system, the Papaveraceae and Fumariaceae were treated as a separate order Papaverales, placed in this same subclass Magnoliidae; the Cronquist circumscription of Ranunculales is now known to be polyphyletic.
Sabiaceae is in a clade of basal eudicots separate from Ranunculales. Coriariaceae is now placed in the order Cucurbitales; the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group recognized seven families in Ranunculales in their APG III system, published in 2009. In the preceding APG II system, they offered the option of three segregate families. Order Ranunculales family Berberidaceae family Circaeasteraceae family Eupteleaceae family Lardizabalaceae family Menispermaceae family Papaveraceae family RanunculaceaeNote: "+..." = optionally separate family. Under this definition, well-known members of Ranunculales include buttercups, columbines and poppies. A phylogeny of Ranunculales was published in 2009, based on molecular phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequences; the authors of this paper revised the tribes of the order. This is reflected in the subsequent revision of the APG, APG IV; the analysis revealed that the order consisted of three clades, Papaveraceae and a third clade, considered to be the "core" Ranuculales, consisting of the remaining five families.
The phylogeny of the families is shown in the cladogram. The fossil form Leefructus, described in 2011, has been recognized as a member of this order. Leefructus mirus shows developed leaves; the fossil is dated to 125 million years old and it not only proves that Ranunculales is an ancient group of eudicots but demonstrates that the whole angiosperm clade may be older than expected. The structure of the plant and its age may lead to a new approach regarding the field that studies the evolution of flowering plants; the fact that Leefructus shows a well-developed structure similar to modern ranunculids suggests that this group of eudicots may have developed earlier than the age of the fossil. NCBI Taxonomy Browser
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
Plants are multicellular, predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the kingdom Plantae. Plants were treated as one of two kingdoms including all living things that were not animals, all algae and fungi were treated as plants. However, all current definitions of Plantae exclude the fungi and some algae, as well as the prokaryotes. By one definition, plants form the clade Viridiplantae, a group that includes the flowering plants and other gymnosperms and their allies, liverworts and the green algae, but excludes the red and brown algae. Green plants obtain most of their energy from sunlight via photosynthesis by primary chloroplasts that are derived from endosymbiosis with cyanobacteria, their chloroplasts contain b, which gives them their green color. Some plants are parasitic or mycotrophic and have lost the ability to produce normal amounts of chlorophyll or to photosynthesize. Plants are characterized by sexual reproduction and alternation of generations, although asexual reproduction is common.
There are about 320 thousand species of plants, of which the great majority, some 260–290 thousand, are seed plants. Green plants provide a substantial proportion of the world's molecular oxygen and are the basis of most of Earth's ecosystems on land. Plants that produce grain and vegetables form humankind's basic foods, have been domesticated for millennia. Plants have many cultural and other uses, as ornaments, building materials, writing material and, in great variety, they have been the source of medicines and psychoactive drugs; the scientific study of plants is known as a branch of biology. All living things were traditionally placed into one of two groups and animals; this classification may date from Aristotle, who made the distincton between plants, which do not move, animals, which are mobile to catch their food. Much when Linnaeus created the basis of the modern system of scientific classification, these two groups became the kingdoms Vegetabilia and Animalia. Since it has become clear that the plant kingdom as defined included several unrelated groups, the fungi and several groups of algae were removed to new kingdoms.
However, these organisms are still considered plants in popular contexts. The term "plant" implies the possession of the following traits multicellularity, possession of cell walls containing cellulose and the ability to carry out photosynthesis with primary chloroplasts; when the name Plantae or plant is applied to a specific group of organisms or taxon, it refers to one of four concepts. From least to most inclusive, these four groupings are: Another way of looking at the relationships between the different groups that have been called "plants" is through a cladogram, which shows their evolutionary relationships; these are not yet settled, but one accepted relationship between the three groups described above is shown below. Those which have been called "plants" are in bold; the way in which the groups of green algae are combined and named varies between authors. Algae comprise several different groups of organisms which produce food by photosynthesis and thus have traditionally been included in the plant kingdom.
The seaweeds range from large multicellular algae to single-celled organisms and are classified into three groups, the green algae, red algae and brown algae. There is good evidence that the brown algae evolved independently from the others, from non-photosynthetic ancestors that formed endosymbiotic relationships with red algae rather than from cyanobacteria, they are no longer classified as plants as defined here; the Viridiplantae, the green plants – green algae and land plants – form a clade, a group consisting of all the descendants of a common ancestor. With a few exceptions, the green plants have the following features in common, they undergo closed mitosis without centrioles, have mitochondria with flat cristae. The chloroplasts of green plants are surrounded by two membranes, suggesting they originated directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria. Two additional groups, the Rhodophyta and Glaucophyta have primary chloroplasts that appear to be derived directly from endosymbiotic cyanobacteria, although they differ from Viridiplantae in the pigments which are used in photosynthesis and so are different in colour.
These groups differ from green plants in that the storage polysaccharide is floridean starch and is stored in the cytoplasm rather than in the plastids. They appear to have had a common origin with Viridiplantae and the three groups form the clade Archaeplastida, whose name implies that their chloroplasts were derived from a single ancient endosymbiotic event; this is the broadest modern definition of the term'plant'. In contrast, most other algae not only have different pigments but have chloroplasts with three or four surrounding membranes, they are not close relatives of the Archaeplastida having acquired chloroplasts separately from ingested or symbiotic green and red algae. They are thus not included in the broadest modern definition of the plant kingdom, although they were in the past; the green plants or Viridiplantae were traditionally divided into the green algae (including
Flora of China
The flora of China is diverse. More than 30,000 plant species are native to China, representing nearly one-eighth of the world's total plant species, including thousands found nowhere else on Earth. China contains a variety of forest types. Both northeast and northwest reaches contain mountains and cold coniferous forests, supporting animal species which include moose and Asiatic black bear, along with some 120 types of birds. Moist conifer forests can have thickets of bamboo as an understorey, replaced by rhododendrons in higher montane stands of juniper and yew. Subtropical forests, which dominate central and southern China, support an astounding 146,000 species of flora. Tropical rainforest and seasonal rainforests, though confined to Yunnan and Hainan Island, contain a quarter of all the plant and animal species found in China; the flora of China has an online database which gives both its taxonomy. Media related to Flora of China at Wikimedia Commons eflora: Flora of China
The flowering plants known as angiosperms, Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants, with 64 orders, 416 families 13,164 known genera and c. 369,000 known species. Like gymnosperms, angiosperms are seed-producing plants. However, they are distinguished from gymnosperms by characteristics including flowers, endosperm within the seeds, the production of fruits that contain the seeds. Etymologically, angiosperm means a plant; the term comes from the Greek words sperma. The ancestors of flowering plants diverged from gymnosperms in the Triassic Period, 245 to 202 million years ago, the first flowering plants are known from 160 mya, they diversified extensively during the Early Cretaceous, became widespread by 120 mya, replaced conifers as the dominant trees from 100 to 60 mya. Angiosperms differ from other seed plants in several ways, described in the table below; these distinguishing characteristics taken together have made the angiosperms the most diverse and numerous land plants and the most commercially important group to humans.
Angiosperm stems are made up of seven layers. The amount and complexity of tissue-formation in flowering plants exceeds that of gymnosperms; the vascular bundles of the stem are arranged such that the phloem form concentric rings. In the dicotyledons, the bundles in the young stem are arranged in an open ring, separating a central pith from an outer cortex. In each bundle, separating the xylem and phloem, is a layer of meristem or active formative tissue known as cambium. By the formation of a layer of cambium between the bundles, a complete ring is formed, a regular periodical increase in thickness results from the development of xylem on the inside and phloem on the outside; the soft phloem becomes crushed, but the hard wood persists and forms the bulk of the stem and branches of the woody perennial. Owing to differences in the character of the elements produced at the beginning and end of the season, the wood is marked out in transverse section into concentric rings, one for each season of growth, called annual rings.
Among the monocotyledons, the bundles are more numerous in the young stem and are scattered through the ground tissue. They once formed the stem increases in diameter only in exceptional cases; the characteristic feature of angiosperms is the flower. Flowers show remarkable variation in form and elaboration, provide the most trustworthy external characteristics for establishing relationships among angiosperm species; the function of the flower is to ensure fertilization of the ovule and development of fruit containing seeds. The floral apparatus may arise terminally from the axil of a leaf; as in violets, a flower arises singly in the axil of an ordinary foliage-leaf. More the flower-bearing portion of the plant is distinguished from the foliage-bearing or vegetative portion, forms a more or less elaborate branch-system called an inflorescence. There are two kinds of reproductive cells produced by flowers. Microspores, which will divide to become pollen grains, are the "male" cells and are borne in the stamens.
The "female" cells called megaspores, which will divide to become the egg cell, are contained in the ovule and enclosed in the carpel. The flower may consist only of these parts, as in willow, where each flower comprises only a few stamens or two carpels. Other structures are present and serve to protect the sporophylls and to form an envelope attractive to pollinators; the individual members of these surrounding structures are known as petals. The outer series is green and leaf-like, functions to protect the rest of the flower the bud; the inner series is, in general, white or brightly colored, is more delicate in structure. It functions to attract bird pollinators. Attraction is effected by color and nectar, which may be secreted in some part of the flower; the characteristics that attract pollinators account for the popularity of flowers and flowering plants among humans. While the majority of flowers are perfect or hermaphrodite, flowering plants have developed numerous morphological and physiological mechanisms to reduce or prevent self-fertilization.
Heteromorphic flowers have short carpels and long stamens, or vice versa, so animal pollinators cannot transfer pollen to the pistil. Homomorphic flowers may employ a biochemical mechanism called self-incompatibility to discriminate between self and non-self pollen grains. In other species, the male and female parts are morphologically separated, developing on different flowers; the botanical term "Angiosperm", from the Ancient Greek αγγείον, angeíon and σπέρμα, was coined in the form Angiospermae by Paul Hermann in 1690, as the name of one of his primary divisions of the plant kingdom. This included flowering plants possessing seeds enclosed in capsules, distinguished from his Gymnospermae, or flowering plants with achenial or schizo-carpic fruits, the whole fruit or each of its pieces being here regarded as a seed and naked; the term and its antonym were maintained by Carl Linnaeus with the same sense, but with restricted application, in the names of the orders of his class Didynamia. Its use with any
Ranunculus is a genus of about 500 species of flowering plants in the family Ranunculaceae. Members of the genus include the buttercups and water crowfoots; the petals are highly lustrous in yellow species, owing to a special coloration mechanism: the petal's upper surface is smooth causing a mirror-like reflection. The flash aids in attracting pollinating insects and temperature regulation of the flower's reproductive organs. Buttercups flower in the spring, but flowers may be found throughout the summer where the plants are growing as opportunistic colonizers, as in the case of garden weeds; the water crowfoots, which grow in still or running water, are sometimes treated in a separate genus Batrachium. They have thread-like leaves underwater and broader floating leaves. In some species, such as R. aquatilis, a third, intermediate leaf type occurs. Ranunculus species are used as food by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Hebrew Character and small angle shades; some species are popular ornamental flowers in horticulture, with many cultivars selected for large and brightly coloured flowers.
Buttercups are perennial, but annual or biennial, aquatic or terrestrial plants with leaves in a rosette at the base of the stem. In many perennial species runners are sent out that will develop new plants with roots and rosettes at the distanced nodes; the leaves lack stipules, have stems, are palmately veined, more or less incised, or compound, leaflets or leaf segments may be fine and linear in aquatic species. The hermaphrodite flowers are single or in a cyme, have five green sepals and five yellow, greenish or white petals that are sometimes flushed with red, purple or pink. At the base of each petal is one nectary gland, naked or may be covered by a scale. Anthers may be few, but many are arranged in a spiral, are yellow or sometimes white, with yellow pollen; the sometimes few but many green or yellow carpels are not fused and are arranged in a spiral on a globe or dome-shaped receptacle. The fruits may be smooth or hairy, nobby or have hooked spines; the name Ranunculus is Late Latin for the diminutive of rana.
This refers to many species being found near water, like frogs. The name buttercup may derive from a false belief that the plants give butter its characteristic yellow hue. A popular children's game involves holding a buttercup up to the chin. In the interior of the Pacific Northwest of the United States, the buttercup is called "Coyote’s eyes"—ʔiceyéeyenm sílu in Nez Perce and spilyaynmí áčaš in Sahaptin. In the legend, Coyote was tossing his eyes up in the air and catching them again when Eagle snatched them. Unable to see, Coyote made eyes from the buttercup. Molecular investigation of the genus has revealed that Ranunculus is not monophyletic with respect to a number of other recognized genera in the family – e.g. Ceratocephala, Hamadryas, Myosurus, Oxygraphis and Trautvetteria. A proposal to split Ranunculus into several genera has thus been published in a new classification for the tribe Ranunculeae; the split genera include Beckwithia Jeps. Callianthemoides Tamura, Coptidium Beurl. Ex Rydb.
Cyrtorhyncha Nutt. Ex Torr. & A. Gray, Ficaria Guett. Krapfia DC. Kumlienia E. Greene and Peltocalathos Tamura. Not all taxonomists and users accept this splitting of the genus, it can alternatively be treated in the broad sense; the most common uses of Ranunculus species in traditional medicines are anti-rheumatism, intermittent fever and rubefacient. The findings in some Ranunculus species of, for example, anemonin, may justify the uses of these species against fever and rubefacient in Asian traditional medicines. All Ranunculus species are poisonous when eaten fresh, but their acrid taste and the blistering of the mouth caused by their poison means they are left uneaten. Poisoning in livestock can occur where buttercups are abundant in overgrazed fields where little other edible plant growth is left, the animals eat them out of desperation. Symptoms of poisoning include bloody diarrhea, excessive salivation and severe blistering of the mouth, mucous membranes and gastrointestinal tract; when Ranunculus plants are handled occurring ranunculin is broken down to form protoanemonin, known to cause contact dermatitis in humans and care should therefore be exercised in extensive handling of the plants.
The toxins are degraded by drying, so hay containing dried buttercups is safe. †Ranunculus gailensis and †Ranunculus tanaiticus seed fossils have been described from the Pliocene Borsoni Formation in the Rhön Mountains, central Germany. Ranunculus abortivus – littleleaf buttercup Ranunculus acaulis – dune, sand or shore buttercup Ranunculus aconitifolius – aconite-leaf buttercup Ranunculus acraeus – a newly described species from Otago, New Zealand Ranunculus acris – meadow buttercup Ranunculus aestivalis Ranunculus alismifolius – plantainleaf buttercup Ranunculus allenii Ranunculus amphitrichus Ranunculus andersonii – Anderson's buttercup Ranunculus anemoneus Ranunculus aquatilis – common water crowfoot Ranunculus arvensis – corn buttercup Ranunculus asiaticus – Persian buttercup Ranunculus auricomus – Goldilocks b