Glossary

There are numerous definitions related to invasive species. The following definitions have been adopted from several sources by MISAC for their use.

Acclimatization
A process of adaption of an introduced species and their offspring in a new environment (Holcik 1991).

Aquatic plant
Means a plant, including algae, submerged, floating leafed, floating, or emergent plants, that naturally grow in water, saturated soils, or seasonally saturated soils (NWPEC).

Aquatic Nuisance Species (ANS)
A nonindigenous species that threatens the diversity or abundance of native species or the ecological stability of infested waters, or commercial, agricultural or recreational activities dependent on such waters (National Invasive Species Act of 1996 P.L. 104-332).

Alien species
Means, with respect to a particular ecosystem, any species, including its seeds, eggs, spores, or other biological material capable of propagating that species, that is not native to that ecosystem (Executive Order 13112).

Biological diversity (biodiversity)
Means the variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are a part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems (IUCN - Species Survival Commission - Invasive Species Specialist Group).

Category [of invasiveness]
A class or division of species that meet the same standards for the criteria of invasiveness (MISAC).

Control [noxious weed]
As stated in MS 18.77, subdivision 3, “Control” means to destroy the above ground growth of noxious weeds by a lawful method that prevents the maturation and spread of noxious weed propagating parts from one area to another.

Cryptogenic species
A species that is not demonstrably native or introduced (Carlton 1996).

Criteria
The principles or standards that a thing is judged by (Illustrated Oxford Dictionary 1998).

Cultivar
Means a plant that was selected from a population of plants because it has desirable characteristics, and is cultivated and given a specific name (NWPEC).

Established
The condition of growing in a particular location (not the same as naturalize) (NWPEC).

Hybrid
Means offspring resulting from a cross between two different species, or genetically distinct individuals within the same species, that may be naturally occurring or the result of controlled crosses, or being genetically modified.

Injurious [re: state noxious weeds]
Means the negative economic, physical, aesthetic, environmental, and other effects an uncontrolled plant may have in completing its life cycle.

Intentional introduction
Means an introduction made deliberately by humans, involving the purposeful movement of a species outside of its natural range and dispersal potential (Such introductions may be authorized or unauthorized.) (IUCN - Species Survival Commission - Invasive Species Specialist Group).

Introduction
Means the intentional or unintentional escape, release, dissemination, or placement of a species into an ecosystem as a result of human activity (Executive Order 13112).

Invasive species
Means an alien [nonnative / exotic / introduced] species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health (Executive Order 13112).

Native species
Means species naturally present and reproducing within this state or that naturally expands from its historic range into this state (M.S. 84D).

Naturalize
Means to establish a self-sustaining population of exotic species in the wild outside of its natural range (M.S. 84D).

Nonnative species / exotic species / introduced species
Means a species occurring outside its natural range. One that is not native (NWPEC/MISAC).

Noxious weed (state)
As stated in MS 18.77, subdivision 8 and MR 1505.0750 subpart 8, “noxious weed” means an annual, biennial, or perennial plant that the commissioner designates to be injurious to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, or other property (M.S. 18.77).

Plant pest
"Plant pest" includes, but is not limited to, an invasive species or any pest of plants, agricultural commodities, horticultural products, nursery stock, or noncultivated plants by organisms such as insects, snails, nematodes, fungi, viruses, bacterium, microorganisms, mycoplasma-like organisms, weeds, plants, and parasitic plants. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Prohibited invasive species
Means an invasive species that has been designated as a prohibited exotic species in a rule adopted by the commissioner [of Natural Resources] under section 84D.12 (M.S. 84D).

Prohibited noxious weed
Plants designated by the commissioner as a prohibited noxious weed are injurious to public health, the environment, public roads, crops, livestock, and other property. Plants in this category must be controlled in all locations statewide unless other laws apply (NWPEC).

Propagule
Means a plant part serving for propagation.

Public nuisance
"Public nuisance" means: (1) a plant, appliance, conveyance, or article that is infested with plant pests that may cause significant damage or harm; or (2) premises where a plant pest is found. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Quarantine
"Quarantine" means an enforced isolation or restriction of free movement of plants, plant material, animals, animal products, or any article or material in order to treat, control, or eradicate a plant pest. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Range
Means the known geographical distribution of a plant during a fixed period of time. Ranges are not fixed (MISAC).

Regulated article
"Regulated article" means any item, the movement of which is governed by quarantine or this chapter. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Regulated invasive species
Means an invasive species that has been designated as a regulated exotic species in a rule adopted by the commissioner [of Natural Resources] under section 84D.12 (M.S. 84D).

Regulated nonquarantine pest
"Regulated nonquarantine pest" means a plant pest that has not been quarantined by state or federal agencies and whose presence in plants or articles may pose an unacceptable risk to nursery stock, other plants, the environment, or human activities. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Re-introduction
Means an attempt to establish a species in an area which was once part of its historical range, but from which it has been extirpated or become extinct (From IUCN Guidelines for Re-Introductions).

Restricted noxious weed
Plants designated by commissioner as a restricted noxious weed are those whose only feasible means of control is to prohibit the importation, sale, and transportation in the state (NWPEC).

Secondary noxious weed
A species designated by the commissioner as a secondary noxious weed may be added to a county restricted or prohibited noxious weed list through county action by following the process in Minnesota Rules, part 1505.0750 (NWPEC).

Selection
Means plant(s) that display one or more desirable characteristics and selected for a specific use (NWPEC).

Significant damage or harm
"Significant damage" or "harm" means a level of adverse impact that results in economic damage, injury, or loss that exceeds the cost of control for a particular crop. M.S. Chapter 18G.

Standard
The threshold or measure for the criteria by which species are judged in determining the appropriate invasiveness category for a species in Minnesota (MISAC).

Terrestrial plant
Means a plant that can grow in soils that are seasonally saturated or drier than seasonally saturated, but not in soils that are permanently flooded (NWPEC).

Unintentional introduction
Means an unintended introduction made as a result of a species utilizing humans or human delivery systems as vectors for dispersal outside its natural range (IUCN - Species Survival Commission - Invasive Species Specialist Group).

Unlisted nonnative species
Means a nonnative species that has not been designated as a prohibited invasive species, a regulated invasive species, or an unregulated nonnative species in a rule adopted by the commissioner under section 84D.12 (M.S. 84D).

Unregulated nonnative species
Means a nonnative species that has been designated as an unregulated nonnative species in a rule adopted by the commissioner under section 84D.12 (M.S. 84D).

Variety
Means a subdivision of a species having distinct, uniform, though often inconspicuous difference, and typically breeding true to that difference.

References for definitions

  1. Carlton, J.T. 1996 Biological invasions and cryptogenic species. Ecology 77 (6): 1653-1655.
  2. Executive Order 13112 of February 3, 1999 - Invasive species. William J. Clinton.
  3. Illustrated Oxford Dictionary. 1998. Oxford University Press., Inc. New York, NY.
  4. IUCN - Species Survival Commission - Invasive Species Specialist Group.
  5. Holcik, J 1991. Fish introductions in Europe with particular reference to its central and eastern part. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and aquatic Sciences 48 (Supplement 1):13-23.
  6. Minnesota Interagency Exotic Species Task Force. 1991. Report and Recommendations of the Minnesota Interagency Exotic Species Task Force. Submitted to the Natural Resources Committees of the Minnesota House and Senate - April 1991.
  7. MISAC - Minnesota Invasive Species Advisory Committee.
  8. M.S. 84D - Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 84D.
  9. National Invasive Species Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-332).
  10. NWPEC - the Minnesota Noxious Weed Potential Evaluation Committee established by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.