Indicator Plants

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Related to Indicator Plants: indicator species
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Indicator Plants


plants that are closely associated with particular ecological conditions, which can be qualitatively or quantitatively interpreted based on the presence of these plants. They include species as well as intraspecies units, various anomalous forms that regularly and constantly occur under the influence of certain external factors, and even plant communities. The developmental rhythm of plants and the times of onset of various phenological phases also have indicator significance. Soils, certain rocks, groundwater and the presence of certain elements may be the objects of indication. Some indicator plants—direct indicators—are directly associated with the object of indication (they usually retain their indicator value within the entire area of distribution); others—indirect indicators—are associated with certain factors that are correlatively dependent on objects of indication (they are most often regional or narrowly localized).

Indicator plants are used in evaluating the mechanical composition and salinization of soils, in the search for fresh water in deserts, and in mapping soil-forming source rocks and certain types of minerals. Recognizing plant (and community) indicators is one of the means of interpreting aerial photographs in soil and geological surveying. Widely practiced is the creation of botanical indicator maps and of indicator manuals for use in field research. Indicator plants are the subject of study of indicator geobotany.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
[25] on the same indicator plant. These symptoms were disappeared spontaneously in about 8-10 days.
All the field sources were confirmed to be Citrus Tristeza Virus (CTV) free through DAS-ELISA prior to graft transmission of HLB to the indicator plants. Method described by [5,21] was used for disease inoculation and transmission of HLB on indicator plants under controlled conditions.
The NR treatment did prevent shading of the indicator plants by surrounding vegetation, and the introduction of the phytometers into the NRS treatment did not measurably affect the light regime of the NRS treatment.
Indicator plants are useful in attracting pests for early detection.
Weeds are indicator plants that provide us with information as to the site and soil characteristics.
If we get our limit of pheasants early, we'll head over to a red maple swamp bordered by aspens and alders - indicator plants that advertise their likely presence.