In conservation efforts, whether a species is native or invasive to a particular area is often of interest. There are also sometimes additional classifications. For example, I'm working with a data set that allows for a species to be classified as "global." Other classifications sometimes distinguish between "non-native" and "invasive." (I'm not personally entirely clear on what the differences are; the point at the moment is that native vs. invasive is not a simple yes/no category.)

I'm trying to name the field that the value of this classification will be stored in. Is there a word or short phrase that describes this quality that I can use? Technical or specialized terms are absolutely fine; this name won't be seen on any kind of generally available interface.

Potential words that come to mind are "nativeness" or "invasiveness," but I'm not at all confident these carry the meaning I intend.

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    I'm debating creating an ecology tag to add. Thoughts?
    – jpmc26
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 17:36
  • In computing (and data analysis), field names like Is_Native (Is Native?) & Is_Invasive (Is Invasive?) are common. Have you considered these? Commented May 24, 2018 at 17:42
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    You may want to ask experts in those fields what they call the dimension that includes native and non-native (in case it is something different from 'nativeness'). These are technical words and scientists in that field would know the technical vocabulary better than the generalists here. see Biology.SE
    – Mitch
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 19:57
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    A plant can be non-native but not invasive. Tulips, for example, are certainly not native, but they are not invasive (you don't see tulips spilling out of gardens like wildfire and disrupting/crowding out native vegetation. Commented May 26, 2018 at 4:08
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    @anongoodnurse Also a plant can be native and still be a weed or noxious weed in some circumstances. Wild garlic is, so far as I know, native to the UK but is a noxious weed in dairy pasture because, when cows eat it, their milk is tainted.
    – BoldBen
    Commented May 26, 2018 at 8:00

1 Answer 1


You might like indigeneity, according to Oxford Living Dictionaries it means:

The fact of originating or occurring naturally in a particular place.

This term allows for multiple subcategories (some suggestions below):

  1. native (occurring naturally in a particular place)

  2. non-native and invasive (invasive)

  3. non-native but not invasive (not occurring naturally in a particular place, but it's also not invasive in that place)

Attribution:"Indigeneity | Definition of Indigeneity in English by Oxford Dictionaries." Oxford Dictionaries | English. Accessed May 26, 2018. https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/indigeneity.

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