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The shape of things to come

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Topic: 10) The shape of things to come (1 of 4), Read 88 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, September 22, 1999 09:03 AM

Chuck Hulin, of Urbana, Ill., writes: "I believe there is a word to indicate an indicator species: a species whose presence is indicative of the quality of the environment. Brook trout only live in cold, pure water. The canaries that miners used to take with them into mines were another, although introduced indicator species. Is there such a word?"

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Topic: 10) The shape of things to come (2 of 4), Read 59 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Rus Bowden (lowelldude@aol.com)
Date: Wednesday, September 29, 1999 02:28 AM

While searching for a word, I found out that lobster behavior is an indicator of pollution in the sea. I also found out that frog populations are becoming extinct. At that article about frogs, the word "bioindicators" is used. Here is the site: http://earthsky.worldofscience.com/Teachers/Booklet/frogs.html.

Now I know that this offering of "bioindicator" can include plants and such, but it's a start and no mention was made that we only should include animals, which is what I was originally looking for.

Rus

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Topic: 10) The shape of things to come (3 of 4), Read 49 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Martin Melhus (melhus@fdrc.iit.edu)
Date: Friday, October 08, 1999 02:21 AM

When I first read this query, the word bellwether came to mind. Perhaps the biology steered me there. Bioindicator seems to work, although it is very clinical.

The qurey could also be broadened to cover not just a specific species, but the general look of an ecosystem. For example, "Biodiversity is indicative of a healthy biome, wheras domination by a small number of species is indicative of a stressed biome."

While it is more chemical in origin, the term "litmus test" has come to be applied in politics in a somewhat similar vein, to mean if you don't have this specific viewpoint, you're not in our club. But to say "presence of brook trout are the litmus test for a cold clear stream," doesn't really work for me.

Regards,
Martin

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Topic: 10) The shape of things to come (4 of 4), Read 41 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Gregory Alan Bolcer (gbolcer@endtech.com)
Date: Monday, October 11, 1999 05:49 PM

I kind of like combining quintessense and
something eco- or bio-

quintessegenelial? quinteconomicrent?



On 10/8/99 2:21:45 AM, Martin Melhus wrote:
>When I first read this query,
>the word bellwether came to
>mind. Perhaps the biology
>steered me there.
>Bioindicator seems to work,
>although it is very clinical.
>
>The qurey could also be
>broadened to cover not just a
>specific species, but the
>general look of an ecosystem.
>For example, "Biodiversity is
>indicative of a healthy biome,
>wheras domination by a small
>number of species is
>indicative of a stressed
>biome."
>
>While it is more chemical in
>origin, the term "litmus test"
>has come to be applied in
>politics in a somewhat similar
>vein, to mean if you don't
>have this specific viewpoint,
>you're not in our club. But
>to say "presence of brook
>trout are the litmus test for
>a cold clear stream," doesn't
>really work for me.
>
>Regards,
>Martin
>




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