Talk:Lichen

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Article based on English Wikipedia

This article or parts of it were created based, in whole or in part, on this version of the English Wikipedia article. The complete history of the article can be found there.--Eptalon (talk) 20:16, 4 September 2009 (UTC)

Simpler...[change source]

I've edited it in detail, and added more links and photos. It's now Flesch Reading Ease Score ([1]) of 68, which is about the best one can do with these scientific topics. (original article was 25!). I often wonder how these articles do with our target audiences, so maybe some of you could do some trials and let us know. Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:21, 16 September 2009 (UTC)

Now it's 64. Macdonald-ross (talk) 16:45, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Uses added[change source]

I have added some uses, which were largely copied from EnWP; a first round of simplifies were done. I cannot tell how important it is to tell that a certain kind of lichen is of a specific family; I have therefore simply reworded the info, but left it in. Take out, if it is too complex, and does not really add useful information. --Eptalon (talk) 23:07, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

Almost all the uses are not economically significant, except for reindeer! Natural dyes, for example, are rarely used today; antibiotics are analysed and synthetically produced, and so on. So have shortened it. Macdonald-ross (talk) 09:57, 15 December 2009 (UTC)

PGA review by Eptalon[change source]

Sorry, I have contributed considerably to this article; I cannot really say much. I nevertheless will drop a few words:

  • Plant-like living things - I am a bit bewildered by the term; we do have organism, with an article on it - Is there a name for two organisms living in a symbiosis? _If there isn't it should probably be explained a little.
Well, it was an attempt to find a description which could be understood by the target audience. There is the word symbiont, which is used for the smaller partner living inside a larger partner. We don't seem to have a general word for such a partnership as lichen. Organism means 'living thing'; would the intro be improved by substitutung it? The difficulty arises because they cannot be given a separate taxonomic rank; the whole system is built upon splitting, not joining!
Plant-like because as a pair they are autotrophic, and some lichen do look like plants. Formally, plants are members of the Kingdom Plantae, which lichen are not. Fungi, bacteria and algae all belong to different Kingdoms. Moreover, lichen are not monophyletic: can't be, actually (that is mentioned under 'History on Earth'). Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:34, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
  • The fungus profits more because it gets nutritients. What is the interest of the bacterium/alga to make a lichen? - Also perhaps one or two sentences of explanation.
The partnership profits because they both get nutrients. The alga gets water (which the fungus is expert at storing), minute quantities of mineral nutrients from the rock (or substrate), and protection from U-V rays &c. As a partnership they invade habitats that few organisms can live in. I should expand that bit. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:34, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Unfortunately, these are the only two things I can point out at the moment. --Eptalon (talk) 22:15, 8 January 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for good questions! I will make the changes next week-end, after (hopefully) others have commented. Macdonald-ross (talk) 11:34, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Basic review[change source]

I haven't done these before; so this isn't anything to do with criteria and more about what I feel. ⇐ precedes a comment; → meaning "rephrase to".

  • Sometimes the partner is a bacterium which can use sunlight ⇐ To paraphrase Microsoft Word, "fragment, consider revising".
  • Partner ⇐ Needs explaining
  • I had to read the introduction several times before understanding it
  • in the last resortas a last resort ⇐ Idioms shouldn't be used in Simple English
  • decomposebreak down
  • substrate ⇐ not simple
  • minutevery small
  • Lichen can be quite long-lived" → Lichen can be long-lived." ⇐ detracts from the flow
  • filaments ⇐ not simple
  • Captions ≠ long

The English used is disjointed, and needs going over by a native speaker. I may do so later (next week) if no-one else gets there first.

Regards, — μ 14:35, Wednesday January 13 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for your comments, almost all of which I sympathise with. I've made changes to try and meet your points. I think, as you do, that the intro is crucial in all WP articles, let alone Simple ones. I've let the (shorter) Map lichen caption talk about longevity. Macdonald-ross (talk) 18:09, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Very nice![change source]

Macdonald-ross was so kind as to say he would like my opinion as a young non-native speaker of English of this page, so I have read it, and found it very, very nice indeed. It's very neatly written, encyclopaedic without being overly boring, and scientific without being difficult to read. The only thing I think would make this article better is...perhaps to take out a few expressions that non-native speakers would find a little confusing, and to add some good external links. I certainly hope this article becomes nominated as a good article! ···Classical Esther (혜란) 02:23, 16 January 2010 (UTC)

References[change source]

I have a MOS question for you guys. Is it approved to put the page numbers beside the reference or should they be included and listed at the bottom? --Guerillero (talk) 03:55, 10 February 2010 (UTC)

To list the pages at the bottom with my system is not possible without repeating the whole reference each time. The alternate ('Harvard') reference system is too cumbersome for me to use, given the number of pages I contribute to.
The prior question is, should page numbers be listed? I think they should, where a person with the reference might have doubt, and in all direct quotations. Given that I use this particular reference system, the page numbers must be listed at the site of quotation, otherwise the abcdef... merely refer to the work in general. Even in simpleWP it should be possible to see if someone is actually quoting accurately. I answer only for myself, of course.
I might add that in almost all cases I do possess, or have seen, the reference. Sometimes I have been reduced to copying a reference from enWP -- but not often! And I try to keep to secondary references: professional reviews and surveys in reliable publications; web-sites only from reputable sources (eg Natural History Museum). Primary sources (e.g. letters to Nature) and tertiary sources (e.g. lightweight popular books & articles) are usually not suitable (for different reasons). Unsupervised web-sites are generally a no-no: they suffer from POV, plagiarism and sometimes ignorance. Other contributors, I notice, do not always agree...
Macdonald-ross (talk) 08:26, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I think it also depends on what is cited; If we are looking at a scientific article of between four and perhaps sixteen pages, the page number is less important, than if we talk about a book. see: Darwin, On the Origin of Species. The big problem is that page numbers vary by edition of the source. --Eptalon (talk) 11:22, 21 February 2010 (UTC)