<the?> Regeneration of <the?> native tree species was successful ....

Bilyana

Senior Member
Bulgarian
Dear Forum Community,

I am puzzled by the use of zero article in this text taken from an abstract of a scientific paper (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378112713005288). Why is this so?

Here is the original text.

Regeneration of native tree species was successful where a clearcut site was adjacent to mature native trees, which acted as a seed source. Mean regeneration densities of native tree species on clearcut sites were typically greater than 1000stems/ha, exceeding minimum recommended planting densities for the establishment of new native woodland.

Here is the same text in which I have shown the places where I think the definite article "the" must have been used:

Ø Regeneration of Ø native tree species was successful where a clearcut site was adjacent to mature native trees, which acted as a seed source. Ø Mean regeneration densities of Ø native tree species on clearcut sites were typically greater than 1000stems/ha, exceeding Ø minimum recommended planting densities for the establishment of Ø (I think an indefinite article must have been used here) new native woodland.

Thank you in advance for your comments.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Firstly, you are confusing must with should have. :)

    The reason why no article is needed in mean regeneration densities and minimum recommended planting densities is that they are variables. It would not be wrong to include the definite article.

    Regeneration can be written with or without the definite article, e.g. (The) Global warming in this century will exceed that of the previous century.

    A woodland(?) does not mean a particular piece of forest; it means a type of terrain. As such, no article is needed.

    Another factor is that the text is an abstract, when articles are typically often omitted.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I take "native tree species" to refer to more than one species. It's plural so it doesn't need an article.

    Titles, headlines and headings often occur without definite or indefinite articles. This convention is sometimes extended to summaries/abstracts (as e2efour points out). Anyone who sees an ambiguity can read the main article to discover what is really meant.
     

    Bilyana

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I take "native tree species" to refer to more than one species. It's plural so it doesn't need an article.
    I agree, Biffo, that "native tree species" is plural. However, in both sentences "native tree species" refers to the particular tree species that were tested, and, what is more, grammatically, the sentences are in the past tense signalling specific context. If this text were not part of an abstract where articles tend to be omitted, as both you and e2efour have pointed out, I think, that the definite article should have been used.
     
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