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  • Glossary
| Last Updated:22/03/2018



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Growing, living in, or frequenting waters.

annual turnover

The rate of replacement of individual animals in a population. Birds, such as quail, may have a 70 percent turnover annually. This means that only 30 percent of the birds alive at the beginning of one year are still alive at the end of the year. The reproductive capabilities of a species will match the mortality, or turnover rate.

animal community

Animals of various species living within a certain habitat, each occupying a specific     position in that particular environment; directly parallel to plant communities.


An organism, like bacteria, that lives without the presence of oxygen

Age structure

is the number of individuals of each age within the population.


Sensitivity to or appreciation of beauty through recognition of its unique and varied components or through its orderly appearance.

Age class

is a group of animals in a population with approximately the same age (i.e., fawn, yearling, adult).


Living or occurring only in the presence of oxygen

aerate, aeration

To supply with air or oxygen; to loosen the soil to add air space to it; to supply running water with additional oxygen, as when a stream runs over falls or rapids or when wind creates waves on a lake.

adapted, adaptation

The process of making adjustments to the environment. For example, plants grow only where soil types, moisture, and sunlight are balanced to the proper degree. Desert plants have adapted so they live under intense sunlight, on poor quality soils, and with a much reduced water supply.


Rain, snow, or other forms of water that are made more acid by the waste gases that come mainly from the burning of coal and oil products. The gases (usually sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen) mix with water and other materials in the air. Acid rain falls on the land and water, and can affect wildlife, plants, soil, and building materials.


Non-living factor in an environment; for example, light, water, temperature, or rocks.


The ecology of an organism or taxonomic group; also, the study of how organisms affects plants.


 Volcanically raised islands that arc near subduction zones where one continental plate rides over another


 Growing and harvesting fish and shellfish in land-based ponds.


 Prevailing natural conditions studied and recorded outside rather than indoors.


Planting crops among trees

Algal Bloom

 Explosion of a phytoplankton population, sometimes because of incoming pollutants that artificially enrich the waters with nutrients.


 Primarily marine organisms, single-celled or multicellular, that use chlorophyll to feed, like plants, but lack the roots, leaves, flowers, etc. of true plants.


A reversible physical change in an adapting organism in response to environmental pressures.


The number of organisms in a given population.


Organisms that resemble bacteria but also display characteristics found in multicellular organisms.


Growing and harvesting fish and shellfish in land-based ponds.


Evolving a type of protective coloration found to be useful by other species.

Apical Meristem

The tissue-creating cells at the growing tip of a branch or root.


The plantless zone at the bottom of a lake.


Soft-bodied insects that eat green leaves.


A flowering plant or its closest relatives.


The organ that produces antherozoids--male gametes (sperm cells)--in algae, bryophytes (mosses, liverworts), and pteridophytes (club mosses, ferns, horsetails)


The pollen-producing tip of a flower's stamen.


Pioneer plants which grow, flourish, and die in one season, seeds often germinate during the following wet season.


Jointed, backbone-less animals--namely, arachnids, insects, and crustaceans-often protected by a shell or exoskeleton.


A multicellular female reproductive organ in mosses, ferns, and the majority of gymnosperms. Normally flask-shaped, it corresponds to the pistil in flowering plants.


The animal kingdom branches into the deuterostomes (mouth and anus develop separately) and the protostomes. Animals are multicellular and possess mitochondria, a complex nervous system, and cells protected by a membrane and filled with complex organelles.


Flowering plants that place their seeds in fruits. The monocots have an embryo with a single cotyledon (seed leaf), three-part flowers, parallel leaf veins, and adventitious root growth. Dicots have two cotyledons, four- or five-part flowers, and net leaf vein patterns. Monocots include grasses, orchids, palms, and cattails, and dicots include oaks, sycamores, and maples.


Seed plants pollinated by the wind.


A vertebrate whose skull contains no side openings behind the eyes. The only living examples are turtles.


Evolutionary change, but without spilling over into speciation.


Chemical reactions in the absence of oxygen and often initiated by bacteria or archaeans (bacteria like organisms that live in extreme conditions).


Metabolic processes that build tissues and organs.


newts, frogs, salamanders: vertebrate animals that can live in water and on land.


A fluid-filled sac that safely enfolds a growing mammal, reptile, or bird embryo.

Amino Acids

Ammonia-carbon acids that when strung together in long double-bonded chains (peptides) build proteins.


A one-sidedly harmful relationship between dissimilar organisms.


fine-grained sedimentary rock consisting mostly of hardened clay particles


cold-blooded, smooth-skinned vertebrae of the class Amphibia, such as a frog or salamander, that characteristically hatch as aquatic larva with gills. The larva then transforms into an adult having air-breathing lungs.


sediment or soil that is deposited by a river or running water


small to medium-sized hawks, of the genus Accipiter, characterized by short-broad wings and a long tail, i.e., Cooper's Hawk