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AbioticReferring to non-living factors, such as chemicals, light, or temperature.
AlpineAbove the treeline in mountains, approximately above 2200 metres. See also subalpine and montane.
AnthropogenicCaused or introduced by human activity, for example anthropogenic greenhouse gases do not include gases produced by naturally occuring forest fires.
BenthicLocated on the bottom of a body of water or in the bottom sediments, or pertaining to bottom-dwelling organisms. It refers to the habitat at the interface between water and sediment. Benthic species live attached to, ontop of, or burrowed into the sediment.
BioavailabilityThe amount of toxins or nutrients available to organisms. Some pollutants may be readily absorbed by organisms, and hence have a high bioavailability.
BioindicatorsSpecies in a certain environment that act as indicators of ecological integrity, or of the quality of the habitat or environment.
BiomagnificationThe increasing concentration of pollutants with higher trophic levels, or levels in a food chain. Pollutants that cannot be expelled from an organism's body are consumed by predators and can magnify, for example, 100 times in concentration from one trophic level to another.
Bioregional MapsMaps that consider the links between humans and ecological patterns and processes. They show how natural areas are important to locals, they demonstrate traditional use, and they show the extent of human impact and how human occupation has changed an area.
BioticReferring to biological factors or living creatures.
DOCDissolved Organic Carbon, which is present in lakes, limits UV light penetration, blocks excessive light and heat, and prevents some of the effects of acidification. It gives lakes a brown-yellow colour.
Deferred GrazingA system where cattle can graze only after waterfowl have nested, and their young are fledged. This protects young waterfowl and prevents nest destruction.
Dispersal-LimitedDescribes a species that is quite limited in range or territory due to such things as habitat requirement, physical barriers, or climate.
Dispersal PotentialThe range a species occupies naturally without direct or indirect introduction or care by humans.
DispersionThe pattern of distribution of individuals within a habitat. Dispersal, disperse
EphemeralA stream or creek that only flows during certain times of the year or during high precipitation.
FecundityThe potential reproductive capacity of an organism.
FilamentousFrom filament, meaning cells are arranged in a linear series with adjacent cells sharing a common wall.
FluxFlow through or across a surface. For example, mercury flux into a lake would be the amount of mercury passing into the lake through the surface. This flow hence has units of weight or volume per area per unit time, such as micrograms per square meter per year (µg m-2 a-1).
Functional CompensationWhen the biomass of one species replaces that of another similar species lost due to stress. It refers to when the species perform the same function, and hence there is no loss of function in the ecosystem as one species compensates for the other.
GrazingThe act of consuming food. Although most often referring to cattle or ungulates, it also refers to invertebrates, tadpoles, and minnow as grazers who feed on algae in water bodies.
Littoral ZoneThe area where water meets land in a wetland. This area is where odonate larvae exist, and is also where cattle grazing has the largest impact.
MesocosmContainers or isolating fences used to limit the scope, size, or environment of an experiment in water bodies. Fences may filter water, isolate species, exclude certain creatures, or simply contain species for ease of research.
Methyl Mercury (MeHg)A vertebrate neurotoxin that can accumulate in organisms and magnify more than a million times in aquatic food chains, causing serious health problems in aquatic organisms and in humans that consume them.
MontaneWell below the treeline in mountains, approximately below 1600 metres. Lakes below this altitude are warmer and have longer ice-free seasons. See also Alpine and Subalpine.
Multiphase OilOil that can contain unprocessed petroleum, minerals, salt water, natural gas, and/or hydrogen sulfide.
OdonatesDamselflies and dragonflies.
Organochlorines (OC)Synthetic organic compounds that contain chlorine. They are generally fat-soluble, persistant, and some even decompose into other quite dangerous substances as well. It is a generally used term referring to compounds that contain mostly or exclusively carbon, hydrogen, and chlorine. Examples are DDT, chlordane, lindane, and PCBs.
PAHsPolycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons are a class of very stable organic molecules made of only carbon and hydrogen. These molecules are highly carcinogenic but also common. They are a product of hydrocarbon combustion and some are even present in charcoal broiled hamburgers.
PeriphytonMicroscopic plants and animals that are firmly attached to solid surfaces under water such as rocks, logs, pilings and other structures.
Produced WaterWater, usually saline, that is present in oil produced from a well.
Species RichnessThe number of species in a given area, either locally or regionally.
SubalpineSlightly below the treeline in mountains, approximately between 1600 and 2200 metres. See also Alpine and Montane.
Thermal ToleranceThe ability of a species to cope with temperature changes in the environment.
Water Renewal TimeThe time required for all water in a lake to be replaced or renewed.
Information Sources: National Geographic Wild World Glossary, Conserving China's Biodiversity, Microbial Diagnostics Definition Page
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