by Herbert c. hanson
by HERBERT C. HANSON
This practical dictionary is for the use
of students, teachers, and investigators
in ecology and related fields such as
range management, forestry, wildlife,
conservation, agronomy, and limnology.
It is also designed for use by the general
public for the better understanding of
widely used ecological terms. The Dic-
tionary includes not only strictly ecologi-
cal terms but also those that have been
adopted from related fields. The aim is
not to define words with final fixity but
rather to give clear, concise statements
indicating present-day usage. The defi-
nitions will be useful, not only in facili-
tating the comprehension of ecological
concepts, but also in furthering the re-
finement of both concepts and defini-
The author is Plant Ecologist, Ber-
thoud, Colo., formerly Research Profes-
sor, Dept. of Biology, The Catholic
University of America.
From the collection of the
San Francisco, California
DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY
by HERBERT C HANSON
The Catholic University of America
Washington, D. C.
by Philosophical Library, Inc.
Printed in the United States of America
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 60-15954
This edition published by Bonanza Books,
a division of Crown Publishers, Inc.,
by arrangement with Philosophical Library, Inc.
b c d e f g h
To DON, PHYLLIS, DOROTHY
cf. confer, compare this definition with the definition of
words that follow.
q. v. quod vide, indicating that it is desirable to look up
the definition of the preceding word in order to under-
stand more fully the definition being considered.
Italicized words indicate that they are defined in this book,
or that such words form the scientific name of a plant or
The aim of this dictionary is to fill the need for defini-
tions of many new terms that have come into usage during
the past thirty years and also to include many of the old
terms that are used in current literature. It has not seemed
desirable to include many words that are rarely if at all
used at present and which are in the older glossaries. Many
words from fields closely related to ecology such as forestry,
range management, agronomy, soils, and genetics are in-
cluded because of their wide usage in ecological literature.
The definitions are usually those that are in accord with
present general usage. It has not seemed wise to attempt to
pronounce judgment on the desirability of, or the need for,
certain terms since such decisions are made by usage as a
language grows. The inclusion of certain words in this dic-
tionary does not necessarily imply that the author approves
or recommends their use.
Words are tools of thought. Clarification of the meaning
of terms, precision in their use, and uniformity in usage
among workers in ecology and related fields are essential
in the growth of a science. When a concept or process can
be expressed precisely in ordinary language it appears un-
necessary, and indeed detrimental to the growth of a science,
to coin a new term. It is worth while to make ecological
literature intelligible to as wide a field of readers as possible.
As concepts and techniques become clearer and more precise
new terms are often needed, and when a new word is
accepted hi one branch of science it should be accepted in
Definitions are not immutable. As knowledge increases
the meanings of terms change. It is hoped that this volume
will aid in the development of an increasingly useful ecologi-
A list of references are given below, many of which will
be found useful in securing further amplification of the
meaning of words in this dictionary.
DICTIONARY OF ECOLOGY
A mosaic of high moor and low moor, consisting of
circular or elongated mounds covered with dwarf shrubs
and sphagnum and depressions occupied by mostly sedges
The non-biotic elements of a habitat.
The part of the continental shelf and terrace on which
a horizontal plain is formed by long continued wave action.
The highest (absolute maximum) and lowest (absolute
minimum) values of a meteorological element, especially tem-
perature, that have ever been recorded at a station.
See Humidity, absolute.
The initial loss of water from a canal or reservoir by
capillary action and percolation.
A generalized category comprising a number of similar
units or stands of vegetation and including animal life.
The total number of individuals of a species in an area,
population, or community. The index of relative abundance
gives a useful approximation of numbers relative to time or
space, e.g., the number of rabbits seen in an hour in a certain
place, cf. Density.
Refers to the deepest region of the ocean and often used
for the zone in lakes below the profundal (q. v.). See
The lower part of the abyssal region, below about 3300
feet (1000 meters).
The symbiotic relationship of mites and plants.
Refers to a plant with inconspicuous, or seemingly absent,
stem above the ground.
Washing away or blowing away of soil material in excess
of normal erosion (q. v.), resulting from changes in the
vegetation cover or ground conditions.
A species that occurs with a low degree of Fidelity in a
The increased tolerance or physiological adjustment of an
organism to a change in its environment.
Modification of the focus of the eye.
Refers to plants which continue to grow after flowering.
A plant that absorbs certain elements which accumulate
in its tissues to a much higher degree than in most plants,
e.g., Equisetum concentrates large amounts of silica, cf.
A short-lived type of vegetation, characterized chiefly
by mustards and grasses, in the Italian Sahara.
A one-seeded, dry, non-opening fruit in which the seed
is not attached to the wall of the fruit, e.g., sunflower
Coniferous vegetation with small, evergreen, needle-like
Refers to organisms that grow well or exclusively on soil
or in a medium that is acid in reaction.
A soil with an acid reaction, containing more hydrogen
than hydroxyl ions; for practical purposes with a pH below
Refers to organisms that feed on food having an acid
A modification of structure or function appearing during
the lifetime of an individual, caused by environmental con-
ditions, e.g., broad leaves of some plants growing in shade.
The quantity of water that will cover one acre one
The quantity of water that will cover one acre one
Structures on plants that shelter mites.
Refers to the development of organs in plants, the oldest
at the base, the youngest at the tip. cf. Basipetal.
Plant communities in alpine regions.
Refers to the part of the seashore between tide marks.
An instrument which measures radiant energy, especially
the property that produces chemical effects.
The measurement of chemical reactions caused by
A group of organisms possessing very fine hyphae or
threads, classified with bacteria or fungi. Various kinds
cause decomposition, disease, or produce antibiotics such as
The impingement of environmental factors such as heat
or light upon organisms.
A plant-animal community on a rocky seashore.
Material composed chiefly of bacteria and protozoa, used
in one method of sewage disposal.
Refers to organisms that grow well on rocky seashores.
Capability of an organism to make changes which fit it
better to its environmental conditions.
Refers to the adaptability of an organism.
(1) The process or processes by which an organism be-
comes apparently better suited to its environment or for
particular functions. (2) The structures or activities of an
organism, or of one or more of its parts, which tend to fit it
better for life in its environment. (3) The adapted form.
The sum of genetic characters by which an organism
is suited to its environment.
The evolution of taxa (q. v.) as they become adapted to
new habitats, applicable also to the development of a new
The evolution of more or less similar forms in separate
but ecologically similar areas.
A material added to a fertilizer, or to another substance,
to improve its chemical or physical condition.
Refers to an occurrence in which heat is neither gained
Processes by which an organism becomes better fitted to its
environment; functional, never structural, cf. Adaptation.
A fine calcareous clay or silt, may be mixed with water
to make bricks for construction purposes, cf. terron.
The attachment of molecules or ions to surfaces or inter-
faces such as solid-liquid, solid-gas, and liquid-gas boundaries.
Young trees in openings or under the canopy in forests
before cutting or regeneration operations are started, syn.
Advance reproduction, cf. Second growth.
Organisms which have invaded from a distance.
An organ growing out of its usual location, e.g., root
from a stem; a species which has invaded from another area
and has become more or less naturalized.
A plant growing spontaneously, not native, ephemeral or
not spreading appreciably.
Refers to dissemination by wind.
Refers to the wind, or to soil materials which have been
moved by the wind or are subject to such movement.
The processes by which air and other gases in a medium
are renewed or exchanged.
An organism capable of living only in the presence of
Tissue with thin-walled cells and large air spaces, espe-
cially common in aquatic plants.
A vertical or oblique photograph taken from the air.
Refers to life or a process occurring only in the presence
of free oxygen. See Aerobe.
Life in the presence of free oxygen in the medium.
Microorganisms floating in the air, cf. Plankton.
Involuntary response of an organism to a gas, such as
the curving of a plant toward a higher concentration of
Woodland characterized by mixed evergreen-deciduous
Forest or woodland in which the woody plants are leafless
in winter and buds are protected by scales, e.g., beech forest.
The relationship between organisms that indicates a
common origin; used occasionally to denote similarity of
The process of establishing a forest on an area, especially
where forest was not present previously, cf. reforestation.
The regrowth of plants after mowing.
The dormancy period, following formation of the seed
that is required for changes in the embryo to occur prior
Asexual reproduction, parthenogenesis (q. v.).
An aggregation of individuals in which reproduction oc-
curs almost exclusively by asexual means, syn. Agameoo,
Production of seed asexually, exclusive of vegetative
reproduction, cf. apomixis.
Age and Area
Willis* hypothesis that the older a species is, the larger is
the area that it occupies.
A stand in which all of the trees originated in the same
regeneration period, cf. Even-aged.
The classification of individuals of a population accord-
ing to age classes or periods such as prereproductive, repro-
ductive, and postreproductive.
Formation of clumps of microorganisms or cell inclusions.
Building up of a portion of the earth's surface toward
uniformity of grade by deposition, as on the bottom of a lake.
A cluster of particles as a crumb of soil; to collect particles
into a cluster.
The coming together of organisms into a group, e.g.,
offspring clustered about the parents. The condition of
being collected into a cluster or group, cf. Community.
An activity such as fighting, feigning, and escaping, con-
nected with conflict between animals.
The portion of a country that can be cultivated.
Refers to an organism that grows in arable ground.
The study of soils. See Edaphology.
The study of the production, processing, and use of farm
Refers to organisms that grow well in grain fields or other
areas resulting from man's activities.
The branch of systematic botany dealing with grasses.
A Horizon (Soil)
The stratum of soil consisting of one or more of the
following layers. (A horizon, partly decomposed or matted
plant remains lying on top of the mineral soil. A 00 horizon,
the relatively fresh leaves and other plant debris, generally
of the past year, lying on the A horizon.) AI horizon, the
surface mineral layer, relatively high in organic matter,
usually dark in color. A 2 horizon, below the A x horizon, in
places the surface layer, usually lighter in color than the
underlying horizon, in which leaching of solutes and sus-
pended materials occurs. A 3 horizon, transitional to the B
horizon, more like A than B, sometimes absent.
A method for producing roots on a stem in an aerial
Thin-walled structures, containing air, in birds and in
Alar, Alary, Alate
Complete or almost complete absence of pigment, result-
ing in plants that are white in whole or in part, and in
animals with milky-white skin, light hair, and red pupils
An organism deficient in pigment.
The extent of aggregation and the degree of density
of a population most favorable for optimum growth and
survival varies according to the species and environmental
conditions. Either deficiency or excess may be detrimental.
A weed growing in a mesic (q. v.) habitat.
The simplest kind of green plants, usually growing in
water or damp places, consisting of several phyla, formerly
classified in the Thallophytes (q. v.).
Resembling an alga.
The study of Algae.
An introduced plant which has become naturalized.
The constant of temperature for a certain stage in the
life-cycle of an organism. See Temperature summation.
The total amount of dissolved salts or other substances
which tend to maintain the normal alkalinity of a natural
water or the internal body fluid of an organism.
A soil that has such a high degree of Alkalinity (pH 8.5
or higher), or such a high percentage of exchangeable sodium
(15 per cent or more), or both, that the growth of most crop
plants is reduced or prevented. See Black alkali, Saline soil.
A non-acid soil which contains more hydroxyl ions than
hydrogen ions; precisely, a soil with pH 7.0 or higher; for
practical purposes, with pH 7.3 or higher.
The chemical state of water or other substance in which
the hydroxyl ions exceed the hydrogen ions, usually with
pH 7.0 or higher, cf. Salinity.
Alleghanian Life Zone
One of the divisions of Merriam's Austral life zone (q. v.),
east of the 100th meridian. See Life zone.
An independent, dense, fixed, civilized society, cf.
One of the two forms of a gene located at a certain
position (locus) on a homologous chromosome (q. v.). If one
allele of a pair is dominant to the other it largely controls
the character, e.g., greenness is dominant over albinism
(q. v.) in seedlings.
Two or more animals, mutually stimulated, acting sim-
ilarly. See Mimetic.
Influence of plants, exclusive of microorganisms, upon
each other, caused by products of metabolism.
Allen's Principle (Rule)
Appendages of animals tend to be shorter in cold regions,
resulting in reduced loss of heat. Cf. Bergmann's, principle.
A substance which induces allergy, or causes symptoms to
show, e.g., Pollen.
Sensitivity resulting in pathologic condition in certain
people to substances such as pollen, food, hairs; or may be
caused by mental or environmental conditions.
A group of plant associations according to Braun-
Blanquet classified together on the basis of similarity in
floristic and sociological characteristics. See Association.
Refers to a species occurring in two or more similar
communities in the same region.
Refers to deposits of material that originated elsewhere,
e.g., drifted plant materials on the bottom of a lake. cf.
Cross-fertilization (q. v.). See Outbreeding.
The kind of succession (q. v.) in which one kind of
community replaces another because of a change in the
environment which was not produced by the plants them-
selves, e.g., decrease in soil moisture by improved drainage,
cf. Autogenic succession.
Relationships in the evolutionary development of organs
or other characters of organisms which may bring about
disharmony, e.g., disproportionate development of antlers
and neck muscles of deer or moose.
Refers to organisms originating in or occupying different
geographic areas, cf. Sympatric.
A polyploid (q. v.) which originated by the addition of
unlike sets of chromosomes, cf. Autopolyploid, Amphiploid.
Refers to organisms occurring at any depth in the sea.
Refers to lakes or ponds that receive organic material
by drainage from the adjacent land. cf. Autotrophic.
A fan-shaped deposit of sand, gravel, and fine material
from a stream where its gradient lessens abruptly.
Soil that has developed from transported and relatively
recently deposited material (alluvium), characterized by
little or no modification of the original material by soil-
Sediments, usually fine materials, deposited on land by
A high mountain meadow, alpine or subalpine.
Aim's Fb Coefficient
The relationship of fish caught per hectare to the live
weight of the bottom fauna per hectare.
A mountain or upland pasture of natural plants grazed
by animals at the height of summer. See Aim.
Alpha Particle, * Particle
A helium nucleus, given off by nuclei of certain radio-
A kind of ionizing radiation (q. v.) in which alpha
particles are given off.
A stream of alpha particles (q. v.) cf. Beta ray.
Refers to parts of mountains above tree growth or to
organisms living there.
See Twin communities.
Alternation of Generations
The alternation of different forms in the life cycle of an
organism, especially a sexual (gamete-producing) form with
a non-sexual (spore-producing) form; occurs in most plants
and in many animals.
Two or more communities alternating with each other
in a more or less restricted area.
Communities with tall herbs, especially in denuded forest
An instrument for determining altitude, e.g., aneroid
Refers to the condition of delay after birth or hatching in
the attainment of a completely independent mode of self
maintenance, cf. Precocial.
A vegetation type consisting of dwarf shrubs resembling
steppe, in Sweden.
Pitted, appearing like a honeycomb.
Ama nthophi lous
Refers to organisms living in sandy areas.
Refers to adaptations for walking in contrast to running,
associated with forest animals, cf. Fossorial, Scansorial.
Any material such as lime or synthetic conditioners that
is worked into the soil to make it more productive; usually
restricted to materials other than fertilizers.
The state or interaction in which one organism is in-
hibited while the other is not influenced, cf. Commensalism.
A pendulous, spike-like cluster of flowers as in the oaks,
willows, and birches, syn. Catkin.
Refers to plants with aments or catkins.
Refers to a parasite that is restricted to a single host.
A class of organic compounds containing nitrogen, large
numbers of which become linked together to form proteins
(q. v.); each one containing at least one amino group (-NH 2 )
and at least one carboxyl (-COOH) group.
Direct division of the nucleus of the cell without mitosis
A compound of ammonium sulfate used as an herbicide
Refers to an organism that grows in sand.
The formation of ammonium compounds from organic
materials containing nitrogen.
Refers to organisms inhabiting sandy banks of rivers.
An animal such as reptile, bird, or mammal the embryos
of which develop within a fluid-filled sac.
A Protozoan (q. v.) in the genus Amoeba.
A cell possessing movement similar to that of Amoeba.
Refers to movement similar to that of Amoeba.
Refers to structures in which differentiation is not ap-
A class of vertebrates (q. v.) comprising frogs, toads,
salamanders, newts, and related animals, most of which
spend part of the life-cycle in water.
Refers to organisms that can live in water or on land.
Refers to plants with two kinds of fruit.
The appearance on a plant of flowers with different colors
in different seasons.
A marsh plant with amphibious vegetative parts.
An organism that is native to both the old and new
The union of gametes to form a Zygote (q. v.).
Refers to an organism or a generation that produces
Sexual reproduction in contrast to apomixis (q. v.). It
includes Allogamy (q. v.), Autogamy (q. v.), or a mixture of
Refers to an animal having feet for walking and feet for
A plant growing in the border zone of wet land and
water, with amphibious characteristics.
A kind of Polyploid (q. v.) in which there are two sets
of chromosomes, each set derived from a parent in different
Refers to an organism with two noses.
Refers to the capacity of a substance to react either as
a base or an acid.
Refers to clasping or twining for support, e.g., tendril.
Refers to an organ clasping or growing around a stem
such as the base of a leaf.
The range of an environmental condition or complex of
conditions in which an organism can exist or in which a
process occurs, cf. Tolerance.
A perennial plant that produces flowers and fruits many
Revival of an organism after apparent death, as for
example by dessication.
The synthesis of complex organic substances from simple
materials in organisms, cf. Catabolism, Metabolism.
Refers to animals having Anadromy.
The behaviour of animals such as eels and salmon which
live in the sea and migrate into fresh water to breed.
An organism living in the absence of free oxygen, cf.
Refers to life or activity in the absence of free oxygen.
The existence of life under anaerobic conditions.
The anaerobic flora of the soil.
Refers to an organ of one organism that corresponds in
function to an organ of another animal or plant but which
is not Homologous (q. v.), e.g. petioles of clematis and
leaflets of peas as twining structures, wings of birds and
An animal lacking an embryonic membrane or amnion
(q. v.), e.g. frogs, fishes, cf. Amniote.
Refers to flowers lacking stamens.
The branch of biology that deals with the structure of
plants or animals.
Ice that has formed on the bottom of a stream.
Refers to the Andes Mountains of South America.
Modified scales on wings of Lepidopterons (q. v.), produc-
ing a sexually attractive odor.
Refers to the presence of flowers with only stamens and
flowers with both stamens and pistils on separate plants,
The stamens of a flower, collectively.
A substance causing the formation or maintenance of
male sexual characteristics in certain animals.
Refers to flower clusters in which the staminate flowers
are attached above the pistillate flowers, e.g. certain sedges.
Refers to the presence of flowers with only stamens and
flowers with both stamens and pistils on the same plant,
A plant that grows in the vicinity of man and his
A species of which the seeds, spores, or other parts capable
of reproducing offspring are dispersed by wind, e.g. dande-
lion, cf. Diaspore, Disseminule.
A continuous record of wind velocity made by an
A self-recording instrument for recording the velocity
of the wind.
An instrument that measures the velocity of the wind.
Refers to plants in which the pollen or other spores are
scattered almost exclusively by wind, e.g., willows, cf.
Plankton (q. v.) that are transported by wind.
The reaction to wind by the movement of a free organism.
The reaction to wind by the movement of an attached
An instrument that registers atmospheric pressure in
such a way that altitude may be calculated.
Refers to the presence of an irregular number of chromo-
somes, fewer or greater than the multiple of the Haploid
(q. v.) number, cf. Euploid.
The subdivision of Spermatophytes (seed-plants) in which
seeds are produced within the ovary, includes Monocotyle-
dons and Dicotyledons.
Angle of Repose
The maximum slope on which soil or loose rock remains
stable, syn. Critical slope.
Refers to a substance that does not contain water, e.g.
A measure of converting kinds of livestock to a common
standard in relation to forage resources on the equivalent
of a mature cow (live weight of about 1000 pounds). One
animal unit in western range country equals about one head
of cattle, one horse, one mule, five sheep, five swine, or five
Animal Unit Month
A measure of forage or feed requirement to maintain
one animal unit for 30 days.
Animals of simple organization such as some nematodes,
snails, and rotifers which can endure long periods of drying
in an inactive condition.
A negatively charged ion, e.g., chlorine, cf. Cation.
The presence of two kinds of leaves on one plant as in
Selaginella and some junipers.
An animal belonging to the phylum Annelida such
as earthworms, leeches, and marine worms; showing
Annual Heat Budget
See Heat budget.
A plant which completes its life-cycle and dies in one
year or less; a winter annual starts growth in late summer or
fall and completes its life-cycle the following spring or early
summer, a summer annual begins growth in the spring or
early summer and completes its life-cycle before the follow-
ing winter, cf. Biennial, Perennial.
The amount of substance formed in a year by an organ-
ism or a group of organisms.
The layer of wood (Xylem) added each year to stems and
roots of woody plants, which indicate the age of the plant.
Occasionally more than one layer may be formed in one
year. See Growth layer.
The chief climatic periods of the year; Vernal/ Estival,
Autumnal. (Serotinal), and Hibernal (q. v.).
The successive occurrence of plants or animals in an area,
or their activities, during the year, such as summer-flowering
plants replacing the spring-flowering ones; or the various
reproductive stages in animals.
The total quantity of living organisms (Biomass) (q. v.)
produced in one year in an area.
The variation from year to year in abundance or behav-
iour of organisms caused often by differences in environ-
mental conditions, especially precipitation and temperature.
A ring-like structure characteristic of certain plant parts
such as the stalk of mushrooms or on the spore-case of ferns.
In certain animals, notably fishes, a ring, arrangement of
rings, or other markings formed once a year and used in the
determination of age and rate of growth.
The period in animals when sexual desire or breeding is
The condition of oxygen deficiency as in the tissues of
The depressive effect of one organism upon another
one such as certain grasses upon the growth of alfalfa, or
the excretion of antibiotic substances such as penicillin by
The Australian zoogeographical region, excluding New
Zealand and Polynesia.
The degree of wetness of the soil at the beginning of a
The pollen-producing part of the stamen in a flower.
The organ in which sperms are produced, found in
several groups of plants such as the algae, fungi, mosses,
The period when a flower is fully expanded or when fer-
Water-soluble pigments, usually red, blue, or violet in
the cell-sap of leaves, stems, flowers, and fruits of plants.
Refers to the influence of man in contrast to natural
influences, e.g. a fertilized soil under crop rotation.
A species that is regularly disseminated by man, e.g.
weeds, crop plants, cf. Anemochore.
Refers to influences caused by man, e.g. cultivation.
The mode of thought or expression which attributes
characteristics of man to non-human objects.
Refers to plants which grow in proximity to man such
as weeds in cultivated lands or on paths.
The interaction between organisms produced by an
Antibiotic (q. v.).
A substance produced by organisms, especially bacteria
and fungi, which passes into the surrounding medium and
is toxic to other organisms, e.g., penicillin from the mold
Penicillium notatum destroys many kinds of bacteria.
A substance such as Antitoxin produced in an animal
when foreign material (Antigen) is introduced into the body.
The antibody counteracts the effect of the antigen.
A geological structure or arch formed by strata from
opposite sides dipping upward toward a common line. cf.
Refers to coloration which facilitates aggressive action
of an animal.
A mass of air of high atmospheric pressure compared to
adjacent areas, in which the circulation of the air is clock-
wise in the northern hemisphere, anti-clockwise in the
Parasites, substances produced by them, enzymes, toxins,
or proteins which cause the formation of antibodies in the
body of an animal.
An Antibody (q. v.) that counteracts a Toxin (q. v.), e.g.,
antitoxin serum used in treatment of diphtheria.
The coloration of an animal that causes it to resemble
physical features of the habitat.
The irregular occurrence of phenomena, cf. Periodicity.
Refers to flowers that lack petals.
A plant louse, an insect in the family Aphides, feeds by
sucking juices of plants, e.g., green-peach aphid (Myzus per-
sicae) which transmits more than 50 different plant viruses.
The deeper portions of bodies of water to which daylight
does not penetrate with sufficient intensity to influence or-
ganisms, cf. Disphotic, Euphotic, Photic zones.
The response of an organism by which it turns away from
the source of light, cf. Phototropic.
Refers to plants lacking leaves.
The part of a lake floor that lacks plants, includes the
sublittoral and profundal zones.
Refers to flowers in which the carpels (q. v.) are not
joined together, e.g. buttercup flowers.
The reproduction of an organism without Fertilization
(q. v.). cf. Apomixis, Parthenocarpy.
The response of an organism by turning away from the
earth, cf. Geotropism.
A population of organisms produced asexually.
Asexual reproduction of organisms in contrast to Amphi-
mixis (q. v.). It includes Vegetative propagation (q. v.) and
reproduction resembling sexual reproduction but in which
the egg and sperm do not fuse. cf. Apogamy, Parthenogenesis.
Refers to organisms that possess coloration associated with
harmful or distasteful contents, and therefore such organism
may be avoided by predators.
The reaction of an animal by which it becomes located
or in a suitable condition to satisfy its needs.
A layer of material such as concrete or timber to protect
a surface from erosion, e.g., pavement below a spillway.
Refers to organisms or organs lacking wings, cf. Alar.
A conduit for water, e.g., canal, pipe, tunnel, or a
The use of artificial means to increase the production
of fish, oysters, crabs, etc., in fresh or salt waters.
A porous soil or geological formation lying between
impermeable strata in which water may move for long
distances, yields ground water to springs and wells.
Communities of herbs occurring in ponds and swamps.
Communities of plants where ground water is an impor-
tant factor, e.g., wet meadows.
Land suitable for cultivation by plowing or tillage, does
not require clearing or other modification.
An animal in the class Arachnida which includes spiders,
mites, ticks, scorpions, and king-crabs.
Refers to an Arachnid, particularly spiders or spider-
A weed introduced in prehistoric time into cultivated
The organ producing the egg in many groups of plants
such as mosses, ferns, and most Gymnosperms.
Refers to the Archibenthic zone.
The layers of the ocean between depths of about 200 feet
and 3300 feet, the upper part of the Abyssal zone (q. v.).
Refers to the regions in high latitudes from which tree
growth is usually absent because of the shortness of the grow-
ing season and other unfavorable environmental conditions;
may also be used as a noun for the region.
Refers to the arctic and alpine regions jointly.
Arctic Life Zone
One of Merriam's life zones (q. v.), the portion of the
Boreal life zone (q. v.) north of the limits of tree growth,
southern limit marked by a normal mean temperature of
50 F. during the six hottest weeks of summer.
The faunal realm which includes the Ethiopian, Oriental,
Palearctic, and Nearctic regions (q. v.). syn. Megagea.
The total territory or range in which a Taxon or Com-
munity occurs, cf. Basal area, Coverage.
A sand desert.
Refers to a sandy substratum.
Refers to organisms inhabiting sandy substrata.
The study that deals particularly with area.
A small area of a leaf surrounded by intersecting veins.
Refers to clayey material.
Refers to regions or climates which lack sufficient mois-
ture for crop production without irrigation; precipitation
10 inches or less in cool regions, up to 15 or 20 inches in
tropical regions, cf. Semiarid.
The condition of dryness. See Arid.
Arid Transition Life Zone
The western part of Merriam's Transition zone, lying
west of the 20-inch annual precipitation line.
A special covering on a seed, arising from base of the
ovule or the stalk, sometimes pulpy or brightly colored as
in the bittersweet.
Refers to the activity of an organism which occurs during
both day and night, cf. Diurnal, Nocturnal.
A stream channel or gully in an arid country, usually
with steep banks, dry much of the time.
An animal in the phylum Arthropoda such as insects,
crabs, spiders, centipedes.
(1) A substance or appearance of a specimen of an organ-
ism or preparation of part of an organism which is not
present in the living tissue. (2) Something made by man
especially primitive man.
Selection by man of plants or animals which possess
desired qualities for reproduction and for the improvement
of the properties of the organisms, cf. Natural selection.
The introduction of animals from another region, or the
artificial propagation of animals, into an area, e.g., stocking
streams with fish or introducing quail into an area where
they are scarce or lacking.
Reproduction of organisms without the fusion of gametes,
(1) One of the seasonal appearances of vegetation. See
Aspection. (2) The direction toward which a slope faces.
The variability in the appearance of vegetation or of its
constituent parts such as blooming, fruiting, foliation, and
defoliation during the various seasons of the year. Chief
seasons are Prevernal* Vernal, Estival, Serotinal, and Hibernal
The synthesis of protoplasm and other complex sub-
stances by organisms.
A term with a number of usages, some of which are
defined. (1) An actual or Concrete community, Stand, or
group of organisms characterized by a definite floristic com-
position, presenting uniformity in physiognomy and struc-
ture, and growing under uniform habitat conditions. (2) In
an abstract sense, a group of concrete communities or stands
that are classified together because they meet certain stand-
ards of similarity. See Association type, Index of similarity.
(3) In the Clements' sense, a Climatic climax (q. v.) unit
that includes all of the successional stages preceding or
associated with it. Plant association and animal association
emphasize populations of plants or animals respectively
within an area.
Association, Coefficient of
A measure of the frequency of occurrence together of
two species not due to chance, calculated by dividing the
number of samples in which both occur together by the
number of samples in which it is expected they would occur
by chance alone.
A group of associations which occupies a definitely cir-
A stand or group of plants that lacks some of the charac-
teristics of its community type.
Association, Index of
A measure of the occurrence together of one species with
another, calculated by dividing the number of samples in
which one species occurs by the number of samples in which
The occurrence together of two or more species, e.g.,
a parasite on a host, a grass and a legume mutually benefit-
ing by growing in proximity to each other.
A Climax community which has become differentiated
out of a mixed or undifferentiated vegetation under the in-
fluence of climatic change, e.g., the beech-maple association
arising as a segregate from the mixed deciduous forest in
southeastern United States.
A listing of species occurring in several stands of an
Association or Community -type, and including data on such
characteristics as abundance, cover, vitality, etc. syn. Syn-
thesis table, cf. Stand table.
A group of similar associations.
In the Clements' usage a temporary, developmental com-
munity, cf. Association (3).
Assortative Breeding (mating)
Pairing of male and female organisms that involves more
than chance so that mating of similar parents is favored.
The maximum size reached by a population under pre-
vailing environmental conditions, no matter how long repro-
The appearance in an organism of an ancestral character
after a period of several generations.
See Sub-boreal period.
Any instrument for measuring evaporation such as a
porous porcelain sphere or open pan of water.
A body of water, lagoon, surrounded by a coral reef in
Adenosine triphosphate, an energy-rich phosphate com-
pound in organisms, important in the transfer of energy.
Reduction in size or contents of an organ, tissue, or cell.
Convulsion in an animal caused by a high-pitched noise.
See Sample area, Quadrat.
The Antibiotic formed by the mold Streptomyces
Refers to the dawn or the morning Crepuscular period.
One of Merriam's life-zones comprising most of non-
montane United States and Mexico, bounded on the north
by a growing season of accumulation of 1 0,000 F. above 43 F.
and on the south by 26,000 F., with a mean daily tempera-
ture of 64.4 F. during the six hottest weeks at the northern
The faunal region comprising Australia and New Guinea,
with Tasmania and smaller islands, in the realm Notogea
A subdivision of the Lower Austral life-zone, east of the
A simple, independent, economic human society consist-
ing of nomadic or sparsely distributed individuals, cf. Allelar-
The study of the individual, or members of a species
considered collectively, in relation to environmental condi-
tions, cf. Ecology, Synecology.
A species in which the action of the parent plant is the
chief force of dissemination, e.g., the mechanical projection
of seeds in vetch, cf. Anemochore, Diaspore.
Refers to local origin, e.g., an Indigenous species, deposits
produced within a lake. cf. Index species f Allochthonous.
Refers to parasites which pass all stages of their life-cycle
within or on the same host, e.g., certain rust fungi, cf.
(1) Self- or close-pollination leading to self-fertilization
in plants, cf. Geitonogamy, Xenogamy, Cleistogamous. (2)
Division of the nucleus into two parts followed by the union
of these parts in the same cell, occurs in some diatoms and
A successional series in which one stage modifies the
habitat in such a way that it is replaced by another stage,
e.g., deciduous forest replacing a pine forest, cf. Allogenic
The dissolution or digestion of an organism or parts
thereof by its own enzymes.
Refers to processes or activities arising from internal
causes, spontaneous, self-governing, e.g. Mutation (q. v.).
Refers to organisms, especially plants with chlorophyll,
that are Autotrophic (q. v.). Also used as syn. of Autonomic.
An Autotrophic plant.
A Polyploid (q. v.) in which three or more sets of like
(homologous) chromosomes have been derived from the same
species, cf. Amphiploid, Allopolyploid.
Loss of a part of the body of an organism by self-amputa-
tion followed usually by regeneration of the part, as in
certain arthropods and lizards.
(1) Refers to organisms which are capable of producing
organic substances from inorganic materials by means of
energy received from outside of the organisms, e.g., plants
with chlorophyll and certain bacteria, cf. Parasitic, Sapro-
phytiCj Heterotrophic, Holophytic. (2) Refers to a pond or
lake that is restricted in its supply of organic material to that
produced within its own confines.
Refers to the fall season or Aspect (q. v.).
A non-essential organic substance such as an extract
secured from dung, of unknown chemical composition, which
stimulates the growth of certain plants such as duckweeds.
A substance, natural or synthetic, that controls the growth
of plants, cf. Hormone.
Available Nutrient in Soil
The part of the supply of nutrient materials such as
phosphates in the soil that can be absorbed by plants at rates
and amounts required for growth.
Available Water (in soil)
The part of the water in the soil that plants can absorb.
Available Water-holding Capacity (of soil)
The amount of water available in the soil between the
amount held at Field capacity (q. v.) and the amount at the
Permanent Wilting percentage (q. v.).
Materials such as rocks, snow, ice, trees, deposited at the
base of the path of an avalanche.
A wind, often destructive over a distance, produced by
The distance between plants determined by dividing the
square root of an area by the density of each species within
An unhealthy condition or disease caused by a deficiency
A bristle-like structure attached to plant parts such as on
Floret parts of grasses.
A soil without a well-developed profile, occurring in any
soil zone, consisting largely of Parent material (q. v.), e.g.,
recently deposited Alluvium, dune sand.
The mating or crossing of a hybrid with either one of
its parents or parental stocks.
A fire started purposely ahead of an advancing fire to
remove inflammable material and thus control the main fire.
The movement of a poison through root grafts from
trees that have been treated with poison to non-treated trees.
A virus which destroys bacteria.
The nodules on the roots of most legumes and on some
other plants such as alders which contain bacteria that can
use atmospheric nitrogen in synthesizing organic compounds.
Areas of rough, irregular, eroded land on which most of
the surface is occupied by ridges, gullies, and deep channels,
with sparse vegetation.
A modification of the Berlese funnel (q. v.) for forcing
nematodes out of soil or debris. The funnel is filled with
warm water which forces the nematodes into a vessel below.
An obstruction placed in the path of water moving at a
high velocity, e.g., a pier on the Apron of an over-flow dam.
A set of vanes, guides, or similar devices placed in a con-
duit to check eddy currents below them, and provide a more
uniform distribution of velocities.
The maximum number of individuals of a species that a
hunter may take legally.
A tropical cyclone or Typhoon, a term used in the
Outwash slopes with long straight longitudinal profiles,
occur in southwestern United States.
Balance of Nature (Ecological Balance)
The state in an Ecosystem (q. v.) when the interrelation-
ships of organisms to one another and to their environment
are harmonious or integrated to a considerable degree, e.g.,
a climax forest. This balance may be upset in many ways
such as by a drastic change in environmental conditions (ero-
sion followed by death of many plants) or by a great increase
in numbers of a certain organism (grasshoppers in grass-
lands). See Dynamic equilibrium.
Refers to barnacles.
A treeless area in a forest vegetation, especially in the
southern Appalachians, occupied by grasses or shrubs usually.
Shallow swamps in Paraguay.
A generalization that organisms and communities tend
to come into a state of Dynamic equilibrium (q. v.) with
A general term for a social group of two or more mobile
animals of the same species, e.g., a herd of deer, pack of
Water absorbed by the bed and banks of a stream and
returned in whole or in part after the Ground-water level
(1) A deposit of sand or rock particles forming a ridge
along the coast, usually at the mouth of a stream or across
a bay. (2) A unit of atmospheric pressure equivalent to 29.53
inches (750.1 mm) of mercury at 32 F. in latitude 45.
A species in which the seed, fruit, or other Propagule is
disseminated largely by its own weight, e.g., walnut fruit,
cf. Autochore, Diaspore.
A distinctive isolated sand dune which is crescent-shaped
with the ends projecting leeward, common in Turkestan.
A general term for all the tissues outside of the cambium
in stems of trees; outer part may be dead, inner part is living.
The continuous record made by a self-registering
A self-registering barometer.
An instrument for measuring the atmospheric pressure,
cf. Aneroid barometer.
Response by locomotion of an organism or part of an
organism in response to a barometric stimulus.
Reaction by growth curvature of a plant or a sedentary
animal in response to a barometric stimulus.
An area in which vegetation is absent or poorly developed.
(1) A topographic feature or a physical or biological con-
dition that restricts or prevents migration of organisms or
prevents establishment of organisms that have migrated.
(2) A condition that prevents or appreciably reduces cross-
breeding of organisms.
(1) The area of the cross section of a tree at height of
4.5 feet above* the ground, usually expressed as the summa-
tion of the basal area of the trees in a forest in square feet
per acre. (2) The surface of the soil actually covered or
occupied by a plant, especially the basal part, as compared
to the full spread of the herbage; in grassland ecology often
measured at one inch above the ground surface, syn. Basal
cover, Ground cover, cf. Cover.
See Basal area (2).
The rate of physiological processes in an organism when
it is carrying on a minimum of its life processes such as
respiration in order to remain alive.
Base Exchange Capacity
A measure of the absorptive capacity of a soil for bases,
or exchangeable cations. A soil with a high base exchange
capacity will retain more plant nutrients and is less subject
to leaching than one with a low exchange capacity.
Stream flow originating from subterranean sources in
contrast to flow from surface run-off.
The lowest level to which a land surface can be reduced
by streams; the permanent base level is the level of the sea.
The Haploid (q. v.) number of chromosomes (as found
in sperms or eggs, gametes) in those species with the lowest
number in a Polyploid series, or sometimes postulated for
a species that is extinct or unknown.
The proportion of the Base exchange capacity that is
saturated with metallic cations.
A method of irrigation in which a level area is sur-
rounded by an earth ridge so that a shallow body of water
may accumulate prior to infiltration.
Alkind of land tillage in which small dams at intervals
of 15 to 25 feet are formed across furrows to form basins
for collecting water after precipitation, thus retarding runoff
Refers to the development of organs in plants in which
the oldest are at the apex, the youngest at the base. cf.
Refers to organisms which possess adaptations for life
in alkaline soil or in an alkaline medium, e.g. A triplex spp.
The deep part of the ocean into which light does not
Refers to life in the Bathyal zone.
Refers to deep portions of the ocean, not including the
A structure consisting of a spherical chamber in which
man can descend deep into the ocean to make observations.
A marshy body of water caused by seepage, lack of
drainage, or floods, tributary to a stream or lake, in flat
country. A term used in the Gulf Coast region and in the
lower Mississippi River basin.
The line or zone of demarcation between land and water
of lakes, seas, etc. Barrier beach; a ridge of deposits separated
from the mainland by an interval of water.
(1) Barrier beach pool is a shallow lagoon formed inland
from Barrier beaches. (2) Sand spit beach pool is a shallow
lagoon generally sigmoid-shaped inland from a sand Spit,
characteristically on the protected side of a headland.
A series of numbers devised by Francis Beaufort in 1805
to designate approximate wind velocities ranging from for
a calm to 12 for a hurricane with wind velocity in excess of
75 miles per hour.
A thermometer graduated to 0.01 degree and covering a
scale of 6 to 7 degrees.
Soil, rocks, and other debris rolled along the bottom of
a stream by moving water, in contrast to "silt load" which
is carried in suspension.
The solid rock underlying soils or other surface materials.
A reaction of an animal that aids in the satisfaction of
The reaction of an animal that is not pertinent to the
stimulus, as when it cannot respond appropriately or when
two or more incompatible drives are present.
A fixed pattern of action that is inherited.
A comparatively narrow area or strip of vegetation with
distinctive characteristics from adjoining areas or vegetation.
cf . Zone.
A strip of vegetation, usually a few inches or feet wide,
in which the constituent plants are recorded or mapped.
A point of reference used in elevation surveys.
A shelf-like embankment of earth constructed along the
contour of sloping land to control run-off and erosion, cf.
Refers to the bottom of any body of water. In the ocean
the benthic division is divided into the Littoral, Sublittoral,
Archibenthic, Abyssal-benthic zones, (q. v.). cf. Pelagic.
Organisms which live on or in the bottom of the ocean or
bodies of fresh water, from the water's edge down to the
greatest depths, cf. Nekton.
Bergmann's Principle (Rule)
The generalization which states that Homoiothermal
(q. v.) animals such as birds and mammals in cold regions
tend to be larger in size and have a lower ratio of body
surface to body weight than related animals in warmer
climates. The reverse relationship is shown by Poikilo-
thermous animals, especially amphibians and reptiles, cf.
An apparatus in which soil or debris is placed in a funnel,
heat and light applied from above as a rule, which forces
mites, collembolons, etc., into a vessel below, cf. Baermann
funnel, Tullgren funnel.
High-speed electrons given off by radioactive substances.
A stream of Beta particles with greater power of penetra-
tion in the tissues of organisms than Alpha rays (q. v.).
A master soil horizon between A and C Horizons (q. v.),
a layer of Illuviation (q. v.) in which materials from overlying
horizons are deposited. B! is transitional between A 3 and B 2 ,
but more like B than A. B 2 is the layer of maximum illuvia-
tion especially of silicate clay materials, or of iron and
organic materials, or with maximum development of blocky
or prismatic structure. B 3 is transitional between B and C
horizons, often absent.
Refers to a Taxon (q. v.) with two centers of dispersion
A plant that lives for two years, usually blooming and
fruiting only in the second year and then dying, e.g. carrot.
A plant that flowers in both spring and autumn.
An organism which can be divided so that each half is
the mirror image of the other, e.g., vertebrates, snapdragon
flower, syn. zygomorphy. cf. symmetry.
A name of organisms consisting of two words, e.g.,
Quercus alba, the white oak; the first name is the genus, the
second the species.
The employment of living organisms to test the effects
of a substance such as feeding rats with food containing
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (B.O.D.)
A test for the detection and measurement of pollution in
which the quantity of oxygen that has been used by oxidiz-
able materials under standardized conditions is determined.
A subdivision of the Biocycle (q. v.) It comprises a group
of Biotopes (q. v.) which resemble one another. The princi-
pal biochores are grassland, forest, savanna, and desert. The
desert biochore includes sandy desert and stony desert bio-
topes, cf. Biosphere.
Bioclimatic Law (Hopkins)
The generalization that in temperate North America
Phenological events generally occur at the average rate of
four days to each degree of latitude, 5 of longitude, and
400 feet of altitude; later northward, eastward, or upward
in spring and early summer, and earlier in late summer and
The study of the interrelations of organisms and climate.
The study of communities including qualitative and
quantitative analyses; the Synecology, Synchorology, Dynam-
ics, and classification of communities.
The aggregate of interacting organisms living together
in a particular habitat, e.g., an oyster-bed community, usually
containing producer, consumer, reducer, and transformer
organisms, cf. Ecosystem, Community, Association.
A subdivision of the Biosphere (q. v.). Biocycles usually
recognized are saltwater, freshwater, and land; each consist-
ing of Biochores (q. v.) cf. Biotope.
The mathematical treatment of population problems.
The branch of biology that deals with the interrelations
of organisms among themselves and with their environments,
stressing the inclusion of both plants and animals, cf. Ecology.
The principle that living organisms can originate only
from other living organisms, cf. Spontaneous generation.
Refers to biological origin.
The circulation of chemical elements such as nitrogen,
carbon, etc., in specific ways from the environment into
organic substances in animals and plants and back again into
A concrete or actual Ecosystem (q. v.), e.g., a certain bog.
The branch of biology that deals with the geographic
distribution of plants and animals, cf. Plant geography,
Preliminary treatment for seeds with chemicals to stim-
The rhythmic occurrence of processes in organisms at
periodically timed intervals, e.g., the ejection of spores by
the fungus Pilobolus sphaerosporus.
The use of organisms or viruses to control parasites,
weeds, or other pests, e.g. control of the cottony-cushion scale
by the lady beetle, prickly pear cactus in Australia by the
insect Cactoblastis cactorum.
The ratio of the productivity of an organism, or a group
of organisms, to that of its supply of energy, cf. Productivity.
See Biotic balance.
An influence resulting from biological as distinct from
physical and chemical agents, including both Biotic factors
(q. v.) and physiologic factors such as Hormones.
Biological Race (Strain)
A group of organisms which differ only in their physio-
logical or ecological behaviour from other groups in the same
A tabulation by percentages of the plants of a community
or region into the life-form classes according to Raunkiaer's
classification (q. v.).
Biological products such as vaccines, serums, etc.
Emission of light by living organisms such as fireflies,
jelly fish, etc., popularly "phosphorescence."
The total quantity at a given time of living organisms of
one or more species per unit of space (species biomass), or of
all the species in a community (community biomass). cf.
Yield, Productivity , Standing crop.
A major biotic community composed of all the plants and
animals and communities, including the successional stages
of an area; the communities possess certain similarities in
physiognomy and in environmental conditions. Similar to
Formation (q. v.), e.g., the North American grassland, cf.
Biotic province, Biome-type.
A group of similar Biomes, e. g., the temperate deciduous
biome-type which includes the deciduous forests of eastern
North America, China and Manchuria, and Europe.
The application of the science of statistics to the study
The study of organisms in relation to each other and to
the environment, cf. Ecology.
Plant and animal life.
The living components of the Seston (q. v.).
See Facilitation, social.
The portion of the earth and its atmosphere that is ca-
pable of supporting life; may be subdivided into Biocycles,
Biochores, Biotopes (q. v.).
The study of living organisms for the purpose of recog-
nizing and differentiating biotic units and their classification
into taxa on the basis of genetic relationships.
All of the species of plants and animals occurring within
a certain area or region.
The divisions according to Merriam of the flora and
fauna of North America on the basis of temperature data.
Refers to life, living.
A general term to denote any large area that can be delim-
ited from adjacent areas on the basis of the composition of
Biotic Balance (Biological Equilibrium)
The state of more or less self-regulation of the- numbers
of plants and animals in a community, brought about by
interactions within and between species and by the effects of
environmental conditions, cf. Life-cycle, Balance of nature,
Pyramid of numbers.
According to Dice a subdivision of a Biotic Province, dis-
tinguished by ecologic differences of less importance than
those that separate biotic provinces.
The living parts of the environment of an organism or
group of organisms.
See Biotic balance, Balance of nature.
Environmental influences caused by plants or animals
such as shading by trees or trampling by animals, sometimes
used to include effects of non-living organic matter, cf. Bio-
logical factor, Coaction.
See Biotic factor.
The inherent capacity of an organism to reproduce and
survive, which is pitted against limiting influences of the
environment, cf. Reproductive potential, Environmental
The activities of an enlarging population to maintain
itself and spread, or the tendency of one or more species to
extend its range, cf. Population pressure.
A major ecologic portion of a continent, occupying a
continuous geographic area, containing one or more regional
communities of plants and animals, e.g., Hudsonian biotic
province which occupies most of Canada and Alaska (Dice),
cf. Biome, Formation.
A growth-promoting or stimulatory substance (vitamin
H), a member of the vitamin B complex.
The smallest geographic unit of a habitat, characterized
by a high degree of uniformity in the environment and in its
plant and animal life, e.g., a decaying stump, a sandy beach,
A group of individuals occurring in nature, all with
essentially the same genetic constitution. A species usually
consists of many biotypes. cf. Ecotype.
Discontinuous distribution of a Taxon in the northern
and southern hemispheres.
A generalization which states that the Thermocline (q.v.)
is the transition stratum in lakes in which the temperature
decreases at the rate of at least 1C. per meter of depth.
A line transect which shows the vertical and lateral dis-
tribution of roots along the side of a trench in the soil and
the above-ground parts of the plants along the line.
The presence of functional male and female organs in
the same plant or animal, cf. Hermaphrodite, Dioecious,
A pair of Homologous chromosomes in a certain stage of
Refers to organisms with two generations a year. cf. Uni-
Highly alkaline soil covered with a dark incrustation of
carbonates of sodium or potassium, cf . A Ikali soil, Saline soil.
A storm in which the cold wind, usually of high velocity,
drives fine snow and often ice crystals; the visibility is greatly
(1) A fine pale gray granular layer, often waxy, occurring
commonly on the surface of plant organs such as leaves and
fruits, e. g., the grape fruit. (2) A sudden appearance of brief
duration of large numbers of minute organisms, usually
algae, in bodies of water.
An excavation in loose soil, usually sand, produced by
The chronological series of floras and kinds of vegetation
following the last glaciation in Scandinavia; comprising the
boreal, Atlantic, sub-boreal, and sub-Atlantic stages.
An undrained or imperfectly drained area, with a vegeta-
tion complex composed of sedges, shrubs (Ericaceous, espe-
cially), and sphagnum mosses, typically with peat formation;
often with an area of open water. Frequently used in various
meanings, in the sense of Marsh, Swamp, Moor, Fen. cf.
Muskeg, Heath, Raised bog.
A mucky or peaty surface horizon underlaid by peat.
The unbranched trunk or stem of a tree.
A depression lacking exterior drainage in an arid or semi-
arid region, term used in southwestern United States and
The state of well being of a population, as indicated by
the number of individuals, cf. Ecological bonitation.
Ridges of earth constructed to hold irrigation water
within certain limits in a field.
Flooding areas in fields by the use of Border dikes.
A zone or strip surrounding a sample plot, usually given
the same treatment as the plot.
A tidal wave with an abrupt front often three or more
feet high, advancing upstream in a narrow river estuary.
The forest consisting chiefly of conifers extending across
northern North America from Newfoundland to Alaska.
Boreal Life Zone
One of Merriam's life zones including northern North
America, Boreal forest and Tundra vegetation, bounded at
its southern limit by growth-season accumulated temperature
above 43 F. of 1 0,000 F. and a mean daily temperature of
64.4 F. for the six hottest weeks. Subdivided into the Arctic,
Hudsonian, and Canadian life zones.
The climatic period from about 7500 to 5500 B. C.,
characterized by warm, dry conditions; preceded by the
Preboreal period (8000-7500 B. C.) with variable climate, and
the Subarctic period (9000-8000 B. C.) with cold, dry climate,
cf. Sub-boreal period.
Organic and inorganic materials deposited beneath water
and upon the original basin or channel floor.
Animal components of the Benthos (q. v.).
See Flood plain.
Unstratified clay intermixed with many stones, deposited
by glaciers, cf. Till, Drift.
Refers to organisms with short wings.
A height of 4.5 feet (1.3 meters) above the average ground
surface or above the root collar, diameters of standing trees
are ordinarily measured at this height. (Abbreviation is
d. b. h.).
A rock composed of angular pieces in a matrix.
Breeding (Plants, Animals)
The application of genetics and other sciences in the
systematic improvement of a Taxon or a population.
See Reproductive potential.
A terrace 10 to 20 inches high, 15 to 30 feet wide, with
gently sloping sides, a rounded crown, and a dish-shaped
channel on the upper side, built to divert run-off water along
Scattering seed on the surface of the soil as contrasted to
seeding with a drill in rows. cf. Drill seeding.
Brown Forest Soils
A group of soils with dark brown surface horizons, rela-
tively rich in humus, becoming lighter colored below,
slightly acid or neutral, with moderate amount of exchange-
able calcium; commonly developed under deciduous forests
that are relatively rich in bases, particularly calcium.
Brown Podzolic Soils
A group of soils with thin mats of partly decayed leaves
above a thin, grayish brown layer containing mineral matter
and humus; overlying yellow or yellowish brown acid B
horizons; developed under deciduous or mixed deciduous-
coniferous forests in cool temperate, humid regions.
A group of soils with brown surface horizon, becoming
lighter in color with depth; accumulation of calcium carbon-
ate at depth of one to three feet; developed under grassland
and shrubs in temperate to cool semiarid climate.
(1) Twigs or shoots, with or without attached leaves, of
shrubs, trees, or woody vines grazed by livestock. (2) To
graze plant parts as in (1).
A line marking the height to which browsing animals
have removed the Browse from shrubs, trees, or vines.
The cycle of about 35 years in average length (25 to 50
years) which includes an alternation of a warm dry period
and a cold damp period.
An area characterized by shrubby vegetation.
(1) A matting of branches placed on eroded land to con-
serve moisture and reduce erosion while trees or other vegeta-
tion is being established. (2) A matting of mesh wire and
brush used to retard streambank erosion.
A pasture with a natural cover of trees and shrubs, where
a large part of the forage secured by livestock comes from
browsing woody plants.
A small animal such as a tardigrade, rotifer, and nema-
tode which live among moss plants.
A plant in the phylum Bryophyta comprising mosses,
liverworts, and hormvorts.
(1) A form of grafting, by inserting a bud with a small
amount of tissue at its base into a slit made in the stem of
the stock plant. (2) A form of asexual reproduction in which
a new cell grows out from the parent cell, e.g., yeast plants.
A depression in grassland made by buffalo or cattle while
trampling or wallowing, followed by denudation and loss of
The modification of environmental conditions by vegeta-
tion or topographic features, e.g., shading, cf. Reaction.
A plant or animal which may provide an alternative food
for another animal and thus reduce the demand for certain
A strip of grassland or other erosion-resistant vegetation
planted on the contour between or below cultivated strips
(1) An area or strip surrounding a study-area or other
specific area in part or entirely to protect the inner area from
ecological disturbance by influences from the outside. (2)
A publicly owned range area adjoining a privately owned
range tract, which may be used to supplement the range
on the latter.
A small bulb or modified bulb by which the plant is
The mass or weight of oven-dry (100-1 10C.) soil per unit
of bulk volume, including air space.
A grass which forms a tuft or bunch, many stems arising
from the root-crown in a dense mass, e.g., orchard grass,
Rank of dehorned cattle in a herd, determined by aggres-
An explanation of the role of morphological features that
decrease the rate of sinking of plankton.
One or more layers of soil which was formerly at the
surface followed by covering with ash, sand, or some other
form of deposition.
A scar on a tree where the tissues were damaged by fire,
it may be partly or entirely covered by later-formed tissues.
(1) a shrub. (2) An area covered by shrubs or forest,
especially in Australia and South Africa; also used for any
An isolated hill with steep sides and a comparatively
flat top, smaller than a Mesa, term used in western United
A lateral plank-like extension near the base of some trees,
gives additional support to the tree.
A type of vegetation consisting of thorn scrub in north-
Resembling a cactus, e.g., Euphorbia spp. in northern
Special adaptations of embryonic or young stages of an
animal to environmental conditions, which are more recent
in evolution than adaptations in the adult, e.g., mosquito
larvae with special spiracular openings, cf. Deuterogenesis.
An area denuded of vegetation and used for agriculture
in southeast Asia.
A pile of stones used as a landmark.
Refers to material containing calcium in moderate to
large amounts, especially soil with calcium carbonate,
Partially decomposed, soft, organic material mixed with
a considerable proportion of calcareous material on the bot-
tom of some bodies of water.
An organism, usually a plant, growing in soil rich in
A soil process in which the surface soil is supplied with
calcium by the decomposition of plants or in which a
calcareous layer is formed in the soil. cf. Podzolization.
A plant that grows best in acid soil. See Acidophilous.
A plant that grows best in calcareous soil. See Basophilous.
An Acidophilous (q. v.) plant.
A large basin-like depression with steep sides in the top
of a volcanic mountain, e.g., Crater Lake, Oregon.
A calcareous hardpan in southwestern United States, also
applied to deposits of sodium nitrate in Chile and Peru.
The outer whorl of flower parts, made up of sepals,
usually green and resembling leaves or bracts, or with other
colors in some flowers.
A layer of Meristem (q. v.) cells and the undifferentiated
daughter cells; used preferably for vascular cambium (which
gives rise to parenchyma, secondary xylem, and secondary
phloem in dicotyledons and gymnosperms) and for cork
Refers to the oldest geological period in the Paleozoic
era, about 500 million years ago.
A vegetation type in Brazil composed of scattered trees
in dense grassland.
Grasslands or savanna located south of the equatorial
forests in Brazil.
Canadian Life Zone
The southern half of the coniferous forest area of the
Boreal life zone (q. v.).
The uppermost layer consisting of crowns of trees or
shrubs in a forest or woodland.
Trees with crowns in the uppermost layer of forest or
See Land capability.
The genetically determined range (or plasticity) of reac-
tions of an organism which enable it to respond in different
ways to a variety of conditions.
A formula used in hydraulics to calculate the capacity
or discharge volume of a channel.
The aggregate volume of small pores within the soil
which retain water against the force of gravity.
The portion of soil water which is held by cohesion as a
continuous film around particles and in spaces; most of it
is available to plants.
The process of Pollination by wasps in the commercial
(1) A dry, dehiscent fruit consisting of several Carpels.
(2) A sac-like tissue surrounding an organ. (3) Organs in some
plants such as mosses in which spores are produced.
A hard case or shield covering part of the body of some
animals, e.g., crabs.
An organic compound consisting of carbon, hydrogen,
and oxygen, such as sugars, starch, and cellulose.
A layer in the soil with a concentration of carbonates,
chiefly calcium carbonate, found especially in arid regions.
The circulation of carbon from carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere into sugar by photosynthesis in plants, synthesis
of more complex organic compounds in plants and animals,
and the return by respiration or death and decay of plant
and animal tissues to carbon dioxide.
Carbon- 14 Dating
The use of radioactive carbon which has an atomic mass
of 14 and an approximate half-life of 5,500 years, for deter-
mining approximately the age of soils, buried materials
such as wood, and other organic materials. See Radiation,
Refers to the Pennsylvanian (Upper Carboniferous) and
the Mississippian (Lower Carboniferous) geological periods
in the upper part of the Paleozoic era, about 200-260 mil-
lion years ago.
A substance that produces cancer.
The four chief directions of the compass; south, east,
north, and west.
An animal in the order Carnivora such as the dog, cat,
bear, and seal.
Refers to carnivores or to plants such as the sundew that
trap and digest insects and other small animals.
Carolinian Life Zone
One of the divisions of the Upper Austral life zone. See
Austral life zone.
An orange-yellow pigment, a hydrocarbon, which occurs
commonly in plants, especially in the roots of carrots, a
precursor of vitamin A.
The part of the flower, usually consisting of stigma, style,
and ovary, the latter producing one or more ovules which
develop into seeds, syn. simple pistil. Two or more carpels
may be fused to form a compound pistil.
(1) The maximum number of a wildlife species which
a certain territory will support through the most critical
period of the year. (2) The maximum quantity of the
Standing crop (q. v.) which can be maintained indefinitely
on an area. (3) See Grazing capacity.
(1) A protuberance, usually fleshy, near the hilum of a
seed such as the castor bean. (2) A fleshy, naked outgrowth
on the head and neck of certain birds, e.g., wattles of the
An indehiscent, dry, one-seeded fruit in which the peri-
carp (ovary wall) and seed coats are united, e.g., grain of corn.
One of the kinds of specialized individuals in social
insects such as termites, ants, and bees, e.g. drones, workers.
Species which occur rarely or without regularity in a
The aggregate of metabolic processes such as respiration
and digestion by which organic compounds are changed into
simpler substance's, cf. Anabolism, Metabolism.
Refers to the migration of organisms, usually fish, from
fresh to salt water to spawn, e.g., eel.
The condition of muscular rigidity in which the body
and limbs maintain the position in which they are placed.
An animal derived by crossing cattle and buffalo.
Refers to an aquatic habitat in which slow decomposition
of organic matter is taking place, organic substances are given
off into the medium, and much oxygen is used but not
enough to prohibit the occurrence of aerobic organisms, cf.
Oligosaprobic, Polysaprobic, Mesosaprobic.
A crop grown incidentally to the main crop of a farm
and usually occupying the land for a short period; or a crop
grown to replace a main crop which has failed.
A unit watershed, an area from which all the drainage
water passes into one stream or other body of water.
A group of soils within a specific soil zone, formed from
similar parent materials but with unlike characteristics
because of differences in relief and drainage.
An ion carrying a positive charge of electricity such as
calcium, sodium, and hydrogen, cf. Anion.
The exchange of cations held by soil absorbing materials
such as calcium replacing sodium when calcium sulfate is
added to a sodium-rich soil.
A measure of the total quantity of exchangeable cations
that a soil can hold; preferable to base-exchange capacity.
Refers to the tail of an organism.
Refers to the possession of a tail by an organism.
Refers to a plant which has a readily perceived stem
Refers to a woody plant that produces an Inflorescence
directly from the trunk or one of the chief branches, e.g., the
Refers to the stem of a plant.
An organism that lives in a cave.
A gall produced by an insect or a fungus on a plant.
The solution in water of organic and inorganic substances
in the Vacuole of a plant cell.
The principal component of cell walls of plants, a com-
A group of species in nature distinguished only by factors
external to the organisms, or the various forms of a species
under domestication, a "superspecies."
Refers to the geological era extending from 40 million
years or more ago to the present era which began about one
million years ago.
Center of Dispersal
The area from which a Taxon has spread or is spreading.
Center of Origin
The area in which a Taxon originated and from which
it has spread.
A measure of the conformation of the human head, the
breadth in percentage of the length (front to back).
A plant in the grass family, Gramineae, the grains of
which are used for human food, e.g., maize, wheat, and oats.
Seeds that have been approved by a certifying agency as
qualifying under established standards of germination, free-
dom from diseases and weeds, and trueness to variety.
Refers to plants with branches, short stems that are
usually covered with leaves, forming dense tufts or cushions.
An animal in the class Cestoda, including the tapeworms.
A Mammal in the order Cetacea, including whales,
dolphins, and porpoises.
(1) A dry, thin scale found especially as bracts in flower
heads of many Composites. (2) The outer layers of cells of
grains removed during threshing.
A gray or white form of limestone composed mostly of
the remains of small marine organisms, with a very high
content of calcium carbonate.
One of the classes of Raunkiaer's life-forms, consisting
of plants whose Perennating buds are located between the
surface of the ground and a height of 10 inches (25 cm.).
Low and often dense scrub vegetation characterized by
shrubs or dwarf trees with mostly evergreen and often hard
leaves such as oaks and buckbrush, cf. Maquis.
An attribute or property of an organism, functional or
structural, modifiable by environmental conditions within
genetically determined limits.
Character (Characteristic) Species
The species in classes 3, 4, and 5 of Braun-Blanquet's
fidelity classification. Class 5 includes species occurring ex-
clusively or almost so in a particular kind of plant com-
munity; class 4 contains species that show a strong preference
for one kind of community but occurs sparingly in others;
class 3 contains species that often occur in several kinds of
communities but the optimum growth is found in only one
kind. cf. Fidelity.
A group of species in a community-type, which comprises
the Character species and other species that have a Constancy
rating above 80 per cent (varies with authors from 60 to 90
A chart or map of a sample area showing the location
and area of each plant.
A plant growing in the crevice of rocks, e.g., saxifrages,
A small low dam constructed in a watercourse to decrease
the velocity of stream flow and to promote the deposition of
A condition found in temperate lakes of the second order
during the summer and winter stagnation periods in which
certain horizontal strata become different chemically from
adjacent ones, often with abrupt transitions.
The kind of nutrition found in various bacteria in which
energy is secured from the oxidation of inorganic materials.
Movement of an organism induced by a chemical
Refers to an organism that obtains energy from a chemi-
cal reaction, excluding light, e.g., sulfur bacteria, cf. Hetero-
trophic, Autotrophic, Phototrophic.
Growth of an organism in response to a chemical
A zonal group of soils with deep, dark brown to black,
fertile surface soil, rich in organic matter, grading into lighter
colored soil below, and containing a calcium carbonate layer
at a depth ranging from 1.5 to 4 feet. Associated with tall
grassland in a temperate to cool, subhumid climate.
A zonal groups of soils with dark brown surface horizons
grading into lighter colored soil below, and a calcium carbon-
ate layer varying in depth from 1 to 4 feet. Associated with
grassland in temperate to cool and subhumid to semiarid
climates, in moister regions than Brown soils, drier than
A plant that can endure long-lasting snow-cover during
winter and spring, or one that requires snow-cover in winter.
A plant that cannot tolerate long-lasting snow-cover, or
one that can live with little or no snow-cover during winter.
The condition in animals caused by exposure to low tem-
perature in which most of the physiological processes have
been slowed down or arrested.
An organ with genetically different tissues adjacent to
each other, e.g., a green leaf with an area of white tissue.
A warm, dry wind descending the eastern slopes of the
Rocky Mountains in North America onto the adjacent
plains, cf. Foehn. In Washington and Oregon coast country
a warm, moist, southwest wind.
A nitrogen-containing polysaccharide forming a hard
outer layer in many Invertebrates, especially insects; found
also in the cell walls of many fungi.
In plants Parenchyma cells containing Chloroplasts.
The chloride content of a solution, the average in sea-
water is 19.3 per cent.
A mixture of chlorophyll a and chlorophyll b, the green
pigments contained in Chloroplasts in plants, except in the
blue-green algae. Photosynthesis is carried on in chlorophyll.
The protoplasmic body or plastid in the cells of plants
that contains the Chlorophyll.
The condition of plants when chlorophyll fails to develop,
the plants are yellowish white to white arid poorly developed.
Refers to a plant that has Chlorosis.
A plant that grows in a fissure or crevice in rock, or
on ledges where rocks have accumulated, cf. Chasmophyte.
An animal in the phylum Chordata, characterized by a
notochord, a dorsal central nervous system, and gill slits,
e.g., the Vertebrates.
A corolla consisting of separate petals, syn. polypetalous.
In soils the unconsolidated, partly weathered rock frag-
ments from which the upper A and B Horizons (q. v.), have
developed; occasionally lacking, cf. D horizon.
The study of regions or areas, cf. Synchorology.
A term occasionally used for the water in soil that is
available to plants for absorption.
One of the halves of a divided Chromosome.
Material in the nucleus and chromosomes which stains
deeply with certain dyes.
(1) A Plastid (q. v.) which contains pigment in a plant
cell, e.g., Chloroplast, Chromoplast. (2) In animals a cell or
group of cells with pigment which has the capability of
Refers to the capability of an organism to produce color
in a substance, e.g., certain bacteria.
A plastid other than a Chloroplast, containing pigment,
usually yellowish or red in color.
The threadlike or rodlike bodies bearing genes in the
cells of plants and animals, formed from chromatin during
the process of cell division.
A vortical disturbance in the vicinity of the Gulf of
California, resembling Dust whirls on land and Waterspouts
over water; reaches rather great heights and becomes violent
enough to capsize small craft.
A high-velocity conduit for conveying water to a lower
level without causing erosion because of excessive velocity
Refers to stems that are fleshy, e.g., cactus stem.
Refers to leaves that are fleshy, e.g., agave leaves.
A semi-fluid substance, the partly digested food passing
from the stomach into the duodenum.
Refers to a row of minute hairs along the margin of a
structure or organ of organism.
The hairlike, protoplasmic outgrowths on the surface of
Refers to color that resembles ashes.
Circle of Vegetation
All of the species and communities that are restricted, or
nearly so, to a natural vegetation unit, the highest unit of
floristic classification according to Braun-Blanquet.
One of the concentric circles or ridges on a fish scale.
Refers to organisms occurring in North ' America and
Refers to organisms that occur in the polar regions of
A deeply eroded depression with steep slopes in areas
which have been glaciated, syn. Corrie.
A modified stem that has the appearance and the func-
tions of a leaf, e.g., asparagus, syn. Phylloclade.
A group of animals that includes several interrelated
families, or a group of plants arising from a common pro-
genitor such as a group of young plants around the parent.
A unit of classification of organisms, composed of orders,
e.g. Monocotyledons, Mammals.
Club-shaped, larger at one end.
A bone in the shoulder girdle of many vertebrates.
(1) Small mineral particles of the soil, less than 0.002
mm. in diameter. (2) Soil material that contains 40 per cent
or more of clay particles, less than 45 per cent of sand, and
less than 40 per cent of silt.
Soil material that contains 27 to 40 per cent of clay
particles and 20 to 45 per cent of sand, the rest of silt.
A layer of compact and relatively impervious clay, not
cemented, but hard when dry and plastic or stiff when wet;
similar to a true hardpan in that it may interfere with the
movement of water or with the development of roots.
Cultivation of a field to prevent the growth of all plants
except the particular kind of crop wanted.
Clear Cutting (Felling)
The felling of all merchantable trees in an area in one
operation, cf. Selective cutting.
(1) An area of land from which trees and shrubs have
been removed. (2) One of the steps in the preparation of a
tissue for microscopic observation.
Refers to Self-pollination (q. v.) in flowers that do not
open, e.g., some violets.
A great change in a physiologic process, e.g., a pro-
nounced rise in the respiration rate at about the time that
some fruits such as the apple are picked, or the menopause
in human beings.
The aggregate of all atmospheric or meteorological influ-
ences, principally moisture, temperature, wind, pressure, and
evaporation, which combine to characterize a region, cf.
Weather. Continental climate is the characteristic climate
of land areas separated from the moderating influence of
the oceans by distance or mountain barriers, marked by
relatively large daily and seasonal changes in temperature.
Oceanic climate is the characteristic type of climate of land
areas near oceans which have a moderating influence on the
range of variations in temperature.
The Climax (q. v.) that develops on land (moderately
rolling to level) that is neither excessively nor inadequately
drained in a region, so that the major environmental condi-
tions affecting organisms are climatic, e.g., the beech-maple
forest in southern Michigan. Theoretically, the ultimate
phase of ecological development of communities that the
climate of a given region will permit, cf. Monoclimax,
Edaphic climax, Polyclimax.
Atmospheric or meteorological conditions which collec-
tively make up the Climate (q. v.) cf. Biotic factor, Edaphic
factor, Factor ecological.
(1) The major vegetation type in a region, e.g., the
temperate climatic grassland comprising the prairie and
plains grassland in the United States and Canada, cf. Biome.
(2) A complex of communities which are geographically
linked with one another because of climatic conditions, an
extremely complex vegetation unit. cf. Climatic climax.
One of the main portions of the earth's surface delimited
on the basis of Climate such as the polar, temperate, sub-
tropical, and tropical; each with subdivisions.
The study of Climates and their influences.
The kind of community capable of perpetuation under
the prevailing climatic and edaphic conditions; the terminal
stage of a Sere under the prevailing conditions. The physi-
ographic climax is a climax determined in large measure by
the nature of the topography or soil, e.g., a forest climax on
a north-facing slope while grassland is the climax on the
south-facing slope of the same ridge. The edaphic climax
is a climax determined largely by the nature of the soil
conditions, e.g., a saltgrass marsh in a poorly drained alkaline
depression in grassland. A biotic 'climax is a climax caused
by a permanent influence or combination of influences caused
by one or more kinds of organisms, including man. cf.
Climatic climax, Succession.
A region occupied by the same Climax.
The totality of Seres that lead to a Climatic climax
(q. v.), occupying a large area corresponding to a Climatic
A major Climax occupying a large area, e.g., the decidu-
ous forest formation, cf. Climatic formation.
The units of a Climatic climax (q. v.); Association, Con-
sociation, Society, Clan.
A pattern or complex of Climax (q. v.) stages correspond-
ing to the pattern of environmental gradients or habitats.
A chart in which one climatic factor such as the mean
monthly temperature is plotted against another factor such
as the mean monthly precipitation or the mean relative
A series of climatic data for different places in an area.
A gradation in genetic properties of a population along
an environmental gradient.
An instrument for measuring the angle of a slope.
A series of different Climaxes (q. v.) in a particular area
resulting from changes in climate, e.g., the succession of
climaxes during post-glacial time in north central United
The terminal portion of the gut into which reproductive
and kidney ducts open, as for example in most Vertebrates
such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, and many fishes.
A mass of soil produced by plowing or digging.
Refers to a clone.
The progeny produced vegetatively, by Apomixis, or by
Parthenogenesis, from a common ancestor, cf. Ortet, Ramet.
A Community in which the Niches are so well occupied
by organisms that invasion by other organisms is difficult or
A Society (q. v.) in which strangers are rarely admitted,
e.g., many kinds of insect societies including bees.
A sudden and extremely heavy downpour of rain, espe-
cially in mountainous regions.
A forest occupying the parts of mountainous regions
where cloudiness or moisture condensation occurs regularly,
e.g., laurel forest in the Canary Islands.
The placing of materials such as silver iodide in the
clouds to produce precipitation.
The aggregate of eggs or the young of birds.
An Interaction (q. v.) among organisms, e.g., Competi-
tion, Cooperation, Symbiosis.
The correlated modification of two or more mutually
dependent organs or organisms, e.g., the structure of a
flower and the proboscis of an insect.
A plain between the sea and higher land, usually at a
A disease in poultry, rabbits, etc., caused by certain micro-
One of two or more of the dominants in a community.
Coefficient of Association
A measure of the joint occurrence of any two species not
due to chance, obtained by dividing the number of samples
in which both species occur by the number of samples in
which it is expected they would occur only by chance.
Coefficient of Community
The ratio of the number of species common to two com-
munities or areas to the total number of species occurring
in each of the communities, cf. Index of similarity.
Coefficient of Variation
The standard deviation expressed as a fraction of the
mean, or as a percentage.
An animal in the Invertebrate phylum Coelenterata, e.g.,
corals, sea-anemones, jellyfish.
The body cavity in many invertebrate and vertebrate
groups of animals.
A colony of organisms held together in a common sub-
stance, e.g., Volvox.
The sequence of natural communities in relation to
environmental gradients; the distribution of natural com-
munities in an Ecocline (q. v.).
A group of protoplasmic units; a structure with many
nuclei and no cross walls as occurs in a number of algae and
A group of Species in which hybridization is possible, cf.
A barrier constructed in a body of water so as to form
an enclosure from which the water is pumped, to permit free
access to the area within.
An artificial Savanna of cogongrass (Imperata spp.) in the
A high pass in a mountain range.
An alkaloid that inhibits Mitosis, obtained from the
autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale), used to produce
The settling of cold air in low places displacing the
less dense warm air, as at the mouth of a mountain canyon.
Land covered with snow and ice.
The boundary of a mass of cold air and a mass of warm
Cold Hardiness (Resistance)
The capacity of an organism to tolerate low temperatures.
An insect in the order Coleoptera, the beetles.
The sheath surrounding the Plumule in the early seed-
ling stage of plants in the grass family.
The sheath surrounding the Radicle in the early seedling
stage of plants in the grass family.
A small primitive insect in the order Collembola, the
Elongated, living cells with walls usually thickened
mostly in the corners, common in stems of herbaceous plants.
A substance in the colloidal state in which the dispersed
particles are larger than those in a true solution, ranging
from 0.001 to 0.1 micron in diameter.
Mixed deposits of soil material near the base of rather
steep slopes, accumulations from slides, soil creep, frost
action, and local wash.
The part of the large intestine excluding the rectum, of
Refers to organisms that form Colonies (q. v.).
Occupation of an area by a group of organisms, cf.
A group of individuals of one species, with a more or less
permanent location, e.g., a prairie dog "town."
The arrangement of soil particles in elongated, vertical,
blocky pieces with rounded tops. cf. Soil structure.
Combination of Species, Characteristic
See Characteristic combination of species.
One of the organisms reacting in Commensalisrn (q. v.).
The living together of two or more organisms with benefit
usually to one and with injury to none. cf. Symbiosis,
A measure of the extent to which ranches should share
in grazing privileges on nearby public land or cooperatively
controlled range, as determined by the forage resources of
the privately controlled property of the ranches involved.
A group of one or more populations of plants and animals
in a common spatial arrangement; an ecological unit used
in a broad sense to include groups of various sizes and de-
grees of integration, cf. Association, Biocoenosis, Concrete
community, See Stand. An Abstract community or Commu-
nity-type is an assemblage of stands, e.g., the oak-hickory
community-type, cf. Association. A Microcommunity is a
community or stand occupying a small area such as an area
of mosses between clumps of grass and a Microcommunity-
type consists of an assemblage of microstands. cf. Closed
A mixture of concrete communities or Stands, including
transitional stands, e.g., a sand-dune complex.
The aggregate of changes that take place within and be-
tween communities, cf. Succession, Syngenetics, Fluctuation.
The arrangement of two or more microstands making up
the plant and animal life of an area, such as the different
kinds of vegetation on the mounds and in the depressions in
a marsh or bog.
(1) See Abstract community. (2) -A group or class of
similar abstract communities.
According to Braun-Blanquet's Fidelity classification the
species of plants that are not restricted to any definite kind
of vegetation unit.
A crop which is grown with another crop, usually applied
to a small grain crop ("nurse crop") with which forage crops
The capacity of two organisms to crossbreed successfully.
The intensity of light at which the amount of oxygen
produced by Photosynthesis of a plant equals the oxygen
absorbed in Respiration.
Compensation Level (Point)
The depth in a body of water at which the Compensation
intensity of a given plant occurs.
The condition that exists when the requirements of one
or more of the organisms living in a community cannot be
obtained from the available supply of resources, cf. Exploita-
Competitive Exclusion Principle
A generalization "that states that as a result of competition
two similar species rarely if ever occupy the same ecological
Niche. Also termed Cause's principle, Grinnell's axiom.
An organism competing with one or more other organ-
Two or more genes that by their joint action produce a
A flower that has all of the usual parts; sepals, petals,
stamens, and one or more pistils.
See Community complex.
A gradient comprising a mixture or a combination of
environmental conditions, cf. Ecocline.
A plant in the family Compositae, e.g., aster, sunflower.
A pile of decomposing organic matter of plant or animal
origin in which soil or other amendments such as lime, nitro-
gen, and phosphorus may be mixed.
Color of plumage, pelage, scales, scutes, skin, or other
body covering which brings about some degree of conformity
in the appearance of an animal with its biotic or inanimate
Feed that has a high content of total digestible nutrients
and low fiber content, e. g., grain and grain by-products.
A substance that modifies the characteristics of a ma-
terial or medium to which it is added.
A numerical index, usually applied only to fishes, which
represents the relationship between length and weight of the
The modification of the environment of one or more or-
ganisms by their activities including Reactions and Coac-
tions, e. g., liberation of oxygen by water plants in an
The total electrolytic content of natural waters, deter-
mined by measuring the electrical conductivity.
The splitting of rocks caused by frost.
Refers to plants or animals in the same genus, e. g.,
Quercus alba and Q. rubra.
Any plant in the order Coniferales, e. g., pine, spruce, fir,
Refers to a Conifer, or to the order, Coniferales.
Usage or the aggregate of practices and customs of man
that permit the perpetuation and sustained yield of renew-
able resources and the prevention of waste of non-renewable
In the Clements usage a morphological part of a Climax
Association, characterized by the presence of one dominant,
e. g., the little bluestem and needlegrass consociations in
climax tall grass or true prairie.
In the Clements sense a morphological part of an As-
socies (q. v.), a developmental unit, characterized by the
presence of a single dominant, e. g., a stand of Russian thistle
in the first weed stage in secondary Succession.
The percentage of occurrence of a species in the total
number of plots, uniform in area, located in a number of
stands of one kind of Community-type or Abstract commun-
ity, cf. Presence.
Constants of a Community or Association
The species which show the highest degrees of Con-
stancy (q. v.); the most usual lower limit is 80 per cent, but
varies from 50 to 90 per cent, according to various schools.
Refers to plants whose Reactions or Coactions aid in the
development or persistence of a Community.
Consumer Organisms (Consumers)
Organisms which ingest other organisms or food par-
ticles, may be classified as primary, secondary, etc., depend-
ing upon their position in the Food chain (q. v.) or the
Trophic level (q. v.). cf. Producers.
The quantity of water used and transpired by vegetation
plus the amount lost by evaporation, syn. Evapotranspiration.
The non-random (above normal) occurrence of indi-
viduals of a species, forming aggregations, syn. over-disper-
sion, Hyperdispersion. cf. Normal dispersion, Hypodisper-
Continental Bridge Hypothesis
The hypothesis that the present-day continents were
once connected by isthmuses, or other areas of land.
Continental Drift Hypothesis
The hypothesis, advanced especially by Wegener, that
the presentnday continents were displaced horizontally from
the original mass of land to their present positions.
The parts of the world comprising the lower areas of con-
tinents and the continental shelves (q. v.).
The shallow, gently sloping portion of the seabottom
bordering a continent, down to a depth of about 100 fathoms.
The steeply sloping portion of the sea-bottom extending
seaward from the Continental shelf.
The practice of grazing the vegetation of an area without
interruption throughout the season, cf. Deferred grazing,
Continuum (Vegetation and Animal Life)
The occurrence of populations of organisms along a
gradient, forming a distribution pattern of intergrading pop-
(1) An imaginary line on the surface of the land which
connects points of the same altitude. (2) A line on a map
to show the location of points of the same altitude.
The performance of farming operations such as plow-
ing, seeding, and cultivating along contour lines.
Furrows located along contour lines on range or pasture
land to prevent or retard runoff and permit the infiltration
of water into the soil.
The vertical distance between two contour lines.
Contour Strip Cropping or Farming
The growing of crops on the strips between contour lines,
at right angles to the slope. Strips of grass or other plants may
be grown in alternation with the cultivated crops. A con-
servation practice to control or eliminate runoff and erosion,
and permit greater infiltration of water.
The chief limiting factor or condition influencing an or-
ganism, e. g., wilting of a plant caused by insufficient soil
An open conduit or artificial channel arranged for meas-
uring the flow of water.
See Prescribed burning.
The increase in similarity of different Seres as Succession
proceeds from early to late stages.
The development of similarity in characteristics of or-
ganisms that were originally more different.
The kind of reaction between organisms which are bene-
ficial and non-obligatory to those participating, cf. Disopera-
tion, Protocooperation, Coaction.
An animal in the order Copepoda, minute Crustaceans
in salt and fresh water.
A grove in which the trees are regularly cut, new growth
arising from the base.
Refers to organisms that feed on dung.
A series of calcareous rocks formed chiefly by corals,
partly by algae, at or near the surface in some warm parts of
A system of mountain ranges, e. g., the Andes Mountains
in South America.
Refers to structures that are leathery such as leaves.
A short, firm, enlarged, fleshy underground stem as in
A plant that has a stem and roots, cf. Thallophyte.
Refers to a structure that is horny in texture.
The whorl of parts, usually colored, of a flower, composed
of petals, within the calyx.
The process by which flowing water carrying solid ma-
terial wears away underlying rock, e. g., a stream carrying
gravel and sand.
^ A broad, continuous land connection enduring a long
time and thus permitting the extensive interchange of or-
ganisms by migration as at the present time between Asia
and Europe, cf. Filter bridge, Sweepstakes bridge.
A series of Moraines, a term used in Western United
A closed social group of animals, individuals of which de-
fend their common territory against members of other
A primary leaf of the embryo in seeds, only one in the
Monocotyledons, two in Dicotyledons. In many of the latter
such as the bean they emerge above ground and appear as
the first leaves.
(1) The plants or plant parts, living or dead, on the sur-
face of the ground. Vegetative cover or herbage cover is com-
posed of living plants, litter cover of dead parts of plants.
cf. Basal area. (2) The area of ground covered by plants of
one or more species.
The area of ground covered by the sum total of plants
in an area.
The percentage of the area of a community covered by
a plant or an animal that is attached to the substratum, as
seen from above, cf. Cover.
A crop growing close to the ground for the chief pur-
pose of protecting the soil from erosion and also for the
improvement of its fertility, between periods of regular pro-
duction of the main crops, or between trees and vines in
orchards and vineyards.
A place of concealment for an animal, e.g., a hedge row.
The present vegetation on an area, a community form-
ing the Cover at the present time.
The quantity of feed or forage required for the main-
tenance of a mature cow in good condition for 30 days. cf.
A group of young animals after leaving their nests.
A stream that is intermediate between a river and a
The slow, downward, mass movement of soil on a slope.
The periods of dusk before sunrise and after sunset, cf.
Auroral, Vesper al, Diurnal, Diel, Nocturnal.
The most recent geological period of the Mesozoic era,
which began abont 135 million years ago and lasted for about
60 million years.
See Limiting factor.
See Angle of repose.
Land that is used regularly for the growing of crops (ex-
cept forest crops and permanent pasture). Includes orchards,
cultivated summer fallow, rotation pasture, and land that
is temporarily idle but customarily used for production of
The parts of plants, or a crop, left in the field after har-
vesting the desired part such as grain or fruit, e. g., Stubble.
The growing of different crops in recurring succession
on the same piece of land.
The total amount of organic material of one or more
species in a certain space at a given time; e. g., the trees in
a stand that are useful for lumber or other products, cf.
Sexual reproduction by means of two separate organisms,
cf. Self-pollination, Cross-pollination.
The interchange of parts of Chromatids (q. v.) of Ho-
mologous chromosomes during pairing in Meiosis.
The transfer of pollen from the anther in the flower of
one plant to the stigma in the flower of another plant. Syn.
Xenogamy, cf. Self-pollination.
Strips of oak forest at right angles to the river systems
in Oklahoma and Texas.
See Crown cover.
The trees occupying a similar layer or position in the
crown cover such as the dominant crown class consisting of
dominant trees in the canopy layer; co-dominant crown class,
trees with less well developed crowns but in the canopy
layer; intermediate crown class, trees with crowns mostly
below the canopy layer but extending into it; and overtopped
crown class, trees with crowns entirely below the canopy
layer, crowns poorly developed, or trees are suppressed, dying,
The canopy formed by the trees in a forest.
The percentage of the total area of land that has a com-
plete crown cover.
A plant in the mustard family, Cruciferae, e. g., radish.
A survey of forest land to locate and estimate the volume
and grades of the standing timber; or an estimate secured
in such a survey.
The condition of a soil that contains irregularly shaped
and highly porous aggregates.
An Arthropod in the class Crustacea, e. g., crab, shrimp.
A movement of the outer solid part of the earth such as
A plant growing on snow or ice, e. g., "red snow," an
alga, Chlamydomonas sp.
Land erosion or reduction by intensive frost action.
A plant in any of the groups; Thallophytes, Bryophytes,
and Pteridophytes. cf. Phanerogam.
A plant in one of the Life-form classes of Raunkiaer in
which the buds are covered with soil or water; includes
Geophytes, Helophytes, and Hydrophytes (q. v.).
Refers to animals living in darkness as under stones or in
A plant in the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, e. g. squash,
A kind of ridge with a gentle slope on one side and a
steep slope on the other.
A cut-over forest from which only certain individuals
or species have been removed, e. g., a forest culled for pines
of a certain minimum diameter.
A stem, especially the grass stem with nodes and inter-
Empty shells and other kinds of material dumped into
spawning areas to provide a suitable substratum for growth
A plant or a group of plants that is grown only under
cultivation so far as is known, e. g., cabbage, cf. Indigen.
A strain, variety, or race which originated and is main-
tained under cultivation; not necessarily a species.
A Community brought about by man's activity, e. g., a
seeded meadow; or a natural community greatly altered by
man. cf. Hemerocology, Secondary succession.
The basic measure or unit of radioactivity of a substance,
the disintegration of a Radioactive Isotope at the rate of 3.7
times 10 10 atoms of material per second.
An herbaceous perennial plant that produces a form with
a dense mass of short stems and many leaves.
A covering of fairly water-proof material composed of
Cutin in higher plants, or chitin and/or protein in many
A mixture of waxlike materials forming the Cuticle of
A forest from which some or all of the merchantable trees
have been removed, cf. Culled forest, syn. Logged-over.
The study of kinds of communication and control sys-
tems in human beings and in machines.
The regular or approximately regular oscillation in the
abundance of a population or species. An Intrinsic cycle is
caused by the interactions within populations of one or more
species, an Extrinsic cycle is caused by changes in the physical
or biotic environment.
Cycle of Erosion
The changes brought about by erosion from youthful to
mature to old-age Topography.
The change in form of some animals in accord with the
season of the year as occurs in Cladocera.
The streaming of Cytoplasm in plant cells.
The combination of Cytology and Genetics in the study
of variation in organisms.
The study of cells of organisms, a branch of biology.
The disintegration of a cell.
The Protoplasm of the cell excluding the Nucleus.
The combination of Cytology and Taxonomy in the
study of classification of plants.
The sudden wilting and death of seedling plants, caused
The sum of degrees of heat above a threshold, such as the
sum of the degrees above a daily mean of 43 F. for the grow-
ing season, or for some other period, cf. Temperature sum-
A plant that blooms when the length of day is either
long or short, cf. Photoperiodism.
D. B. H.
See Breast height.
An Insecticide (q. v.), dichloro-diphenyl-trichlorethane.
Removal by leaching or by chemical treatment of ex-
changeable sodium from the soil. cf. Alkali soil.
An animal in the order Decapoda, class Crustacea, e. g.,
lobster, crab, shrimp.
Communities consisting of trees or shrubs with deciduous
Refers to the losing of parts of an organism such as leaves
of trees or antlers of deer at certain seasons.
An organism, usually a bacterium or a fungus, that
breaks down the bodies or parts of dead plants and animals
into simpler compounds.
A species that decreases in Population density or Cover
under continued grazing, cf. Increaser.
The postponement in the grazing of vegetation after
growth has started until a certain stage of development has
been attained in order to promote vigor of the plants, cf.
Continuous grazing, Rotation grazing.
A disease or malfunctioning of an organism caused by the
lack or insufficiency of some food substance such as a certain
vitamin or a mineral.
The separation of soil aggregates containing clay into
The change in a soil that occurs in leaching, e. g., a
Chernozem into a Podzol.
Refers to a structure that breaks open at maturity, e. g.,
a pea pod. cf. Indehiscent.
One or more populations of a Taxon, an interbreeding
The study concerned with the analysis of populations in-
cluding births, deaths, age, etc.
The dating of events or historical periods by the study
of growth rings of trees.
The study of trees.
The change of nitrogenous compounds by certain bac-
teria in which free nitrogen is formed.
Density (Population, Species)
The number of individuals in relation to the space in
which they occur, refers to the closeness of individuals to
one another, cf. Population density, Abundance, Cover.
An influence that is dependent upon a certain density
of individuals in order to be fully effective, e. g., a limited
number of prey animals for the number of predators present
in an area.
An influence that is effective without regard to the den-
sity of individuals in a population, e. g., very unfavorable
weather such as a blizzard. According to Andrewartha (1954)
and Birch this factor is non-existent. See Non-reactive factor.
(1) The processes by which the surface of the earth is
worn away, including rainfall, wind, erosion, waves, tides,
frost action, heating by the sun, etc. (2) The total destruction
of plant and animal life in an area by physical or biotic
A relationship between organisms in which one organism
receives benefit from the other, not reciprocal, cf. Competi-
tion, Symbiosis, Coaction.
Dependency Zone (Range)
A certain area surrounding -an area of private land,
within which the use of the private land may be supple-
mented by use of the public' land.
Dependent Property (Range)
Privately owned or controlled land or water judged to
have special claims for companionate use with certain public
or cooperatively controlled range land.
See Allochthonous, Autochthonous, Terrigenous.
Depth, Effective Soil
The depth of the soil which roots of plants can penetrate
readily to obtain water and plant nutrients, cf. Working
Removal of salts from a saline soil, usually by leaching.
An area of land which has an arid, hot to cool climate,
with vegetation that is very sparse and usually shrubby.
Various kinds of vegetation found in areas and on sub-
strata that are poor in available water for plant growth such
as dry deserts, salt deserts, cold deserts, strand vegetation,
dune communities, and rock communities.
The extensive grassland in southwestern United States
and Mexico, characterized in part by several species of grama-
grass, three-awn grass, and curly mesquite.
The stony or pebbly surface of land after the fine ma-
terials have been removed by wind or water action.
An area occupied by vegetation such as grasses or shrubs
used solely for the deposition of silt and other debris from
flowing water, located above a reservoir, pond, or field which
needs protection from accumulation of sediment.
See Settling basin.
A dam built for the purpose of storing streamflow or
surface runoff, and to control the release of such stored water.
The development of adaptive characteristics in late stages
of the life-cycle, e. g., wings of insects, cf. Caenogenesis.
A geological period in the Paleozoic era, which began
about 325 million years ago and lasted about 45 million
The temperature at which a certain body of air is capable
of holding no additional water vapor, so that any decrease
in temperature or any increase in water vapor will result in
condensation of the vapor into liquid water; at this point
the Relative humidity (q. v.) is 100 per cent and the Satura-
tion deficit (q. v.) is zero.
The stratum in the soil below the depth of weathering,
composed of undifferentiated and unconsolidated parent ma-
terials, immediately below the C horizon, cf. A horizon, B
Diameter Breast High
See Breast height.
A period of suspended growth or development and re-
duced metabolism in the life-cycle of many insects, in which
the organism is more resistant to unfavorable environmental
conditions than in other periods.
A portion of a plant such as a seed, spore, bud or other
part that undergoes dispersal and can give rise to a new
plant, cf. Disseminule.
Dislocation of the earth's crust such as folding, resulting
in the formation of mountains, sea basins, etc.
A one-celled, microscopic alga in the class Bacillariaceae,
with siliceous walls.
A deposit of the siliceous remains of diatoms.
Material consisting of siliceous remains of diatoms found
in cold seas.
2, 4-Dichiorophenoxyacetic Acid (2, 4-D)
A compound used to destroy undesirable plants, applied
as a dust or spray to the foliage.
The maturing of stamens and pistils of a flower at dif-
Refers to plants that have stamens and pistils in separate
flowers, cf. Monoecious, Dioecious, Monoclinous.
A Vascular plant in the subclass Dicotyledoneae, class
Angiospermae (flowering plants), which have seeds contain-
ing two seed-leaves or cotyledons, e. g., peas, beans, cf.
Refers to the 24-hour period of day and night, cf. Di-
urnal, Nocturnal, Crepuscular.
Differential Species (Differentiating Species)
A species, because of its greater Fidelity (q. v.) in one
kind of community than in other kinds can be used in dis-
tinguishing vegetation units.
(1) The development of a cell, organ, or immature or-
ganism into a mature organism. (2). The development of
different kinds of organisms in the course of evolution.
The conversion of complex, usually insoluble organic
substances into simpler and usually soluble compounds by
An organism resulting from the breeding of parents that
differ in two characters such as color of flowers and length of
stems, cf. Monohybrid.
The state of organs of a plant or animal or individuals
in a population occurring hi two forms or colors, e. g., a
plant with leaves of two forms, cf. Polymorphism.
A motile organism hi the class Dinophyceae of the algae;
great abundance of some forms ("red tides") along coasts
causes death of many fish.
Refers to plants with pistillate and staminate flowers in
separate plants, e. g. willows, cf. Monoecious. Diclinic. In
animals refers to unisexual organisms, cf. Hermaphrodite.
Refers to the presence of chromosomes in pairs or in two
sets, resulting from the union of two Gametes, each with a
single set (Haploid, q. v.).
Refers to an insect in the order Diptera which possess
two wings (except parasitic forms), e. g., housefly, mosquito.
An enduring Climax (q. v.) community altered by dis-
turbance by man or domesticated livestock, e. g., a grassland
which has replaced a deciduous forest, cf. Plagioclimax.
The existence of a gap in the geographic distribution of
a Taxon. cf. Distribution, Disjunct.
Refers to the absence of a connection as in the geographic
distribution of a Taxon or a community, cf. Discontinuity.
An interaction between organisms in which one or all
are harmed, e. g. Competition resulting in stunted growth.
(1) The actual transfer or movement of Disseminules or
organisms from one place to another. (2) The history of the
movement of a group of organisms, cf. Migration, Establish-
The pattern of Distribution of individuals of a Popula-
tion, especially in regard to probability.
The breaking down of soil aggregates, resulting in single
grain structure; usually the more easily a soil is dispersed
the more credible it is.
The depths in bodies of water where light is inadequate
for photosynthesis in plants but adequate for animal life. cf.
Aphotic zone, Euphotic zone.
See Continental drift hypothesis.
The processes by which organisms or their parts, espe-
cially spores, seeds, or fruits are scattered, cf. Diaspore, Dis-
A detachable part of a plant which is capable of Dis-
persal and of giving rise to a new plant, cf. Diaspore.
(1) The geographic range (continuous or discontinuous)
of a Taxon at any one time. (2) The pattern of occurrence of
individuals of a taxon in an area such as Random or Pots-
son (Normal) distribution; non-random or above normal,
Contagious dispersion (Over-dispersion, Hyperdispersion);
and non-random, below normal, Hypodispersion or even-
Distribution, Center of
See Center of dispersal.
Refers to daytime in contrast to Nocturnal, cf. Diel,
The condition in which Seres of a similar origin become
increasingly unlike as Succession proceeds toward the Cli-
max. See Convergence.
A dam constructed for the purpose of diverting part or
all of the water in a stream into a different course.
The number of species in an area divided by the number
of individuals of all these species.
Division of Labor
The specialization of parts of an organism or members
of a species for carrying on certain processes, e. g., in birds
the wings for flying and the legs for walking, in bees the
workers and drones, in plants the various kinds of tissues for
carrying on different functions.
Deoxyribonucleic acid, the chief constituent of chromo-
somes which apparently is the material constituting the
The equatorial belt of calm or light variable winds, low
atmospheric pressure, lying between two trade- wind belts.
A rock containing a high percentage of calcium and mag-
A small structure on certain plants, particularly on the
leaves, which forms a shelter for organisms such as insects
The five groups of species in a classification based on
Coverage (q. v.).
The condition in communities or in vegetational strata
in which one or more species, by means of their number,
coverage, or size, have considerable influence or control upon
the conditions of existence of associated species.
The influence exerted by a dominant character or Allele
e.g., redness of petals in certain flowers is dominant over
white, cf. Recessive.
The determination of the behaviour of one or more ani-
mals by the aggressive behaviour or otherwise of other indi-
viduals, resulting in the establishment of a social Hierarchy.
A species that manifests Ecologic or Social dominance.
cf. Secondary species.
A gully with steep sides or a dry watercourse, a term used
in South Africa.
The condition in an organ or in an organism where
metabolic processes are relatively inactive as a result of in-
ternal causes, e. g., many kinds of seeds, overwintering stages
of insects, cf. Hibernation, Estival, Diapause.
The process, unique in Angiosperms, in which one male
nucleus fertilizes the egg nucleus to form the Zygote which
develops into the Embryo, and the other male nucleus joins
with two other nuclei in the embryo sac to form the Endo-
sperm, e. g., in corn and other grasses.
An area of open, treeless upland with a thin covering of
soil, used mostly for sheep grazing; especially the chalk hills
of southern England.
Temperate grasslands in Australia and New Zealand.
The largest natural drainage area subdivision of a con-
tinent, such as the Mississippi, Columbia, and Colorado
basins, cf. Watershed.
A Graded terrace constructed to have a relatively deep
channel and a low ridge primarily for drainage of a hillside.
A natural depression or swale; a small natural drainage-
Material of any kind which is deposited in one area after
having been moved from another, most commonly used in
reference to glacial drift, the material deposited by glacial
action. Glacial drift includes Till (q. v.) and stratified out-
wash materials, cf. Loess, Boulder-clay, Drumlin.
An open structure constructed across a stream channel to
catch driftwood, such as a wire fence.
A fence for the purpose of preventing livestock from
going from their regular range to another, often used in con-
nection with natural barriers.
Random changes in the characteristics or attributes of
populations that are usually isolated, or in the frequencies
of certain genes, which cannot be attributed to selection, mu-
tation, or migration, cf. Natural selection.
Portions of icebergs or ice-floes in the open sea outside
of the areas of pack-ice.
Sowing seeds with a drill usually in rows that are less
than one foot apart as in seeding grains, cf. Broadcast seed-
The long, attenuate tip of many leaves in the Rain
forest of the Tropics.
The complex of internal and external states and stimuli
leading to a certain behaviour in an animal.
A strip of land set aside for the movement of livestock
from one place to another.
A genus of flies, order Diptera, much used in research in
genetics, e. g. fruit-fly.
An extended period of dryness; usually any period of
moisture deficiency that is below normal for a specific area.
The capability of an organism to survive drought with
little or no injury.
An oval-shaped hill composed of glacial Drift, usually
compact and not stratified, commonly with its longer axis
parallel to the movement of the ice when deposition oc-
A fleshy fruit in which the single seed is within a stony
inner cover (endocarp) which is surrounded by a fleshy layer
(pericarp), e. g., plum, cherry.
A small drupe, e. g., the raspberry fruit is a cluster of
(1) Cultivation of land and other farming operations in
semi-arid or arid regions without irrigation. (2) A system of
cultivation of the land in which Fallow and Mulch are used
to absorb and retain much of the precipitation that occurs.
An implement with horizontally spreading V-shaped
blades which provide shallow cultivation without turning
over the surface soil or entirely burying crop residues.
See Endocrine gland.
A general term for vegetal material in forests, including
the fresh litter and well decomposed organic material and
humus. See A horizon.
A mound or ridge of sand piled up by the winds, com-
monly found where sand is abundant as along lake shores,
sea shores, and in desert and semi-desert areas.
(1) An area of sand accumulated by wind action into
dunes or hummocks, usually free from vegetation or sparsely
vegetated and undergoing erosion and redeposition by the
wind. (2) Refers to sand that has texture size of 0.1 to 0.4
mm. in diameter which has been piled up by the wind.
Vegetation consisting of herbaceous plants whose above-
ground parts die during winter, e. g., grasslands.
Vegetation consisting of broad, hard-leaved Sclerophyll
trees or shrubs, e. g. chaparral, (q. v.).
A shallow layer of loose surface soil.
Dust Whirl (Dust Devil)
A small, intense, vortical disturbance, usually only a few
yards in diameter, in which large volumes of dust and debris
are carried upward; occur usually in arid and semi-arid
A system that is maintained in approximately the same
condition because of the action of opposing processes or ac-
tivities proceeding at about equal rates, cf . Balance of nature.
See Community dynamics.
See Population dynamics.
Refers to any influence that is detrimental to the genetic
properties of a population, cf. Eugenics.
A type of lake or pond which contains brown water with
much humic material in solution and with a small bottom
fauna characterized by pronounced oxygen consumption.
A habitat form; an organism showing Somatic adapta-
tions to a specific environment, not hereditable, cf. Pheno-
See Establishment, Spread, Invasion.
A term occasionally used to denote the water in the soil
below the permanent Wilting percentage (q. v.); not avail-
able for absorption by plants.
A marine animal in the phylum Echinodermata such as
starfish, sea-cucumbers, and sea-urchins.
The ability of certain animals, especially bats, to orient
themselves by emitting high-frequency sounds and detect-
ing their echoes; acoustic orientation.
To undergo Ecesis (q. v.).
(1) A gradation or Cline (q. v.) in the adaptations of a
species that is associated with an environmental gradient, cf.
Geocline. (2) A gradation of ecosystems along an environ-
mental gradient, comprising both the gradient of natural
communities (Coenocline) and the Complex gradient of en-
The range of one or more environmental conditions in
which an organism or a process can function, cf. Tolerance,
The estimate of the numerical abundance of an organism
in a locality or a season, cf. Bonitation, Biotic potential.
The ratio between the energy available to one or more
organisms or processes and the energy that is actually util-
See Balance of nature, Dynamic equilibrium.
The situation or condition in which two or more species
because of their similarity in Ecological amplitude can oc-
cupy the same ecological Niche, thus being able to replace
An organism which participates in Ecological equivalence
(q. v.). cf. Vicariation.
Any part or condition of the environment that influences
the life of one or more organisms; often classified into A;
climatic, physiographic and edaphic, and biotic factors, or B;
direct, indirect, and remote factors, cf. Limiting factor.
The average length of life of individuals of a population
under stated conditions, cf. Life-span.
See Pyramid of numbers.
See Eco type.
See Ecological amplitude.
The study of the interrelationships of organisms to one
another and to the environment, cf. Autecology, Synecology,
Bioecology, Sociology, Plant sociology.
A Taxon of plants consisting of one or more Ecotypes
(q. v.) within a Coenospecies (q. v.), capable of reproduction,
approximately equivalent to Species (q. v.).
The Community (q. v.), including all the component
organisms together with the abiotic environment, forming an
interacting system, e. g., a marsh, cf. Biogeocenose.
A transition line or strip of vegetation between two com-
munities which has characteristics of both kinds of neighbor-
ing vegetation as well as characteristics of its own. cf. Edge-
The smallest Taxon (q. v.) or group of similar Bio types
(q. v.) within an Ecospecies (q. v.), each one adapted to a
certain combination of environmental conditions. Differ-
ences between ecotypes may be morphological, or only physi-
ological, cf. Habitat form, Ecad.
A Parasite living on the outside surface of another or-
ganism, e. g., a flea. cf. Endoparasite.
Refers to an organism that feeds from the outside of the
structure it is consuming such as a deer feeding on leaves of
a plant, cf. Entophagous.
Refers to fungi that grow on the surface of roots, cf.
Refers to the soil, cf. Edaphic factor.
A condition or characteristic of the soil, physical, chem-
ical, or biological that influences organisms, cf. Biotic, Cli-
matic, Ecological factor.
The study of soils.
The aggregate of organisms in the soil except the roots
or underground stems of plants, cf. Plankton.
The influence of two communities upon their adjoining
margins or fringes, affecting the composition and density of
the populations in these bordering areas, e. g., a forest edge
bordering a grassland, cf. Ecotone.
Effective Temperature Range
The range between the highest and the lowest tempera-
ture in which an organism can live. cf. Ecological amplitude,
The outflow of water from subterranean storage, cf. In-
A Plastid in which oil is formed and stored.
Salts, acids, or bases that in a solution conduct an electric
current, e. g., sodium chloride dissolved in water.
(1) Organisms that are typical or characteristic of a cer-
tain region, but may occur outside of it, e. g., a group of
prairie species occurring in the eastern part of the United
States. (2) See Ecological factor.
See Pyramid of numbers.
See A horizon.
The removal of material from a soil horizon by down-
ward or lateral movement in solution and to a lesser degree
in colloidal suspension, cf. Illuviation.
In plants the removal of anthers or flowers bearing sta-
mens to prevent self-pollination. In animals the removal of
The structure within the ovule of a flowering plant, in
which Fertilization occurs.
The Migration of an organism out of a locality, usually
without the probability of returning, cf. Immigration.
A grove or forest of evergreen oaks.
An area fenced to include certain kinds of animals, cf.
The state of inactivity of an organism in which it is sur-
rounded in a protective case; metabolism is reduced, resist-
ance to unfavorable environmental conditions increased.
A Taxon confined to a certain country or region and with
a comparatively restricted distribution.
The occurrence of endemics in an area.
The existence of a Parasite within the body of another
A gland in animals that produces hormones, e. g., the
Refers to a substance or process that originated within
an organism or a cell.
A Parasite living inside of another organism, e. g., a tape-
A plant which grows within another plant such as a
fungus Endoparasite; a plant which can penetrate a rock,
e. g., lichen.
The supporting framework inside the body of animals
such as Vertebrates, cf. Exoskeleton.
The nutritive tissue that surrounds the growing embryo,
and which is present in the mature seed in many kinds of
Spermatophytes such as the grasses.
Refers to fungi that grow within roots, cf. Ectotrophic,
A Propagule such as a seed or a spore which is dispersed
by being transported inside of an animal's body.
The intake, conversion, and passage of energy through
organisms or through an Ecosystem (q. v.).
Plants and animals which convert and pass on energy,
originally secured from sunlight by plants, from one or-
ganism to another as in a food-chain, cf. Energy flow.
Refers to plants that are pollinated by insects, e. g.,
orchids, cf. Anemophilous.
Animals that feed inside of dead leaves and roots, cf.
The degradation of energy, a measure of the degree of
disorder of a system.
The sum total of all the external conditions which may
influence organisms, cf. Habitat, Site.
Environment, Fitness of
The suitability of an environment or habitat for main-
The influence of environmental factors to initiate proc-
esses or activities of organisms, e. g., the initiation of flower-
ing in the cocklebur by the Photoperiodic influence of short
days and long nights.
See Conditioning, environmental.
The concept that the environmental factors act as a
whole or aggregate in their effect upon one or more or-
The restriction caused by environmental factors upon
the increase in numbers of individuals in a population, cf.
Biotic potential, Reproductive potential.
An organic catalyst, produced by living cells, each kind
determining a specific chemical reaction, e. g., diastase which
The second geological epoch in the Cenozoic Era, Ter-
tiary period, began about 58 million years ago and lasted for
about 19 million years.
Great alterations in the level of the crust of the earth
such as the elevation or lowering of the surface of con-
An organism which has been subjected to Epharmony
(q. v.). See ecad.
The acquirement by an organism of processes or morpho-
logical structures by which it is enabled to exist in an
altered environment, cf. Adaptation.
The process of gradual adaptation of a species to a
change of environment.
Refers to short-lived existence.
An endemic surviving from a former flora, a Relic.
An organism living attached to another organism with-
out benefit or harm to the latter, e. g., barnacles attached to
corals, algae on the bark of trees, cf. Commensalism, Epi-
The widespread occurrence in greater numbers than
usual of a species that is usually parasitic or predatory.
The outermost layer of cells of animals and plants; cork
cells replace the epidermis in stems and roots of older woody
Refers to an organism that lives close to the ground, e. g.,
some insects, cotyledons on seedlings such as the navy bean,
A community of Epiphytes (q. v.).
The upper layer of lakes, subject to disturbance by winds,
lying above the Thermocline, (q. v.). cf. Hypolimnion.
The downward curvature of a plant organ such as a leaf,
caused by the greater growth on the upper surface than on
A natural group or entity consisting of individual or-
ganisms, e. g., a society of termites, a stand or community-
type, syn. supraorganism.
An Epiphyte (q. v.) growing on a leaf, e. g., certain
A plant growing upon or attached to another plant, or
often, on some non-living support, deriving no sustenance
from the supporting structure, e. g., Spanish moss on a live
An assemblage of organisms scattered on submerged sur-
faces which later may become mechanically associated, cf.
An Epidemic disease in plants, e. g., wheat rust.
The upper layer, above the Thermocline, where Thermal
stratification occurs in the ocean.
A non-parasitic animal living attached to another, cf.
A Propagule such as a spore or a seed that is carried on
the body of an animal.
An Epidemic disease in animals, cf. Epiphytotic.
The condition in which a community is maintained with
only minor fluctuations in its composition within a certain
period of tune.
See Balance of nature, Dynamic equilibrium.
See Ecological equivalence.
Refers to desert vegetation,
Refers to organisms living in deserts.
A plant growing in a desert.
The part of the Sahara desert covered with sand dunes.
A disease of cereals, especially rye, and other grasses,
caused by the fungus Claviceps pur pur ea; in which dark-
colored structures replace the grain.
Refers to the heath family of plants, Ericaceae.
A member of the heath family, Ericaceae, e. g., blue-
A type of vegetation in which ericaceous plants are dom-
inant or very abundant.
A substance, especially soil, that is susceptible to erosion,
The detachment and movement of particles of the land
surface by wind, water, ice, or earth movements such as land-
slides and creep, cf. Accelerated erosion, Normal erosion.
One of several categories in a classification indicating the
degree of erosion.
A layer of stones or gravel on the surface of the ground
after fine particles have been removed by erosion.
Refers to the tendency of an agent such as water or wind
to cause erosion. Erosive is preferred when referring to the
agent, Erodible when referring to the substance that is
A plant found wild but which originated from a culti-
Vegetation which is intended or used for protection by
animals from attack by enemies.
A structure, behaviour, or process that enables an or-
ganism to survive unfavorable conditions, e. g., shedding of
leaves, burrowing, development of cysts.
A long, inland cliff or steep slope, usually high, formed
by erosion or possibly by faulting, syn. scarp.
A long, narrow ridge of gravel and sand deposited by a
stream flowing under or within a glacier, cf. Kame.
The portion of the alimentary tract between the pharynx
and the stomach.
A thorny woodland.
A chemical element required by green plants for normal
growth, such as the primary essential elements: hydrogen,
oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; secondary
essential elements: sulfur, calcium, and magnesium; and the
trace or minor elements: iron, boron, manganese, copper,
zinc, and molybdenum. The last six, and traces of other
elements, are required in only minute quantities.
The successful growth of an organism in a new location,
syn. Ecesis. cf. Invasion, Spread, Dispersal.
Refers to the summer season, cf. Aspection.
The condition in which an organism may pass the sum-
mer and in which its normal activities are greatly curtailed
or temporarily suspended, cf. Dormancy, Hibernation.
An arm of the sea at the mouth of a river, in which the
current of the river meets the tide.
The faunal region in the realm Megagea (Arctogea); it
includes all of Africa except the northern corner and part of
The study of the use of plants by any race or group of
people, cf. Paleobotany, Paleontology.
The study of the distribution and characteristics of the
divisions of mankind.
The comparative study of the Behaviour of animals.
The development of a plant grown without light, result-
ing in the loss of chlorophyll, a weak elongated stem, and
The study of the causes of diseases.
See Index species.
The study of the improvement of the genetic constitu-
tion of a population or species, especially the human race.
The shoreward part of the Benthic zone in lakes and
oceans; the landward part of the littoral zone, including all
of the inter tidal region, cf. Littoral.
The uppermost portion of a body of water which re-
ceives sufficient light for Photosynthesis, cf. Aphotic, Dis-
photic, Photic zones.
Animal components of the Plankton (q. v.).
Refers to the presence of a regular number of chromo-
somes, a multiple of the Haploid number, cf. Aneuploid.
The capacity of an organism to live under a wide range
of environmental conditions, syn. Eurytopic. cf. Ecological
The study dealing with the improvement of living con-
ditions in order to secure better human beings, cf. Eugenics.
Refers to bodies of water, accumulations of peat, etc.,
which are rich in mineral nutrients and organic materials,
therefore productive. Oxygen may be deficient seasonally in
lakes or ponds, cf. Oligotrophic, Dystrophic.
Evaporative Power of the Air
The environmental factor complex including factors such
as temperature, relative humidity, and wind that influence
the evaporation of water from organisms and from other
bodies containing water.
An instrument to measure the Evaporative power of the
air such as an open pan of water or an Atmometer (q. v.).
The sum total of water lost from the land by evaporation
and plant Transpiration.
A soil-filled container covered with living vegetation and
supplied with water to measure transpiration and evapora-
Refers to a stand of trees in which only small differences
in age occur between the individuals; in young stands dif-
ferences should not exceed 10 to 20 years, in mature stands
not more than 30 to 40 years, cf. Age-class.
The process of Natural or Artificial selection acting upon
genetic diversity in organisms.
The development during the course of evolution of simi-
lar structures or habits in organisms that are not closely re-
lated taxonomically. cf. Taxonomy.
See Cation-exchange capacity.
An area fenced to exclude certain kinds of organisms, cf.
A species belonging to the highest Fidelity class (Braun-
Blanquetj, one which occurs exclusively or almost so in "a
specific kind of vegetation unit.
The degree in which a particular species is restricted to
a particular kind of community to the exclusion of other
communities, cf. Exclusive species, Fidelity.
The elimination of substances from the bodies of or-
A plant with one main stem, the lower branches longer
than the upper, e. g., a spruce tree.
Livestock such as work or saddle horses and milk cows
which are permitted to graze on National Forests or the
Public Domain free of charge.
The peeling off of material in thin layers from the sur-
face of rocks or the flaking off of scales or other parts of
A hard, supportive structure in the outer part of the body
of many kinds of animals, e. g., shell of a crab.
Refers to the release of heat.
Refers to any organism that is not native in the area
where it occurs; introduced, cf. Endemic, Indigenous.
The plan of an experiment, especially to insure that the
data to be secured will be suitable for statistical analysis.
The ability of an organism to find, occupy, and retain
unused vital resources, cf. Competition, Interference.
Dried, preserved specimens of plants.
The process of promoting the development of desert con-
ditions through human activity or climatic change, cf. Sicca-
Refers to something outside of a cell, but may be within
a multicellular organism, cf. Intracellular.
Refers to an organism or a population that is not part
of a Cline (q. v.).
Refers to the presence of an organism near the border
of its range or nearer the margins than the Center of dis-
The nest or brood of a bird of prey such as an eagle or
A part of a Climax Association (sensu Clements) which
lacks some of the dominants of the association because of
slight differences in environmental conditions, cf. Lociation.
(1) See Faciation. (2) The general appearance or aspect
of a plant, population, or community, cf. Aspection. (3) A
modification of the Bio tope, differing recurrently from the
typical conditions in minor ways. (4) A variation in a com-
munity such as a dogwood or mountain laurel shrub facies
in an oak forest.
The effect of the presence of one organism upon the
behaviour of another.
Any part of the environment that influences the life of
an organism, cf. Biotic, Limiting, Density-dependent factors.
Refers to the capability of an organism to live under
various conditions such as parasitism and saprophytism. cf.
A circle of mushrooms arising from underground mycelial
growth, usually accompanied by a luxuriant ring of vegeta-
tion, fairly common in grasslands.
A line connecting the points where rivers leave the
uplands for the lowlands, marked by an increased slope and
waterfalls, e.g., the Atlantic coastal plain adjoining the Ap-
The dropping to the earth from the air of solid material,
particularly the radioactive dust from atomic explosions.
See Spring overturn.
Refers to cropland left idle except for tillage in order to
destroy weeds and accumulate water and nutrients for use
of a crop to be planted later, cf. Summer fallow.
False Annual Ring
More than one of the Growth rings that may be produced
in woody plants in a single season.
In the classification of organisms a group of one or more
related genera, e.g., the rose family in which the roses, straw-
berries, etc., are classified. In ecology it has been used for a
community comprising individuals of a single species.
The condition in plants in which stems and branches
have grown together to form a malformed and flattened
A dense cluster or bundle such as three to five leaves
in groups on pine trees.
A collective term to include all the kinds of animals in
an area or in a geological period.
An area containing characteristic kinds of animals, e.g.,
the Oriental Region, (q. v.).
Capability of an organism to produce reproductive units
such as eggs, sperms, or asexual structures, cf. Fertility.
Harvested forage including hay or fodder, or grain, grain
products, and other foodstuffs that are processed for feeding
The return of a substance to a former condition or loca-
tion, such as the absorption of calcium by plants and the
return to the soil when the leaves fall to the ground and
A tract of bare, elevated country which is in more or
less uncultivated condition.
In selective felling only certain trees are cut down in a
forest, in clear felling all are taken.
A tract of low, marshy ground containing peat, relatively
rich in mineral salts, alkaline in reaction, situated in the
upper parts of old estuaries and around fresh-water lakes,
vegetationally distinct from Moors (q. v.).
Refers to an organism that has escaped from cultivation
or domestication and become wild again.
The chemical alteration of organic substances by organ-
isms, especially yeast and bacteria, e.g., alcoholic fermentation
in which sugar is changed to alcohol and carbon dioxide by
the enzyme zymase, produced by yeast.
Refers to the capability of an organism or organ such as
a stamen, pistil, or ovary to carry on reproductive functions.
(1) The capability of an organism to produce living off-
spring, cf. Fecundity. (2) The quality of a soil which enables
it to provide substances in adequate amounts properly bal-
anced and available for the growth of specified plants when
other environmental factors are favorable.
The union of egg and sperm, or of two Gametes (q. v.).
Any material added to soil to supply one or more plant
nutrients, usually not including lime or gypsum.
Fibrous Root System
The aggregate of the numerous, similar roots arising from
the base of the stem such as occurs in corn and the grasses.
cf. Tap root system.
The degree of regularity or "faithfulness" that a species
occurs in certain plant communities, expressed in a 5-part
scale: (5) Exclusive, (4) Selective, (3) Preferential, (2) Com-
panion, indifferent, (1) Accidental, strangers (q. v.).
Field Border Plantings
Vegetation established on the borders of fields to conserve
soil and to provide cover and food for wildlife, e.g., a strip
of multiflora rose.
The moisture content of a soil, expressed as the per-
centage of oven-dry weight (100-110 C.) after the Gravita-
tional water has drained away; the field moisture content
two or three days after a soaking rain. cf. Capillary water,
Crops such as grain, hay, root, and fiber in contrast to
vegetable (truck) and fruit crops.
The stratum of vegetation formed by grasses, forbs, and
Field Strip Cropping
The kind of Strip cropping in which crops are grown
in parallel strips across a slope but which do not follow
contour lines, and strips of grass or other close-growing plants
are grown alternately with the strips of cultivated crops.
An experiment conducted under ordinary field condi-
tions, usually less subject to control than a precise experi-
The stalk of an Anther or of a down-feather.
A land connection, temporary in duration and restricted
in extent, limiting the kinds of organisms which can migrate
over it, e.g., the Bering Strait in the Pleistocene, cf . Corridor,
A strip of permanent vegetation sufficiently wide and
dense above a farm pond, diversion terrace, etc., so it will
retard run-off and cause deposition, thus preventing silting
in the water or structure below.
A soil that consists mainly of silt and clay.
A narrow, often long and deep inlet of the sea as in the
coasts of Norway and Alaska, very likely formed by glaciers.
A strip of land from which inflammable materials have
been removed in order to check or stop a creeping or
Fire Control Line
The line along which efforts are made to stop the advance
of a fire or from which to start to backfire.
The risk of probabilities that a fire may start because
of the inflammability of materials under the prevailing
The Flood plain that is most immediate to a stream, or
at the lowest elevation above a stream, consequently some
are frequently flooded.
A long, narrow arm of the sea or lower portion of an
estuary, especially in Scotland.
A sloping structure over which water flows, to enable
fish to ascend a stream around a dam or other obstruction;
a fish ladder.
(1) Reproduction of a unicellular organism by simple
division into two parts. (2) Refers to atomic bombs in which
elements such as uranium and plutonium are split into
products as, for example, Sr 90 , I 131 , and Cs 157 , which are
formed during the explosion.
The degree of Adaptedness (q. v.) to the environment
that an organism possesses.
Fitness of the Environment
The suitability of environmental conditions such as the
nature of the water, gaseous composition of the atmosphere,
and temperatures for the maintenance of life or for the
activities of a certain organism.
Fixation (in Soil)
The conversion of a soluble substance such as phos-
phorus from a soluble or exchangeable form to a relatively
A more or less barren upland area (Scandinavia). See Fell.
A moor with a flat or even slightly concave surface and
soil poor in salts and acid in reaction.
A member of the phylum Platyhelminthes, e.g., flukes,
F Layer (Soil)
Sometimes used to designate the partially decomposed
litter which can still be recognized as to origin and age.
cf. A horizon, H layer, L layer.
The aggregation of suspended colloidal material or very
fine particles into larger masses or floccules.
The nearly level land forming the bottom of a valley
in which a stream is present and usually subject to flooding,
cf. First flood plain.
A channel usually bordered by levees for the purpose
of carrying flood water.
The sum total of the kinds of plants in an area at one
time. cf. Vegetation, Fauna.
See Floristic region.
The small flower of grasses or Composites.
A hormone evidently made in the leaves which after
translocation to apical Meristem initiates the formation of
An area in which a certain degree of homogeneity exists
because of similarities in the areas occupied by various
The kinds of plant species, in the aggregate, that occur
in a community or in an area.
Species that are characteristic of a certain territory but
occur also in a different one, e.g., an arctic species growing
in the high Rocky Mountains is an arctic element in the
flora of the Rockies.
A portion of the earth's surface supporting a characteristic
flora which developed largely within this portion, e.g., the
Atlantic North American Region of the Boreal Kingdom.
A geographic area characterized by the common occur-
rence of a number of species which are more or less confined
to it, but other species may also be present.
The organ of the class Angiospermae, flowering plants,
consisting of one or more pistils (carpels) or stamens, or both,
and usually a calyx (composed of sepals) and a corolla (com-
posed of petals).
The stimulation, presumably by Florigen (q. v.) which
initiates the production of flowers.
A relatively irregular departure from more normal or
average conditions, cf. Community dynamics.
A parasitic flatworm in the class Trematoda, phylum
Platyhelminthes, e.g., the liverfluke in sheep.
An open conduit of wood or other material for carrying
water or other liquids across a creek, ravine, or other depres-
sion which lies across the course of a canal or ditch location.
A migration route of birds, e.g., the Mississippi River
The dried, cured plants of crops such as corn and sor-
ghum, including all parts above ground including the grain,
cf. Stover, Hay.
A dry wind which is warm for the season. It blows down
leeward slopes of mountains, especially in the Alps. cf.
The condensation of water vapor on particles of dust or
Refers to structures that are leafy or leaf-like, thin.
Evaluation of the status of plant nutrients in a plant,
or the plant-nutrient requirements of a soil, by the analysis
A dry, many-seeded fruit developed from a simple ovary
which when ripe splits along a single line, e.g., the larkspur
A figure of speech for the dependence for food of organ-
isms upon others in a series, beginning with plants or
scavenging organisms and ending with the largest carnivores.
All the interconnecting Food-chains in a community,
The particular location of an organism in a Food-cycle.
A graphic representation of the food chain which indi-
cates the large numbers of producer organisms at the base
and the progressively decreasing numbers of herbivores and
Unharvested plant material available as food for domestic
animals, may be cut for hay or grazed; after cutting it is
called Feed. cf. Fodder.
A theoretical concept, the quantity of forage on an acre
of land which is completely covered with herbage and com-
pletely utilized under proper management.
The number of forage acres needed for the maintenance
of a mature grazing animal for a certain period of time.
Small kinds of fish which reproduce prolifically and are
used as prey by predatory fishes.
This is the ratio of the percentage of a certain prey
organism present in the food of a predator divided by the
percentage of this prey that is present in the habitat.
(1) The parts of a plant within reach of animals for
grazing. (2) A measure of the yield of Forage, the total
amount of forage produced on a range area during a year.
An herbaceous plant that is not a grass nor grasslike such
as a sedge, e.g., sunflower, geranium.
A low dune, often occupied by a sand-binding grass,
bordering the sandy shore of a sea or lake.
The portion of the shore occupied daily by tides.
A stand of trees growing close together with associated
plants of various kinds.
The living plants and dead organic material occupying
the surface of a forest, often restricted to the woody plants
covering the ground, cf. Basal cover.
The border, or Ecotone, of a forest with another kind
of vegetation such as grassland.
The deposits of plant material such as leaves and branches
on the ground in a forest.
All the effects or Reactions of a forest upon the habitat
or the environmental conditions, e.g., aiding in maintenance
of uniform stream flow, shading the ground.
A forest stand that is essentially similar throughout its
extent in composition under generally similar environmental
conditions. It includes temporary, permanent, climax, and
A botanical taxonomic category based upon more trivial
characteristics and with a less distinct geographical range
than those of the Subspecies or Variety.
One of the largest subdivisions of the vegetation of the
earth, usually of great geographical extent, composed of com-
munities that are similar in physiognomy and broad environ-
mental relations, e.g., the deciduous forest of eastern North
America, cf. Climax, Biome.
A series of related forms distinguished geographically
and which originated entirely or primarily by geographic
Refers to animals that burrow in the soil, e.g., the mole,
Fragment (of a Community)
A stand so small that it lacks the species composition
and other characteristics of the Community.
Fragmented Structure (Soil)
A soil composed largely of particles that have well defined
faces and edges, cf. Granular structure.
A sexually imperfect female calf, sterile usually, born as
a twin of a male animal.
The degree of uniformity with which individuals of a
species are distributed in an area, and more specifically in
a Stand, cf. Constancy.
One of the small groups into which the Frequency indices
of the various species in a stand may be classified.
The quantitative expression in percentage of Frequency,
e.g., a species occurring in 15 of 20 sample areas in a stand
has a frequency index of 75 per cent.
Frequency, Law of
The generalization which states that when Frequency
indices of species in a stand are classified into five main
classes a double peak occurs in homogeneous vegetation, i.e.
The portions of the earth north of the Arctic Circle and
south of the Antarctic Circle. Cf. Temperate zone. Tropics.
Tundra or cold arctic and alpine, open communities.
A strip or zone of forest along a stream bed. cf. Gallery
The border of cold and warm air masses at the earth's
(1) The act or state of freezing, or injury to organisms
because of low temperatures, especially near the beginning
or the end of the growing season. (2) Particles of frozen water
or dew (hoarfrost) appearing on the earth's surface at 32 F.
The period between the last frost in the spring and the
first one in the autumn.
The capability of plants to survive the formation of ice
crystals in their tissues.
The ripe ovary or group of ovaries with any other parts
that may be regularly associated with it, e.g., a grain of corn,
a gooseberry fruit, an apple pome.
Resembling a shrub somewhat. See Fruticose.
Vegetation types consisting of scrub forests.
Shrubby, cf. Suffruticose.
A Lichen with a Thallus ten cm. or more tall, e.g.,
Cladonia rangiferina, the reindeer "moss."
Resembling a seaweed, especially Fucus.
Refers to a structure that falls or separates early from a
plant, e.g., sepals or petals of some flowers.
Refers to a stand which contains as many trees or as much
material of the species and of the age as the Site can support.
Cf. Overstocked, Understocked.
A hole in the earth from which gases such as CO 2 and
steam escape under pressure, as seen in the Valley of Ten
Thousand Smokes, Alaska.
A substance that is toxic to fungi, e.g. Paris green.
Refers to organisms which consume fungi, e.g., some
Collembolons and mites.
Resembling a fungus.
One of the true fungi, belonging to the phylum Eumyco-
phyta; plants lacking Chlorophyll such as the molds, yeasts,
mildews, rusts, and mushrooms. They may be either Parasitic
The stalk of the Ovary in plants.
A small earth dam for the purpose of holding water
within a furrow, cf. Lister.
Sclerophyllous vegetation on plateaus and mountains in
South Africa, ecologically equivalent or similar to Macchia of
the Mediterranean region and the Chaparral of California.
Gallery Forest (Galleria)
Woods or a narrow zone of forest along a stream in grass-
land, savanna, or other open vegetation.
The practice of producing sustained annual crops of wild
game on land. cf. Range management.
An Enclosure for the purpose of controlling or prohibit-
ing the hunting, fishing, or otherwise destroying game ani-
mals, birds, fish, and other animals.
A sex cell, a sperm or egg; in some of the simplest
organisms the gametes are not differentiated into egg and
An Herbicide that prevents development of or destroys
The plant or generation in organisms that produces
gametes, contains the Haploid number of Chromosomes.
One kind of ionizing radiation, electromagnetic, readily
penetrates biological materials.
Refers to flowers that have more or less united Petals.
Refers to flowers that have more or less united Sepals.
Open vegetation consisting of dwarf, evergreen Scrub on
poor land in the Mediterranean region, cf. Maquis.
An animal in the class Gastropoda, phylum Mollusca,
e.g., slug, snail.
The generalization that states that two species do not
occupy exactly the same Niche. See Competitive exclusion
principle, GrinnelVs axiom.
An instrument for detecting Ionizing radiation.
The Pollination of a flower by pollen from another flower
on the same plant, cf. Autogamy, Cleistogamous^ Xenogamy.
A structure consisting of a few cells which becomes
separated from the parent and grows into a new plant, found
in certain liverworts.
A localized unit of genetic material with a specific func-
tion in transmitting characters from one generation to the
The study of population genetics in relation to the
habitat conditions; the study of species and other taxa by the
combined methods and concepts of ecology and genetics.
The duplication and dispersal of genes in a population.
In a narrow sense, the genie material of a local inter-
breeding population at the present time. In a broad sense,
the total genie resources or materials of a species throughout
its geographical range.
Refers to Genus.
The ratio of the number of genera to the number of
species in an area.
Accidental fluctuations in the proportions of a particular
Allele so that exact Mendelian ratios do not occur, which
may result in the fixation or loss of certain genes in small
populations without reference to selective value, cf. Natural
The branch of biology dealing with Heredity in all its
The set of different Chromosomes, as found in a Gamete,
or Haploid nucleus; the Diplod nucleus contains two
genomes, Polyploids more than two.
The entire genetic constitution, or the sum total of genes,
of an organism, in contrast to the Phenotype.
A group of related species, or occasionally only one
species, used in the classification of organisms, e.g., the white
and Scotch pines belonging to the genus Pinus.
An organism that spends all its life in the soil, e.g.,
certain fungi, protozoa, and nematodes.
The study of biological and meteorological events in
relation to time.
A gradation or Cline (q. v.) based on topographic or
spatial separation, cf. Ecocline.
An organism that spends a portion of its life in the soil,
e.g., certain mammals, reptiles, and other animals, cf. Geo-
A Race restricted to a certain geographic area. cf. Ecotype.
See Normal erosion.
The branch of physical geography that deals with the
form and arrangement of the earth's crust.
One of Raunkiaer's Life-form classes of plants in which
the buds or other Perennating parts surviving unfavorable
seasons are buried in the surface soil, e.g., plants with bulbs,
tubers, or rhizomes.
A series of Climax Formations throughout geological
time in an area.
A Taxis (q. v.) in response to gravity.
An instrument for securing soil samples.
A Tropism (q.v.) in response to gravity, e.g., the main
roots of plants growing downward, the main stems upward.
A genotypic population occurring in a habitat which is
partly isolated by topographic barriers; includes most geo-
graphical Races and Subspecies. Syn. geoecotype. cf.
An organism that occurs accidentally in the soil. cf.
The process of growth renewal of a seed or spore; a seed
is considered to have completed germination in some in-
stances when the Hypocotyl projects outside of the seed coat,
in other instances when the seedling appears above ground.
The protoplasm which transmits the hereditary characters
or Genes (q. v.).
The period of time that the embryo and fetus are in the
uterus of an animal.
A soil layer developed wholly or partly in Gley (q. v.) soil,
characterized by the presence of ferrous iron and usually by
neutral gray colors.
A plant showing excessive vegetative growth.
The type of microrelief characterized by a succession of
micro-basins and micro-knolls or many small ridges in nearly
level areas on clay soil having high coefficients of expansion
and contraction with changes in moisture content; "pits-
The removal of a ring of bark or tissues from a stem,
causing the death of the plant.
The covering of an area by a glacier or by an ice-sheet,
or the geological action of the glacial ice upon the land.
The soil-forming process in which Gley soil is formed.
Gley (Glei) Soil
A soil formed under the influence of water-logging and
lack of oxygen; usually neutral gray in color and containing
reddish brown deposits of ferrous hydroxide, cf. G horizon.
The generalization which states that animals in warm
climates tend to be darker in color than those in arid or cool
A plant growing in soil that is low in salt content, in
contrast to Halophyte, e.g., American elm.
A terrace having a continuous slope along its length, cf.
An Indehiscent fruit in which the coat of the single seed
is united with the ovary wall, e.g., wheat.
Refers to the grass family, Gramineae.
Refers to an animal that eats grass.
Refers to an herb with long, narrow leaves.
Granular Structure (Soil)
A soil made up chiefly of particles or aggregates that have
rather indistinct faces and edges, cf. Fragmented structure.
A plant in the family Gramineae with characteristically
reduced flowers of florets, grain type of fruit, and with nar-
row, usually elongated leaves which are attached in two
ranks to the jointed stem or culm.
A natural or artificially made course for the flow of
water, usually shallow, on which erosion-resistant grasses are
grown, to permit water to run off fields thus reducing
erosion where the crops are growing.
Vegetation consisting chiefly of grasses or grasslike plants,
cf. Steppe, Prairie, Pampas, Meadow, Veld, Savanna.
A plant which resembles a true grass, e.g., sedges, rushes.
Water in large pores in the soil which drains away under
the force of gravity when underdrainage is free.
Gray-Brown Podzolic Soil
A major soil group having a thin organic and thin
organic-mineral layers over a grayish brown leached layer
which rests upon a brown B horizon richer in clay than the
horizon above; formed under deciduous forests in a moist
The feeding by livestock and game animals on live or
standing plants other than Browse.
The maximum number of animals or animal units per
acre, or acres per animal, that a grazing area can support
without deterioration, cf. Carrying capacity.
An administrative unit of the Federal rangeland estab-
lished by the Secretary of the Interior under provisions of
the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934, as amended; or an adminis-
trative unit of a state, private, or other range lands, estab-
lished under state laws.
Land used regularly for grazing; not necessarily restricted
to land suitable only for grazing but cropland and pasture
used in connection with a system of farm crop rotation are
usually not included, cf. Range.
An authorization for the grazing on public or other lands
under specified conditions, issued to a livestock operator by
the agency in charge of the lands.
The criteria used in the administration of public grazing
lands for the issuance of grazing permits and licenses.
A division of the Range for the facilitation of adminis-
tration or the handling of livestock.
Green Manure Crop
A crop grown for the purpose of turning under while
it is still green, or shortly after maturity, in order to improve
The tendency of organisms to congregate or form groups,
e.g., reindeer, cattails. See Sociability.
The generalization stating that no two species in the same
general territory can occupy for a long time the same
ecologic Niche, cf. Cause's principle.
Water standing in or moving through the soil and under-
lying strata, Gravitational water, the source of water in
springs and wells, cf. Runoff.
The control or influence of the behaviour of a group of
animals, by means of the cue behaviour or a signal of specific
One of the sections of a plant body in which growth is
localized, especially the tips of stems and roots.
The total number or total volume of all the trees in an
The characteristic shape or appearance of an organism
as a result of its development in response to the impinging
environmental conditions within its genetic constitution, cf.
Habitat form, Phenotype, Genotype.
A layer of Xylem and Phloem produced in woody stems
usually during each growing season, cf. Annual ring.
A Growth layer seen in the cross section of a woody stem.
Any chemical produced by a plant, or synthetically, that
regulates plant growth, cf. Hormone.
A channel or small valley formed by running water which
usually flows only during and immediately after heavy rains
or the melting of snow; it may be branched or linear and
fairly long, narrow, and uniform in width; smaller than a
ravine, deeper than a rill.
Removal of stones, gravel, and finer material by running
water with the formation of channels that cannot be smoothed
out completely by ordinary cultivation.
The exudation of water in liquid form from plants
through HydathodeSj (q. v.). cf. Transpiration.
A plant in the class Gymnospermae of the seed plants,
Spermatophytes, in which the seeds are not enclosed within
an ovary, e.g., pine, spruce, cf. Angiosperm.
An organism containing both male and female character-
istics, e.g., certain insects, cf. Hermaphrodite.
Refers to plants in which the stamens are fused with the
pistil, e.g., certain orchids.
The Carpels or Pistils of a flower considered collectively.
Refers to plants growing characteristically on soils rich
The jelly-like ooze on lake bottoms.
The general appearance of a plant such as tall and erect
or decumbent and trailing, cf. Life-form.
The sum total of environmental conditions of a specific
place that is occupied by an organism, by a population, or a
community, cf. Environment, Niche, Site, Microhabitat,
The Growth form or appearance of an organism which
is characteristic of a certain Habitat, cf. Epharmony, Life-
form, Eco type.
The relatively waning response of an organism resulting
from repeated stimulation which is not followed by any
The very deep part of the ocean, below 6000 meters,
Refers to saline conditions present in the soil at the
beginning of a Halosere (q. v.).
A perennial plant that is partly woody, usually at the
base, and partly herbaceous, e.g., Artemisia frigida.
Refers to saline soil or to plants growing in such soil.
A plant growing in soil with a high content of salts.
Any organism that grows in a Saline habitat.
Refers to a soil found in poorly drained depressions in
arid and semi-arid regions, cf. Hydromorphic, Solonchalk,
A plant growing in Saline soil.
The series of stages in Succession originating on a Saline
area. cf. Sere, Hydrosere, Xerosere, Halarch.
Rocky uplands in deserts, bare of fine soil or sand because
of wind action, used especially in the Sahara.
A mesic area occupied by a community of hardwoods
(Florida) or an island in a swamp (Okefinokee swamp).
The condition occurring in some Arthropods in which
males develop from unfertilized eggs and females from
Refers to an organism or part of one in which the nuclei
contain a single set of Chromosomes, i.e., one Genome (q. v.),
e.g., Spores, Gametes, Gametophytes, certain male animals
such as bees. cf. Diploid, Tetraploid, Polyploid.
The increase in resistance to frost in a plant tissue.
The capability of plant tissue to survive the formation of
ice crystals within them. cf. Frost resistance.
A cemented, hardened layer in the soil, cemented by iron
oxide, silica, organic matter, or some other substance, cf.
The condition of some seeds in which water absorption
and germination do not occur although the environmental
conditions are favorable, e.g., seeds of many legumes and
The wood of a tree in the Angiosperms (q. v.), e.g., the
oak, in contrast to Softwood (q. v.).
A specialized organ of certain parasitic plants which
penetrates the Host and absorbs food from its tissues, e.g.,
special hyphal branch, a specialized structure in dodder.
The dried, mowed stems and leaves, often including also
flowers or fruits and seeds, of grasses and forage legumes
such as alfalfa and clovers, cf. Fodder, Stover.
The main center or centers of activity of an animal, e.g.,
the larvae of the longicorn beetle in dying or dead wood,
cf. Habitat, Niche.
The amount of heat expressed in gram calories that is
necessary to raise the temperature of a body of water from
the winter to summer temperatures.
A community usually occurring in cool climates, often
dry, usually without trees and uncultivated, characterized by
low shrubby plants mostly in the family Ericaceae, cf. Moor,
Bog, Marsh, Swamp.
The partial raising of plants out of the ground resulting
from the freezing and thawing of the soil during the winter,
often breaking the roots.
A strip of shrubs or small trees, often planted, enclosing
a field or other area.
Placing young plants such as fruit trees in a temporary
trench with soil over the roots to protect them from drying
until they are permanently planted.
A plant growing in a cold region, which requires less
heat than other kinds of plants, growing where the average
temperature for the warmest month of the year is less than
50 F., e.g., mosses, lichens, sedges, etc., in the Arctic, cf.
Megatherm, Mesotherm, Microtherm.
Refers to organisms that grow best in full sunlight.
A Heliophyllous organism.
Refers to organisms which grow best in the shade. Syn.
Sciophyllous, Shade plant.
A worm, usually parasitic.
One of Raunkiaer's Life- form classes, consisting of marsh
plants whose Perennating parts are in the soil under water,
e.g., arrow-head, cf. Geophyte, Hydrophyte.
A term that has been used for the interaction of two
organisms such as an alga and fungus in a lichen. See Mutual-
ism, Parasitism, Symbiosis.
Refers to reef-building corals which contain zooxanthellae
and algal Symbionts.
The ecology of land that is modified by man such as
gardens, parks, fields, cf. Culture community.
A plant introduced into an area by man. cf. Culture
community, Exotic, RuderaL
One of Raunkiaer's Life-form classes in which the buds
or Perennating parts of plants surviving unfavorable periods
are located at the soil surface, cf. Cryptophyte, Geophyte,
A plant that is Epiphytic (q. v.) for only part of its life-
An organism which is intermediate between an Epiphyte
(q. v.) and a Parasite (q. v.).
A plant which is intermediate between a Saprophyte
(q. v.) and an Autotrophic (q. v.) organism.
Refers to the liver or to a Liverwort, (q. v.).
A plant with one or more stems that die back to the
ground each year; grasses and Forbs (q. v.) as distinct from
shrubs and trees.
Refers to plants with characteristics of an herb.
Herbs in a collective sense, and any other plant material
used as forage by animals, especially Pasturage.
A collection of preserved, classified plants.
A chemical substance used for killing plants particularly
weeds, e.g., 2,4-D. cf. Insecticide.
An organism that eats plants, e.g., rabbit, sheep.
Refers to a herbivore.
Vegetation consisting of non-woody plants.
A group of animals, especially cattle or big game. cf.
Handling a band of sheep or goats in a compact group
and restricting the spread of the animals while grazing.
Handling a band of sheep or goats so the individuals
are allowed to spread freely while grazing.
The transmission of characters or directions from parents
to offspring, or the sum total of such characters.
A plant with stamens and pistil in the same flower or an
animal that produces both male and female Gametes, e.g.,
the rose, earthworm, cf. Dioecious, Gynandromorph.
Refers to reptiles or amphibians.
The branch of zoology concerning reptiles and
Refers to organisms having stages of its life-cycle on
different hosts, e.g., wheat rust which attacks wheat and the
(1) The production of unlike Gametes (egg and sperm),
cf. Isogamy. (2) Alternation of generations (q. v.).
See Alternation of generations.
Refers to Alternation of generations (q. v.) in which
forms in different stages are unlike.
Refers to animals which eat several kinds of food. cf.
A Saprophyte or Parasite (q. v.). See Heterotrophic,
Refers to a population comprising Aneuploid, Diploid,
and Euploid members.
The increase in vigor or the growth of offspring resulting
from the crossing of genetically different parents, syn. Hy-
Refers to an organism in which complex materials, espe-
cially organic foods, are the chief source of nutrition, in con-
trast to Autotrophic (q. v.) organisms, e.g., animals, Parasites,
Saprophytes, cf. Holozoic, Mixotrophic.
Refers to an animal which may wander into a com-
munity and play an important or unimportant part while
present, but eventually dies if it does not move into a more
favorable environment, cf. Index species, Tychocoen.
Refers to an organism that originated from the fusion of
gametes containing unlike Genomes (q. v.). cf. Homozygous.
(1) The habitat Niche where certain animals overwinter.
(2) An overwintering bud of an aquatic plant.
Refers to winter, especially the winter season in contrast
to the Vernal, Estival, and other seasons, cf. Aspection.
A state of Dormancy especially during winter, cf.
Monsoon forest which merges into savanna or park land
in a tropical-continental climate; woody plants lose their
small xerophytic leaves during the hot and dry summers.
A social rank-order of animals formed through passive
submission, direct combat, or threat.
A class of grasses, 6 to 8 feet high or more, e.g., Panicum
virgatum. cf. Medium-height grass, Short grass.
The division of biology that deals with microscopic
structures or tissues of organisms.
A layer of completely decomposed litter, unrecognizable
as to origin, on the surface of the mineral soil. See A horizon,
F layer, L layer.
A deposit of ice crystals formed directly from water vapor
in the air. cf. Rime.
A moor that rises from the edge towards the middle, so
that the upper surface is convex in section, caused by the
growth of Sphagnum.
A ridge with a narrow summit and steep slopes.
A system of grazing followed by resting small pastures
or paddocks for short periods in rotation.
Refers to the combined Palearctic (q. v.) and Nearctic
(q. v.) regions of the faunal realm Megagea (Arctogea) (q. v.).
A term used occasionally to designate the total water con-
tent of the soil.
The doctrine that life hi all its forms and the inorganic
environment form an interacting, integrated system, cf.
Equivalent to Ecosystem (q. v.).
Refers to the joint action and interaction of a numbei
of environmental factors upon organisms.
An organism that is wholly parasitic, e.g., wheat rust.
Refers to an organism that utilizes light as the primary
source of energy, e.g., green plants, purple bacteria, cf. Auto-
trophic, Chemotrophic, Heterotrophic, Holozoic.
An organism that is in the Plankton (q. v.) during its
entire life-cycle, e.g., Copepod. cf. Meroplankton.
Refers to a heterotrophic animal that ingests solid food,
digesting it internally.
The maintenance of constancy or a high degree of uni-
formity in functions of an organism or interactions of indi-
viduals in a population or community under changing
conditions, because of the capabilities of organisms to make
adjustments. Perceptual homeostasis is the state of maximum
predictability and control of environmental stimuli by an
organism, cf. Steady state, Stabilization.
The area around an animal's established home which is
traversed in its normal activities, cf. Territory.
The location of the nest or resting place that is in
regular use by an animal.
The reaction of an animal to return to a given place
after displacement, e.g., homing pigeons.
Refers to the regularity in the distribution and abun-
dance of the species in a community or area. cf. Frequency,
An animal which is able to maintain the temperature
of the body at an approximate constant level independent
of the surrounding medium, "warm-blooded," e.g., birds,
mammals, cf. Poikilo therm.
Refers to structures of organisms that possess the same
phylogenetic origin, e.g., wings of bats and forelimbs of
The two Chromosomes (q. v.) occurring in each pair in
Diploids, each derived from a separate parent.
A pair of Homologous chromosomes, (q. v.).
Refers to organisms which have organs resembling each
other because of the evolution along similar paths, but the
organs are not Homologous, e.g., Lagomorphs and Rodents.
The Homogeneity (q. v.) of a Vegetation type in contrast
to that of a Stand.
Refers to an organism resulting from the fusion of
Gametes carrying the same genes, cf. Heterozygous.
A social order or rank in horned animals determined by
the aggressive use of horns.
Hopkins Bioclimatic law
See Bioclimatic law.
A layer of soil approximately parallel to the soil surface,
with distinct characteristics produced by soil-forming proc-
esses. See A horizon, B horizon, C horizon.
A chemical substance produced in one part of an organ-
ism and usually transported to another part where it causes
an effect, cf. Auxin.
An organism that furnishes food, shelter, or other bene-
fits to another organism of a different species, cf. Parasite,
Hudsonicm Life Zone
One of Merriam's Life zones, includes the northern part
of the Boreal forest and coniferous forest on mountains
farther south; southern boundary delimited by the 57.2F.
isotherm for the six hottest weeks of the year.
The actual quantity of water vapor present in a given
volume of air, usually expressed in grams per cubic meter.
The ratio of the actual amount of water vapor present in
a unit portion of the atmosphere to the quantity which would
be* present when saturated, cf. Psychrometer, Hygrometer.
The process of decay of organic material to Humus.
(1) Organic matter in a more or less stable advanced
stage of decomposition, dark in color, with a high nitrogen
content, a carbon-nitrogen ratio near 10:1, and other chemi-
cal and physical properties such as a high Base exchange
capacity, water absorption, and swelling. (2) Residues in the
soil of plants and animals that have undergone an appreci-
able degree of decomposition.
See M or.
(1) A tropical cyclone, especially one in the West Indian
region; with winds of hurricane force which blow around
the central calm area or "eye" which is very low in atmo-
spheric pressure. (2) The highest wind velocity on the
Beaufort scale (q. v.), a wind greater than about 75 miles per
(1) Genetic; an organism resulting from a cross between
parents with different Genotypes (q. v.). (2) Taxonomic; a
cross between parents of different Taxa (q. v.).
The crossing or breeding of unlike individuals to produce
A form produced in the second or later generation after
A population of organisms derived through hybridiza-
tion, comprising various generations of hybrids and back-
crosses; often varying greatly, cf. Back-crossing.
A pore or gland, usually in leaves, that exudes water.
Refers to a Succession or Sere which begins in wet habi-
tats such as a pond. cf. Hydrosere, Xerarch.
The condition of absence of flow rate of water in soil,
when the pressure gradient force is equal and opposite to
the gravity force.
(1) Refers to, or containing hydrogen, e.g., hydric oxide.
(2) Sometimes used wrongly in the sense of "wet" as a
substitute for Hydrophyte (q. v.). See Hygric.
A plant whose Diaspores (q. v.) are disseminated primarily
by water, e.g., water lilies, cf. Anemochore.
A graph in which monthly temperature data are plotted
against data on salinity in the form of a polygon.
An animal living in water, cf. Hygrocole, Hydrophyte,
The concentration of free hydrogen ions in a solution,
commonly expressed as the logarithm of the reciprocal of
the normality of free hydrogen ions in which pH 7.0 is
neutral, values higher than 7.0 indicate alkalinity, below
this acidity, cf. Reaction.
The study of natural bodies of water such as lakes, rivers,
and seas, especially their physical characteristics in contrast
to the biological qualities.
The cycle of the movement of water from the atmosphere
by precipitation to the earth and its return to the atmosphere
by interception, evaporation, run-off, infiltration, percola-
tion, storage, and transpiration.
The science dealing with water and snow, including their
properties and distribution.
(1) Refers to soil occurring in poorly drained depressions
in humid regions, cf. Halomorphic. (2) Refers to cellular
features typical of Hydrophytes.
Refers to a plant that grows well in water or wet land.
A plant which grows wholly or partly immersed in water,
cf. Hygrophilous, Xerophilous, Mesophyte.
The growing of plants so that the roots are immersed
in a water solution of nutrient salts or in some inert mate-
rial such as vermiculite which is supplied with a nutrient
A collective term which includes all the stages in a
Succession beginning in water, cf. Hydrarch, Xerarch, Sere.
The parts of the earth covered with water, including
streams, lakes, oceans, cf. Lithosphere, Biosphere.
A growth response of plants to water as a stimulus.
A form of self-recording Rain gage.
Refers to a wet or moist condition of a habitat, cf.
A seed pod that opens in humid air and closes in dry
air. cf. Xerochase.
An animal living in a moist place, cf. Hydrocole, Hygro-
A record made by a Hygrograph.
A self-recording Hygrometer.
An instrument for measuring the Relative humidity of
Refers to an organism that inhabits steep and wet rock
A plant which grows in moist or wet places, cf. Hygro-
cole > Xerophilous, Mesophyte.
The moisture in percentage of oven-dry (100-110 C.)
weight that a soil will absorb in a nearly saturated atmos-
phere (relative humidity of 98 per cent at 25C.).
Water held so firmly by the attraction of soil particles
that it can be removed only by heating above 100C. It is
not available to plants.
An instrument that makes a simultaneous record of
both relative humidity and temperature, cf. Hygrograph,
An order of insects which includes the bees, ants, wasps,
and ichneumon flies.
A pattern of distribution of individuals of a species in an
area which is characterized by clumping, or the occurrence
of denser aggregations in some spots than in others. Syn.
Contagious distribution, Over-dispersion, cf. Hypodispersion,
An organism that is parasitic upon another Parasite.
An abnormal increase in the number of cells in an
organism, e.g., certain plant galls, tumors in animals.
Usually used to mean an abnormal enlargement, in re-
spect to an organism it may include both enlargement of cells
and Hyperplasy (q. v.).
A filament or thread-like structure of a Fungus.
Refers to a Hypha.
The portion of a seed or a seedling between the attach-
ment of the Cotyledons and the Radicle.
The layer of cells adjacent to the epidermis in certain
plants, in some species the cells are thick-walled, in others
used for water storage.
A pattern of distribution of individuals of a species in
an area which shows more even spacing than can be expected
by chance. Syn. Under-dispersion. cf. Hyper dispersion, Nor-
Refers to Cotyledons which remain underground after
seed germination, e.g., the pea seed. cf. Epigeal.
The non-circulating body of water in lakes below the
Thermocline. cf. Epilimnion.
The more rapid growth of the under side of an organ
such as a leaf than of the upper side.
The reduction in the number of cells in an organ, e.g.,
in certain plant galls.
An instrument for measuring the height of an object,
especially a tree.
A graphic presentation of climatic conditions in which
one coordinate is the mean monthly temperature and the
other is the mean monthly precipitation, cf. Climagraph.
A glacial epoch in which glaciers and ice sheets occupied
large areas of continents, as occurred in the Quaternary
The branch of zoology which deals with fishes.
A pictorial diagram of an object in which relationships
are shown between measurements of various characteristics.
The study of the individual organism, cf. Autecology,
Synecology, Individual ecology.
Syn. Light intensity. A unit of illuminance is the lumen
per square foot, equivalent to the foot-candle when Light
intensity is used. cf. Illumination value.
The illumination capacity or brightness of light as per-
ceived by the human eye; on a clear summer day it is 8000
to 10,000 foot-candles at noon. cf. Irradiance.
The accumulation of material in a soil horizon by precip-
itation from solution or from suspension from a layer above,
cf. Eluviation, B horizon.
The adult, sexually mature stage of an insect.
A soil in which development is not complete because of
insufficient time since deposition or exposure to the action
of the physical environment and organisms on the Parent
material (q. v.).
A plant or an animal of a species which has recently
invaded an area, whose role is still uncertain, cf. Emigration.
The Migration (q. v.) of an organism into an area where
it did not occur previously, cf. Emigration.
The capability of an organism to resist infection by a
Parasite or one of its products.
A flower lacking pistils or stamens.
Refers to soil or a certain layer in which the penetration
of water, and usually air and roots as well, occurs slowly
or not at all.
An artificial lake or pond.
A form of rapid and stable learning in a young animal
when it is exposed to a meaningful stimulus.
The residence of flocks and herds upon Alpages (q. v.).
The mating of closely related organisms, cf. Outbreeding.
A failure or partial failure of some process which results
in lack of Fertilization. See Self -incompatibility.
A plant already present in a community or area which
increases in abundance under overgrazing, cf. Decreaser.
The increase in the Basal area (q. v.), diameter, height,
volume, quality, or value of a tree or a Stand.
An instrument used for securing from the trunk of a
tree a core which shows the Growth rings.
Refers to a structure, especially fruits of plants, that do
not break open when ripe. cf. Dehiscent.
See Frequency index.
Index of Similarity
The ratio of the number of species found in common in
two communities to the total number of species that are
present in both, cf. Coefficient of community.
An organism that is so well adapted to its habitat it
seldom occurs elsewhere, therefore useful in characterizing
the environmental conditions as a living label, cf.
An organism, species, or community which indicates the
presence of certain environmental conditions, cf. Exclusive
A species occurring in many different communities, a
Companion species (q. v.). See Fidelity.
An indigenous species, cf. Cultigen.
Refers to an organism that is native, not introduced, in
an area. cf. Endemic, Exotic.
See Autecology, Idiobiology, Synecology.
The establishment of a Parasite upon an organism.
The establishment of an organism in numbers as para-
sites upon another plant or animal, e.g., aphids infesting
a rose bush.
The penetration of water into soil or other material,
The maximum rate of Infiltration under a given set
A mechanism for measuring Infiltration into the soil in
which water is applied by sprinkling or flooding.
The flower-cluster in plants, including the flowers, bracts,
(1) An organism which has important interactions (Reac-
tions, Coactions) within a community, but is not a dominant.
(2) The flow of water from a channel into subterranean
storage, cf. Effluent.
Animals which are supported by the lower surface of the
film of water on lakes and ponds, e.g., mosquito larvae, cf.
Used formerly in the sense of all microscopic organisms
occurring in infusions of organic matter; now used chiefly
for ciliated Protozoans (Ciliophora).
The actions of an organism when eating or drinking.
Inheritance of Acquired Characters
The outmoded theory of evolution tfyat modifications
produced during the lifetime of an individual, because of
use or disuse, new needs, or because of the direct action of
the environment are inherited by the offspring and are
cumulative with time.
Initial Cause of Succession
The process or agent which produces denuded or partly
denuded areas on which ccologic Succession is initiated, e.g.,
Innate Releasing Mechanism
A device (postulated) in the nervous system which
initiates a certain reaction when an animal receives a par-
To introduce a microorganism, virus, serum, etc., into
A material used for destroying insects, e.g., DDT, rote-
none. cf. Herbicide, Fungicide.
An animal in the order Insectivora, a primitive Insecti-
vorous group in the class Mammalia, e.g., mole, shrew.
Refers to an organism that eats insects.
An insect by which a disease-producing organism or a
parasite is disseminated, e.g., aphids and leafhoppers trans-
mitting plant diseases.
Solar radiation received by the earth or other planets
from the sun, or exposure to rays of the sun.
A form in the larval development of insects between
An inherited and adapted system of co-ordination within
the nervous system as a whole, which when activated finds
expression in behaviour culminating in a fixed action pattern.
An interrelationship between organisms, between organ-
isms and the environment, or between environmental factors,
e.g., Competition, grazing, wilting of a plant, Relative
humidity decreased by heat. See Coaction, Reaction.
Refers to the position between cells of an organism, e.g.,
air-spaces between cells in leaves.
The process by which precipitation is retained by leaves,
branches, and other organs of plants before the moisture
reaches the ground.
The ability of a species to damage another either directly
by attacking its individuals or indirectly by harming its
resources or blocking access to them. cf. Competition,
A ridge between river valleys.
Internal Drainage (Soil)
The quality of a soil that permits downward flow of
excess water through it, determined by the texture, structure,
depth to the Water table, etc. cf. Gravitational water.
The conditions within an organism or cell that influence
its processes, e.g., the oxygen content in body fluids in ani-
mals or in air-spaces in plants.
Refers to relations or conditions between species, cf.
See Association, interspecific.
The irregular occurrence of plant communities and
species which provide cover for animals within a limited
area. cf. Mosaic.
See Tidal zone.
Refers to the location or position of a substance or
structure within a cell.
Refers to the presence of organisms such as Ecotypes
(q. v.) within a Cline (q. v.).
Refers to the period of a single 24-hour day.
The presence of individuals of a species toward the center
of its entire area of distribution, cf. Extraneous.
Refers to relations or conditions between individuals
within a species, cf. Interspecific.
A group of soils having characteristics caused by the
preponderant influence of local relief or parent material over
the normal influences of the prevailing climate and vegeta-
tion, cf. Zonal soil.
See Introgressive hybridization.
The infiltration of genes of one species by the inter-
mediacy of Hybrids into another species, resulting in the
genetic modification of the latter.
The Migration (q. v.) and Establishment (q. v.) of an
organism in a new location.
The condition in which the water just beneath the ice
in a body of water is near the freezing temperature and
within a short distance below shows a rapid rise to 3C.,
and further below a gradual increase to 4C., or to the
maximum temperature of the lake or pond. cf. Thermal
An increase in air temperature with an increase of alti-
tude, instead of the normal decrease.
An animal lacking a spinal column, e.g., insects.
Refers to experiments on cells, etc., which are carried
on when they are separated from the living organisms, e.g.,
tissue cultures, cf. In vivo.
Refers to location within the living system, cf. In vitro.
A number of closely associated bracts subtending a flower
or flower cluster.
(1) The diminution in the size of an organ, cf. Hyper-
plasy, Hypertrophy. (2) The formation of abnormal yeasts,
The replacement of one kind of ion by another, e.g.,
hydrogen ions replacing calcium ions in certain soil solutions.
See Exchange capacity.
The process of ion formation.
Radiation that takes electrons from atoms and attaches
them to other atoms, e.g., Alpha, Beta, Gamma radiation,
The receipt of radiant energy per unit area per unit of
time. On a clear summer day solar radiant energy equals
1.2 to 1.5 gram-calories per square centimeter per minute
at noon. cf. Illuminance, Light intensity.
The exposure of an object to radiation such as sunlight,
Ionizing radiation, etc.
The characteristic capability of an organism to respond
to a stimulus, e.g., a plant growing towards the light.
An abrupt, irregular increase in population number or
A line drawn on a map or chart connecting places of
equal barometric pressure.
A line drawn on a map connecting points of equal depth
on the bottom of the sea.
A line drawn on a map connecting regions that possess
similar Biological spectra (q. v.).
A group of Synusiae (q. v.) that show Physiognomic
A line drawn on a map connecting regions possessing an
equal number of species within a genus or a family.
The production of similar Gametes (q. v.), occurs in
certain algae (Ulothrix), fungi, and protozoa, cf. Heterogamy.
Refers to organisms that occur in the same region.
The line or layer within a body of water which has the
same Salinity at a certain time or the same mean salinity
over a certain period.
A line drawn on a map connecting places with equal
duration of sunshine.
A line drawn on a map connecting places with equal
quantity of rainfall.
The separation of populations from other populations of
the same species by geographic, ecologic, climatic, physiolo-
gic, or other barriers, cf. Natural selection.
An Exclosure (q. v.) which is divided into plots, one of
which is opened to grazing each year, and another plot which
has been grazed is added.
A line drawn on a chart connecting areas of a community
that show equal Frequency indices of a species.
A line drawn on a chart connecting areas where events
in the life history (e.g., egg-laying, flowering) of an organism
occur at the same time. cf. Aspection.
A line drawn on a map or chart connecting places having
the same value of a certain factor, cf. Isohyet, Isotherm.
An animal in the order Isopoda, class Crustacea, e.g.,
The state of general equilibrium between the upland
and lowland areas of the earth, with indications that the
rock materials under the oceans are heavier than those under
continental protuberances, cf. Tectonic.
A line drawn on a map or chart connecting places with
the same temperature at a particular time or for a certain
Forms or atoms of the same element that differ in atomic
weight and in the constitution of the atomic nucleus. Some
elements in nature such as radium and uranium have Radio
isotopes (q. v.).
An instrument arranged at the entrance of a bird's nest
for the automatic recording of the number and direction
of visits made by the parents.
A Microspecies (q. v.).
The generalization that fishes living in waters of low
temperatures tend to have more vertebrae than do those in
A geological period in the Mesozoic era which began
about 165 million years ago and lasted about 30 million.
A short ridge or mound of sand or gravel desposited by
a stream under a glacier, cf. Esker.
Refers to a limestone region with a dry, barren surface
from which most or all of the drainage is through under-
An aggregation of tall herbs growing in fertile soil in
hollows high in mountainous regions.
An open vegetation type in South Africa consisting of
succulent and sclerophyllous shrubs, where the precipitation
amounts to 3 to 14 inches annually, but which falls mostly
in the summer.
The gross appearance, i.e., the size, number, and shape,
of the set of Somatic chromosomes.
Herbivorous animals which are so numerous that a large
number of other animals are dependent upon them for food
(e.g., Copepods. cf. Food-chain, Pyramid-oj '-numbers.
Critical areas of range land which represent range that
is most likely to be overgrazed; used as criteria or indices
of proper use of the range.
Any species of plants which because of palatability, abun-
dance, or other characteristics may be used in estimating
degree of utilization, trend, or condition of the range, cf.
The aerobic portion of Respiration, in which pyruvic
acid is oxidized, usually to carbon dioxide and water as end
The behaviour of an animal resulting from unoriented
reflex action of the entire animal.
The capability of an otherwise susceptible variety of
a species to escape infection because of the way it grows,
e.g., plants that mature early and thus escape late-season
The random turning movements of an organism which
increase in rate as it nears an unfavorable environment, cf.
A sudden movement away from an unfavorable en-
vironment, directed by the organism, cf. Klinokincsis,
Irregular, tubular streaks within one soil horizon, con-
sisting of material transported from another horizon; caused
by filling of tunnels made by burrowing animals, especially
Scrubby, stunted growth-form of trees, often forming a
characteristic zone at the limit of tree growth in mountains.
Refers to a lake.
See Raised bog.
An animal in the order Lagomorpha, class Mammalia,
The doctrine regarding the inheritance of Acquired
characters (q. v.) propounded by J. B. Lamarck.
The area used by bands of sheep during the lambing
A land connection between two bodies of land over which
migration of organisms has occurred.
The suitability of land for use of some kind without
One of the eight classes of land in the land-capability
classification, ranging from (1) land that is very good for
cultivation to (8) land that is not suitable for cultivation,
grazing, or forestry.
The pre-adult, usually self-feeding, but not sexually repro-
ducing form of an animal, passes through metamorphosis
to the adult stage, e.g., caterpillar of a moth, tadpole of a
A Periphyton (q. v.) in which the organisms are asso-
ciated in a more or less dense growth and are interdepend-
ent, cf. Epiphyton.
A red, highly weathered soil characteristic of damp
tropical regions such as equatorial Africa, cf. Laterization.
Weathering which tends to produce Laterite, essentially,
the removal of silica and consequent increase in alumina and
iron oxide content, and a decrease in the Base exchange
capacity of the soil. cf. Podzolization.
Laurel forests or subtropical rain forests, often with
Dicotyledonous and Gymnospermous dominants, cf. Lignosa.
The horizontal part of a community in which the plants
are of about the same height, e.g., tree layer, herb layer.
Also applicable to depth in the soil. syn. Stratum, cf. Layer-
The propagation of plants by inducing formation of
roots on stems that are attached to the plant.
The appearance of plants or plant parts, or their remains,
in horizontal divisions, syn. Stratification.
The removal by percolating water of soluble constituents
from the soil or other material.
The lower layer of the A horizon, lying on the mineral
soil, consisting mostly of well-decomposed, finely-divided
The arbitrary groups of leaves based on the area of
blades, as proposed by Raunkiaer, in square mm: Leptophyll
25, Nanophyll 225, Microphyll 2025, Mesophyll 18,225,
Macrophyll 164,025, Megaphyll larger than 164,025.
(1) A plant belonging to the family Leguminosae, e.g.,
pea, alfalfa. (2) The fruit of Leguminosae.
Refers to the pea family, Leguminosae.
One of the small rodents in genus Lemmus or Die-
rostonyx, order Rodentia, of circumpolar distribution.
Refers to the standing-water series; lakes, ponds, swamps.
A pore on the surface of woody stems or roots, filled
with loosely arranged cells that permit diffusion of gases
between the atmosphere and the interior of the plant.
An insect in the order Lepidoptera (e.g.) moth.
See Leaf-size classes.
A gene (q. v.) that causes death of an organism.
A colorless Plastid in which starch often forms, located
in the Cytoplasm in plant cells.
A terrace that strictly follows the contour, in contrast to
the Graded terrace (q. v.).
An English term for land that is temporarily under grass,
legumes, or mixtures of these.
A climbing or twining plant.
A Symbiotic association or relationship of an alga and a
fungus, which forms crustose, foliose, or fruticose bodies.
Liebig's Law of the Minimum
The generalization that states the growth and reproduc-
tion of an organism is dependent on the nutrient substance,
such as nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide, that is available
in minimum quantity.
A vertical subdivision of plant and animal life, deter-
mined largely by altitudinal influences, part of a Bio tic
province (q. v.).
The phases, changes, or stages an organism passes through
from the fertilized egg to death of the mature plant or
The average duration of life that a given individual is
expected to live after having reached a certain age. cf.
The characteristic form or appearance of a species at
maturity, e.g., tree, herb, worm, fish. cf. Growth form,
Habitat form, Raunkiaer's life-form classification.
One of the groups in Raunkiaer's classification of life-
forms, e.g., Geophyte, Therophyte.
The condition in which several species of the same Life-
form dominate a plant community, cf. Dominance, ecologic.
The maximum duration of life of an individual of a
A statistical tabulation presenting complete data on the
mortality of a population, cf. Ecological longevity, Life
An altitudinal or latitudinal biotic region or belt with
distinctive faunal and floral characteristics, cf. Alleghenian,
Hudsonian life zones.
See Illumination value.
The wave-length composition of light.
A complex organic compound in the walls of certain cells,
especially in woody tissue.
The process of impregnating cell walls of a plant with
The amount of standard ground limestone needed to
change the upper 6.6-inch layer of an acre of acid soil to some
lesser degree of acidity, usually stated in tons per acre.
The environmental influence by which the limit of tolera-
tion of an organism is first reached and which therefore
acts as the immediate restriction to one or more of its func-
tions or activities or in its geographic distribution.
Refers to the open water of a pond or lake. cf. Benthic.
The branch of biology that deals with fresh waters and
organisms in them.
The use of marked animals to estimate the size of a
The sampling of vegetation by recording the plants inter-
cepted by a measured line placed close to the ground, or by
vertical projection to the line. cf. Transect.
The sampling of vegetation by means of plots of uniform
size located at regular intervals along a line.
Sampling vegetation by recording kinds of plants or
communities intercepted by a measured line. cf. Line- inter-
cept method, Transect.
The association of certain characters in such a way that
they are inherited together, because the controlling genes
are in the same Chromosome.
Refers to the work or the concepts of Carolus Linnaeus.
A species according to the nomenclature of Linnaeus, a
broad category, often containing variable forms.
An implement consisting of a double plow, in which the
shares push the soil in opposite directions, forming a series
of alternate ridges and furrows. The -Basin lister has an
attachment that forms low dams of soil across the furrows
at intervals of 15 to 25 feet, so that basins are formed which
can hold large amounts of water.
A rectangular sample area in vegetation in which organ-
isms are merely tabulated according to species.
According to the metric system the volume of pure water,
free of air, at 760 mm. pressure and 4C., equivalent to 1.057
U. S. liquid quart.
A plant growing on a rock, e.g., many lichens and mosses.
All of the stages of a successional sequence that originated
on rock. cf. Succession, Xerosere, Hydrosere.
A soil consisting mainly of partly weathered rock frag-
ments or of nearly bare rock.
The earth's crust, consisting of the surface soil lying upon
the hard rock which is several miles thick, cf. Hydrosphere,
(1) The uppermost organic materials, partly or not at all
decomposed, on the surface of the soil. cf. A 00 horizon. (2)
The group of young born at one time by a Multiparous
animal as a cat.
Refers to the zone in a lake or a pond that extends from
the shore to the depth at which plants are rooted. In the
ocean the zone extends to about the depth to which tides,
wave action, and light penetrate.
A Fluke (q. v.) parasitic on sheep, cattle, and other ani-
mals, causing liver-rot.
A plant in the class Hepaticae, phylum Bryophyta,
usually growing in moist places, e.g., Marchantia.
A tropical Savanna (q. v.) or grassland north of forests
of the Amazon River basin in South America.
Used at times for the A w horizon (q. v.).
A winter fog caused by the invasion of cold air during
"northers" along the shores of the Gulf of California.
(1) A soil containing relatively equal amounts of sand
and silt and a somewhat smaller proportion of clay. (2)
Specifically, soil material containing 7 to 27 per cent clay,
28 to 50 per cent silt, and less than 52 per cent sand.
Refers to a relatively small area, a few square miles as
The behaviour of an animal where it becomes associated
with a particular area.
A group of individuals of a species with better genetic
adaptation to a given environment than other groups, cf .
A local variation of a Climax community, differing from
it in the kinds of Subdominants. cf. Faciation.
Similar to Lociation but applies to a Serai community.
A deposit of relatively uniform, fine soil material, mostly
Silt, presumably transported to its present position by wind.
See Cut-over forest.
A graph that represents the growth of an individual or
a population, typically S-shaped.
A plant that blooms under long periods of light and short
periods of darkness, e.g., red clover, cf. Photoperiodism.
The loss in weight of a soil (or other material), pre-
viously dried at 100C., heated to redness hi a crucible; often
used to represent the organic content.
Refers to running water as in a creek, cf. Lentic,
Lower Austral Life Zone
See Austral life zone.
Lower Sonoran Life Zone
See Sonoran life zone.
The emission of light that is not caused by high tempera-
ture, cf. Bioluminescence.
The correlation of activities of certain organisms with
periods of the moon, e.g., Bioluminescence of the Bermuda
fireworm at the time of full moon.
A plant in the subphylum Lycopsida (club-mosses) in
the phylum Tracheophyta, e.g., Selaginella.
An apparatus used to collect and measure the amount
of water that percolates through a quantity of soil and for
measuring the amount of Leaching.
A substance that causes bacteria, blood corpuscles, and
other organic bodies to dissolve.
Vegetation consisting of dense evergreen brush (shrubs
and small trees) in the Mediterranean region, denser than
Garique (q. v.), similar to Chaparral (q. v.). Syn. Maquis.
Macronutrient (Macrometabolic Element)
An element or a compound required by organisms in
relatively large quantity, e.g., calcium by clams, phosphorus
salts by clovers, cf. Micronutrient.
See Leaf-size class.
Refers to large aquatic plants, e.g., kelps, water cress.
Refers to an animal with unusually large wings or fins,
A northwesterly wind in the central Mediterranean
Refers to ferromagnesian minerals in a rock.
The division of zoology that deals with mollusks.
Scrub vegetation composed largely of various species of
Eucalyptus, about 2 to 10 meters high, in dry, subtropical
parts of southwest and southeast Australia.
Refers to the doctrine of T. R. Malthus that organisms
tend to increase in geometrical progression while the food
supply increases in arithmetical progression, so that the in-
crease in the size of a population tends to be at a more rapid
rate than the increase in available food. cf. Competition.
An animal in the class Mammalia, subphylum Vertebrata,
e.g., rabbit, deer.
A type of vegetation that is worldwide on tropical and
subtropical saline, tidal mud flats, consisting usually of low
trees or shrubs in genera Rhizopora, Avicennia, and
A deposit of chiefly calcium carbonate, mixed with clay
or other material, and formed chiefly in fresh water lakes
by organisms such as Chara.
A Swamp in which grasses, sedges, cattails, or rushes form
the dominant vegetation, cf. Bog. Moor.
An animal in the subclass Marsupalia, class Mammalia,
e.g., kangaroo, opossum.
A principal, relatively uniform mountainous mass with
peaks on top.
The choosing of individuals that possess a certain char-
acteristic in common from a population such as a corn field,
and then bulking the seeds or propagules for later planting.
Nuts such as acorns, beechnuts, and others, in a collective
sense, especially when the nuts are used as food for animals.
A soil that is in good adjustment with environmental
conditions, in many regions with well-developed horizons,
cf. Podzol, Chernozem.
A grassland, usually in a low, moist area; often mowed
for hay. cf. Pasture, Range.
Mean Sample Tree
A tree selected for its representative form and that is
average hi diameter, height, and volume of the other indi-
viduals of the species in a stand.
A laboratory procedure for determining the percentages
of clay, silt, and sand in a sample of soil.
The climatic conditions that prevail in lands bordering
the Mediterranean Ocean, characterized by hot, dry summers
and cool, rainy winters.
In the classification of grasses according to height, the
class that ranges from 2 to 5 feet in height, includes Mid-
grasses (q. v.). cf. Highgrass, Shortgrass.
One of the three classes of the earth's fauna, which
includes the Ethiopian, Oriental, Palearctic, and Nearctic
regions, cf. Neogea, Notogea.
A group of plants in Raunkiaer's life-form classification
which includes trees, lianas, and epiphytes over 30 meters
See Leaf-size classes.
The larger of two kinds of spores produced by plants such
as Selaginella and the Spermatophytes (q. v.). cf. Microstore.
An organism that requires continuously high tempera-
tures, and according to some usage abundant moisture, e.g.
sugarcane, cf. Mesotherm, Microtherm, Hekisto therm.
The two successive divisions of the nucleus in which the
Chromosome number is halved, from the Diploid (q. v.) to
the Haploid (q. v.) number.
The unusual development of a dark pigment in an
Cells in certain animals that contain black pigment,
melanin, as in the chameleon. The contraction of the cells
makes the animal appear light in color, expansion makes it
Refers to an organism that feeds on honey.
Refers to Mendel's laws (q. v.).
A group of individuals of a species that share in a
common Gene pool through reproduction, cf. Species,
The knowledge of inheritance according to Mendel's
The rules according to which characteristics of organisms
are inherited as stated by Gregor Mendel, such as characters
or factors (genes) act as units, dominance and recessiveness
of characters, the segregation of Alleles during meiosis, and
the independent assortment of alleles in each Gamete.
A method of mapping in which the parallels of latitude
are drawn as straight lines of the same length as the equator.
A tissue in plants that is concerned with division to form
new cells, located in various places such as root tips, stem
tips, and buds. cf. Cambium.
An organism that is in the Plankton (q. v.) during part
of its life cycle, cf. Holoplankton.
Merriam's Life Zones
A series of belts or Life zones (q. v.) based originally on
criteria of temperature according to C. Hart Merriam. See
Alleghanian, Carolinian, Hudsonian, Sonoran, Transitional,
Tropical Life zones.
A flat or nearly flat table land with steep sides.
Refers to a successional series that begins in a moderately
moist habitat, cf. Hydrarch, Xerarch.
The greatly eroded, broad plateau in the interior part
of Spain, crossed by a few mountain ridges.
Refers to environmental conditions that are medium in
moisture supply, cf. Mesophytic, Hygric, Xeric.
One of the groups of plants in Raunkiaer's life form
classification, consisting of trees, lianas, and epiphytes, 8 to
30 meters tall.
The palisade and sponge cells between the upper and
lower epidermises in a leaf.
A plant that grows in environmental conditions that are
medium in moisture conditions, e. g., corn.
Refers to a Mesophyte.
Refers to an aquatic environment in which the oxygen
content is considerably reduced and in which much decom-
position of organic materials is taking place, cf. Catarobic,
An organism that requires moderate warmth and mod-
erate moisture, e. g., corn, hickory, cf. Megatherm, Micro-
Refers to a swamp supplied with a moderate amount of
One of the great geological eras, preceding the Cenozoic
era, began about 205 million years ago and lasted about 130
million years; divided into the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cre-
The water obtained from the chemical breakdown of
foods by some organisms such as the clothes moth.
The sum total of chemical processes occurring within
an organism or a portion of it, includes Anabolism and
C atabolism (q.v.). Basal metabolism is the rate of expendi-
ture of energy while an animal is at rest. cf. Autotrophic,
Any substance that plays a part, directly or indirectly,
See Alternation of generations.
The change of an animal from one form to another in its
postembryonic development, e. g., larva of an insect to a
The differential effect of pollen from different varieties
on the development of the fruit.
An animal in the group Metazoa which includes all mul-
ticellular animals as opposed to the unicellular Protozoan
An apparatus for automatically recording simultaneously
two or more meteorological elements.
The study that deals with physical processes occurring in
the atmosphere such as precipitation, winds, and tempera-
CH 4 , often called marsh gas, an odorless, inflammable
gas, and explosive when mixed with air. Develops from de-
composing organic matter in marshes and in coal-mines.
Micelle (Micella, Micell)
A particle composed of complex molecules that forms the
units of structure in many organic substances such as cellu-
lose and starch.
The abstract class or type of community in which similar
Microstands are grouped, e. g., microstands of certain kinds
of annual weeds that form a zone around carpenter-ant
mounds in a shortgrass association or community-type.
A Microorganism (q. v.).
The climatic conditions within a Microhabitat (q. v.).
A small Community (q. v.) such as the plants and animals
living in and on a decaying stump in a forest.
A miniature world, organisms plus the environmental
conditions, cf. Ecosystem.
The procedure in which organisms or cells are studied
through a microscope by means of a mechanically operated
A small Habitat (q. v.), e. g., a tree stump or a space
between clumps of grass.
A metric measure, one-millionth part of a Micron (q. v.).
A metric measure, one-millionth part of a millimeter.
A metric measure, one thousandth part of a millimeter.
A chemical substance required by an organism in very
small quantity, e.g., boron by many plants, cf. Essential ele-
ment, Macronutrient, Vitamin, Deficiency disease.
An organism that is microscopic in size, e. g., bacteria,
Refers to an animal that feeds on particles that are very
small in comparison to its own size, e.g., certain whales feed-
ing on plankton.
A group of plants in Raunkiaer's life-form classification,
includes trees, shrubs, lianas, and epiphytes, two to eight
See Leaf-size classes.
Refers to a plant that has small leaves.
Refers to a fish with small fins or to an insect with small
hind wings, cf. Macropterous.
Minor differences in topography such as small mounds
or pits with differences in elevation of about three feet or
A series of successful stages that occur within a micro-
habitat such as a tree-stump.
A minute, RNA-rich particle in the cytoplasm of a cell,
the center of protein synthesis.
A Species that is less inclusive than the Linneon (q. v.),
similar to Subspecies (q. v.). Syn. Jordanon.
The smaller of two kinds of spores produced by plants
such as Selaginella and the Spermatophytes, e. g., pollen
A group of plants that occupies a Microhabitat (q. v.).
An organism that can develop in cool and short sum-
mers, e. g., barley, spruce trees, cf. Megatherm, Mesotherm,
An instrument for cutting very thin sections of tissue
for microscopic study.
A heterogeneous mixture of species such as occurs often
in a transition zone between two kinds of stands.
A grass two to four feet tall, in contrast to a tallgrass
which is five feet or more tall, e. g., Koeleria cristata. cf.
Medium-height grass, Shortgrass, Highgrass.
An organism that is undergoing Migration (q. v.).
(1) The movement of a plant or one or more of its parts,
such as fruits, from one area to another. (2) The movement
of an animal beyond its regularly occupied geographic loca-
tion or Home range (q. v.). cf. Emigration, Immigration, In-
An area one-thousandth part of an acre, containing
43.56 square feet, often used as a plot 6.6 feet square.
A unit of atmospheric pressure, 1000 millibars repre-
sents a pressure of about 29.53 inches (750.1 mm.) of mer-
One-thousandth part of a Curie (q. v.).
One-thousandth part of a gram.
One-thousandth part of a liter.
One-thousandth part of a meter, 0.0394 inch.
One-thousandth part of a Micron (q. v.).
A type of microrelief characterized by low mounds or
soil pimples, named after the mounds in Mima prairie in
The kind of behaviour in which like elicits like, involv-
ing hereditary patterns.
Refers to mimicking behaviour, cf. Allelomimetic.
(1) Batesian: The kind of behaviour in which an edible
species escapes death by its close resemblance in appearance
to an inedible species. (2) Mullerian: The kind of be-
havior in which both species are inedible but are similar
in appearance, so avoidance learned by predators in tasting
one is extended to the other. The term mimicry is often
restricted to the former.
The decomposition of organic substances to mineral
forms, e. g., proteins to nitrates, phosphates, etc.
Soil composed mainly of inorganic materials and with
only a relatively low amount of organic material.
The smallest area on which a community develops its
Characteristic species-combination (q. v.).
See Minimal area.
Minimum, Law of
See Liebigs law of the minimum.
Minimum Quadrat Area
For a given number of samples in a stand the size of
quadrat in which the Species-area curve (q. v.) becomes
nearly horizontal, and the use of a larger size to secure
greater accuracy is not justified by the time and labor in-
Minimum Quadrat Number
For a given size of quadrat used to sample a stand the
number of quadrats at which the number of species-number
of quadrats curve becomes nearly horizontal, and the use of
more quadrats to secure greater accuracy is not justified by
the time and labor involved. See Species-number curve.
See Essential element, Micronutrient.
A geological epoch which began about 28 million years
ago and lasted about 16 million years, in the Tertiary pe-
riod of the Cenozoic era.
A geological period in the Paleozoic era (q. v.), which
began about 280 million years ago and lasted for about 25
A cold, northerly wind along the northwest Mediter-
ranean coast, especially during winter.
An animal in the order Ac&rina, class Arachnida, phylum
Arthropoda; including both free-living and parasitic forms.
A minute body in the cytoplasm in cells, the chief loca-
tion of respiratory enzymes, syn. Chondriosome.
The ordinary division of a nucleus that includes the
longitudinal doubling of chromosomes to form pairs of
chromatids, separation of each pair to form two daughter
nuclei; so a constant number of chromosomes is maintained.
Refers to Mitosis.
A forest composed of trees of two or more species, usu-
ally at least 20 per cent of the trees are of other than the
An extensive grassland type lying west of the tall-grass or
True prairie in North America, consisting of a mixture of
tall-, short-, and midgrasses, and other herbaceous plants.
Refers to an organism that is both Autotrophic (q. v.)
and Heterotrophic (q. v.), e. g. Insectivorous plants.
The organism that in Mimicry is imitated.
A non-inheritable, Phenotypic variation of a character-
istic of an organism, caused by the environment, e. g., taller
growth of a plant in the shade than in the sun. cf. Acquired
The percentage of moisture retained by a small sample
of saturated soil after being subjected to a centrifugal force
1000 times that of gravity for a definite period of time, usu-
ally one-half hour.
The tension at which water is held in the soil.
The force at which water is held in the soil.
An organism in the large phylum Mollusca, e. g., snail,
An erosion remnant such as a hill or a mass of rock rising
above the surrounding land.
The mating of a female with only one male, or the
presence of only one stamen in a flower.
As postulated by F. . Clements, ecologic succession will
in time culminate in a single Climax (q. v.) within a climatic
region, cf. Polydimax.
Refers to plants that have perfect flowers, i. e., stamens
and pistil in the same flower, e. g., a rose flower, cf. Di-
A vascular plant in the subclass Monocotyledoneae, class
Angiospermae (flowering plants), e. g., grasses, orchids, cf.
(1) Refers to a plant with some flowers containing only
stamens and other flowers with only one or more pistils on
the same plant, e. g., corn. cf. Dioecious. (2) A unisexual
animal or plant, cf. Hermaphrodite.
The mating of an animal with only one member of the
opposite sex. cf. Polygamy.
The mating of a male with only one female, cf. Poly-
A cross or Hybrid resulting from the mating of parents
differing in only one character, cf. Dihybrid.
A sample of a vertical section of a soil profile a few inches
thick, removed from the soil with as little disturbance as
possible, cf. Profile (soil).
Refers to an organism that subsists on a few or only one
kind of food, e. g. many caterpillars, cf. Steno-, Euroky.
Refers to a single area such as in the restricted area of
distribution of a species.
An animal in the primitive order Monotremata, egg-
laying mammals, restricted to the Australian faunal region,
e. g., platypus.
A wind system that reverses its direction with the season,
mostly in southeast Asia.
A tropical forest of deciduous trees in regions where sea-
sons of heavy rainfall alternate with long droughts.
Refers to mountains.
Primarily high-lying, unenclosed land occupied by
heather and other ericaceous dwarf shrubs, including boggy
areas, cf. Bog, Heath, Marsh, Swamp.
A layer of Humus material, usually compacted or matted
or both lying on the mineral soil. cf. H-layer.
The accumulation of rock material by a glacier, occurs
in various topographic forms such as ridges or more level
areas according to the manner of formation. Various kinds
are lateral, terminal, medial, and ground moraines.
The general behavioural attributes of motile organisms,
or groups of animals possessing particular ecological charac-
The origin and development of the form and structure
of an organism or one of its parts.
The study of the form, structure, and development of
The constitution of the soil including texture, structure,
and other properties.
(1) A pattern of vegetation in which two or more kinds
of communities are interspersed in patches, e. g., clumps of
shrubs with grassland between. (2) A symptom of some kinds
of virus disease.
(1) A plant in the class Musci, phylum Bryophyta. (2)
An organic soil consisting of fairly well decomposed un-
recognizable organic material that is finely divided, dark in
color, and with a relatively large content of mineral matter.
A natural or artificial layer of plant residue or other
material such as sand or paper on the soil surface, cf. Dust
Working of the soil so that plant residues are left on
A scrub thicket consisting mostly of Acacia.
A layer of Humus that is granular in structure, more or
less friable, slightly or not at all matted, and with a gradual
transition to the mineral soil below, cf. M or.
Refers to an animal that produces more than one young
at birth, cf. Uniparous.
The policy of using a resource in several ways such as the
use of forests for the production of timber, forage, water
supplies, and game animals, and also for recreation.
Refers to an organism that has several generations dur-
ing a single season, cf. Univoltine.
A Bog in the northern part of North America charac-
terized by an abundance usually of Sphagnum moss and a
greater or lesser abundance of shrubs and low trees such as
An influence that induces Mutation (q. v.) in organisms,
e. g., Ionizing radiation.
An organism, characteristic, or gene resulting from Mu-
A sudden, inheritable variation in an organism resulting
from changes in a Gene, or in alterations of the structure
or number of Chromosomes.
The kind of interspecies relationship, Coaction, or Sym-
biosis that is obligatory and beneficial to the two or more
participating organisms, e. g. a fungus and an alga in a
The relationship where mutual benefit or dependence
occurs because of the proximity of organisms to one another.
The mass of Hyphae (q. v.) of a fungus, e. g., bread mold.
Refers to an organism that eats fungi, e. g., a Collem-
bolon that eats Hyphae.
The branch of botany that deals with fungi.
The symbiotic relationship of a fungus with the roots of
certain plants, cf. Mutualism, Endotrophic, Ectotrophic.
The association of a fungus with a Rhizome.
The association of a fungus with a Thallus.
Refers to a plant with Mycorrhiza.
An animal in the group Myriapoda comprising classes
Chilopoda (centipedes) and Diplopoda (millipedes), phylum
Structures on plants in which ants or termites live.
Refers to an organism that lives in ant or termite gal-
Refers to plants that are inhabited by ants or termites.
Refers to plants that repel ants or termites.
A plant that has structures adapted for the shelter of ants
or termites and usually also has extrafloral nectaries or
glands producing nutritious substances, e. g. Acacia spp.
A slime mold. An organism possessing both animal and
plant characteristics, classified in the phylum Myxomyco-
phyta in the Fungi, syn. Mycetozoa.
The dwarfed appearance of plants, as at tree-line in
A subdivision of the Phanerophytes (q.v.) in Raunkiaer*s
life-form classification, comprising shrubs 0.25 to 2 meters in
See Leaf-size classes.
Very minute Plankton (q. v.), those that pass through
meshes of a No. 20 silk bolting cloth (0.03 to 0.04 mm.).
A response in plants caused by a diffuse stimulus (not
received from a definite direction) or when the response to
a diffuse or lateral stimulus is determined exclusively by the
irritable organ, e. g., drooping of the leaves of Mimosa
pudica when it is touched, cf. Tropism.
The production of offspring by organisms.
Refers to the swimming capacity of an organism.
An area of land in which organisms and geological proc-
esses are undisturbed by man, with as few controls as pos-
sible, cf. Primitive area.
The agent of evolutionary change by which the organisms
possessing certain characteristics in a given environment give
rise to more offspring than those lacking such characteristics.
cf. Drift, genetic; Mutation.
See Natural area.
See Natural area.
The lowest tides during a month, occurring about the
time of the moon's first and last quarters.
One of the faunal regions of the earth, in the realm
Megagea, includes North America except the tropical part
The death of an organism or one of its parts.
The sweet liquid secreted by special glands in flowers or
in other parts of plants, attractive to insects, cf. Nectary.
Refers to a flower or plant that produces nectar.
A gland in a flower or on a vegetative organ that pro-
The strong-swimming animals in water, e. g., fish. cf.
An animal in the class Nematoda, phylum Nemathel-
minthes, e. g., hookworm, eelworm in potatoes.
The doctrine of modern evolution that combines Gen-
etics with Natural selection (q. v.).
The faunal realm, containing only one region, the Neo-
tropical which includes South and Central America and the
tropical parts of Mexico, cf. Megagea, Notogea.
The theory of evolution that includes modern-day modi-
fications of the doctrines of Lamarckism (q. v.).
The cultural stage, beginning about ten thousand years
ago, in human history, following the Paleolithic, during
which cultivation of plants and domestication of animals
An abnormal increase in the number of cells in some
part of an organism, often malignant.
The occurrence of larval or other juvenile characters in
the adult stage of an organism, or the presence of an adult
character in the larval stage, e. g., larval form of the adult
female glowworm, cf. Paligenesis, Caenogenesis, Paedo-
An instrument for measuring the percentage of sky that
An instrument for measuring the direction and speed of
the movement of clouds.
Refers to the portion of the sea lying above the conti-
nental shelf, usually to a depth of 200 meters, cf. Oceanic
province, Pelagic, Littoral, Sub littoral.
An arrangement of placing Quadrats in one area so that
the size of the area sampled becomes progressively larger,
to determine the proper size of quadrat to use for the par-
ticular kind of vegetation.
The rate of increase in dry weight of the whole plant in
relation to the unit leaf-area or unit leaf-rate.
Refers to the nervous system or to a nerve.
The organisms in a collective sense that are associated
with or dependent upon the surface film of water, e. g.,
The occurrence of two or more populations in an area
and neither influences the other.
Granular, compacted snow at the head of a glacier, or
similar snow elsewhere, syn. Firn.
(1) Ecological niche: the role of an organism in the en-
vironment, its activities and relationships to the biotic and
abiotic environment. (2) Habitat niche: the specific part
or smallest unit of a Habitat occupied by an organism, cf.
Refers to young, undeveloped birds that remain in the
nest for a time after hatching.
Refers to young, undeveloped birds that leave the nest
soon after hatching.
The oxidation of ammonia and ammonium compounds
to nitrites and then to nitrates by certain bacteria, cf. Nitro-
The circulation of nitrogen, chiefly by means of organ-
isms from the inorganic nitrogen in the atmosphere to ni-
trates, into proteins and protoplasm in plants and animals,
to ammonia, and return to nitrites and nitrates, cf. Nitrogen
The assimilation of free nitrogen of the atmosphere
by microorganisms in the soil or by bacteria in the nodules
of certain plants, especially legumes, into organic nitro-
Refers to plants that grow well in soil that is rich in
nitrogen, e. g., many barnyard weeds.
A kind of erosion caused by the action of snow, e. g.
Refers to night time. cf. Crepuscular, Diel, Diurnal.
A structure formed on the roots of most legumes and a
few other species containing bacteria that carry on Nitrogen
An abstract unit of vegetation such as Association, Socia-
tion, and Alliance; corresponds to Taxon in Systematic*.
A member of a group, especially of primitive people, who
change their dwelling place frequently.
Names of organisms whose usage is maintained by agree-
ment of systematists although the names may be contrary to
the rules of nomenclature.
The amount of water in the soil when a plant wilts
permanently, cf. Wilting.
An environmental factor such as weather conditions
which are not influenced by the density of individuals in a
population, but may produce increasingly adverse effects
with increasing density, cf. Density-independent factor, Den-
Normal Dispersion, Normal Distribution
The distribution in an area of individuals of a popula-
tion that is at random.
The Erosion that occurs on land under natural environ-
mental conditions not disturbed by human activities, cf.
See Biological spectrum.
Norther (Norte in Central America)
A northerly wind, especially a strong one, that begins
suddenly during the colder half of the year in the region
from Texas southward, including the Gulf of Mexico and
the western Caribbean.
One of the three continental fauna! realms. It includes
the Australian region (q. v.). cf. Megagea, Neogea.
Refers to nut-bearing plants.
A body of land, such as a mountain, projecting at some
time above a mass of ice and snow, or above a glacier.
See Companion crop.
A circular or spiral movement of the growing portions
of plants such as stems or tendrils.
Any substance absorbed by a plant that is used in its
The movement of a plant organ in response to alterna-
tion of night and day as in clover leaflets.
A stage in the Metamorphosis of certain insects between
the larval and adult forms.
A Parasite that cannot attain complete development inde-
pendent of its Host.
The portion of the ocean seaward from the Continental
shelf, having a depth greater than 200 meters, cf. Neritic.
The science dealing with all aspects of the ocean; physi-
cal conditions, plant and animal life, etc.; sometimes re-
stricted to the study of physical conditions only.
Oestrus (Estroys) cycle
The period in mature females in many kinds of mam-
mals when the desire for mating occurs; it varies in length,
is controlled by hormones, and is often accompanied by
A short, basal stem by which some plants propagate.
Refers to the production or presence of oil in a plant
organ, e. g., olive fruit.
The geological epoch near the middle of the Tertiary
period in the Cenozoic era which began about 39 million
years ago and lasted for about 11 million years.
Refers to an aquatic habitat that is high in content
of oxygen, low in dissolved organic matter, and with very
little decomposition of organic substances that are present,
cf. Catarobic, Polysaprobic, Mesosaprobic.
Refers to ponds or lakes that are low in content of basic
nutritive substances for plants, lacking a distinct stratifica-
tion of dissolved oxygen in summer or winter, cf. Eutrophic.
Refers to plants that endure much rain, with leaves that
are easily wetted.
Refers to plants that do not endure much rain, with
Refers to an animal that eats both plant and animal food,
cf. Carnivorous, Herbivorous.
A gradation in phenotypic characteristics such as color or
form appearing at different times in the life cycle of an ani-
mal, may be related to the Ecocline (q. v.).
The development of an individual, or a part of it, from
the Zygote to the adult, cf. Phytogeny.
Sexual reproduction by means of eggs and sperms, cf.
A community in which the plants are more or less scat-
tered, in which invasion may readily occur.
Pollination (q. v.) by wind, insects, etc., not directly by
An extensive grazing area on which the movements of
livestock are unrestricted.
A parkland type of vegetation in which trees do not form
an open canopy.
The range of conditions which is most favorable for an
organism, or for a certain function of an organism, cf. Eco-
In plant and animal Taxonomy, a group or Taxon of
related families, e. g. Resales. In phytosociology, a group of
similar Alliances. In classification of soils, the highest cate-
gory comprising Zonal, Intrazonal, and Atonal soils.
A geological period in the early pan of the Paleozoic
era, which began about 425 million years ago and lasted
about 65 million years.
A distinct part of a plant or animal which carries on one
or more particular functions, e. g., a leaf, wing of a bird.
Any part of a cell of an organism.
Organic Matter (In Soil)
Materials derived from plants or animals, much of it in
a more or less advanced stage of decomposition, cf. Humus.
A soil composed mainly of organic matter on a volume
basis; containing 20 per cent or more on weight basis, e. g.,
Refers to the concept that a group of organisms such as
a community has qualities of a higher level of organization
than the constituent organisms have individually; changes
occurring in a community are related more to the qualities
of the group than to those of the individual plants and
One of the four continental faunal regions in the realm
Megagea; it includes tropical Asia and the associated con-
The division of zoology that deals with birds.
Refers to flowers that are pollinated by birds such as the
The process of mountain formation by changes in the
Refers to mountains, or to relief characteristics of the
The plant from which members of a Clone (q. v.) were
derived, cf. Ramet.
The trend in the evolution of organisms in a particular
direction for a long time. cf. Genetic drift, Sewall Wright
The random movements of an organism that decrease
in rate from one part of an environmental gradient to an-
other part, e. g., a meal worm moving from the moist part
of a gradient and congregating in the drier part. cf. Klino-
kinesis, Klinotaxis, Photokinesis.
An insect in the order Orthoptera, e. g., cricket, grass-
The trend in the evolution of organisms which is in a
particular direction under the influence of selection, cf.
Orthogenesis, Natural selection.
A strongly compacted, indurated layer (Pan) of soil in
which the particles are cemented together with iron and or-
The adjustment in the osmotic concentration of solutes
in fluids in organisms to environmental conditions, e. g.,
when eels migrate from salt to fresh water.
The diffusion of a solvent (especially water) across a dif-
ferentially permeable membrane separating two solutions or
separating a solution and a solvent.
The concentration of salts in a solution.
Osmotic Pressure (of a Solution)
The rating or index of potential maximum pressure
which can develop in a given solution when it is exposed to
The study of the development and nature of bones in
A valley that contains water in rainy seasons (Arabian).
The occurrence of an organism in large numbers or in
sufficient number to cause serious damage over an appreci-
The mating of individuals that are not closely related,
A geological stratum that is exposed on the surface of
Material carried by streams of melt water from a glacier
and deposited in the form of plains, deltas, and Valley
(1) The portion of the Pistil or Carpel of a flower that
contains one or more ovules (q. v.). (2) The organ in female
animals that produces the egg or ovum.
See Contagious dispersion.
Grazing so intensively that it reduces the capacity of
plants to continue production of forage and also causes de-
terioration by damaging plants or soil or both. cf. Under-
A population-density in excess of the capacity of the en-
vironmental resources to supply the requirements of the in-
dividual organisms, usually accompanied by a high mortality
rate because of inadequate nutrition, insufficient shelter, and
increased predation, disease, or parasitism, cf. Malthusian.
(1) Refers to stands of trees in which the large number
may retard growth. (2) A population of animals in which the
number is in excess of the resources of the habitat to provide
food and shelter, cf. Fully stocked.
The placing of more livestock on a range than its re-
sources can support through the grazing season without
The layer of trees in a forest that forms the Canopy, cf.
The spring and fall circulation in lakes induced by the
wind when thermally different strata become mixed, cf.
Refers to an animal that lays eggs in which embryos
show little or no development, e. g., most fishes, cf. Vivi-
A specialized structure in insects for depositing eggs.
Refers to an animal that keeps ova or eggs within the
body until they are ready to hatch, requiring internal fer-
tilization, as in birds, cf. Oviparous, Viviparous.
The structure within the Ovary of a flower that after
Fertilization of the egg within it develops into a seed.
A female Gamete (q. v.) or egg.
A more or less semicircular lake or pond formed when
a meander of a river is separated from the main stream.
The potential of a given material, in comparison with
other materials, to release electrons (oxidation), or to receive
electrons (reduction); symbolized by E h . syn. Redox poten-
The stages of a successional series that began in water or
soil that is appreciably acid. cf. Succession, Hydrosere.
A small Enclosure in a grassland.
Reproduction occurring in larval or other young stages
of an animal. cf. Neoteny.
The evolutionary process in which a character of an im-
mature stage of an organism appears in the adult stage, cf.
The acceptability of food by domestic or wild animals as
shown by their preferences; in range management often used
for utilization of forage, especially the proper degree of use
under good management, cf. Proper use factor.
One of the four continental faunal regions in the realm
Megagea (q. v.). It includes Eurasia north of the Tropics and
the northernmost part of Africa.
PQ looDoto ny
The study of fossil plants, cf. Paleontology, Paleozoology.
The earliest geological epoch in the Tertiary period of
the Cenozoic era, which began about 75 million years ago
and lasted for about 17 million years.
The study of Ecology of former geological periods.
Refers to the period of human history characterized by
food-gathering, fishing, and hunting, without cultivation;
and by the use of stone implements.
The study of the life of former geological epochs by
means of fossils, cf. Paleobotany, Paleozoology.
One of the major geological eras, preceding the Mesozoic,
which began about 505 million years ago and ended about
205 million years ago.
The study of animal fossils, cf. Paleontology, Paleobotany.
The appearance during the development of an organism
of stages or structures which occurred in earlier forms dur-
ing its evolution, cf. Caenogenesis, Recapitulation.
Refers to marshes.
The study of Pollen and other microfossils, especially
from deposits in lakes and other bodies of water, to deter-
mine the age of strata and the kind of plant life existing
in former periods, cf. Paleobotany.
Extensive grasslands in South America, particularly in
Argentina, large portions of which are now cultivated, cf.
Prairie, Steppe, Veld.
A suddenly arising, violent, southwesterly wind on the
Pampas of South America, most prevalent from July to Sep-
(1) A layer in the soil that is strongly compacted and
indurated, or with a very large clay content, cf. Ortstein.
(2) A shallow, basin-like depression without vegetation or
outlet for drainage.
According to F. E. Clements two or more related cli-
maxes that have the same life-form, common genera of dom-
inants, and the same general climatic factors, cf. Formation.
Refers to something which has a wide occurrence such as
The wide interbreeding of individuals of a population,
where each individual has the potential capacity of mating
with any other individual.
The feeding of swine in woods, or the food such as
acorns that is secured. A term used in England especially.
A fresh-water or brackish marsh in Argentina.
A drafting instrument used in copying maps or charts,
adapted for charting the location and area of plants in a
Quadrat (q. v.).
A violent northeasterly wind of the Pacific coast of Cen-
Refers to the butterfly-like flower of many species in the
pea family, Leguminosae.
An alpine type of vegetation, or the sparsely vegetated
land, in high mountains in the Andes and in northern South
America, cf. Tundra.
A type of mixed vegetation composed of species differing
in height, which occurs on areas following the repeated cut-
ting of forest in southeast Asia.
The interaction or Coaction in which one or more or-
ganisms, the Parasite, benefits while feeding upon, securing
shelter, or otherwise injuring one or more other organisms,
the Host; often the term is restricted to nutritive relations,
cf. Symbiosis, Saprophyte.
Refers to movements of plants such as tropic or nastic
movements induced by an external stimulus, cf. Tropism,
The kind of injury to plants, especially evergreens that
have been exposed to strong, drying winds in winter.
(1) A common tissue in the soft parts of plants consisting
of thin-walled, cubical cells, e. g. pith, fleshy fruits. (2) The
loose tissue that forms a large part of the body of flat-worms.
Parent Material (Soil)
The C horizon (q. v.) of the soil.
Parent Rock (Soil)
The rock from which the parent material of the soil has
The type of landscape in which trees occur in clumps in
The development of the fruit of a plant without Fertili-
zation, e. g., as in the banana.
The development of the egg of an organism into an em-
bryo without Fertilization, cf. Apomixis.
Herbage of an area taken by an animal when grazing, the
yield of a Pasture.
An area of vegetation used for grazing, sometimes re-
stricted to areas of cultivated land which, have been seeded
and then used for grazing, cf. Range.
An animal that spends its normal life in the debris of the
forest floor stratum.
(1) A montane grassy slope (Ceylon). (2) A grassy slope
with a moderate supply of moisture, resembling a Savanna.
An organism or virus that causes disease.
The study of diseases.
An animal that spends a regular part of its normal life
outside of the forest floor but lives transiently in it.
An animal that occurs accidentally in the litter of the
The arrangement formed by the occurrence of indivi-
duals or groups of organisms in an area, such as Contagious
dispersion, Hypodispersion, and Normal dispersion (q. v.).
An organic soil consisting of partially decomposed or-
ganic remains which can be identified as to the kind of con-
stituent plants. It accumulates in water or under wet condi-
tions, cf. Muck.
The dominance of one bird over another in a flock, ap-
plied also to other animals, cf. Social dominance.
The order of dominance of some birds over others in a
flock, applied also to other animals.
The dominance of one bird over all the others iri a flock.
An individual soil aggregate occurring naturally.
The kind of soil in which alumina and iron oxides move
downward in the soil profile and in which no accumulation
of calcium carbonate occurs, cf. Pedocal, Laterite.
A record of the ancestry of an individual.
A gradual slope covered with scattered rock adjacent to a
mountain in semi-arid and arid regions.
A type of soil in which a layer of accumulated carbonates
occurs, cf. Pedalfer, Laterite.
Refers to effects caused by soil factors.
The science dealing with soils.
A Community dependent on the bottom in lakes, cf.
Refers to the open water of the ocean, lacking associa-
tion with the shore or the bottom, cf. Abyssal, Neritic, Ben-
A land surface worn down by erosion to almost Base
level so that most of it appears as a plain.
An Antibiotic (q. v.) produced by the mold Penicillin
A geologic period in the latter part of the Paleozoic era
which began about 255 million years ago and lasted for about
25 million years.
The body of free ground water in a zone of saturation,
separated from an underlying body of ground water by an
unsaturated layer of material.
The downward movement of water in the soil, especially
in saturated or nearly saturated soil, cf . Infiltration.
The continuance of life in an organism from year to year
as in a Rhizome or seed.
A plant that lives for three or more years, cf. Annual,
Refers to flowers containing one or more stamens and
The flower parts surrounding the stamens and petals; the
petals and/or sepals of a flower; much reduced in some
The repeated occurrence of events at fairly frequent and
regular intervals, cf. Aspection, Phenology.
The assemblage of organisms attached to surfaces sub-
merged in water, above the bottom, cf. Benthos, Plankton.
Permanently frozen ground in arctic and subarctic re-
Grazing land that remains under grazing use for many
years, cf. Rotation Grazing, Range.
A marked sample area or quadrat (q. v.) in which the
vegetation is recorded over a period of many years.
Permanent Wilting Percentage
The quantity o water in the soil on a dry weight basis
when plants growing in it have reached the condition of
(1) The property or condition of the soil that relates to
the passage of water or air through it. cf. Percolation. (2)
The rate of diffusion of molecules of a substance through a
membrane, cf. Osmosis.
An animal in a terrestrial community which has great
motility, e. g., a bird.
The latest geological period in the Paleozoic era which
began about 230 million years ago and lasted for about 25
The conditions of the environment outside of the Opti-
mum which an organism can endure, cf. Ecological ampli-
An agent or substance that destroys pests, e. g., a fungi-
cide or insecticide.
One of the parts of the Corolla of a flower.
The stalk of a leaf.
Refers to the Rocky Mountains.
The formation of fossils by the replacement of organic
substances in dead organisms by minerals.
A measure of the energy by which a soil holds water;
soil dried at 100-110 C has a pF of 7.0, the tension de-
creases as the water content increases.
A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a solution, or
the concentration of H or OH ions, ranging from to 14.
Values above 7 are alkaline, below 7 are acid. cf. Reaction
A cell that engulfs bacteria or other particles, e. g., white
corpuscles in the blood.
The engulfing of particles by a Phagocyte.
One of Raunkiaer*s life-form classes (q. v.) in which the
buds or other perennating parts are more than 25 cm. above
the ground, especially trees and shrubs.
The study of the periodic phenomena of animal and
plant life and their relations to the weather and climate,
e. g. the time of flowering in plants, cf. Periodicity, Aspec-
The expression of the characteristics of an organism as
determined by the interaction of its genie constitution and
the environment, cf. Genotype, Ecad.
The tissue in plants that conducts foods such as sugar
which is performed especially by the sieve tubes.
The transport of one organism by another, e. g., mites
carried by insects.
The upper portion of bodies of water into which light
penetrates in sufficient intensity to influence plants or ani-
mals, cf. Aphotic zone.
Refers to the capacity of a substance to produce light,
The undirected locomotion of many lower organisms in
response to light, accomplished by their capacity to influ-
ence the speed of their movements, cf. Phototaxis, Ortho-
An instrument for measuring the intensity of light.
One of the particles in a beam of radiant energy, cf.
The response of an organism or organ to a diffuse light
stimulus, e. g., closing of oxalis flowers in the evening.
The duration of light during a 24-hour period.
The response of plants and animals to the relative dura-
tion of light and darkness, e. g. a chrysanthemum blooming
under short days and long nights.
The synthesis of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and
water by Chlorophyll using light as energy with oxygen as a
The directed movement of a motile organism in response
to a light stimulus, cf. Photokinesis.
Refers to organisms that can obtain energy from sunlight,
cf. Autotrophic, Heterotrophic, Chemotrophic.
The growing or turning of an organ of a plant when un-
equally illuminated, toward the light of greater intensity.
The process of opening or closing holes by animals, e. g.,
an ant closing its entrance to the nest in a plant stem.
A plant that absorbs its water from a permanent supply
in the ground, e. g., willows along a stream.
A phylogenetic group of closely related species.
The evolutionary development and relationships of a
group of organisms such as rodents or species of rose. cf.
One of the major subdivisions used in classifying plants
and animals, e. g., Tracheophyta (vascular plants), Arthro-
Dominance (ecologic) (q. v.) caused by the similarity of
a number of species in a certain life-form rather than be-
cause of greater cover, number, or size of one or a few
species, e. g., a weed patch consisting of many species of
annual weeds similar in form.
The appearance of vegetation as determined by the life-
form of the dominant plants, e. g., a grassland, pine forest.
The branch of physical science that deals with the physi-
cal features of the earth, cf. Geomorphology.
The conditions that obtain when a plant wilts or suffers
from insufficient water although the habitat contains ample
water, cf. Aridity, Cold desert.
See Biological race.
The condition of organisms that have become isolated
because of their physiological requirements rather than be-
cause of other kinds of Barriers, cf. Isolation.
The branch of biology that deals with the functions and
processes carried on by plants and animals.
The condition in some insects in which the body be-
comes swollen, soft, and white, as in some beetles.
A chemical substance that exerts a differential killing
effect within a crop, e. g., one variety but not the other
varieties killed by DDT in a barley crop.
The totality of plants in a stand of vegetation, the entire
plant Community, cf. Biocoenosis.
The term preferred by Gams in place of Plant sociology.
See Plant geography.
A polygonal diagram that expresses several kinds of com-
munity characteristics such as numerical abundance, fre-
quency index, size classes, and basal area on various axes for
a certain species of tree in a forest.
A plant such as the sunflower, used to measure environ-
The study of plant diseases.
The plants occurring in Plankton (q. v.), e. g. diatoms.
See Plant sociology.
An extensive set of rooms used for growing plants under
controlled environmental conditions.
A plant, animal, or community that first invades a bare
area, e. g., willows on a newly formed sandbar.
The growing of fish.
Refers to the pistil, e. g. pistillate flower.
The making of shallow pits or depressions, especially in
rangeland, with an offset disk or pitting machine, in order
to retain rain water or snowmelt.
The gland inside the skull of vertebrates which is of
major importance in the secretion of Hormones, many of
which control the activity of other Endocrine (q. v.) glands.
A type of Climax (q. v.) vegetation which is the result of
man's activity, a biotic climax, e. g., an apparently stable
community caused by continued mowing or grazing, cf. Dis-
climax, Proclimax, Sub climax, Plagiosere, Ser climax.
A Sere (q. v.) deflected from its undisturbed course by the
constant intervention of man in such activities as burning,
grazing, and mowing, resulting in a Plagioclimax.
An extensive tract of nearly level or gently undulating
land that is usually occupied by grassland vegetation.
A surveying , instrument used for making a sketch-map
of a small area.
An instrument used to determine the area of a plane fig-
ure or object such as a leaf by tracing the boundaries.
Plankter (Plankt, Planktont)
An individual organism in the Plankton (q. v.).
The floating or weakly swimming animal and plant or-
ganisms occurring at any depth in lakes, ponds, streams, or
seas; often microscopic in size.
An Intrazonal group of soils with eluviated surface hori-
zons underlain by clay pans or fragipans, developed on nearly
flat or gently sloping uplands in humid or subhumid cli-
mates, cf. Eluviation.
The science that deals with the geographic distribution
of plants and the causes of their distribution and dispersal,
syn. Phytogeography, Synchorology.
The substances or elements absorbed by a plant and used
in its metabolism, e. g., nitrates, phosphates, cf. Essential
The part of a vegetatively propagating plant which is con-
sidered as a unit in analyzing vegetation, e. g., each stalk of
plant that has rhizomes.
An animal that walks on the entire bottom of the feet,
e. g., bear, man.
The study of plant communities, including their origin,
composition, structure, characteristics, distribution, dy-
namics, and classification, syn. Phytogeography.
Gene-like, non-Mendelian carriers of hereditary charac-
ters, located in the Cytoplasm.
The mass of cytoplasm containing many nuclei that is
enclosed by a single plasma membrane, occurring in Slime
molds (q. v.). cf. Syncytium, Coenocyte.
The shrinking of the Cytoplasm from the cell wall,
caused by osmosis of water out of the cell.
(1) The capacity of an organism to adapt itself to various
environmental conditions. (2) The capacity of a soil to be
changed in shape under applied stress and to retain the im-
pressed shape after removal of the stress.
A protoplasmic body in the Cytoplasm in cells of plants,
e. g., Chloroplast, Leucoplast, Chromoplast.
Undrained, flat, barren basins that are usually dry and
often saline, in arid and semiarid regions.
The geological epoch preceding the Recent in the Quat-
ernary period of the Cenozoic era, which began about one
million years ago and lasted for about one million years.
Refers to an organism that has two or more forms in its
life cycle, cf. Polymorphism.
A one-layered community of plants that float on or
within bodies of water, cf. Plankton.
The latest geological epoch in the Tertiary period of the
Cenozoic era which began about 12 million years ago and
lasted for about 1 1 million years.
Refers to the number of sets of Chromosomes in a cell,
e. g., Diploid, Polyploid (q. v.).
An area of land that is studied or used for experimental
purposes, in which sample areas are often located.
A compacted layer formed in the soil immediately below
the depth of plowing, syn. Plowsole.
The portion of the embryo of a seed, above the place of
attachment of the cotyledons, consisting of the stem tip and
a few embryonic leaves.
Refers to rain.
Vegetation that includes rain forest (Pluviisilvae) which
is dominated by evergreen broad-leaved trees, and rain bush
(1) A special structure on an aquatic or marsh plant that
extends above the water making a direct connection of the
tissues with the aerial environment. (2) Air sacs exposed to
the aerial environment occurring in some aquatic insects.
A bog in shallow, undrained depressions in savannas in
the southeastern part of the United States.
A Zonal group of soils having surface organic layers and
thin, organic mineral horizons above gray, leached horizons
upon illuvial, dark brown horizons; developed under coni-
ferous or mixed forests or heath vegetation in cool-temperate,
Refers to soils that have part or all of the characteristics
The process by which soils are depleted of bases, becom-
ing more acid, and develop leached surface layers from which
clay is removed, cf. Laterization, Calcification, Solonization.
An animal that lacks capacity to control its body tempera-
ture which is approximately that of the environment, e. g.,
Point-contact Method (Point-frame)
A technique for determining the area of herbage cover by
listing the number of times that various species are touched
by the point of a rod or pin. Numerous contacts are used in
each Stand or Plot.
See Normal dispersion.
The boundary between the cold air of a polar region and
the warmer air of lower latitudes, cf. Warm front.
The property of an organism to respond differently in its
various ends or in contrasting parts of its body to stimuli.
An area of land reclaimed from the sea or from a lake by
dams or dikes, especially in Holland.
The Microspores which give rise to the male Gameto-
phytes in seed plants, cf. Pollination.
The identification and determination of abundance of
pollen in soil deposits, particularly in peat. cf. Palynology.
A tabular or graphic expression of the occurrence of vari-
ous kinds of pollen in deposits of peat or other materials at
The expression in percentage of the kinds of pollen in
one sample of a Pollen analysis (q. v.).
The tubular growth, male Gametophyte containing the
sperms, produced by a pollen grain when it germinates on
the stigma and extends into the style of the pistil of a flower.
The transportation of pollen by wind, insects, or other
agent from an anther to a stigma in flowering plants; usually
by wind from a pollen-bearing cone to the Ovw/e-bearing
cone in conifers.
Contamination of a habitat with substances which make
it less favorable for organisms.
A plant form resembling a cushion, consisting of closely
packed stems, dead leaves, and often roots, e. g., many saxi-
The mating of a single female animal with several males,
The concept that several Climaxes (q. v.) constitute the
vegetation in an area as the result of Succession (q. v.).
In animals the development of more than one embryo
from a fertilized egg; in plants the development of more than
one embryo within a single Ovule of a plant.
The mating of one male animal with several females,
cf. Monogamy, Polygyny.
The surface configuration of soil characterized by poly-
gons, common in arctic regions.
Mating by Polyandry or Polygamy (q. v.).
The presence of several distinct forms in a species,
particularly within a certain habitat or population, cf.
An organism or a cell that contains more than the
Diploid number of Chromosomes per cell. cf. Haploid,
Refers to an aquatic habitat that is characterized by con-
siderable decomposition of organic material and low con-
centration or absence of free oxygen, cf. Catarobic, Mesosa-
Refers to a species that occurs in more than one area,
especially to Discontinuities (q. v.).
Refers to a species that occurs in various forms in differ-
ent parts of its range.
A multicarpellate fruit in which the fleshy part surround-
ing the ovary is formed from the receptacle, e.g., apple fruit.
A group of interacting individuals of the same species or
smaller Taxa in a common spatial arrangement.
The recurrent changes in the size of a population from
low to high numbers and the return to low numbers as in
the cycle of the snowshoe hare.
The number of individuals in a population per unit area.
The totality of changes that take place during the life
of a population.
The combined forces of the individuals of a population
upon the organisms in a community and upon the environ-
ment, cf. Biotic pressure.
The fraction of the volume of soil or rock that is not
occupied by solid particles.
The state of matter which contains Pore spaces.
The increase in Adaptation in a Preadapted organism
after its invasion into a given environment.
A Climax community (q. v.) that requires more mesic
conditions than obtain generally in the region where it is
present, often considered a remnant of a former widespread
Climatic climax (q. v.).
See Biotic potential.
A hole formed in rock by the grinding action of a stone
kept in motion by a stream.
An instrument used to measure the absorption of water
Grassland vegetation, particularly the extensive tract of
nearly level or rolling land in North America occupied by
A Zonal group of soils with dark surface horizons grad-
ing through brown to lighter colored parent material at two
to five feet, formed under tall grasses in a temperate, humid
climate, cf. Chernozem.
The possession by an organism of characteristics that
enable it to survive when exposed to new ("prospective")
conditions, e.g., the possession of a disease-resistant gene in
an organism not yet exposed to the disease, cf. Postadaptation.
See Boreal period.
The geological time preceding the Cambrian period, the
oldest period of the Paleozoic era.
(1) A general term for all forms of falling moisture in-
cluding rain, snow, hail, sleet, or modifications of them.
(2) The quantity of water that is precipitated. (3) The process
in which water as a liquid is discharged from the atmosphere
upon land or water.
The total amount of precipitation for a certain period of
time divided by the total amount of evaporation, both in
A radial diagram expressing the amounts of precipitation
by months or other intervals of time.
A Climax community (q. v.) that occurs usually in more
Xeric conditions than obtain generally in the region where
it is present, often considered a stage in succession preceding
the full development of a climax, cf. Postclimax.
Refers to young animals that do not need parental care
after birth or hatching, cf. Altricial.
The behaviour of animals, Predators, in killing other
An animal that attacks other animals, Prey, e.g., a fox
that kills mice or other prey.
Refers to organisms that are of outstanding abundance
or conspicuous importance in a community.
The preferred or "selected" conditions of a motile organ-
ism when exposed to a gradient of one or more environ-
mental conditions, cf. Optimum, Minimum, Pessimum,
Species in Class 3 of Braun-Blanquet's classification of
Fidelity (q. v.); species occurring more or less abundantly,
but predominantly or with greater vitality, in a certain
The grazing of vegetation before the most important
forage species have grown sufficiently, or before the soil has
become dry and firm enough, to prevent cumulative injury
to the range, cf. Range readiness.
The use of fire under control to improve growth condi-
tions in vegetation.
The degree of occurrence of a species in Stands of a
Community-type, cf. Constancy.
See Biotic pressure.
Refers to early spring, cf . Aspcction.
An animal that is attacked and killed by another, Pre-
dator (q. v.), e.g., a ground squirrel killed by the coyote as a
Succession (q. v.) beginning on a bare area such as a lava
flow, not previously occupied by plants or animals, cf.
An animal in the order Primates which includes lemurs,
monkeys, apes, man, and others, in the class Mammalia.
Refers to vegetation, geological features, and other
natural phenomena, in original condition, before any modi-
fication has been made through the influence of modern
man, e.g., a primeval forest.
Refers to an organism, organ, or behaviour that is char-
acteristic of an early stage in evolution, not specialized or
advanced in evolution.
An area in which conveniences for transportation and
living are kept simple and not modernized, cf. Natural area.
A part of an organism where growth is initiated.
See Primary succession.
According to F. E. Clements any community that re-
sembles a climax in permanence or extent such as a Post-
climax and Preclimax (q. v.). cf. Subclimax, Plagioclimax,
An organism that can utilize radiant energy to synthesize
organic substances from inorganic materials, cf. Consumer
(1) The total quantity of organic material produced
within a given period by organisms, or the energy that this
represents such as gram-calories per square centimeter per
year. (2) The innate capacity of an environment to produce
plant and animal life. (3) The capacity of a soil to produce
a certain kind of crop under a defined set of management
A vertical section of soil through all its horizons into
the parent material, cf. A horizon.
The body of deep water and the bottom of lakes below
the depth of effective penetration of light, cf. Abyssal.
The rapid development of new growth such as the pro-
duction of new parts from buds, offsets, and other organs.
Refers to the ready vegetative reproduction by means of
organs such as buds and offsets; the development of leafy
shoots from a flower or flower head or other organ.
To increase the number of plants vegetatively by bulbs,
conns, cuttings, or other plant parts.
Any part of a plant that when it is separated from a plant
will give rise to a new individual, cf. Diaspore, Disseminule.
The number of individual livestock in a grazing unit that
utilizes the herbage without permanent deterioration of the
vegetation or the soil. cf. Overstocking.
Proper Use Factor
The maximum percentage of the total amount of annual
forage production of a species in a given area within easy
reach of the livestock that may be grazed without permanent
deterioration of the plants of this species or associated
species nor of the soil. cf. Overstocking.
Refers to a flower that produces pollen before the stigma
is receptive, e.g., fireweed; or to animals that produce sperms
sooner than eggs are produced by the same animal, e.g.,
certain nematodes. cf. Protogynous.
The concept that coloration in animals benefits the
individual by affording concealment from predators or from
prey animals, cf. Mimicry.
A nitrogenous organic compound of large molecular size
and complex structure, formed from amino acids.
The geological era preceding the Paleozoic which began
about 2,000 million years ago and lasted for about 1,500
The vegetative structure of the Gametophyte (q. v.) gen-
eration that is part of the life cycle of ferns and their allies,
A group including all one-celled organisms such as one-
celled algae, bacteria, and protozoans; suggested as a third
kingdom of living organisms, the other two being plants
An interaction between organisms that is mutually bene-
ficial but not obligatory to those participating, not appli-
cable to conscious cooperation of human beings, cf. Com-
Refers to a flower that produces pollen when its stigma
is no longer receptive to pollen, cf. Protandrous.
The branched filament of the Gametophyte (q. v.) gen-
eration that develops from a spore in mosses, and produces
The living material in cells of animals and plants, usually
differentiated into nucleus and cytoplasm.
The organized protoplasmic contents of a cell, used par-
ticularly in plants to distinguish the cell wall from the parts
An animal, unicellular or non-cellular in the phylum
The place of origin of seeds or other Propagules.
The sandy shore of a lake.
The assemblage of organisms that live in the water in
the interstices between sand grains in the Psammolittoral
A plant that grows in sandy soil. cf. Hydrophyte.
All the stages of a successional series or Sere (q. v.) orig-
inating in sandy soil. cf. Hydrosere.
An instrument used to measure the Relative humidity of
the atmosphere by means of the effect of temperature differ-
ences of the wet and dry bulb thermometers, cf. Hygrometer.
A Vascular plant in one of the subphyla of the phylum
Tracheophyta, exclusive of the seed plants, e.g., fern, club-
Land for which the title was originally vested in the
Government of the United States by virtue of its sovereignty.
More than half of the original public domain has been
granted to states, homesteaders, railroads, or has been sold.
The remainder is set aside for national forests, national
parks, national monuments, Indian reservations, grazing dis-
tricts, and similar purposes.
Dense, massive soil artificially compacted when wet, hav-
ing no regular structure.
The process of destroying the structure of the soil during
which the porosity and permeability are reduced.
The sudden appearance of a great abundance of plant
The cold, bleak portions of the high plateau region in
the central part of the Andes in South America.
The stage in the Metamorphosis of an insect between the
larval and adult stages.
The process during the Metamorphosis of an animal
when the Pupa is formed.
A series of generations of individuals which orginated in
a Homozygous ancestor.
A grassland type of vegetation in the Plains of Hungary,
cf. Steppe, Prairie.
Pyramid of Numbers
The concept of C. Elton that in most Food-chains the
number of individuals decreases in each succeeding stage,
large numbers of animals occur at the base, a few large ones
at the top.
An instrument for measuring solar radiation.
Refers to fire.
Qio Rule, Van't Hoff Rule
The rate of response of a process in an organism is often
doubled or more for each increase of 10C. of temperature
within certain limits.
A sampling area, originally square, most commonly one
square meter, used for analyzing vegetation. A major quadrat
is usually 10 meters square, cf. Plot, Permanent quadrat.
An animal with four feet, e.g., cow.
Soft, wet, boggy ground which quakes or yields underfoot,
A unit of energy that is emitted by a Photon (q. v.).
The latest geologic period of the Cenozoic era which
began about one million years ago, includes the Recent and
Quotient of Similarity
See Index of similarity.
(1) Biology. A Population within a species that differs in
one or more inherited characteristics from other populations
but not sufficiently distinct to rate as a Taxon (q. v.). (2) A
rapid movement of the tide through a narrow channel.
The line where waves break in lakes, the places where
wave action and undertow cause the greatest turmoil.
The dose or unit of ionizing radiation absorbed by tissues
of an organism, equal to 100 ergs of energy per gram.
(1) The emission and transmission of energy from a
source, e.g., Ionizing radiation (q. v.), solar radiation by
electromagnetic waves such as light, x-rays, gamma-rays. (2)
See Adaptive radiation.
The lower end of the axis of the embryo in a seed and
which develops into a root during germination.
The spontaneous breakdown of certain atomic nuclei
usually resulting in the emission of radiant energy in the
form of Alpha or Beta particles, or Gamma rays.
A representation of an object containing radioactive
Isotopes (q. v.) such as a leaf on a photographic negative to
show the distribution of the radioactive material.
Determination of the age of organic remains such as
long-buried wood by measuring its radioactivity caused by
C 14 , which has a half-life of 5568 years and begins to break
down upon the death of organisms.
An Isotope (q. v.) that is unstable, disintegrates, and
emits radiations, e.g., uranium-235 which emits alpha and
An instrument that measures the intensity of solar Radia-
tion, cf. Pyrheliometer.
The sensitivity, or lack of tolerance of organisms to
endure Ionizing radiation (q. v.).
A free balloon with attached instruments and radio trans-
mitter for securing measurement of temperature and atmos-
The total amount of Precipitation including rain, snow,
hail, and other forms.
A type of vegetation consisting of tall, evergreen trees,
mostly broadleaved, occurring in equatorial regions with
much rainfall and no, or very short dry seasons.
An instrument to measure the amount of rainfall.
Refers to an area in which little or no rain falls because
it is located to the leeward of mountains which on the
opposite side are exposed to moisture-laden winds.
The shore of a former lake or sea that has been elevated
by a movement of the earth to form a narrow plain.
A Bog with vegetation of Sphagnum spp. and associated
plants that is typically convex and gently sloping from the
center toward the steep margins, and bordered by a ditch
or a watercourse (lagg).
An individual member of a Clone (q. v.). cf. Ortet.
A sample of plant or animal life, soil, or other material
or objects in an area in which the sample is located spatially
by chance or at random; in contrast to selected samples or
Systematic sampling (q. v.).
The hypothesis that populations obtain food, suitable
niches, and mates by entirely unorganized search, in contrast
to systematic searching.
(1) The extent of the geographic area in which a plant
or animal occurs. (2) Land covered with plants that are
suitable for grazing; usually extensive in area and not suit-
able for cultivation, especially in arid, semiarid, or forested
regions, cf . Pasture. (3) A unit of grazing land used by a given
herd of livestock.
The status of vegetation and soil of a given range area
in relation to the optimum status (considered by some the
Climax) obtainable under the prevailing environmental
See Home range.
Any procedures that are used to increase the value and
ease of management of the range such as the development of
water supplies, fencing, revegetation, and control of unde-
The handling of range land to obtain the continuous pro-
duction of forage and livestock, consistent with uses of the
land for other important purposes, cf. Proper stocking.
The degree of growth of important forage plants on the
range and the condition of the soil so that livestock may
graze without undue compacting of the soil or decreasing the
capability of the plants to maintain themselves, cf. Pre-
A systematic and comprehensive analysis and inventory
of the resources of a range area and the related problems of
management, and the formation of plans for management of
Refers to a predatory animal that has feet with curved,
sharp claws adapted for seizing Prey, e.g., eagles.
Refers to an animal that usually scratches the ground
for food, e.g., barnyard fowl.
A series of races in which distinct forms of a Polytypic
species replace each other in a geographic progression, cf.
A shoot from a perennial plant such as sugarcane.
Raunkider's Law of Frequency
See Frequency, law of.
Raunkider's Life-form Classification
A system of classification of Life-forms of plants based on
the kinds and position of the organ with respect to the soil
level that survives unfavorable environmental periods, cf.
An elongated, narrow depression, larger than a gully,
usually formed by running water.
(1) The effects which one or more organisms produces
upon its habitat, cf. Interaction. (2) The degree of acidity or
alkalinity of a substance, usually expressed as pH (q. v.). cf.
The time required by an organism for the manifestation
of a response to a stimulus.
One of the major divisions in the classification of con-
tinental Faunas according to P. J. Darlington, Jr., e.g.,
Megagea (Arctogea), Neogea, Notogea (q. v.).
The theory that in the development of an individual
the stages of earlier forms in its evolution are repeated,
e.g., gill slits in the embryo of a pig. cf. Palingenesis.
Refers to a Gene that has no effect on the appearance of
an organism unless it is Homozygous (q. v.), i.e., the domi-
nant gene is not present, cf. Allele.
See Oxidation-reduction potential.
See Dino flagellate.
A community of plants such as cattail or bulrush that
grows in shallow water and often extends landward on wet
soil where the water table is near the surface.
A series of rocks close to the surface of a body of water,
may be exposed at low tide.
An innate, simple, stereotyped response, located in the
nervous system, occurring very shortly after the stimulus has
been received by an animal.
The establishment of a forest on previously cleared land,
An area designated for the maintenance of animals
within which hunting or fishing is prohibited or strictly
controlled, cf. Natural area.
An area that has not been exposed to great changes under-
gone by the region as a whole, and as a result provided
conditions suitable for the survival of Relic (q. v.) species,
Parts of the Sahara desert with a gravelly or stony surface
because the fine materials have been blown away.
The process occurring in some animals by which a part
of the body which has been lost may be restored, e.g., a
crayfish growing a new appendage, growth of new tissue in
the wound of a mammal.
See Climatic Climax.
The concept of the integration of relations in human
society to the particular conditions and resources that obtain
in a region such as the Columbia River basin or the northern
The unconsolidated mantle of soil material and weathered
rock on the surface of the earth.
A deep soil consisting of loose material without stones
and shows only slight development of a Profile (q. v.).
(1) A statistical method for the study and expression of
the change in one variable associated with and dependent
upon changes in another related variable or group of vari-
ables. (2) See Retrogression.
Any influence in the physical or biotic environment of a
population that tends to maintain the number of individuals
which the resources of the habitat can support, cf. Reaction,
Coaction, Predation, Parasitism.
See Humidity, relative.
An analysis sample of a Stand of vegetation in which are
given the data on characteristics such as kinds of species,
Cover, Density, and sometimes others, cf. Sample area.
(1) A remnant or fragment of a flora or fauna that re-
mains from a former period when it was more completely
developed. (2) A remnant of the population of a species that
was formerly more widespread.
The inequalities in the elevation of the land surface, cf .
An Intrazonal group of soils usually with brown or
black, friable surface horizons and light gray or pale yellow
calcareous material below, formed under grassland or mixed
grassland-forest in humid or semiarid regions, cf. Prairie
The substitution of one kind of plant by another kind,
chiefly as a result of competition, e.g., downy bromegrass
which is resistant to leafhoppers replacing Russian thistle
and mustards which are susceptible to the insect, cf. Suc-
Propagation of a plant by stems, roots, or other asexual
organs, e.g., strawberry plant increasing in number by means
of runners, cf. Propagate, Sexual reproduction, Asexual
The separation of populations or organisms so that inter-
breeding cannot occur.
The maximum rate of increase in numbers of individuals
of a species or a population under the most optimum condi-
tions, in contrast to the actual reproduction obtained under
existing conditions, cf. Biotic potential, Environmental
An animal in the class Reptilia of the subphylum Verte-
brata. e.g., snakes, crocodiles.
The group of meteorological stations operating under a
common direction or in the same territory.
A kind of soil formed in place by the disintegration and
decomposition of rocks and the consequent weathering of
the mineral materials, cf. Alluvium.
See Second growth.
The capacity of an organism to remain relatively un-
affected by insects, disease-causing bacteria or fungi, or
severe conditions in the physical environment because of
inherent qualities that it possesses.
The complex series of chemical reactions in all living
organisms by which the energy in foods is made available for
use. In aerobic respiration free oxygen is utilized and carbon
dioxide is liberated; in anaerobic respiration, free oxygen is
The ratio of the volume of carbon dioxide given off by
an organism to the volume of oxygen used in a unit of time.
The state in a forest in which replacement of important
trees is taking place by natural or artificial means, cf.
The change from a more highly organized individual,
group, or state of organization to one on a lower level, as in
a Succession (q. v.) that recedes from the Climax.
A structure or obstacles placed along the margins of a
stream in order to protect the bank from erosion.
The division of Limnology (q. v). dealing with running
waters, their physical, chemical, and biological conditions
and interrelationships, cf. Lotic.
A plant that grows in running water, cf. Hydrophyte.
The orientation in the locomotion of organisms in
streams with reference to the current.
The response of an organism to a current.
See RH factor.
An Antigen (q. v.) found in the blood of a large number
of human beings who consequently possess Antibodies against
the antigen. Syn. Rhesus factor.
An organ that serves for the attachment of certain organ-
isms such as the many intergrown filaments in many lichens.
Bacteria that occur in the nodules of certain plants,
especially in the pea family, Leguminosae, and fix free litro-
gen into forms useful to the Host.
A filamentous organ, one cell thick, found in mosses,
fern Gametophytes, and other plants, used for attachment
and probably also for absorption of water and nutrient salts.
An underground stem that produces shoots and roots at
the nodes, cf. Rootstock, Runner.
The portion of the soil close to and under the influence
of the root of a plant.
The more or less regular recurrence of phenomena such
as day and night, differences in animal behaviour, cf.
A long, low ridge with gently sloping sides and a shallow
channel along the upper side for the purpose of collecting
run-off water and diverting the flow across the slope, thus
controlling erosion, cf. Bench terrace.
A long, narrow valley between two approximately parallel
geological faults, e.g., the extensive one extending from
Lake Nyasa northward in the eastern part of Africa.
The removal of soil by running water resulting in the
formation of shallow channels that can be smoothed com-
pletely by cultivation in the normal manner, cf. Gully ero-
sion, Sheet erosion.
A feathery or rough layer of ice deposited on plants and
other objects by a fog. cf. Hoarfrost.
Refers to land bordering a stream, lake, or tidewater.
Stones placed on the face of a dam or on stream banks
or other land surfaces in order to protect them from erosion;
often applied also to other materials that are used for erosion
Barren alluvial land exposed along streams at low water
RNA (Ribose Nucleic Acid, Ribonucleic Acid)
A nucleic acid occurring in the cytoplasm of plant and
Strong westerly winds over the ocean between latitudes
40 S. and 50 S., or the region in which these winds occur.
Fine material formed by the action of a glacier grinding
rocks in its base as it moves forward.
An animal in the order Rodentia in the class Mammalia,
(1) A unit of measurement of radiation caused by Gamma
rays and X-rays, very similar to Rad (q. v.). (2) Refers to
To remove undesired individuals from a population to
prevent their reproduction.
The breeding place of a group of birds or seals.
A plant that ascends by means of roots attached to a
support, e.g., poison ivy on the trunk of a tree.
A sprout arising from a root.
The part of the soil occupied by roots, or subject to such
occupation under normal conditions, cf. Rhizosphere.
The orderly alternation in the use of two or more por-
tions of a range or pasture.
An aquatic animal in the phylum Rotifera, possesses cir-
cles of cilia at the anterior end.
Mounds of smoothed rock marked by striations caused
by a glacier passing over them.
Feed for animals consisting of plants or plant parts con-
tains a high fiber content and low total digestible nutrients,
e.g., hay, Stover.
Grasslands, largely on hills and mountains in Great
Britain, which have replaced forest by natural processes,
maintained as grassland by grazing, in contrast to pastures
seeded by man.
A crop such as corn planted in rows relatively far apart,
usually two to four feet, to permit cultivation between the
A plant inhabiting fields or waste places, cf. Weed,
Refers to an organism or part of one that is in an early
stage of development or evolution.
The first stomach of a Ruminant (q. v.).
An animal in the order Artiodactyla, even-toed ungulates,
class Mammalia, that lacks upper incisor teeth and chews the
cud, e.g., giraffe, ox, deer.
An above-ground, more or less horizontal stem that forms
roots and shoots at some of the nodes under favorable
conditions, e.g., the strawberry plant, Bermudagrass. cf.
The part of Precipitation which as surface run-off flows
off the land without sinking into the soil and the part that
enters the ground and passes through into surface streams as
Sabdlicm Life Zone
The portion of the Austral life zone (q. v.) which borders
the Gulf of Mexico from the southern tip of Florida to the
A sand-dwelling insect.
A salt flat.
A soil that contains soluble salts, usually chlorides and
sulfates in high enough concentration so that the growth of
most crop plants is reduced, pH is less than 8.5, often called
"white alkali" because of the presence of a white or gray
crust on the surface, cf. Alkali soil, Solonchalk.
The quality of saltness in seawater or fresh water, most
commonly expressed in parts of dissolved salt per 1000 parts
of water, e.g., salinity of seawater is 35 parts per thousand.
The formation of a saline soil by the addition of salts
to a non-saline soil, as occurs often in irrigating land with
water of a high degree of Salinity.
A sudden change.
Refers to leaping or dancing, e.g., the hind limbs of a
kangaroo adapt it to saltatorial motion.
Places in a pasture or on a range where salt is placed for
consumption by livestock.
Refers to an animal possessing legs that are adapted for
leaping, e.g. kangaroo rat.
A Marsh in which the water is salty or brackish, with
greater Salinity than fresh water.
A depression in a salt marsh, usually bare of vegetation.
A portion of an area of vegetation or of a plot that is
used for sampling purposes, cf . Plot, Quadrat.
A measured area in vegetation used for sampling or an
area of land used for experimentation.
A sample taken without bias from an area or from a
population in which every part of the area or population has
an equal chance of being taken.
A sample taken that is typical of or that represents a fair
value of the area or population from which it is taken.
A plant that holds sand from being blown away.
A tree that is more than three feet in height and less
than 4 inches in diameter at breast height.
An organism that lives on dead organisms or on decaying
A plant that obtains food from dead or decaying organic
material, cf. Parasite, Heterophyte.
The outermost part of the wood or xylem of the trunks
of trees, generally lighter in color than the heartwood, con-
tains living cells, active in translocation of water and mineral
The difference between the pressure of water vapor in the
atmosphere at a given time and the maximum that it could
contain at the same temperature, expressed in millimeters
of mercury; or sometimes expressed as the difference between
the relative humidity and the humidity at saturation.
The density of a given population above which it no
Refers to a lizard.
An area of grassland in which are scattered trees or shrubs
but little or no breaks in the continuity of grassland cover.
Refers to organisms growing on or among rocks, e.g.,
many mosses and saxifrages.
Refers to an organism that has adaptations for climbing,
e.g., a Liana such as Virginia creeper, cf. Ambulatorial,
The study of Scats, identification, determination of con-
Animal feces or droppings such as pellets of rabbit dung.
An animal that eats animal wastes and dead bodies of
animals not killed by itself, e.g., vulture.
A plant in the phylum Schizomycophyta, bacteria.
Any aerial plant part, often a small branch, that is
grafted onto the root-bearing part (Stock) of another plant.
Thick walled cells, fibers or stone cells, constituting
strengthening tissue in plants.
Plants with stiff, leathery, evergreen leaves, may be
broad-leaved as the holly, or narrow-leaved as the pine. cf.
The hardening of tissue by an increase in the content of
lignin in plants, or an increase in collagen in animals.
A hard, compact, rounded mass of hyphae serving as a
dormant stage for carrying a fungus through an unfavorable
environmental period; it may survive many winters in the
Densely growing, low, often stunted bushes or trees, cf.
Fruticeta, Bush, Chaparral.
See Random searching.
The part of the year when a species suffers greatest
mortality, e.g., the migration time of some migratory birds.
An alga, usually large, growing in the sea, e.g., kelps.
Refers to fatty material, particularly to the gland in the
skin of mammals that secretes sebum.
Secondary Sexual Character
A characteristic, not directly associated with the char-
acters directly connected with reproduction, in which the
male and female animals differ, such as the difference in
coloration of many male and female birds.
The species in a community that are subordinate to the
Dominant species (q. v.), e.g., dogwood shrubs or trees in a
white oak forest.
The kind of Succession (q. v.) which takes place follow-
ing the destruction of part or all of the vegetation in an
area, usually caused directly or indirectly by man. cf . Primary
succession, Sere, Plagiosere, Sub sere.
A measuring unit for the volume of the flow of water
expressed in cubic feet per second.
(1) A forest which comes up after the removal of the old
stand by cutting, fire, or other cause; actually Young growth.
(2) The smaller trees left after cutting all the merchantable
trees, actually Residual stand, cf. Virgin forest, Advance
The process of passing substances made within a cell, par-
ticularly gland cells, to the outside of the cell; or the sub-
stance itself, e.g., nectar from nectar glands in flowers.
Refers to an animal that has little tendency to move
about, e.g., certain spiders, cf. Sessile.
A plant, resembling a grass in vegetative appearance, in
the family Cyperaceae, with usually solid stems, three-ranked
leaves, and closed leaf sheaths.
Rock formed from materials such as pebbles, sand, and
clay in rivers, lakes, and seas; usually in distinct layers, e.g.,
conglomerate, sandstone, limestone.
The process of depositing materials from a liquid, espe-
cially in bodies of water, cf. Sedimentary rock, Alluvium.
Sediment Delivery Ratio (Percentage)
The relation of the annual Sediment yield to the annual
gross amount of erosion.
The total sediment outflow from a watershed, includes
coarse and fine materials, bedload, and suspended materials;
a part of the gross erosion from an area.
The reproductive structure in Spermatophytes (flowering
plants and conifers) formed from the Ovule (q. v.), contain-
ing an Embryo, seed coat, and, in many kinds of plants, an
A young plant produced from a seed. Usage in forest
nurseries; a tree which is still growing in the nursery, not
transplanted. Usage in forest reproduction; a tree grown
from seed and less than three feet in height. <
A Spermatophyte (q. v.).
A tree purposely left standing at the time of cutting a
forest, for the purpose of producing seed for reproduction
of trees in the surrounding area.
A year in which a given species bears seed in large
(1) The water that passes through or emerges from the
ground along a line or surface in contrast to a spring where
the water emerges from a localized spot. (2) The process
by which water passes through the soil.
Separation of the Gene pairs (Alleles) and distribution
of each gene into separate cells during Meiosis (q. v.).
An oscillation in the level of the surface of a lake or
See Artificial selection, Natural selection.
A criterion of the results of Natural selection (q. v.) upon
Selective Cutting (Felling)
The system of removing certain trees such as the largest
ones in a forest, cf. Clear cutting.
The habit of grazing animals to eat certain plants in
preference to others, cf. Palatability.
The group of Characteristic species (q. v.) in Braun-
Blanquet's scheme of classification that contains species oc-
curring most frequently in only one kind of community, but
may rarely occur in others also.
Refers to soils, plants, and other substances that contain
a relatively high concentration of selenium. Some species of
Astragalus are toxic to livestock because of accumulations of
selenium in the tissues.
Refers to an organism in which Self-fertilization occurs.
The process by which eggs of an organism can be ferti-
lized by sperms produced by itself, cf. Hermaphrodite, Self-
The condition where pollen of a plant fails to develop
effectively on a Stigma of the same plant, cf. Compatibility,
A process of causing Self-pollination.
The transfer of pollen from an Anther to the Stigma in
flowers on the same plant, cf. Cross-pollination.
The death and falling of branches, especially the lower
ones, of living trees.
The failure of an egg of an organism to be fer-
tilized by a sperm produced by the same organism, cf.
An equatorial Rain forest in the Amazon River basin in
Refers to an organ, odor, color, or other attribute of an
animal that may serve as a warning to other animals.
Refers to a region or climate that is intermediate between
Arid and Subhumid, with Precipitation-effectiveness ratios
ranging between 16 and 32, and supporting grassland or
shrub types of vegetation.
Refers to seed or semen.
Seminatura! Community (Vegetation)
A community in which the development or character-
istics have been modified in part by man's influence, e.g.,
a successional community on an area where sagebrush was
burned by man.
Refers to a membrane that permits certain substances
to pass through readily while others pass through slowly or
not at all; differentially permeable.
The process of aging.
The state of old age.
Refers to the capacity or sense-organ of an animal by
which it receives stimuli.
Refers to Sere (q. v.).
A stage in a Sere before the Climax is reached and re-
mains in that stage indefinitely, e.g., tule marshes in Califor-
nia, cf. Subclimax, Plagioclimax.
The series of stages that follow one another in an ecologic
Succession (q. v.). cf. Hydrosere, Xerosere, Subsere, Primary
The study of the reactions of blood serums to the intro-
duction of foreign substances into the body of organisms.
Refers to the latter part of the summer season, cf. Aspec-
Refers to late opening such as cones of some pine trees
which remain on the trees for several years without opening.
A rock or mineral consisting of hydrated magnesium
An organism that is attached to an object or is fixed in
place, e.g., barnacles, cf. Sedentary.
The aggregate of substances and organisms that float or
swim in water, including the Bioseston (living organisms)
and the Abioseston (non-living).
The widening or deepening of a stream so that materials
carried in suspension will be deposited.
Sewall Wright Effect
The postulate that if a population is subject to cyclical
fluctuations in abundance, the evolutionary trend of the
species is influenced by the size (population density and
area inhabited) of the minimum breeding population, cf.
A Chromosome (q. v.) that determines the sex of the
offspring of an organism.
The connection or association of certain Genes or attri-
butes of an organism with the Sex chromosome, e.g., certain
kinds of color blindness.
The relationship of the numbers of males and females
in a population, approximately 1 : 1 in most kinds of animals.
The condition in which marked differences in character-
istics such as color, size, and form occur between male and
female animals in the same species.
The production of offspring resulting from the fusion of
sex cells (Gametes, eggs and sperms), cf. Asexual reproduc-
A theory to explain certain kinds of evolution based upon
selective mating such as the choosing of a certain mate by a
female animal because of attractive features such as the
bright coloration of the male.
A plant that can grow in the shade, cf. Heliophyllous.
An easily splitting sedimentary rock formed from clay
A wind that blows with considerable constancy, carrying
much dust, in Iraq.
The amount of forage or feed required for maintenance
by a mature sheep or an ewe and its suckling lamb for 30
days, usually figured as equivalent to one-fifth of a Cow
month (q. v.).
The erosion or removal of a rather uniform layer of soil
from the surface of the land by rainfall and Run-off water,
cf. Gully erosion, Rill erosion.
The conditions, objects, or material that provide organ-
isms suitable resting places or protection from attack by
predators or from unfavorable conditions of the physical
environment, cf. Covert.
A long Windbreak of living trees and shrubs extending
over an area larger than a single farm.
More or less rounded pebbles varying in size, often mixed
with sand, on seashores.
Vegetation consisting of dwarf oaks as dominants, espe-
cially in sandy areas in the southern Great Plains.
An animal of the Lamellibranchiata (clams), especially
Teredo navalis which burrows in submerged wood.
The deterioration in overcrowded populations of an or-
ganism in which the activity of the Endocrine glands (q. v.)
is abnormal and the general condition and viability of the
animals are reduced, which may result in a rapid decline
(crash) in the number of individuals.
The stem and leaves of a plant taken collectively, cf.
The addition of sand, silt, and clay, or the removal of
rock, to the land adjacent to a body of water by the action
of water or wind.
A plant that blooms when periods of light are short and
periods of darkness are long, e.g., chrysanthemum, cf.
Grasses that grow only a few inches high, particularly
blue gramagrass and buffalograss. cf. High grass, Medium-
A perennial woody plant that differs from a tree by its
low growth and the possession of several stems arising from
The offspring, brothers and sisters taken collectively, from
the same parents.
Shrub vegetation on deforested land in the Balkan
Processes that include the diminution of rainfall (desicca-
tion) and the drying out of the earth's crust and atmosphere.
(Exsiccation, q. v.)
Dry areas such as steppe and desert occupied by open
A Zonal group of soils with brownish gray surface hori-
zons that grade through lighter colored material to a layer
with accumulated calcium carbonate, in arid temperate
climates where vegetation usually is shrubby.
A chain of mountains with jagged tops.
A tube of cells connected end to end, part of the Phloem
tissue in plants, used to conduct food.
The partly fermented above-ground parts of crops such
as corn, sorghum, legumes, or grasses preserved in a succulent
condition for feeding livestock.
Mineral particles in the soil, intermediate between clay
and sand; 0.5 to 0.002 mm. in diameter according to the
U. S. Department of Agriculture system, 0.02 to 0.002 mm.
in diameter according to the International system. (2) In a
general sense waterborne sediment in which the diameters
of individual grains are similar to those of silt (1). (3) Soil
material containing 80 per cent or more of silt (1) and less
than 12 per cent of clay.
The deposition of water-borne sediments in bodies of
water, caused usually by a decrease in the velocity of the
One of the geological periods in the Paleozoic era, which
began about 360 million years ago and lasted for about 35
The aggregate of the forest trees in an area or country.
The production and care of forest trees.
Refers to monkeys and apes, particularly anthropoid apes;
or used as a noun especially for the latter.
An intensely hot, dry wind of Arabian and Saharan
deserts, usually carrying much sand.
A hole into which water drains and passes into an under-
ground channel, occurring usually in limestone regions.
Deposits, mainly siliceous and calcareous (Travertine),
formed in lakes or springs by evaporation, e.g., terraces of
siliceous sinter around hot springs in Yellowstone National
A plant in the abstract as compared to the concrete plant.
A hot, south wind, occasionally dust laden, blowing from
the Sahara in the Mediterranean region.
An area delimited by fairly uniform climatic and soil
conditions, essentially equivalent to Habitat (q. v.).
A numerical evaluation of the quality or productivity of
land, especially used in forest land where it is determined
by the rate of growth in height of one or more of the tree
The capacity of a Site to produce vegetation, particularly
timber or forage.
A damp hollow, or low area, among sand dunes.
The branches, cull logs, uprooted trees, and other waste
material left on the ground after an area has been logged off.
An area of forest that has been logged off and where the
A fine-grained, dense rock produced from clay or shale
by compression, splitting readily into thin plates.
(1) In the United States, frozen or partly frozen raindrops
in the form of particles of clear ice. (2) In British use, snow
and rain falling together.
Slick (Slick Spot)
A small area of Alkali or Solonetz (q. v.) soil.
An organism in the phylum Myxomycophyta, character-
ized in part by a naked, fluid mass of protoplasm that can
move with a flowing motion, cf. Wasting disease.
The downhill movement for a short distance of a mass
of wet or saturated soil.
The inclination of the surface of the land from the hori-
zontal. Level 0-3.0 (0-5%), gentle 3.0-8.5 (5-15%), moderate
8.5-16.5 (15-30%), steep 16.5-26.5 (30-50%), very steep
26.5-45 (50-100%), precipitous above 45 (over 100%).
A wet depression with deep mud. cf . Swamp, Marsh, Bog.
Muddy, ooze-like sediments in a river bed, tidal flat, or
A polluted atmosphere in which products of combustion
such as hydrocarbons, soot, sulfur compounds, etc., occur in
detrimental concentrations for human beings and other
organisms, especially during foggy weather.
The water content of snow expressed as a percentage by
volume. In snow surveys, the ratio of the scale reading
(inches of water) to the length of the core of snow in inches.
A fence of slats and wire or other material used to inter-
cept drifting snow.
An area or mass of snow that remains throughout the
A deposit of soil material accumulated in a mass of snow
following melting of the snow.
A line marking the lower limit of perpetual snow.
An area in which snow melts late in the year and where
Snowflush forms and vegetation is characteristic of such a site
or is lacking.
A core taken in an accumulation of snow from which the
depth and density of the snow may be determined.
A series of measurements of the depth and density of
the accumulation of snow, usually for the purpose of deter-
mining the amount of water that is stored in the form of
snow on a drainage basin, as a means of forecasting the later
The distribution of organisms in relation to one another
as individuals or as groups within a community. J. Braun-
Blanquet recognizes five classes of sociability, ranging from
isolated individuals to dense masses.
The activity of an animal caused by another animal or
that influences another animal; the reciprocal interactions
of two or more animals.
The behaviour pattern in which one or more animals
dominate other individuals in the group, cf. Peck-dominance.
See Facilitation, social.
A vegetation type characterized by Dominant species in
the various strata; a subdivision of the Association (4) (q. v.)
in the Scandinavian School of Phytosociology.
According to F. E. Clements a group of one or more
kinds of subdominant plants in a stage of Succession preced-
ing the Climax, cf. Associes, Society.
(1) A social group of individuals of one species which
cooperate in their activities. (2) According to F. E. Clements
a group of subdominant plants in Climax vegetation, cf.
The study of the development, composition, character-
istics, and interactions of groups of organisms or communi-
ties, cf. Plant sociology. Ecology.
A surface layer of soil matted or bound together by
roots and rhizomes of grasses and other herbs, especially by
A grass that forms a Sod, e.g., Kentucky bluegrass.
The wood of a coniferous tree, e.g., pine, in contrast to
Hardwood (q. v.).
The aggregate of weathered minerals and decaying
organic material that covers the earth in a thin layer in which
The very slow movement of surface soil down a slope.
The loosening and movement of particles of soil from
the surface of the land by wind or flowing water, including
Accelerated erosion and Normal erosion, cf. Gully erosion,
Rill erosion, Sheet erosion, Splash erosion.
A layer of soil with characteristics resulting from soil-
building processes. See A, B, C horizons, Podzolization.
The feeding of livestock with mowed, fresh forage such
as bromegrass or legumes, in contrast to their grazing on a
The capacity of a soil to produce plant growth because
of its chemical, physical, and biological properties.
A vertical section of the soil from the surface through
all its horizons into the parent material, cf. Soil horizon.
The acidity or alkalinity of the soil usually expressed
as pH (q. v.).
The arrangement of particles in the soil, e.g., single
grain, granular, columnar.
The relative proportions of the various sizes of mineral
particles (gravel, sand, silt, clay) in the soil. cf. Silt.
An area of soil which is relatively uniform in profile
characteristics and in texture of the surface soil, a sub-
division of a soil series, e.g., Cecil sandy loam and Cecil clay
loam are soil types in the Cecil series.
The energy received from the sun above the upper limit
of the atmosphere, equal to 1.94 gram-calories per minute
per square centimeter.
The inhibiting effect of extremely high light intensities
The flow of saturated soil upon an impermeable layer
or on frozen ground, especially under conditions of alternate
freezing and thawing.
A type of soil that has a high concentration of soluble
salts in relation to other soils, usually light-colored, "white
alkali." cf. Saline soil.
A type of soil in which the surface horizons of varying
friability are underlain by dark-colored, hard soil which is
usually highly alkaline and columnar in structure, "black
alkali." cf. Alkali soil, Solonchalk.
The process of soil formation in semiarid and arid
climates where Saline soil (q. v.) or Solonetz is formed, cf.
The time of the year when the sun is above the point
which is farthest north or south of the equator, in the
northern hemisphere the summer solstice is about June 21,
the winter solstice about December 22.
The upper part of the Soil profile (q. v.) above the parent
material, usually the A and B horizons; often considered the
true soil because of its development by soil-building forces.
The cells of an organism exclusive of those concerned
with Sexual reproduction.
Refers to the Soma, or the non-reproductive parts of an
Sonoran Life Zone
The part of the Austral life zone (q. v.) lying west of the
100th meridian, divided into Transition, Upper Sonoran,
and Lower Sonoran zones.
A juvenile form of a bivalve mollusk such as the oyster.
(1) The eggs of frogs, fishes, oysters and other aquatic
animals. (2) The Mycelium (q. v.) of certain fungi especially
of the mushroom in which it is used for propagation.
To remove the ovaries from a female animal.
Refers to an organism, or part thereof, that is adapted to
a particular kind of life or to a certain combination of
environmental conditions; more limited than an unspecial-
The processes in evolution by which new species are
formed, cf. Mutation, Natural selection. Sub spe elation.
A unit of classification of plants and animals, consisting
of the largest and most inclusive array of sexually reproduc-
ing and cross-fertilizing individuals which share a common
gene pool; the most inclusive Mendelian population (q. v.),
e.g., the white pine (Pinus strobus) and ponderosa pine
(Pinus ponderosa) are two species in the genus Pinus. cf.
Jordanon, Ecospecies, Coenospecies, Taxon, Syngameon,
A graph showing the number of species on the vertical
axis and the area of the sampling-unit or Quadrat on the
horizontal axis; used to determine the most suitable area
of quadrat to use in sampling vegetation.
Specific Gravity (Soils)
The ratio of the weight of a given volume of soil, pore
space excluded, to the weight of an equal volume of water;
the average specific gravity of tilled surface soil is about 2.65.
The limitation of an organism to restricted, definite set
of environmental conditions, a single kind of food plant or
animal host, or other set of circumstances.
See Biological spectrum.
The study of the conditions and the life in caves.
The male sex cell or Gamete.
The formation of sperms in an organism.
The seed-bearing plants, Spermatophyta, a section of the
subphylum Pteropsida, phylum Tracheophyta. It includes
the Gymnosperms and the Angiosperms (q. v.).
A highly motile Sperm occurring in animals.
Plant communities with abundance of Sphagnum and
with peat in the substratum, cf. Bog.
A genus similar to the true mosses, in the subclass
Sphagnobrya, class Musci, phylum Bryophyta; usually occur-
ring in bogs.
A kind of community characterized by the presence, and
often the abundance, of Sphagnum, acid substrata, and the
accumulation of peat. cf. Bog.
One of the main parts of the inflorescence of a grass or
a sedge, containing one or more flowers (Florets) and asso-
ciated bracts or scales.
A passageway for the escape of excess water around a dam.
A copse or small grove.
One of the external openings of the Trachea (q. v.) of
most terrestrial Arthropods.
A microorganism which moves by undulating its body
(not by cilia), parasitic or free-living, classified usually with
the bacteria, e.g., the organism causing syphilis.
A long, narrow strip of land extending into the sea,
attached to the mainland at one end.
The direct effect of the impact of rain drops on the
ground surface or on a thin film of water causing detachment
of soil particles which are then readily available for washing
away. cf. Erosion, Sheet erosion, gully erosion.
An animal in the phylum Porifera.
The belief that organisms, even complicated ones, orig-
inated directly from non-living substances, cf. Biogenesis.
A case-like structure in plants in which spores are
An asexual, Haploid (q. v.), one- or few-celled, reproduc-
tive body produced by organisms, cf. Spore-mother cell.
A Diploid (q. v.) cell in plants that gives rise to four
A leaf or leaf-like structure or scale that produces one
or more Sporangia^ e.g., leaves of many ferns, a Stamen.
The part, or asexual generation, of the life cycle of
plants in which the cells contain the Diploid (or Polyploid)
number of chromosomes, begins with Fertilization, pro-
duces Spores, e.g., a flowering plant, a fern.
A vegetative or Somatic Mutation (q. v.) in an organism,
e.g., a shoot differing from other shoots arising from a bud
on a plant.
The rapid formation of Spores by fission as in many
bacteria, molds, algae, and protozoons.
The combined results of dispersal and of the establish-
ment of the individual and then the species in a new place,
cf. Dispersal, Establishment.
The planting of a part of the stem and root system of
The mixing of water in lakes after the ice melts, result-
ing in a uniform temperature from the surface to the bottom.
Another mixing occurs in the autumn, the Fall overturn.
The portion of the annual woody growth of a tree or
a shrub that is formed in the early part of the growing
season; it is more porous than the Summer wood (q. v.).
The first growth or shoot from a seed, root, or other plant
part; or a tree that has grown from a stump or root.
A method used to determine the species composition and
the cover of range vegetation by means of systematically
located sample areas one square foot in area.
(1) The state in the interrelationships of organisms in
which integration and adjustment between the organisms
and between them and the prevailing environment is being
attained, maximum stabilization occurs in climax com-
munities usually. (2) In oceanography the condition in a
mass of water in which a density gradient has become estab-
lished such as when a Thermocline occurs.
The part of a flower that produces pollen, consisting of
an Anther (contains the pollen) and a filament (the stalk).
Refers to a flower that bears stamens.
A general term for an aggregation of plants with more
or less uniformity in Physiognomy, composition, and habitat
conditions; a local example of a Community-type or Associa-
tion (q. v.).
The total amount of the Biomass (q. v.) of organisms of
one or more species within an area. cf. Productivity, Yield.
The influence in the aggregate of all factors (climatic,
edaphic, biotic, orographic) upon a geographically delimited
locality, cf. Habitat.
A listing of species that occur in a stand, including data
on characteristics such as Cover, Vitality, and Frequency.
cf. Association table.
A particular location comprising a stand, part of a stand,
or a locality, cf. Habitat, Standort.
The central part of the stem or root of plants, includes
the pericycle, Phloem, Xylem, and pith when present.
A prefix denoting a narrow range of Ecological amplitude
(q. v.) of an organism, e.g., stenothermal refers to tempera-
ture, stenophagous to variety in the diet, stenoky to number
of factors, stenohaline to salinity, stenohydric to water, cf.
An extensive area of natural, dry grassland; usually used
in reference to grasslands in southwestern Asia and south-
eastern Europe, cf. Prairie, Pampas.
The growth of a plant organ in response to contact with
an object, e.g., tendrils of vines coiling around a stem.
The lack of ability of an organism to carry on Sexual
The upper part of the pistil (carpel) of a flower, receives
the pollen and aids in its germination, cf. Pollination.
An excavation or structure below a waterfall or rapids
that reduces the velocity and turbulence of the current.
An influence that causes a response in an organism or
in a part of it.
(1) The parts of a plant, usually a portion of the stem
and the root system, to which a Scion is grafted. (2) Live-
stock. (3) See Standing crop.
Placing animals such as deer or domestic livestock on
an area of vegetation.
A horizontal stem on the surface of the ground where it
propagates vegetatively by forming new Shoots and roots at
the nodes, e.g., Bermuda grass, cf. Runner, Rhizome.
A minute pore and two surrounding guard cells occurring
in the epidermis of leaves, young stems and fruits, and other
organs, through which diffusion of gases occurs.
The base of a plant from which shoots arise, or the base
including the shoots, cf. Tiller.
The dry, cured stems and leaves of grain crops such as
corn and sorghum after the removal of the grain, cf. Fodder,
A group of organisms having distinctive attributes and a
common lineage which differs from other groups, but which
is not sufficiently distinct to form a breed or Variety.
(1) The area of bare beach above the level of high water,
which is subject to the action of wind. (2) The intertidal
portion of a beach.
See Layering, Thermal stratification.
In sampling vegetation or a geographic complex the
separation into types or blocks in order to secure the maxi-
mum degree of Homogeneity in the area to be sampled.
The upper region of the atmosphere beginning about
six miles above the surface of the earth, in which water-vapor
clouds do not form and where no marked changes in temper-
ature take place as the altitude increases.
A general term for water flowing in one direction such
as a rill, rivulet, brook, creek, and river.
An Antibiotic (q. v.) produced by the mold, Streptomyces
(1) Systemic. According to Selge the condition of an
animal in which large parts of the body deviate from their
normal resting state, either because of their activity or
because of an injury. (2) The total energy with which water
is held in the soil.
A stimulus causing systemic stress.
The making of shrill sounds by certain insects such as
crickets by rubbing one organ against another.
The growing of crops in narrow fields or strips so that
wind and water erosion is reduced or prevented, cf. Buffer
The use of continuous narrow strips as sampling units,
especially in forestry.
A cluster of Sporophylls; the cone of conifers in which
seeds or pollen grains are produced.
(1) An expression of the composition, abundance, spac-
ing, and other attributes of plants in a community, cf.
Layering, Life-form. (2) The composition of a population
with reference to age-classes, or to some other criterion. (3)
See Soil structure.
Struggle for Existence
Refers to the processes used by an organism to maintain
life and to reproduce, especially in an unfavorable environ-
ment or where Competition (q. v.) is severe, cf. Natural
The lower parts of plants that remain after the tops have
been removed in harvesting operations; may also be applied
to the parts left ungrazed on range or pasture.
(1) A crop that is produced from Stubble of the previous
season. (2) A crop sowed in the grain Stubble after the grain
crop such as wheat has been harvested; for the purpose of
plowing it under the following spring to increase organic
matter in the soil.
The residues of a crop left on the soil surface as a mulch
to prevent or reduce erosion when preparing the land for
planting another crop.
The value of timber as it stands in a forest; the uncut
The portion of the pistil between the stigma and the
ovary in a flower.
Refers to the region or zone in mountains below the
treeless Alpine (q. v.) region, characterized in North America
by coniferous forests, especially spruce and fir.
(1) Refers to the region south of the Arctic (q. v.) region
and includes the northern part of the region south of the
geographical timber line. (2) Boreal.
The climatic period from about 2500 B. C. to about
700 B. C. according to Blytt and Sernander, a period drier
than the preceding Atlantic (5500-2500 B. C.) and the follow-
ing Subatlantic (700 B.C. to the present) periods, cf. Boreal
A subfinal stage in Succession in which further develop-
ment is inhibited because of the influence of some factor
other than the climatic factors, cf. Proclimax, Serclimax.
A species in a community that exerts much less Domi-
nance (q. v.) than the Dominant species.
The waxy material found in walls of chiefly cork cells
The process of Suberin formation in plants.
Refers to climatic regions where the moisture conditions
range from 20 inches in the cool parts to 60 inches in the
hot parts; and where the natural vegetation consists chiefly
of tall grasses, and where many kinds of crops can be grown
without irrigation, or dry farming procedures.
An organism that has less effect than an Influent in a
community and is present usually for only a part of the year.
The control of the water table so as to raise it near or
into the root zone.
The lower division, at a depth from about 40 or 60
meters to about 200 meters in the sea, of the Neritic or Ben-
thic zone, below the Littoral division. These terms apply
also in a general way to lakes.
Approximately the region south of the Tundra, occupied
by Boreal forest.
Trees which have grown up in openings in the forest
or under the canopy following cutting or after regeneration
operations have been started.
See Secondary succession.
Approximately the B horizon in soils that have distinct
profiles; where the profile development is weak the subsoil
is below the plowed soil, or its equivalent, in which roots
normally grow, a vague term.
Tillage of the Subsoil (q. v.) or the soil below the normal
depth of plowing, cf. Chiseling.
The formation within a species of populations that differ
consistently one from another in Genotypic constitution and
in the resulting Phenotypes. Isolation of such Subspecies
may in time give rise to new Species, cf. Speciation.
A Taxon of distinct, geographically separated complexes
of genes, immediately below Species and above Variety (if
varieties are recognized in a species), sometimes considered
as synonymous with variety, or as an incipient species.
(1) The base, or substance upon which an organism is
growing. (2) A vague term for the C horizon (q. v.).
Refers to the region between the Tropics and the Tem-
perate zone, with distinct summer and winter seasons and
with greater heat than the Temperate zone.
The replacement of one kind of Community by another
kind; the progressive changes in vegetation and in animal
life which may culminate in the Climax (q. v.). cf. Allogenic,
Autogenic, Primary succession, Secondary succession, Sere.
The condition of a plant that contains much tissue rich
in cell sap and is therefore fleshy or juicy, e. g., cactus.
(1) In some animals an organ of attachment and also
often used for the absorption of food. (2) See Haustorium.
(3) In many plants a shoot arising from the lower parts of
the stem or from the root. cf. Tiller, Sprout.
An extensive Marsh type of vegetation characterized by
the Dominance of papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) along the
upper White Nile River, large masses of which may break
loose and float down the river.
Refers to Perennial plants that normally are somewhat
woody at the base so they do not die down to the ground
Refers to Perennial plants that are distinctly woody at
the base, herbaceous above (Under shrubs), intermediate to
Suffrutescent and Fruticose (q. v.).
The Mineralization (q. v.) of organic compounds in
dead remains of plants and animals to inorganic compounds
containing sulfur such as calcium sulfate which can again
be absorbed by plants.
See Temperature summation.
The cultivation of a field in which crops have not been
planted in order to control weeds and to accumulate soil
moisture for the growth of a crop subsequently, cf. Fallow.
The less porous and harder portion of the Xylem (q. v.)
of a growth layer in woody plants produced in the latter part
of the growing season, cf. Spring wood.
A plant that grows well in full sunlight, cf. Heliophyllous.
Death of tissues of a plant caused by high temperature
and loss of water in organs exposed to bright sunshine.
The alternation in occurrence of a period of numerous
spots on the surface of the sun and a period with fewer
spots; one cycle averages about 11 years.
A secondary Parasite, i. e., a parasite using another as its
Refers to vibrations exceeding 20,000 per second, not
audible to the human ear.
A group of related Species that are geographically iso-
lated; without any implication of natural Hybridization
among them. cf. Syngameon.
The portion of the shore immediately adjacent to the
Collectively, the minute organisms associated with the
upper surface of the film of water in lakes, streams, ^etc. e. g.,
The upper part of cultivated soil, usually stirred during
tillage operations, or the equivalent depth of 5 to 8 inches
in non-cultivated soils.
The portion of the population of game animals or fish
at the time of harvest that are in excess of the number needed
to maintain an adequate breeding stock.
The capacity of an organism to survive in a given en-
An arei of low, wet land; a low meadow.
A land area containing excessive water much of the
year and covered with dense, native vegetation that includes
trees; but the term is used with various meanings, cf. Marsh,
An area of grassland, especially one composed of sod-
grasses, cf. Turf.
A dense aggregation of minute aquatic organisms, or of
certain insects such as bees and midges.
A technique for determining an evaluation of the density
of insects and other invertebrates in an area by making a
certain number of swings of a standard entomological sweep
The accidental transportation of organisms across a bar-
rier from one area to another, usually where no land connec-
tion occurs, e. g., the migration of a few kinds of animals
from Africa to Madagascar, cf. Filter bridge, Corridor.
In a broad sense an organism that lives in close associa-
tion with another, cf. Symbiosis.
In a broad sense the living together of two or more or-
ganisms of different species; including Parasitism, Mutual-
ism, and Commensalism (q. v.). cf. Coaction. In a narrow
sense synonymous with mutualism.
The condition of similarity in form or structure in the
parts of an organism on each side of an axis dividing it.
cf. Bilateral symmetry, Zygomorphy.
Refers to the origin or area of occupation of two or more
closely related species in the same geographical area. cf.
One of the places in the nervous system of animals where
nerves touch one another and where stimuli are transmitted
from one nerve cell to another.
The pairing of Homologous chromosomes (q. v.) in early
stages of Meiosis (q. v.).
The branch of Plant sociology dealing with the occur-
rence and distribution of communities, cf. Plant geography.
A geological structure or fold formed by strata from op-
posite sides dipping downward toward a common line. cf.
A kind of fleshy fruit in which the seeds are produced
on the inner surface of the concave or hollow receptacle,
e. g., fig.
In certain animals a mass of cytoplasm containing many
nuclei within a single plasma membrane, cf. Coenocyte,
The condition in which two or more digits are at least
The study of the environmental relations of communi-
ties, a branch of Plant sociology.
The total activity of separate agents such as various drugs
producing an effect which may be greater than the sum of
the effects of the individual agents.
The sum total of species linked by frequent or occasional
Hybridization in nature; a hybridizing group of species; the
most inclusive interbreeding population.
The fusion of Gametes; the Fertilization of an egg* by a
The branch of Plant sociology dealing with the origin
and development of communities, cf. Succession, Community
See Association table.
An aggregation of plants belonging to the same Life-form
having similar environmental requirements and occurring
in a similar Habitat, e. g., a layer of moss plants, a group
of floating herbs such as water lilies.
Systematic Plant Sociology
The branch of Plant sociology that deals with the de-
limitation and description of communities, followed by
grouping them into categories such as Sociation, Association,
Alliance, Order, and Class.
A method of sampling in which the samples are dis-
tributed in a regular manner so that the sampling units will
be located as uniformly as possible over the area under
The science of classification; including the description,
naming, and grouping of organisms in categories such as
species, genus, family, order, and class; with especial con-
sideration of evolutionary relationships.
Refers to the entire body of an organism, e. g., the whole
body of an organism being affected by a disease.
A broad, elevated area of land bounded by steep slopes
or cliffs, cf. Mesa.
The open forest, usually coniferous, adjacent to the arctic
Tundra (q. v.) cf. Boreal Forest.
Accumulations of coarse rock debris from which the finer
materials have been removed during mining operations.
See True prairie.
Accumulations of rock fragments below steep slopes or
cliffs, caused by the effect of gravity.
An area of land once cultivated and seeded to cultivated
plants, used for grazing, cf. Range, Ley.
A structure made by an excavation and an earthen dam
across a drainage course for the purpose of impounding
drinking water for livestock.
A flatworm in class Cestoda, phylum Platyhelminthes,
parasitic in the adult stage in the intestines of Vertebrates.
A root system in plants characterized by a large primary
root (the taproot) that extends deep into the soil and has
many smaller branches, e. g. alfalfa, cf. Fibrous root system.
A small lake or pool in the mountains.
An area cleared of vegetation and undergoing Secondary
Succession in Burma.
Movement of an organism directly towards or away from
a stimulus, e. g. Phototaxis, (q. v.)
A series of gradations in taxonomic status of organisms
in which hybridization is involved.
Any taxonomic category, e. g., species, genus, variety.
The science of classification of organisms; the arrange-
ment of organisms into systematic groupings such as Species,
Genus, Family, and Order, cf. Systematics.
Refers to processes that cause the formation of features
of the earth's crust, e. g., upwarping. cf. Isostasy.
The belief that the processes of nature are directed to-
wards some end or goal such as plants store starch for the
purpose of surviving.
The direct orientation of an organism to the gradient of
a stimulus, known only in response to light, cf. Taxis, Tropo-
The portions of the earth in the northern and southern
hemispheres between the Tropics (q. v.) and the polar circles
2327' from the poles, cf. Frigid zone.
See Q 10 .
The temperature above a certain minimum, at which
physiological processes such as growth of an organism are
active, considered 5C (41 F.) for many plants.
See Inversion, temperature.
The minimum, optimum, and maximum temperatures
for the growth of an organism or organ, or for a process or
The summing of effective temperatures or Day-degrees
(q. v.) for a period of time or for the length of time required
for the development of an organism or organ. See Aliquote.
The temperature below which a number of physiological
processes of an organism cease or are carried on at a very
slow rate. cf. Temperature, effective.
A pasture used for grazing for only a short period, usu-
ally composed of annual plants, cf. Tame pasture.
A band of dense, fibrous tissue connecting a muscle to
some other part, usually a bone, in an animal.
A stem, leaf, leaflet, or stipule of a plant, modified into
a slender structure that coils around an object thus giving
support to the plant bearing the tendril, e. g., pea vines,
An instrument for measuring the tension with which
water is held in the soil. cf. Stress.
A slender, flexible organ, usually tactile, attached to the
head of many kinds of animals such as insects, jellyfish, and
snails; also the hair-like structures on the insectivorous sun-
dew plant which traps insects.
The study that deals with monstrosities and malforma-
tions in organisms, especially in man.
A mound constructed and inhabited by termites.
Animals in the order Isoptera (white ants), resembling
true ants, forming large, complex colonies with a highly de-
veloped social system, occurring especially in the Tropics.
An organism inhabiting a termite nest.
An organism living with termites in their galleries.
(1) Flat or undulating land usually with a steep face
bordering a stream, lake, or sea cf. Floodplain. (2) An em-
bankment of earth built across a slope to control Run-off and
Refers to the land.
Refers to deposits derived from the land. cf. Allochtho-
Herbaceous types of vegetation on dry land, e. g., Steppe,
The behaviour of an animal when it defends an area from
intruders, e. g., various birds and fishes.
(1) The area occupied by an individual or group of or-
ganisms. (2) The area which an animal defends against in-
truders, cf. Home range.
An earthen construction made of bricks that have been
cut directly from the natural sod of sedge meadows and dried
in the sun. cf. Adobe.
The first of two geological periods in the Cenozoic era
comprising the Paleocene, Eocene, Oligocene, Miocene, and
Pliocene epochs; in order from the oldest to the most recent.
The outer covering or coat of seeds.
An organism or part of one having four sets of chromo-
somes in its nuclei, cf. Haploid, Diploid, Polyploid.
The property of the composition of soil that deals with
the relative proportions of various sizes of separates or min-
eral particles including clay, silt, sand, and gravel, cf. Struc-
Thai lop hyte
A plant in any one of the phyla of algae and fungi, for-
merly classified in the division Thallophyta.
A plant body that is not differentiated into leaves, stems,
and roots; one- to many-celled, e. g., Thallophytes.
The sum of Day-degrees (q. v.) of temperature that is re-
quired fqr a plant to mature after planting, cf. Temperature
The condition of a body of water in which the successive
horizontal layers have different temperatures, each layer
more or less sharply differentiated from the adjacent ones,
the warmest at the top. cf. Epilimnion, Hypolimnion, In-
verse stratification, Thermocline.
Thermal Zone (Belt)
A well defined area or zone, occurring on some mountain-
sides, in which the vegetation is exceptionally free from frost
in the spring and fall.
The layer in a thermally stratified body of water within
which the temperature decreases rapidly with increasing
depth usually at a rate greater than 1 C. per meter of depth,
cf. Thermal stratification.
Thermodynamics, Laws of
(1) Energy and work are transformable from one to an-
other kind, e. g., sunlight to chemical energy. (2) Spon-
taneous transformation of energy is accompanied by dis-
persal of a part into non-available heat such as in respiration.
(3) The absolute zero temperature is not attainable.
The production of heat as occurs in an organism during
The continuous record of temperature made by a
A self-recording thermometer.
The response of an organism to a general diffuse change
in temperature, e.g., the opening of flowers as the tempera-
The effects of the alternation of temperature such as
occurs during day and night alternations upon organisms.
Refers to organism that grows well in high tempera-
tures, e.g., bacteria in hot springs.
The movement of an organism toward heat or cold as a
One of the classes of life-forms of Raunkiaer that includes
the annual plants.
A vitamin (Bj) required by numerous organisms, but
formed only in green plants and in some microorganisms.
Vegetation that is dominated by a dense growth of small
trees and shrubs.
The movement of an organism to secure close contact
with an object, syn. Stereotaxis.
The response of a plant or a portion of it to a con-
tact stimulus, e.g., a tendril growing around a stem. syn.
(1) The part of the body in higher Vertebrates, contain-
ing the heart and lungs. (2) The middle portion of the body
of insects, bearing the legs and wings (when present).
A stiff, pointed, modified branch in plants such as the
A vegetation type in the Tropics or Sub tropics consisting
mostly of thorny trees, shrubs, and vines; Xerophytic in
aspect, and subject to long droughts.
The duration or intensity of a stimulus that is required
to produce response in an organism.
The coagulation or clotting, as of blood, in the vascular
and lymphatic systems of living animals.
One of the Endocrine glands (q. v.) found in Vertebrates,
secretes a Hormone containing iodine.
The substance containing iodine produced by the Thy-
An animal in the order Acarina, class Arachnida, which
sucks blood, e.g., the fever tick on cattle. Also used for some
parasitic dipterous insects such as the sheep tick.
An essentially barren, nearly flat, muddy area, periodi-
cally covered by tides, the lower parts daily, the higher parts
only during exceptionally high tides.
A low flat marshland that is intersected by channels and
tidal sloughs, usually covered by high tides, with vegetation
consisting of rushes, grasses, and other low, salt-tolerant
The area of a shore between the levels of high and low
tides, syn. Intertidal zone.
An unstratified deposit of gravel, boulders, sand, and
finer materials which has been transported by a glacier, cf.
The operations such as plowing, harrowing, and disking
that are used in cultivating the soil in order to make condi-
tions more suitable for the growth of crop plants.
A Shoot arising from the base of a plant as in wheat and
A more or less level land area covered with glacial Till.
The physical condition, particularly Structure, of soil with
reference to favorableness for growth of crops; characterized
by friability, high degree of non-capillary porosity, and stable
granular structure. Soil in poor tilth is non-friable, hard,
non-aggregated, and difficult to cultivate properly.
This term usually denotes the upper limit of tree growth
in mountains or poleward in latitude, cf. Tree limit.
A organized, usually compact group of cells that have
similar structure and function, e.g., cork tissue in plants,
bone tissue in animals.
The growth in a suitable medium of a portion of tissue
separated from a plant or animal body.
The capacity of an organism to live under a given set
of conditions within its range of Ecological amplitude (q. v.),
between the Maximum and the Minimum (q. v.) (the limits
of tolerance), cf. Preferendum.
A general term to include characteristics of the ground
surface such as plains, hills, and mountains; degree of Relief,
steepness of slopes; and other physiographic features.
The uppermost portion of the soil, often considered the
layer six or seven inches in thickness, which is richer in
organic material and lighter in texture than the material
below. In uniform material the topsoil includes the layer
that is usually plowed up. cf. Subsoil.
(1) A violent vortex, with a diameter usually of about
0.25 mile, in the atmosphere, accompanied by a pendulous,
more or less funnel-shaped cloud. (2) In West Africa a
Refers to the rapid and violent movement of materials
such as water in a stream, heavy rainfall, sliding of gravel,
etc.; or to organisms living in swift streams.
Total Digestible Nutrients (T. D. N.)
The standard evaluation of the digestibility of materials
in the feed of livestock, including proteins, fats, nitrogen-
free extract, and fiber content.
The combined estimates of abundance and cover char-
acteristics of vegetation; used commonly in England.
A poison produced by an organism.
See Essential element.
A Radioisotope isotope (q. v.) used to follow the course
of or to determine the location of a normal element in an
(1) A Vessel in the Xylem (q. v.) in plants. (2) The tube
from the throat to the lungs in Vertebrates. (3) One of the
small tubes that conduct air in the bodies of most Ar-
thropods, especially in insects, opening to the exterior
through Spiracles (q. v.).
A long, thick-walled cell, without perforations, with
tapering ends, that conducts water and gives support, located
in the Xylem of plants, especially Conifers.
A member of the Tracheophyta (vascular plants) com-
prising four subphyla; Psilopsida (the most primitive),
Lycopsida (the clubmosses), Sphenopsida (the horsetails), and
the Pteropsida (the ferns, conifers and their allies, and the
Winds that blow regularly from subtropical areas of high
pressure towards areas of low pressure along the equator,
in the northern hemisphere from the northeast, in the south-
ern hemisphere from the southeast; important in producing
A species, or closely related species, that exist on both
sides of a barrier and consequently must have extended across
it at one time.
A long, narrow sample area, or a line, used for analyzing
vegetation; essentially a cross section of the vegetation, cf.
Line-intercept method. Quadrat.
The change of one type of bacterium to another type,
as when DNA from Type I of Pneumococcus is transferred
to Type II it replaces some of the Chromatin in the latter
whose characteristics such as resistance to Penicillin may
thus be modified. Genetic information is thus transferred.
Species that regularly occur in an upper layer in a com-
munity found also in a lower stratum.
The periodic and alternating movement of livestock
between two regions that differ in climate.
A species that migrates through a locality without breed-
ing or over-wintering.
The northern part of the Austral life-zone (q. v.).
(1) The movement of materials in solution from one
part of a plant to another part. cf. Xylem, Phloem. (2) The
separation of a part of a Chromosome and its attachment to
The loss of water in vapor form from a plant, mostly
through the stomata and lenticels. cf. Stoma, Lenticel.
The ratio of the oven-dry material produced by a plant
during a more or less extended period of time (usually the
entire growth period) to the total amount of water transpired
during the same period.
The amount in grams of dry substance produced by a
plant for every kilogram of water transpired.
A seedling, or young plant, that has been moved from one
location to another; in forestry practice a seedling that has
been transplanted one or more times in the nursery.
Transportation (in Soil Erosion)
The movement of detached particles or masses of soil
across the land or through the air by wind, water, or gravity.
A series of traps arranged in a more or less linear arrange-
ment to secure a sample of the mammals in an area, or for
securing animals for their fur, or some other purpose.
Refers to a shock or a wound, or the resulting condition
in an organism.
A calcareous, concretionary limestone that has been
formed in water, cf. Sinter, Tufa.
A woody plant that has a single main stem and commonly
more than eight or ten feet tall. cf. Shrub.
Tree Limit (Line)
The altitude in mountains, or the southern or northern
latitude, at which only isolated trees grow and beyond which
only stunted forms, Krummholz (q. v.), or Tundra (q. v.)
occur, cf. Timber line.
The oldest geologic period in the Mesozoic era; it began
about 205 million years ago and lasted for about 40 million
A group of plants of related genera, a division of the
Family, e.g., the tribe Festuceae includes the genera Poa,
Festuca, Bromus, and others.
An organism or one of its parts that has three times the
Haploid set of Chromosomes in the nucleus, cf. Polyploid.
Refers to an organism that has one more Chromosome
than the Diploid (q. v.) number; occurs in barley, and peas.
A method of photographing the same area at successive
periods of time by permanently marking the spot where
each leg of the tripod is set
Refers to nutrition.
One of the parts in a nutritive series in an Ecosystem
(q. v.) in which a group of organisms in a certain stage in
the Food chain secures food in the same general manner.
The first or lowest trophic level consists of Producers
(green plants), the second level of Herbivores, the third
level of primary Carnivores, the fourth level of secondary
Carnivores. Bacteria and fungi are organisms in the Decom-
poser trophic level.
A type of association of species involving aphids and
coccids with ants. cf. Myrmecophilous.
The exchange of food, or the interchange of a stimulus
response concerning food, between animals, especially in the
Tropical Life Zone
The portion of Central America south of the Austral
life zone (q. v.), bounded on the north by an accumulation
of temperatures during the growing season above 43 F. of
26,000F. cf. Life zone.
The Tropic of Cancer, 2327' north latitude, and the
Tropic of Capricorn, 2327 / south latitude; or the region
between these parallels.
The curvature response of an organ to a stimulus, e.g.,
a stem growing towards a source of light and roots away from
An Obligate parasite (q. v.) that regularly lives as a non-
parasite during part of its life cycle.
The uppermost portion of the Troposphere (q. v.).
A plant that can live under moist conditions pan of the
year and under dry conditions during another part, e.g.,
woody plants that lose their leaves during the dry parts of
the year or during winter.
The part of the atmosphere extending upward about
six miles to the Stratosphere (q. v.), in which clouds of
moisture form and the temperature decreases with increas-
The direct orientation of an organism in response to two
lights that are moving toward or away from the midpoint
between them. cf. Telotaxis.
The prairie grassland characterized by tall grasses (five
to six or more feet tall) and mid-grasses (two to four feet
tall) in the central part of the United States, cf. Pampas.
Underground fungi in the genus Tuber, class Ascomy-
cetes, or their fruiting bodies, edible.
Truncated Soil Profile
A Soil profile (q. v.) which has lost part or all of the
A and B horizons (q. v.) by accelerated erosion or by
A flagellated Protozoan in the genus Trypanosoma,
parasitic in the blood of various Vertebrates, and causing
serious diseases in man and other animals such as sleeping
A dipterous insect in the genus Glossina, sucks blood and
transmits diseases caused by Trypanosomes such as sleeping
A high wave on shore areas, particularly bordering the
Pacific Ocean, caused by an earthquake in the ocean floor.
An enlarged, underground stem, tending to be oval or
spherical in shape, usually rich in starch, and capable of
vegetative reproduction of the plant, e.g., a potato tuber.
A porous rock formed by the deposition of material,
especially calcium carbonate from water, as in springs, cf.
A disease in rabbits, rodents, and man, caused by the
microorganism Pasteurella tularensis, which is transmitted
A modification of the Berlese funnel (q. v.) for separating
Collembolons (q. v.), Mites, larvae, and other small organisms
from the soil. cf. Baerman funnel.
The treeless land in arctic and alpine regions, varying
from bare area to various types of vegetation consisting of
grasses, sedges, forbs, dwarf shrubs, mosses, and lichens.
The condition of a body of water that contains suspended
material such as clay or silt particles, dead organisms or their
parts, or small living plants and animals.
The layer of low, dense grassland, comprising the above-
ground portions and the upper roots and rhizomes with at-
tached soil particles, cf. Sward, Sod.
The condition of a cell or a tissue when it is swollen
with water causing Turgor pressure (q. v.).
The actual pressure of the sap within a cell against the
cell wall resulting from the intake of water by Osmosis
A winter bud on some water plants that becomes de-
tached, overwinters, and under favorable conditions develops
into a new plant.
(1) The mixing of layers of water in lakes in the spring
and autumn, cf. Thermal stratification. (2) The period of
time required for an organism to grow, mature, die, and
A plant-form that is tufted, bearing many stems arising as
a large, dense cluster from the crown, e.g., a large bunch
grass such as Arizona fescue.
Communities that are similar in a dominant or com-
bining layers, or in Synusiae (q. v.), but vary in others.
(1) A kind of vegetation, e.g., Community-type, forest
type, birch type. (2) The one or more specimens of a species,
subspecies, or variety on the basis of which the Taxon was
described. (3) One of the groups of soils in a soils series,
e.g., Miami silt loam type in the Miami series.
A Tropical cyclone or Hurricane (q. v.) in the Far East,
particularly in the China Seas.
An organism that flourishes in several kinds of commu-
nities or ecosystems, e.g., the raven, red maple tree.
Refers to a Ubiquist.
The electromagnetic waves not perceptible to the human
eye, between violet light waves and X-rays, from about
390 mu to 10 mu in length.
An irregular line of contact between two geological strata
caused by exposure to erosion of the lower one before sub-
mersion and consequent deposition of the second stratum.
An intensity of grazing by livestock in which the forage
available for consumption under good management practices
is not used sufficiently, thus causing loss of forage.
Collectively the shrubs, sprouts, seedling and sapling
trees, and all herbaceous plants in a forest.
A size of population so low in number of individuals that
mortality is greater than in denser populations largely
because of increased exposure to unfavorable environmental
A low shrub.
Refers to a range area on which a smaller number of
livestock is present than it is capable of supporting ade-
quately for a given season, cf. Fully stocked. Overstocked.
Collectively the trees in a forest below the upper canopy
cover, cf. Overstory.
Refers to a forest in which considerable differences in
the ages of trees occur.
A Mammal with hooves, e.g., horse, cow, swine, elephant.
Refers to an organism that consists of only one cell,
e.g., blue-green algae, Protozoans.
A homogeneous grouping of plant species within a given
stratum or of the same or closely similar life-forms, cf.
Refers to an animal that produces only one egg or one
offspring at one time.
Refers to an organism that is either male or female, cf.
Refers to an organism that has only one generation in a
year. cf. Multivoltine , Diapause.
Refers to plants and other kinds of food that are not
readily eaten by animals.
Not Specialized (q. v.).
Upper Austral Life Zone
One of the divisions in Merriam's Austral life zone (q. v.).
Upper Sonoran Life Zone
See Sonoran life zone.
The total number and period of time livestock graze
on a range, usually expressed as animal-unit months, cow
months, or sheep months.
The practice of grazing a given range by more than one
kind of livestock within the same grazing year.
The grazing of a range area by more than one kind of
livestock at the same time, such as cattle and sheep.
The utilization of a Range so that the Condition is
maintained in a good to excellent rating.
Refers to a cell that contains one or more Vacuoles.
A space within a cell, enclosed by a membrane and
containing a watery solution, the cell sap, surrounded by
A structure in some one-celled organisms that excretes
water by means of energy supplied by the Cytoplasm.
The capability of an organism for Dispersal (q. v.).
See Ecological amplitude.
Materials carried beyond a glacial ice-front by streams
of melt water and deposited over a narrow area within a
Van't Hoff Rule
Vopor Pressure Deficit
The difference between the actual vapor pressure in the
atmosphere in a certain space and the vapor pressure at
An organism, community, types of soil, etc., that differs
sufficiently in its attributes from the typical specimen or
norm to be classified as a variation of the group as a whole.
The attribute or characteristic such as height and weight
that is used in statistical measurements of Variation.
Divergences in the characteristics of organisms, or other
objects, of the same kind caused either by the environment
or by differences in the genetic constitution of the organism,
cf. Phenotype, Genotype.
The irregular occurrence of patches, bands, or other
areas on the surface of organs of plants and animals, such as
leaves, caused chiefly by the lack of pigment in the cells of
these areas or beneath them.
A taxonomic group or Taxon (q. v.) within a Species, or
a Subspecies, e.g., Juniperus communis L. var. sibirica
(Burgsd.) Rydb. cf. Cultivar.
A layer in a mass of lacustrine sediments, which may
consist of coarser and finer sediments, deposited annually
in a lake or sea.
Refers to vessels or ducts that conduct fluids in organisms.
A strand consisting of Xylem (q. v.) and Phloem (q. v.)
A vascular bundle with associated tissues in stems and
roots of plants, cf. Stele.
A plant in the phylum Tracheophyta which includes the
pteridophytes (ferns and their allies) and the spermatophytes
An organism, usually an insect, that transmits a patho-
genic virus, bacterium, protozoon, or fungus from one organ-
ism to another, e.g., Tsetse fly (q. v.).
A more or less spherical mass of plant material consist-
ing of algae, other water plants, needles of trees, etc., formed
by wave action in shallow water on sandy shores.
Plants in general, or the sum total of plant life in an
area. cf. Flora, Floristic, Community.
Refers to Vegetation, in contrast to Vegetative (q. v.).
Vegetation (Vegetational) Cover
The sum total of plants and plant materials such as
leaves, stems, and fruits that forms coverage on the surface
of the soil; sometimes used in a more restricted sense to
designate the sum of living plants on an area.
Vegetation (Vegetational) Type
A kind of Vegetation (q. v.) or the kind of Community
(q. v.) of any size, rank, or stage of Succession.
Refers to the nutritive and growth functions or structures
of plants in contrast to the reproductive functions or struc-
tures; not to be confused with Vegetation or Vegetational
(q. v.). cf. Somatic.
The propagation, or increasing the number, of plants by
the use of Vegetative parts such as rhizomes (q. v.), runners
(q. v.), gemmae, or other parts, cf. Asexual reproduction.
(1) See Vascular bundle. (2) A Vessel in animals that
carries blood from the capillaries to the heart. (3) A thick-
ened structure that gives support to wings of insects.
A tissue in the outer part of aerial roots of certain plants,
especially orchids, that absorbs water rapidly.
A tract of open country in South Africa occupied by
grasslands at the higher elevations and by Scrub or Savanna
at the lower elevations.
The arrangement of Veins in a leaf blade or in a wing
The long, dry period of the year in tropical America.
Refers to a shape of an object that is similar to a worm.
Refers to spring, cf. Aspection.
The process of hastening the flowering phase of plants
by subjecting young seedlings or other parts to low tempera-
ture, less commonly to a high temperature.
The general slope of a mountain range or a landscape.
An animal in the subphylum Vertebrata, phylum Chor-
data, e.g., mammals, fishes, reptiles, birds.
Refers to evening time. cf. Crepuscular.
A series of cells forming a tube-like structure in the
Xylem (q. v.) of plants, conducts water and substances in
Refers to a structure, function, or behavioural act of an
organism that has so decreased in importance during the
course of evolution that only a trace remains, e.g., the vermi-
form appendix in man. cf. Primitive.
The capability of a seed, spore, egg, or other organ of a
plant or animal to continue or resume growth when it is
exposed to favorable environmental conditions, cf. Dormancy.
Refers to the state of being alive, cf. Viability.
Vicariad (Vicarious Species)
One of a pair of closely related species, variety, or other
Taxon that replace each other geographically.
The phenomenon of ecologically equivalent species, or
taxonomically corresponding species, replacing (or "substi-
tuting") each other in similar environments in different
geographic areas, e.g., caribou in North America and rein-
deer in Eurasia.
The condition of variation in a population or in an
individual resulting from growing in close proximity to
Virgin (Forest, Community, Region, etc.)
Refers to objects or aggregations, especially vegetation,
essentially uninfluenced by human activity.
The branch of biology dealing with viruses.
A submicroscopic parasite in organisms consisting of
nucleic acid and protein, incapable of increasing in number
outside of the host cell, causing various diseases in plants
The doctrine that life processes are caused by some force
that cannot be measured, in addition to the operation of the
laws of chemistry and physics.
The condition of vigor of organisms; the capacity to live
and complete the life cycle. Braun-Blanquet classified plants
according to states of vitality into four categories.
Organic substances required in minute quantities by
plants and animals in their metabolic processes, cf . Thiamine.
The cultivation and production of grapes.
(1) Refers to an animal in which the embryo develops
within its body and which produces living offspring, e.g.,
most mammals, cf. Oviparous. (2) Refers to a plant in which
the embryo within the Ovary continues development without
interruption, e.g., the mangrove; or the production of
Bulbils or small plants instead of flowers and seeds, e.g.,
A figure denoting the number of times heavier a dry
soil, including the pore space, is than an equal volume of
water, cf. Bulk density.
A watercourse in deserts, dry except after rains, term
used in southwest Asia and the Sahara, cf. Arroyo, Wash.
The line established by A. R. Wallace (1860) as a
boundary between the Oriental and the Australian Faunal
regions (q. v.).
See Honuoio therm.
The border between a mass of warm air advancing into
or above a mass of colder air. cf. Cold front.
In southwestern United States, a dry bed of an inter-
mittent stream, usually sandy and gravelly.
A disease of eelgrass (Zostera marina) often producing
serious epidemics, caused by a Slime mold (Labyrinthula sp.).
A narrow valley or gorge in a ridge of mountains or
hills, eroded by a stream, e.g., the Delaware Water Gap.
The amount of water, stated as the percentage of oven-dry
soil, that is retained by the soil after the gravitational water
has drained off. cf. Field capacity.
The condition of a soil in which all the pore spaces are
filled with water.
The ratio of the number of units of water absorbed by
a plant during the growing season to the number of units
of dry matter produced by the plant during the same time,
cf. Transpiration coefficient.
(1) The total area of land above a given point on a
waterway that contributes run-off water to the flow at that
point. (2) A major subdivision of a drainage basin.
A tornado-like vortex and cloud occurring over a body
The application by means of stream diversion or other-
wise of water over the land in order to increase the soil
moisture supply for the growth of plants or to store it under-
ground for subsequent withdrawal by pumping.
The upper surface of the free ground water in a zone
of saturation, except where it is separated by an underlying
body of ground water by unsaturated material.
Water Table, Perched
The upper surface of a body of free ground water in a
zone of saturation, separated by unsaturated material from
another body of ground water in a saturated zone beneath,
cf. Perched water.
The state of the atmosphere at any given time with re-
gard to precipitation, temperature, humidity, cloudiness,
wind movement, and barometric pressure, cf. Climate.
The process of the physical and chemical disintegration
of rocks and minerals.
A general term for any troublesome or otherwise unde-
sirable plant, usually introduced, grows without intentional
See Continental drift.
A dam across a water channel for diverting or for measur-
ing the flow of water.
Winds that blow prevailingly from the southwest in the
northern hemisphere, from the northwest in the southern
hemisphere, located between the high pressure areas of the
Subtropics and the arctic or antarctic circles.
See Saline soil.
See Natural area.
Collectively the non-domesticated vertebrate animals,
except fishes, such as deer, moose, birds, etc.
A seedling or a young plant that grew under natural
conditions, not cultivated, outside of a nursery, and that
has been dug for use as planting stock.
A sudden blast of wind descending from mountains to
the sea, especially in the Straits of Magellan.
A violent storm of rain and wind on the northwest coast
of Australia; also applied in some parts of Australia to a
local Dust whirl (q. v.).
The temporary or transient loss of turgidity in a plant
caused by a rate of transpiration in excess of the rate of
absorption of water. Permanent wilting: wilting to such a
degree that plants do not recover unless water is added to
the soil soon after wilting occurs. Permanent wilting per-
centage (wil ting-point, wil ting-coefficient): the water remain-
ing in the soil in percentage of dry weight of the soil when
the plants are in a condition of permanent wilting.
A planting of trees and shrubs, usually in three or more
rows to serve as a barrier to reduce or check the velocity of
the wind. cf. Shelterbelt.
A plant that germinates in the autumn, lives through
the winter as a small plant usually, renews growth in the
spring, flowers, produces fruit, and then dies.
The larva of certain slender beetles as in the genus
The abnormal brushlike production of numerous weak
shoots toward the tip of a branch of a tree or a shrub, caused
by a fungus or a mite.
Any land used for the growth of trees and shrubs such
as permanent woodland cover, plantings along roadsides and
stream banks, Shelterbelts, farm Woodlots, etc.
A small area of land occupied by trees.
Working Depth (Roots)
The depth in the soil to which a large number of roots
of a plant penetrate, cf. Depth, effective soil.
An effect produced in the offspring in the endosperm of
a seed brought about by the fusion of one of the sperms with
the Diploid fusion nucleus in the Ovule.
Refers to a successional sequence (Sere) which begins in
a dry habitat, cf. Xerosere, Hydrarch.
Refers to a dry habitat, cf . Xerocolous, Xerophyte, Hygric,
A seed pod that opens in dry air. and closes in moist air,
e.g., carrot seed pods.
Refers to animals living in dry places, cf. Xerophilous,
The structure or form characteristic of organs of Xero-
phytes (q. v.), e.g., tough, leathery leaves on some desert
Refers to a plant that is capable of growing in dry places,
e.g., cactus, cf. Xerophyte, Hydrophilous, Mesophyte.
A plant that can grow in dry places, e.g., creosote bush,
cactus, cf. Xerophilous.
Refers to characteristics which are developed under the
influence of drought.
A series of successional stages beginning in a dry area,
cf. Hydrosere, Sere, Xerarch.
Refers to a dry and warm climatic period, e.g., one of
the postglacial periods.
Electromagnetic rays, 0.1 to 50 mu, shorter than Ultra-
violet and longer than Gamma rays.
Woody tissue in the Stele (q. v.) of plants, conducts water
and substances in solution.
Refers to organisms that consume wood.
One-celled plants in the class Ascomycetes, phylum Eumy-
cophyta, the true fungi, reproduce vegetatively by budding,
and convert sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide in An-
The part of the production or Productivity (q. v.) of a
group of organisms that is removed or expected to be re-
moved by man, e.g., the number of deer killed during a
hunting season, the timber produced by a stand of trees.
A table showing the volumes of timber that a stand of
trees will produce at different ages (usually in ten-year
periods) per unit of area.
See second growth.
Refers to Zone.
A kind of soil that has a permanent type of profile,
characteristic of the prevailing conditions of the climate and
vegetation, e.g., Chernozem (q. v.). cf. Intrazonal soil.
(1) Vegetation occurring in more or less well marked belts
or areas much longer than wide, usually fairly uniform in
physiognomy, as along lake shores, mountain sides, and sea
shores. (2) One of the five great climatic belts of the earth;
the two frigid zones, two temperate zones, and the torrid
An organism that is normally disseminated by an animal,
The science that deals with the geographic distribution
of animals, cf. Biogeography, Plant geography.
The study of animals.
Refers to organisms that feed on substances of animal
Animals occurring in Plankton (q. v.).
A motile spore, possessing one or more flagella, in certain
algae and fungi.
See Bilateral symmetry.
The product resulting from the union of two gametes;
the fertilized egg.
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By DAGOBERT D. RUNES
Here, in vivid pictures and illuminating
text, are more than three thousand years of
world philosophy. From Socrates to Suzuki
. . . from the Upanishads to the Existential-
ists . . . from Moses to Einstein . . . this
fascinating pictorial survey embraces the
major schools of philosophy, famous books
of wisdom, and great major thinkers of
both East and West.
The editor, Dr. Dagobert D. Runes, has
collected nearly 1,000 portraits, photo-
graphs, facsimiles, archaeological, illustra-
tions and other pictorial material germane
to the field of philosophy. This achievement,
the result of years of research, was made
possible through the co-operation of lead-
ing universities, libraries, museums, and pri-
vate collectors, both here and abroad.
This is the first time that such likenesses,
traditional, artistic and photographic, have
been assembled in one volume. The repro-
ductions of paintings, statues, and ftther art-
works relating to the great thinkers, mystics
and fundamental scientists of all lands and
ages will enrich anyone's enjoyment and ap-
preciation of the world's philosophies.
Distributed to the trade by:
a division of Crown Publishers, Inc.
419 Park Avenue South
New York, N.Y. 10016
Edited by DAGOBERT D. RUNES
"This book is, to say the least, all
that its editor claims for it. The
astounding element about it is its com-
pactness into a handy volume, all-
embracing in content, clear in ex-
position, objective in viewpoint, and
ear-marked by a correctness that is
The editor has used unusual keen-
ness in choosing the contents of the
Dictionary and in selecting the authors
best suited for a concise exposition of
each subject discussed.
The teacher, the student or the lay-
man will find the volume invaluable
in his philosophical studies, and will
save time and labor by having it at
hand. The space given is always in
proportion to the philosophical and
historical importance of the subject
and research is made easy by bibli-
ography and quotations.
This less- than - four- hundred - page
volume definitely fills up a lacuna in
the English language, as far as the
field of philosophy is concerned."
REV. JAMES F. CARROLL,
Dean, Graduate School,