A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X
adaptation- Evolutionary process by which an organism
becomes better suited to live in a particular environment.
How a species changes over time to better live in a particular
anoxic- Without oxygen.
bog- A wetland ecosystem that is highly acidic and has an
accumulation of decomposed plants known as peat.
buffer zone- The area of land next to a body of water, where
activities such as construction are restricted in order to protect
buttress- Broadened bottom of a tree trunk that helps to
stabilize a tree growing in wet soil or water.
Any tree or shrub that has cones (pine trees).
deciduous- Any plant that sheds its leaves annually.
detritus- Decaying organic matter found in the top
layer of soil or mixed with wetland waters; a food source
for many small wetland organisms.
dormant- Period when a plant is not actively growing,
but is still alive. For most wetland plants this happens
in the winter
endangered species- Any species of plant or animal
that is having trouble surviving and reproducing. This
is often caused by loss of habitat, not enough food, or pollution. Endangered
species are protected by the government in an effort to
keep them from becoming extinct.
ecosystem- A network of plants and animals that live
together and depend on each other for survival.
emergent- Soft stemmed plants that grow above the water
erosion- Process in which land is worn away by external
forces, such as wind, water, or human activity.
estuary- A partly enclosed bay where salty ocean water
is mixed with freshwater.
evergreen- Any plant that keeps its leaves throughout
freshwater- Water without salt, like ponds and
gleyed soil- Mineral wetland soil that is or was always
wet; this results in soil colors of gray, greenish gray, or
habitat- The environment in which an organism lives.
hydric soil- Soil that is wet long enough for anoxic
(oxygenless) conditions to develop. The water in the soil forces
air out. This soil is found in wetlands.
hydrophyte- A plant, and often must,
live in water.
knee- A part of the root of a wetland tree which emerges
from the water in which the tree is growing.
mangrove forest- Wetland in tropical areas, such as
the coasts of Africa, Mexico, Australia, that has mangrove
trees and either fresh or salt water.
non-persistent plant- Species of plants whose above
ground growth breaks down when the plant goes dormant.
organic material- Anything that is living or was living;
in soil it is usually made up of nuts, leaves, twigs, bark,
organism- A living thing.
peat- Organic material (leaves, bark, nuts) that has
decayed partially. It is dark brown with identifiable
plant parts, and can be found in peatlands and bogs.
persistent emergent plant- Species of plants whose stems
show above the water and do not deteriorate when the plant
goes dormant (e.g. cattails).
pollution- Waste, often made by humans, that damages
the water, the air, and the soil.
precipitation- Rain, sleet, hail, snow.
rhizome- A special underground part of the stem of a
plant form which may grow new plants.
riparian forest- A swamp that is narrow in width and
runs along the shore of a river or stream.
runoff- Rainwater that flows over the land and into
streams and lakes; it often picks up soil particles along the
way and brings them into the streams and lakes.
salinity- The amount of salt in water.
salt marsh- Flat land that is flooded by salt water
brought in by tides; it is found along rivers, bays, and
saltwater- Water with salt in it, such as in oceans.
saturation-Tthe condition in which soil contains as much
water as it can hold.
SAV- See submerged aquatic vegetation.
silt- One of three main parts of soil (sand, silt, and
clay); silt is small rock particles that are between .05 mm
and .002 mm in diameter.
staining- Dark brown marks left on trees and on the
ground made by water.
submerged aquatic vegetation- Plants that live entirely
swamp- A wetland that has trees and shrubs.
top soil- The top layer of soil; it is full of organic
material and good for growing crops.
water table- The highest level of soil that is saturated
watershed - All the water from precipitation (snow,
rain, etc.) that drains into a particular body of water (stream,
pond, river, bay, etc.)
wetland- Land that is saturated with water and which
contains plants and animals that are adapted to living on,
near, or in water. Wetlands have special hydric soils and
are usually located between a body of water and land.