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Environmental Studies

Lake Forestry Glossary

Glenn is a nerd.

[C]: Commonality scale of a native plants on a scale of 0-10, 10 being the most common.

Acicular: Slender and pointed, needle-like.

Acuminate: Tapers toward the end into a long point.

Acute: Pointed, having a short sharp apexangled less than 90°.

Agamospermy: Asexual reproduction in which seeds are produced from unfertilized ovules.

Alternate: (Of leaves or shoots) placed alternately on the two sides of the stem.

Amphimixis (Reproduction) involving the fusion of two different gametes to form a zygote.

Annual: Occurring once a year.

Apomixis: Asexual reproduction in plants, in particular agamospermy. Often contrasted with amphimixis.

Aquatic: (Of a plant or animal) growing or living in or near water

Arachnoid: Consisting of or covered with soft fine hairs or fibres.

Aristate: Ending in a stiff, bristle-like point

Asexual Reproduction: A means of reproduction that, in a nutshell, results in the reproduction of a child plant solely resultant from one parent plant and inherits only that parents genes. Asexual reproduction primarily occurs as a result of a parent plant having both male and female sexual organs commonly referred to as hermaphrodites. Asexual does not involve the fusion of gamete cells.

Asymmetrical: With the blade shapedifferent on each side of the midrib

Autotroph: An organism that can produce its own food/energy for itself.  Plants use photosynthesis to produce their own energy from the sun.

Axil: The upper angle between a leaf stalk or branch and the stem or trunk from which it is growing.

Axillary: In or growing from an axil.

Basal: An anatomical term of location for features associated with the base of an organism or structure.

Biannual: Occurring twice a year.

Biennial: Occurring every other year.

Bilaterally-Symmetrical: Cut down the middle, the organism is its mirror image.

Biogeography: The branch of biology that deals with the geographical distribution of plants andanimals.

Biome: A large naturally occurring community of flora and fauna occupying a major habitat, e.g., a forest or tundra.

Bipinnate: Each leaflet also pinnate.

Bract: A modified leaf or scale, typically small, with a flower or flower cluster in its axil. Bracts are sometimes larger and more brightly colored than the true flower, as in a poinsettia.

Bullate: Puckered or blistered in appearance

Calyx: The sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.Cambium: A one-cell-thick layer of tissue between the wood and bark. Its growth produces the annual rings on wood.

Carinate: Having a keel-like ridge.

Carpel: The female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, a stigma, and usually a style. It may occur singly or as one of a group.

Caudate: Tailed at the apex

Cauline: borne on the stem as opposed to basal

Chromosomes: A threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most livingcells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.

Clade: A group of organisms believed to have evolved from a common ancestor, according to the principles of cladistics.

Clove: Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of a treein the family Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum.

Compound: A leaf of a plant consisting of several or many distinct parts (leaflets) joined to a single stem. Also, air between leaf flesh; lobed.

Cordate: Heart-shaped, with thepetiole or stem attached to the cleft.

Corolla: The petals of a flower, typically forming a whorl within the sepals and enclosing the reproductive organs.

Corona: A crown-shaped, funnel-shaped, or trumpet-shaped outgrowth or appendage of the perianth of certain flowers,such as the daffodil or the spider lily.

Crenate: (Especially of a leaf or shell) having a round-toothed or scalloped edge.

Cuneate: Triangular, stem attaches to point

Cyme: A flower cluster with a central stem bearing a single terminal flower that developsfirst, the other flowers in the cluster developing as terminal buds of lateral stems.

Deciduous: Plants that shed their leaves in the autumn or winter.

Deltoid or Deltate: Triangular, stem attaches to side.

Digitate: Divided into finger-like lobes.

Dioecious: A plant with male and female flowers on different individuals.  Dioecious is Greek for two houses, so think of the separate houses for fraternities and sororities in which different sexes live separately.

Diploid: (Of a cell or nucleus) containing two complete sets of chromosomes, one from each parent. Compare with haploid.

Disk: The central portion of a capitate inflorescence, or the receptacle of such an inflorescence; also, a structure formed by a coalescence of stigmas; also, the development of the receptacle at or around the base of a petals. 

Dispersal Stage or Seed Dispersal: Like the names suggest, this is the point at which any seeding plant forgoes its seeds into the ether of the world. Each plant has its own time of seed dispersal during the year, many require being pollinated by creatures such as the Mason Bee (Osmia rufa), while others are asexual such as apples, onions, strawberries, potatoes, and bananas or perhaps more appropriately the Michigan Lily (Lilium michiganense).

Dispersal Vector: The means by which seeds or other reproductive products are transported such as wind, animals, or water.

Distal: Situated away from the center of the body or from the point of attachment:

Ecotone: An ecotone is a transition area between two biomes. It is where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and grassland ecosystems). An ecotone may appear on the ground as a gradual blending of the two communities across a broad area, or it may manifest itself as a sharp boundary line.

Elliptic: Oval, with a short or no point.

Endosperm: The part of a seed that acts as a food store for the developing plant embryo, usually containing starch with protein and other nutrients.

Endosymbiont: Symbiotic bacteria that live inside another organism such as rhizobia and algae inside coral reefs.

Entire: Having a smooth margin without notches or indentations.

Exotic Invasive: A plant that is introduced to a new location and negatively affects the development or occurrence of a native species.  Often spreads with ease and dominates the landscape.

Falcate: Sickle-shaped.

Fenestrate :”Windowed” with holes (e.g. Monstera deliciosa or Aponogeton fenestralis), or window-like patches oftranslucent tissue.

Filiform: Thread- or filament-shaped.

Flabellate: Semi-circular, or fan-like

Gamete: A mature haploid male or female germ cell that is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote.a mature haploid male or female germ cell that is able to unite with another of the opposite sex in sexual reproduction to form a zygote.

Germ (Cell): A portion of an organism capable of developing into a new one or part of one.

Glabrous: Without hairs.  Smooth.

Glabrescent: Nearly hairless.

Glaucous: The term glaucous is also used botanically as an adjective to mean “covered with agreyish, bluish, or whitish waxy coating or bloom that is easily rubbed off”

Glucosinolate: The glucosinolates are natural components of many pungent plants such as mustard, cabbage and horseradish. The pungency of those plants are due to mustard oils produced from glucosinolates when the plant material is chewed, cut or otherwise damaged.

Gymnosperm: From the Greek gymnospermos meaning “naked seeds” this is a classification of seed bearing plants that exist on the outside of their bodies i.e. seeds from conifers, cycads, and ginkgo trees.

Gynoecium: The female part of a flower, consisting of one or more carpels.

Haploid: (Of a cell or nucleus) having a single set of unpaired chromosomes. Compare with diploid.

Hastate, Spear-Shaped: Pointed, with barbs, shaped like a spear point, withflaring pointed lobes at the base

Herbaceous: non-woody plant.  Branches die back to the rootstock at the end of the growing season.

Heterotroph: An organism deriving its nutritional requirements from complex organic substances.

Hypanthium: A cuplike or tubular enlargement of the receptacle of a flower, loosely surrounding the gynoecium or united with it.

Indigenous Species: Biota originating or occurring naturally in a particular place; native.

Inconspicuous: Not prominent, difficult to see; not readily noticeable.

Inflorescence: A cluster of flowers or the flowering part of a plant.

Infructescence: A fruit cluster (has the same arrangement as the inflorescence that bore flowers before it bore the fruit ovary).

Intercalary: (Of the meristem of a plant) located between its daughter cells, especially (in a grass) at or near the base of a leaf.

Internodes: A part of a plant stem between two of the nodes from which leaves emerge.

Invasive Species: Generally speaking an invasive species is a plant or animal that is not native to a specific location or biome (an introduced species); and has a tendency to spread, which is believed to cause damage to the environment, human economy and/or human health.

Introduced species [Also, Alien, Exotic, Non-Indigenous, or Non-Native Species]: An is a species living outside its native distributional range, which has arrived there by human activity, either deliberate or accidental. Non-native species can have various effects on the local ecosystem. Introduced species that have a negative effect on a local ecosystem are also known as invasivespecies. Not all non-native species are considered invasive. Some have no negative effect and can, in fact, be beneficial as an alternative to pesticides in agriculture for example. In some instances the potential for being beneficial or detrimental in the long run remains unknown.

Keel: Flap that covers sex organ cloves.

Laciniate: Very deeply lobed, the lobes being very drawn out, often making the leaf look somewhat like a branch or a pitchfork.

Laminar: Flat (like most leaves)

Lanceolate (leaves): Shaped like the head of a lance; a narrow oval shape tapering (gradually narrowing) at each end.

Ligule [lig-yool]: A thin strip of the plant, often referred to as “strap-like”, it usually is on the lower stem of a stalk-y plant such Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii). Think of it as the inner joint-like kneecap of a grass blade such as sedge.

Linear: Long and very narrow.

Living Fossil: A living fossil is a living species (or clade) of organism that appears to be similar to a species otherwise known only from fossils, typically with no close living relatives. Normally the similarity is only by an imagined physical resemblance, between two different species, one extinct, the other extant. It is an informal non-scientific term, mostly used in the lay media.

Lobed: A leaf lobe is a partial rounded portion of a leaf margin, separated from the whole by a more or less deeplyindentation (sinus) that does not break the continuity of the structure (deeper than the ones it may have if it istoothed (serrate) but less than halfway to the midrib) Lobes only at the base of the leaf do not count.

Manifest: Being the part or aspect of a phenomenon that is directly observable: concretely expressed in behaviour.

Meristems: A region of plant tissue, found chiefly at the growing tips of roots and shoots and in the cambium, consisting of actively dividing cells forming new tissue.

(Micro)Sporangia: (Often in ferns and lower plants) a receptacle in which asexual spores are formed.

Midrib: In pinnately veined leaves the central vein in known as the midrib.

Mixed Grass Prairie: A mixed grass prairie is an ecotone which is located between the tall grass and short grass prairies, the mixed grass prairie is richer in ecological diversity than either the tall or short grass prairie. The mixed grass prairie occurs in the central portion of the Great Plains varying in width from central Texas in the United States up into southeastern Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan in Canada.

Monoecious: A plant with male and female parts on the same plant.

Mucronate: Ending abruptly in a sharp point.

Native Species: In biogeography, a species is defined as native (or indigenous) to a given region or ecosystem if its presence in that region is the result of only natural processes, with no human intervention. Every natural organism (as opposed to a domesticated organism) has its own natural range of distribution in which it is regarded as native. Outside this native range, a species may be introduced by human activity; it is then referred to as an introduced species within the regions where it was anthropogenically introduced.

Nodes: The part of a plant stem from which one or more leaves emerge, often forming a slight swelling or knob.

Obcordate: Heart-shaped, stemattaches to tapering point.

Oblanceolate: Top wider than bottom.

Oblong: Having an elongated form with slightly parallel sides.

Obovate: Teardrop-shaped, stem attaches to tapering point.

Obtuse: With a blunt tip.

Okrii: Circles under leaf stems

Opposite: (Of more than one leaf or shoots) arising out of one stem on each side of the stem. 

Orbicular: Circular.

Ovary: The hollow base of the carpel of a flower, containing one or more ovules.

Ovate: Oval, egg-shaped, with a tapering point.

Palmate: Consisting of leaflets or lobes radiating from the base ofthe leaf.

Pinnate: Two rows of leaflets

  • Odd-pinnate, imparipinnate: Pinnate with a terminal leaflet
  • Paripinnate, even-pinnate: Pinnate lacking a terminal leaflet
  • Pinnatifid and pinnatipartite: Leaves with pinnate lobes that are not discrete,remaining sufficiently connected to each other that they are not separateleaflets.
  • Bipinnate, twice-pinnate: The leaflets are themselves pinnately-compound
  • Tripinnate, thrice-pinnate: The leaflets are themselves bipinnate
  • Tetrapinnate: The leaflets are themselves tripinnate.

Pedate: Palmate, with cleft (grooved or v-shaped) lobes.

Peduncle: The stalk of a single flower or fruit, or the primary stalk of an inflorescence or infructescence.

Peltate: (Of a leaf) more or less circular or shield like, with the stalk attached at a point on the underside; rounded, stem underneath.

Perennial: Living for several years.

Perfoliate: Stem through the leaves.

Perforate: Marked with patches of translucent tissue, as in Crassula perforate and Hypericum perforatum, or perforated with holes.

Petiole: The stalk that joins a leaf to a stem; leafstalk.

Pinnate: (Of a compound leaf) having leaflets arranged on either side of the stem, typically inpairs opposite each other.

Pinnatisect: Cut, but not to the midrib (it would be pinnate then).

Pleat: A fold in an organ, usually a longitudinal fold in a long leaf such as that of palmetto, lending it stiffness.

Plicate: Folded into pleats, usually lengthwise, serving the function of stiffening a large leaf.

Ploidy: The number of sets of chromosomes in a cell, or in the cells of an organism.

Prickles: A sharp outgrowth of the epidermis (skin) of a plant. Seen on roses.

Primary Chemical Compounds: Biological materials used for organism survival or reproduction such as ATP and glucose.

Proximal: Situated nearer to the center of the body or the point of attachment.

Pubescent: Covered with short soft hair; downy.

Pulpwood: wood that is best used for making into pulp to make paper.  Acer saccharinum is a good example.

Pungent: Having hard, sharp points.

Pupa [Pew-puh]: Life stage of some young growing insects.

Raceme: A flower cluster with the separate flowers attached by short equal stalks at equal distances along a central stem. The flowers at the base of the central stem develop first.

Radio-Symmetry: Any line you draw will be mirror image of organism.

Ray: A strap-shaped, ligulate, typically marginal, flower in the head of a composite inflorescence; also one of the principle branches of an umbellate or cymose inflorescence.  

Reniform: Kidney-shaped.

Retuse: With a shallow notch in a broad apex .

Rhizobia: A nitrogen-fixing bacterium that is common in the soil, especially in the root nodules of leguminous plants.

Rhizobium: A genus of nitrogen fixing bacteria. They are endosymbiotic with the roots of Fabaceae. The bacteria colonize the root nodules of the plants, absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere and create ammonia. The ammonia created is a key ingredient in amino acids for proteins, and nucleotides for DNA, RNA, and the energy molecule ATP. In the process the bacteria also create nitrogenous compounds such as glutamine, an amino acid, that benefits the plant.

Rhizomes: A horizontal underground stem that roots at the nodes to grow new plants. The Salicaceae family spreads this way.

Rhomboid: Diamond-shaped.

Root Nodule(s): Primarily within the leguminous family Fabaceae, root nodules exist as endosymbiotic aspects of the roots of plants that tend for be nitrogen fixators.

Sagittate: Arrowhead-shaped.

Samara: A dry, seed fruit that has wings to help it spread by wind dispersal.  The method of reproduction for the following families: Ulmaceae, Oleaceae, Aceraceae, & Betulaceae.

Secondary Chemical Compound: Biological material not used for respiration or sexuality. Material utilized for flavoring and narcotics.

Sessile: (Of a plant or animal structure) attached directly by its base without a stalk or peduncle.

(Overlapping) Sheath: A structure in living tissue that closely envelops another tissue such as a ligule.

Short Grass Prairie: The shortgrass prairie ecosystem of the North American Great Plains is a prairie that includes lands from the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains east to Nebraska and north into Saskatchewan, including range lands in Alberta, Wyoming,Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Kansas, and extending to the south through the high plains of Colorado,Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico.

Simple: (Of a leaf or stem) not divided or branched; all leaf flesh connected.

Sinus: A leaf sinus is the space or division (indentation) between two lobes orteeth  that does not break the continuity of the structure  Sinus only at the base of the leaf do not count.

Spatulate, Spathulate: Spoon-shaped.

Specialist Plant: A plant selective in who or what pollinates or disperses its pollen or seeds.

Spines: A sharply pointed outgrowth from a stem derived from a leaf or leaf part

Stigma: (In a flower) the part of a pistil that receives the pollen during pollination.

Style: (In a flower) a narrow, typically elongated extension of the ovary, bearing the stigma.

Sub-obtuse: Somewhat blunted, neither blunt nor sharp.

Sub-opposite Leaves: Almost opposite leaves but imprecisely.

Subulate: Awl-shaped (pointed) with a tapering point.

Tall Grass Prairie: The tall grass prairie is an ecosystem native to central North America. Natural and anthropogenic fire as well as grazing by large mammals (primarily bison) were historically agents of periodic disturbance, which regulates tree encroachment, recycles nutrients back to the soil, and catalyzes some seed dispersal and germination processes. Prior to widespread utilization of the steel plow, which enabled conversion to agricultural land use, tallgrass prairies expanded throughout the American Midwest and smaller portions of southern central Canada, from the transitional ecotones out of eastern North American forests, west to a climatic threshold based on precipitation and soils, to the southern reaches of the Flint Hills in Oklahoma, to a transition into forest in Manitoba. They were characteristically found in the central forest-grasslands transition, the central tall grasslands, the upper Midwest forest-savanna transition, and the northern tall grasslands ecoregions. They flourished in areas with rich loess soils and moderate rainfall of around 760 to 890 mm (30 to 35 in) per year. To the east were the fire-maintained eastern savannas. In the northeast, where fire was infrequent and periodic windthrow represented the main source of disturbance, beech-maple forests dominated. In contrast, shortgrass prairie was typical in the western Great Plains, where rainfall is less frequent and soils are less fertile. Due to expansive agricultural land use, very little tall grass prairie remains.

Taxonomy: The branch of science, often organic science, concerned with identifying, classifying, and organizing biota into groups in order to more accurately understand corresponding relationships.

Terminal: (Of a flower, inflorescence, etc.) born at the end of a stem or branch.

Thorns: A modified stem that is a stiff, woody, sharp-pointed projection.

Totipotent: (Of an immature or stem cell) capable of giving rise to any cell type or (of a blastomere) a complete embryo.

Trifoliate (or Trifoliolate), Ternate (trifoliata): Divided into three leaflets.

Tripinnate: Pinnately compound in which each leaflet is itself bipinnate.

Truncate: With a squared off end.

Turgid: Full of water.

Umbel (or Umbel of Umbels): An umbrella-like (get it?) extension of a plant that usually emerges from the main stem of its tip. Often branching out into a cluster of flowers, (or cluster of clusters of flowers). Can be a “compound” umbel in which there is a small cluster of more flowers.

Undulate: Wave-like.

Unifoliate: With a single leaf.

Whorl: In botany, a whorl is an arrangement of sepals, petals, leaves, stipules or branches thatradiate from a single point and surround or wrap around the stem. A whorl consists of at least three elements; a pair of opposite leaves is not called a whorl.

Woody: plants with hard, woody branches that persist through winter, unlike herbaceous plants.  Example: shrub

Zygomorphic: Bilaterally symmetrical (having only one plane of symmetry)

Zygote: A diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes; a fertilized ovum.


Source: http://waynesword.palomar.edu/termfl2.htm, http://www.cactus-art.biz/note-book/Dictionary/Dictionary_L/dictionary_lobe.htm, Wikimedia (2014).