Category Archives: Definitions

What is a Sedge?

A sedge is a grass-like plant (graminoid) in the sedge family (Cyperaceae).  Most would look down the sedges while walking through the woods or a wetland and just think they are grasses.  While they fill much the same ecological role … Continue reading

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What is a Graminoid Plant?

A graminoid is a grass, or grass-like plant.  The leaves are typically blade-shaped, and the flowers are plain by human standards. Graminoids include: True Grasses –  Poaceae Sedges, bulrushes – Cyperaceae Rushes- Juncaceae Cattails – Typhacea Not botanist completely agrees … Continue reading

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Scientific Definition of Ecology

The term Ecology is often used in the context of environmental issues, or health of the environment but this is not technically the correct use of the term. Ecology is defined as “the scientific study of the inter-relationships among organisms … Continue reading

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Drought and Flood Frequency and Duration

The frequency and duration of both floods and droughts has major impacts on the health and diversity of wetland ecosystems. Flood Frequency is how often floods occur.  For a wetland plant community like a Floodplain Forest maybe once a year.  … Continue reading

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Natural Seed Banks

Natural Seed Banks There are manmade seed banks in the news lately, but nature has had its own seed banks for millions of years.  A natural seed bank is composed of the dormant seeds that lie in soil or sediment … Continue reading

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Circumboreal

Circumboreal is a term you may run across in some plant identification books.  It refers to the range of a species, plant or animal.  Circumboreal is defined as a species with a range that circles the boreal (north) portions of … Continue reading

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Anoxic (no oxygen) Conditions in Lakes and Wetlands

Anoxic conditions in wetlands refer to the lack of molecular oxygen (O2) in wetlands and lakes.  They can arise under a number of conditions.  Most organisms are stressed or killed under anoxic conditions, but there are some bacteria that require … Continue reading

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What is Biomass?

Biomass is the combined mass of all of the living organisms (microrganisms, bacteria, fungi, plants, animals, etc.) in an environment whether terrestrial, or aquatic. The biomass definition can be divided into different types, most of which are self-explanatory. Above (sometimes … Continue reading

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What are Macrophytes?

Let’s break the term macrophyte down into its parts to find its definition Macro means it can be seen with the naked eye. Phyte comes from the Greek phyton meaning plant. The term is most often used to describe the … Continue reading

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What is Detritus?

Detritus is animal and plant debris and wastes in a partially decomposed state.  When we think specifically of detritus in lakes and wetlands we think of the undecayed organic matter of plants and animals.   It is this that is … Continue reading

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