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A Glossary of Ecological Terms

transpired by Craig Chalquist, PhD, ecopsychologist and


author of Terrapsychology: Re-engaging the Soul of Place (2007)
- See also !ind and "n#iron$ent% & Psychological Sur#ey of Perspecti#es 'iteral, (ide, and
Deep) -

Never, no never, did Nature say one thing and Wisdom another. Edmund Burke
The glossary that follows assumes a definition of ecology--the study of
interactions between organisms and their environment--much wider than
what fits under the field's habitual statistical mask. Ecofeminism and
ecopsychology are mentioned, for example, as are terms from organic
gardening and permaculture. Because the life sciences messily overlap
that's life!, terms from botany, biology, geology, chemistry, meteorology,
and agriculture are included as well.
"lthough designed for technical correctness and clarity, this glossary
follows the practice in the #ung and $reud glossaries at this site of letting
in a bit of humor here and there% for levity, for anecdote, and for an
occasional thumb in the puritanical eye that closes itself to any
information not dressed up in stiff, &atini'ed nomenclature see the entry
for English, &atini'ed!.

Abandoned Wells a ha!ard because "ells left on vacated lands can channel "ater
contaminated by #esticides and fertili!er straight do"n into the "ater table. $ome
states in the %.$. offer incentives for sealing off these unused "ells.
Abiotic non&living. 'o"ever, see Animism.
Ablation (Wastage) surface sno" and ice loss from a glacier or covering of ice or
sno".
Abrasion the "earing a"ay of rock surfaces by small #articles moved by air or "ater.
Abrasiveness also seems to be the one *uality currently shared by most #olitical
a##ointees and #rominent heads of state. $ee +ntogenetic ,ri##ling.
Absor#tion the #assage of "ater and nutrients through cell membranes instead of by
direct ingestion. Also refers to ho" ob-ects convert the solar radiation they receive
into heat.
Abundance the number of organisms in a given #o#ulation.
Abyssal .lain the ocean floor beyond the continental shelf.
Ace*uia an irrigation ditch or canal.
Acclimation a reversible #hysical change in an ada#ting organism in res#onse to
environmental #ressures.
Acclimati!ation ada#tation to a different climate.
Acid a substance "ith a #' less than / due to #revalent hydrogen ions. Acids tend to
be sour and corrosive. The human stomach contains hydrochloric acid "ith a #' of 01
battery acid is stronger, but not by much. ,ontrast "ith Basic.
Acid 2ain #reci#itation heavy "ith nitric and sulfuric acid. 3ost of it is generated by
sulfur dio4ide and nitrogen dio4ide (air #ollution). 5ts #' is less than 6.7. 2esults
include fish and #lant deaths, corrosion, ground"ater #ollution, and soil erosion. 5ts
long&term effects are unkno"n.
Accretion the accumulation of marine sediments at the edges of a continent,
building u# in some cases into entire coastal mountain ranges. $ee .late Tectonics
for more about "hat causes accretion.
Acre 0 acre 8 9:,67; s*are feet, <;=./ feet on a side, and .9;6 hectares.
Acre&>oot the amount of "ater it "ould take to cover an acre of land to a de#th of
one foot :<6,=60 gallons of "ater. The standard measure of agricultural irrigation.
Actinomycetes formerly classified as fungi because of their filaments, the
actinomycetales include many ty#es of soil bacteria. They #roduce antibiotics,
en!ymes, and vitamins, although a fe" are harmful to humans.
Adiabatic ,ooling "hen air masses e4#and and cool as they #ush u# the side of a
mountain.
Ada#tation ho" living things change "hat they do or "hat they are to survive in a
#articular environment. 5n this the organism is not a #assive reci#ient of e4ternal
circumstances1 the relationshi# is interactive. $ee Evolution.
Ada#tive 2adiation the evolution of many ne" s#ecies from a relative handful of
ancestor s#ecies. 5t often ha##ens after some kind of catastro#he em#ties a range of
ecological niches simultaneously.
Advection the hori!ontal movement of heat energy. A "arm bree!e through a
relatively cool orchard, for instance.
Adventitious 2oot one that gro"s from something other than the main root.
Aeolian ?andform scul#ted by "ind through de#osition or erosion. E4am#les
include dunes, deflation hollo"s, and sand&blasted outcro##ings.
Aerobic chemical reactions involving o4ygen.
Aero#lankton tiny organisms living in the atmos#here. ,ertain small seeds, bacteria,
and s#ores are e4am#les.
Aggradation a do"n"ard accumulation of stream&carried inorganic matter. +ften
has the effect of making the bed of a stream or flood #lain rise. Also, a #hase of forest
biomass accumulation in the years that follo" a harvest.
Agriculture large&scale cultivation of the land, "ith resulting s#eciali!ation of labor,
domestication of #lants and animals, identification "ith one@s sedentery social grou#,
and a radical se#aration from the natural "orld. The Agricultural (Neolithic)
2evolution began ten thousand years ago in the >ertile ,rescent, "here e4tensive
irrigation turned once&fertile cro#lands into barren salt #ans. (By some accounts, the
no"&denuded Aagros 3ountains in "estern 5ran hosted this revolution. BAagrosB is
thought to derive from Aagreus, the Greek son of Aeus "ho "as dismembered and
eaten and later merged "ith Cionysus.) 3odern agriculture largely relies on kee#ing
ecosystems in #er#etually immature states of succession in "hich chemically
stimulated #roductivity remains high until the soils are too de#leted to gro"
anything.
Agribusiness one that markets farm #roducts and e*ui#ment, including
"arehousing, seed mono#oli!ation, and fertili!er. The cor#orati!ation of farming,
resulting in a handful of very large non&local com#anies o"ning and managing&&and
in some cases ruining&&millions of high&yield acres.
Agricultural .ollution #esticides, fertili!ers, "astes, erosion dust, runoff from fields,
and animal infections are a fe" of the varieties. According to the Environmental
.rotection Agency, half the "ater #ollution in the %.$. is agricultural. (3ost of the
other half is industrial.)
Agroforestry #lanting cro#s among trees.
Air .ollution sulfur o4ides and #articulates from industrial #lants burning fossil
fuels are the current "orst forms of air #ollution. Auto emissions run a close second.
3ost air #ollution derives in one form or another from the use of #etroleum
#roducts, oil in #articular. $ee +il belo".
Airshed an area characteri!ed by air "ith common *ualities. ,om#are Watershed.
Albedo the luminosity shining from a reflective surface. Earthshine is one ty#e.
About 0D: of the sun@s radiation is reflected back into s#ace, "ith the remaining 9<E
"arming the land and air and <:E moving "ater through the hydrologic cycle. $ee
Emissivity.
Algae #rimarily marine organisms, single&celled or multicellular, that use
chloro#hyll to feed, like #lants, but lack the roots, leaves, flo"ers, etc. of true #lants.
Algae Bloom e4#losion of a #hyto#lankton #o#ulation, sometimes because of
incoming #ollutants that artificially enrich the "aters "ith nutrients. $ee
Eutro#hication and 2ed Tide.
Alginate a gelatinous e4tract of bro"n sea"eed used to make a number of #roducts,
including tooth#aste, beer, various medicines, #a#er, and fro!en foods.
Alkaline #' over /1 emits hydro4yl ions. Also called Fbasic.G 5t neutrali!es the acids
it combines "ith chemically.
Allele alternate versions of a given gene for eye color, for e4am#le, the blue allele vs.
the bro"n allele.
Allelo#athy the metabolic im#act of one #lant on another, "hether beneficial or
harmful. E4am#le eucaly#tus tree to4ins that inhibit the gro"th of certain #lants.
AllenHs 2ule "arm&blooded animals (endotherms) from colder climates usually have
shorter limbs than do endotherms from "armer climates.
Allochthonous something organic im#orted into an ecosystem from outside of it
(e.g., nutrients brought by streams or blo"n in on the "ind). ,ontrasts "ith
Autochthonous.
Allogenic originating outside a system.
Allo#atric se#arated, a#art, as "ith a grou# of organisms living a"ay from the
original grou#. (There seems to be *uite a bit of research done on organisms
se#arated from their original grou#. 5t "ould be interesting to see a study on ho"
many researchers feel se#arated from their original grou#.)
Alluvium sediment trans#orted by "ater, usually river or stream "ater.
Al#ha Civersity (?ocal Civersity) the variety of organisms in a given habitat or
location.
Al#ine above the timberline. 2oughly synonymous "ith Bmountainous.B
Al#ine Glacier (3ountain Glacier) a small glacier sitting in a %&sha#ed mountain
valley.
Alternative >uels fuels from sources cleaner than coal or #etroleum #roducts
ethanol, methanol, natural gas, solar, "ind, geothermal, biodiesel from vegetable oil,
etc.
Alterne #lant communities that alternately occu#y a territory.
Ambient #revailing natural conditions studied and recorded outside rather than
indoors under microsco#es or other controlled conditions.
Amendment something added to fi4 chemically troubled soil. .otash added to soil
#oor in #otassium, for e4am#le.
Amensalism a one&sidedly harmful relationshi# bet"een dissimilar organisms.
Ammonia a gaseous com#ound of nitrogen and hydrogen (N':) formed as a
by#roduct "hen bacteria decom#ose substances high in nitrogen. ,om#ost #iles
thick "ith manure often emit ammonia "hen hot. $ynthetic ammonia is a key
com#onent of artificial fertili!ers.
Amino Acids ammonia&carbon acids that "hen strung together in long double&
bonded chains (#e#tides) build #roteins. The genetic code inscribed in CNA em#loys
t"enty of them.
Amnion a fluid&filled sac that safely enfolds a gro"ing mammal, re#tile, or bird
embryo. The amnion is thought to have allo"ed animals to come out of the sea onto
land.
Am#hibians ne"ts, frogs, salamanders backboned animals that can live in "ater
and on land.
Anabolic metabolic #rocesses that build tissues and organs. The o##osite of
,atabolic.
Anaerobic chemical reactions in the absence of o4ygen and often initiated by
bacteria or archaeans (bacterialike organisms that live in e4treme conditions).
Anagensis evolutionary change, but "ithout s#illing over into s#eciation.
Analogue >orestry a method for restoring ecosystems, develo#ed from local $ri
?ankan home gardens by the Neo&$ynthesis 2esearch ,entre (N$2,), that seeks to
bring back "hat gre" there originally. $ome key assum#tions
The clima4 ecosystem is the stablest and most #roductive.
,onvergent evolution has #rovided #atterns useful for ecosystems
every"here.
Ieystone s#ecies can su##ort these ecosystems.
'umans are integral to the biologically diverse landsca#es designed.
Ana#sid a vertebrate "hose skull contains no side o#enings behind the eyes. The
only living e4am#les are turtles.
Anemo#hilous seed #lants #ollinated by the "ind.
Angios#erms flo"ering #lants that #lace their seeds in fruits. The monocots have an
embryo "ith a single cotyledon (seed leaf), three&#art flo"ers, #arallel leaf veins, and
adventitious root gro"th. Cicots have t"o cotyledons, four& or five&#art flo"ers, and
net leaf vein #atterns. 3onocots include grasses, orchids, #alms, and cattails, and
dicots include oaks, sycamores, and ma#les. ,om#are gymnos#erms.
Angle of 5ncidence angle at "hich the sunHs rays hit the Earth.
Angle of 2e#ose the stee#est angle that slo#e, rock, or detritus material settles into
"ithout to##ling. Builders of flood&#rone roads and sliding hillside homes in
,alifornia ignore the angle of re#ose so often that it could be renamed the angle of
de#ose.
Animals the animal kingdom branches into the deuterostomes (mouth and anus
develo# se#arately) and the #rotostomes. Animals are multicellular and #ossess
mitochondria, a com#le4 nervous system, and cells #rotected by a membrane and
filled "ith com#le4 organelles. /6E of all the animal s#ecies are insects.
Last summer I saw a timber wolf trotting sedately across an open dune
above the water, and time without number rabbits, squirrels and birds,
not feeding but seeming to enjoy the peculiar delight that beaches
provide. I cannot speak for them, but is it wrong to believe that they
may know something akin to the lift of spirit that is mine when
standing on the sands? Is there any reason they too should not have
somewhat the feeling I do there of coming suddenly out of the
mountains into an alpine meadow, or a clearing in dense woods, or a
plain after traversing rugged broken country? -- Sigurd F. Olson
Animism a derogatory anthro#ological term for "hat most human cultures have
believed throughout #rehistory that the Earth is alive and reactive, as are its many
#laces. Greeks and 2omans once thought a Bgenius lociB or s#irit of #lace inhabited
every hill, grove, and stream. $uch beings still live in all human mythologies. The
modern counter#art is #an#sychism, the idea that all things #ossess *ualities of
mindfulness or #syche. With the coming of heavy industry, such ideas gave "ay to
the financially convenient reduction of the Earth to the status of a lifeless resource.
Anion a negatively charged ion. $ee ,ation.
Anore4ia from an eco#sychological #ers#ective, a horror of carnality so #rofound
that it seeks to ethereali!e the body itself. Tends to be overre#resented in highly
industriali!ed nations.
Annuals #ioneer #lants "hich gro", flourish, and die in one season. Their seeds
often germinate during the follo"ing "et season. $ee .erennials.
Antemortem Bbefore slaughter.B The animal e4amination %$CA meat ins#ectors
conduct shortly before they are butchered (the animals, that is).
Anther the #ollen&#roducing ti# of a flo"erHs stamen.
Antheridium the organ that #roduces anthero!oids&&male gametes (s#erm cells)&&in
algae, bryo#hytes (mosses, liver"orts), and #terido#hytes (club mosses, ferns,
horsetails). $ee Archegonium.
Antho#hyte a flo"ering #lant or its closest relatives.
Anthro#ocentric Cetour dee# ecologist George $essions@ term for the ideological
turn of mind Western civili!ation has taken, accom#anied by occasional
o##ortunities to return to a less human&centered "ay of vie"ing the "orld (e.g.,
3aimonides@ belief that the "orld "as good before humans "ere created, and
$#ino!a@s thought that mind is found throughout nature). >or many dee# ecologists,
regarding the natural "orld only for "hat it does for us e4hibits a regrettable
immaturity.
Anthro#ocentrism human chauvinism, according to John $eed. An e4am#le is the
belief that the Earth is merely a stage for human salvation or self&develo#ment
"ithout any intrinsic im#ortance of its o"n.
Anticline an arch&sha#ed fold in layers of rock.
Anticyclone a high&#ressure system that s#irals out"ard clock"ise in the Northern
'emis#here and counterclock"ise in the $outhern.
A#helion the annual #oint "here the Earth is farthest from the sun (06<.6 million
kilometers). 5t falls on the :rd or 9th of July. The o##osite of .erihelion.
A#hids soft&bodied insects that eat green leaves. Ants corral them and #rotect them
from #redators to milk them of the honeyde" they e4crete. 3ost gardeners consider
them #ests.
A#hytal the #lantless !one at the bottom of a lake.
A#ical 3eristem the tissue&creating cells at the gro"ing ti# of a branch or root.
A#osematism evolving a ty#e of #rotective coloration found to be useful by other
s#ecies.
A*uaculture gro"ing and harvesting fish and shellfish in land&based #onds. 2elative
#rotein yields often e4ceed those of land cro##ing by 9&<; times. .onds attract
beneficial "ildlife, cool the surrounding areas, reflect sunlight, dra" birds, and make
convenient #laces for gro"ing rice and other moisture&loving #lants. $ee also
'ydro#onics.
A*uiclude rock formations im#ermeable to ground"ater.
A*uifer an underground layer of sand or rock that contains usable "ater. ,an be
unconfined (do"n to the first im#ervious rock layer) or confined (bet"een the first
and the second layers). $ee Artesian.
Archaea organisms that resemble bacteria but also dis#lay characteristics found in
multicellular organisms. They "ere discovered in 0K// and tend, like so many
humans of that era, to favor e4treme environments.
Archegonium a multicellular female re#roductive organ in mosses, ferns, and the
ma-ority of gymnos#erms. Normally flask&sha#ed, it corres#onds to the #istil in
flo"ering #lants.
Archi#elago volcanically raised islands that arc near subduction !ones "here one
continental #late rides over another. $ee .late Tectonics.
ArLte a shar# ridge that divides cir*ues on a glaciated mountain.
Artesian "ater #ushed u#"ard by the hydrostatic #ressure of a confined a*uifer.
+veruse of artesian "ells lo"ers the "ater table and sometimes makes nearby land
sink (subsidence).
Arthro#ods -ointed, backboneless animals&&namely, arachnids, insects, and
crustaceans&&often #rotected by a shell or e4oskeleton. 5n evolutionary terms, this
ty#e of light armoring has #roved very successful.
Ase4ual 2e#roduction re#roduction "ithout gametes (s#erm and egg) in "hich a
single #arent creates a clone of itself, often by budding or dividing itself. The
offs#ring is genetically identical to the #arent. +rganisms re#roduced ase4ually until
the evolutionary invention of se4.
Assimilative ,a#acity the amount of #ollution a self&cleaning body of "ater can
tolerate.
Atmos#heric Ce#osition contamination of land or "ater by atmos#heric #ollutants.
Atmos#here, ?ayers from lo"er to higher
Tro#os#here from the #lanet surface to roughly /&0/ kilometers u#. 5t
makes u# about /6E of the atmos#here. Weather occurs here, through
e4changes of heat. The outer boundary is called the tro#o#ause.
$tratos#here reaches u# to about 6; kilometers, "here the strato#ause
is. 5ncludes the o!one layer.
3esos#here 6;&=6 kilometers u# to the meso#ause. 3eteorites break
u# here.
Thermos#here to 79; kilometers u#. Auroras a##ear here. The layer of
molecules broken u#&&ioni!ed&&by #articles from the sun is the
ionos#here that makes radio "ork by bouncing radio "aves back to the
Earth.
E4os#here merges "ith s#ace.
For the first time in my life I saw the horion as a curved line. It was
accentuated by a thin seam of dark blue light!!our atmosphere.
"bviously this was not the ocean of air I had been told it was so many
times in my life. I was terrified by its fragile appearance. -- Ulf Merbold,
German astronaut
Atoll a ring&sha#ed reef made mostly of coral.
Atomic 3ass the "eight of an atom as e4#ressed in atomic mass units (amus).
Atomic Number number of #rotons in the nucleus of an atom.
Atomic Weight the "eighted average of the masses of naturally occurring isoto#es of
a given element.
AT. (adenosine tri#hos#hate) the energy molecule that #o"ers organisms by fueling
the cellHs chemical reactions. 5t does this by surrendering one of its three #hos#hate
grou#s "hile breaking do"n chemically in the #resence of "ater (hydrolysis) into
AC.. The molecular bonds that hold a #hos#horus atom together "ith four o4ygen
atoms carry tremendous energy "hich the cell dra"s on for its biological "ork.
$ynthesi!ed from glucose and fatty acids, AT. #erforms other functions, such as
hel#ing to build the nucleid acids that store genetic information.
Attenuation reduction in light intensity due to a filtering medium (e.g., #articles in
"ater, a forest cano#y).
Autecology the ecology of an organism or ta4onomic grou#1 also, the study of ho"
organisms affects #lants.
Autochthonous indigenous. ,om#are Allochthonous.
Autogenic originating from "ithin a system.
Autotro#h an organism that #roduces its o"n food. Autotro#hs may be
#hotoautotro#hic (fed by using light) or chemoautotro#hic (by using chemical
energy). $ee 'eterotro#h.
Avulsion sudden erosion by storm "aves or ra#id currents of "ater.
A4il the angle that lies bet"een a leaf stalk and its stem. $ite of bud formation in
flo"ering #lants.
A!imuth the angular distance clock"ise along the hori!on bet"een north and the
#osition of a celestial ob-ect. A star hanging e4actly over the northern #oint on the
hori!on has an a!imuth of ;M, for e4am#le, and one located e4actly east an a!imuth of
K;M. A!imuth is combined "ith altitude (the distance of an ob-ect above the hori!on)
to calculate the direction of an ob-ect as seen from a s#ecific earthly location.
Background E4tinction 2ate the natural rate of e4tinction for a s#ecies. ,ontrasts
shar#ly "ith 3ass E4tinction.
Backscattering solar radiation reflected back into s#ace by #articles in the
atmos#here.
Backshore the stri# of beach above the daily tides but "ithin reach of storm "aves.
Bacteria single&celled #rokaryotic organisms (#rokaryotic means CNA not enclosed
in a cell nucleus), many microsco#ic. Early in EarthHs history, bacteria gradually
altered the environment to su##ort more com#le4 forms of life (#roducing o4ygen,
for instance, in the atmos#here) even "hile moving into cells as organelles and
decom#osing organic matter into soil nutrients. 'ydrothermo#hile bacteria
discovered in sam#les drilled from dee# in the earth give ne" su##ort to Thomas
GoldHs idea that life originated in hot, high&#ressure crevices underground.
Bacterio#hage a virus that infects and eventually kills its bacterial host. Genetic
engineers study #hages to learn more about ho" some im#lant their CNA into the
host, an invasion some"hat akin to the contamination of research laboratories by
military&industrial s#onsorshi#.
Badlands rough land eroded into arid barrenness. Also, a #art of $outh Cakota.
Ba-adas lo"er mountain slo#es covered "ith loose sediment, #ossibly from runoffs.
E4am#le overla##ing alluvial fans rolling along the base of arid #eaks.
Bald"in Effect the hy#othesi!ed #assing on of something learned, but not through
the discredited ?amarckian theory of evolution (the inheritance of "hat #revious
generations e4#erienced). Walking u#right could be an e4am#le, as a band of our
ancestors imitated some forgotten hominid "ho #referred that style of locomotion
and then gave rise to descendants "hose genes favored the behavior. The Bald"in
Effect fills in a ga# in ho" natural selection is thought to "ork by e4#laining ho"
learnings normally invisible to it become innate.
Barchan a crescent&sha#ed dune "hose ti#s #oint to lee"ard. Cifferent from a $eif.
Barrier Beach a long stri# formed by sand de#osited across the mouth of a harbor or
inlet. They are often duned, and many se#arate an area of marshland from the sea.
Barrier 5sland a narro" sand island that #arallels a shoreline.
Basal Area a forestHs tree density e4#ressed in s*uare feet.
Basal $liding the do"nhill sliding of a glacier #ro#elled by its "eight.
Basalt a dark, e4trusive, igneous rock made of #articles so fine they canHt be seen
unaided. >ormed from mafic (high in heavy elements) magma. $ee >elsic.
Base >lo" a stream or riverHs normal flo" volume.
Base ?evel the altitude belo" "hich a stream cannot #erform vertical erosion.
%sually, sea level.
Basement 2ock the ancient granitic and metamor#hic rock that constitutes
continental crust and the continental shield.
Basic alkaline.
Basi#hile a #lant that favors basic soils (those lo" in acid).
Batholith a huge mass of igneous rock, usually granitic, that formed dee#
underground and only surfaced through erosion of the overlying mountainous
material. +ften found near #late edges (see .late Tectonics). The $ierra Nevadas are
a "ell&kno"n batholithic formation.
Bathymetric scientific&sounding term for measuring something in dee# "ater.
Bayou an inlet or outlet, often marshy. A slough.
Beach Crift the side"ays movement of beach sediment.
Beaufort Wind $cale "ind s#eed scale develo#ed in 0=;7 by Admiral $ir >rancis
Beaufort of the 2oyal Navy. 2eaches from ; (calm) to 0< (hurricane).
Bedding .lane a layer that indicates a change in the ty#e of sediment (e.g., "here
sand gives "ay to shale).
Bed ?oad stream load material carried along the stream bed "ithout falling into
sus#ension.
Bedrock more or less un"eathered rock near the surface.
Benthic organisms living on the sea floor. ?ittoral benthos occu#y the s#ace from the
high&"ater s#ring tide mark to <;; meters do"n. Cee# sea benthos live belo" that.
Bergmann@s 2ule "arm&blooded animals in cold climates tend to be larger than
animals of the same s#ecies living in "arm climates.
Bergschrund a dee# crevasse usually o#ened by ice at the head of a moving al#ine
glacier.
Berm a level, narro" ledge or bench that divides a stream or se#arates "ater from
land, as in a canal #ath.
Biennial #lants that live t"o gro"ing seasons1 they fruit during the second.
Bight a small coastal indentation o#en to the sea.
Bilateral $ymmetry body divisibility into mirror&image halves (right and left arms
and legs, for e4am#le). Animals "ith bilateral symmetry dis#lay dorsal (to#), ventral
(bottom), anterior (front), and #osterior (rear) orientations, "hereas radial animals
like starfish have only the dorsal and ventral. (Arms, legs, and "ings evolved from
the fins of lungfish s"imming around over 9;; million years ago.)
Biocenose (Biocenosis) the interacting organisms living together in a habitat. A
biotic community.
Biocentric #utting the natural "orld, rather than the human "orld, into the
#erceived center of the cosmos. The land is not made for us "e are a #art of it.
Biochemical (Biological) +4ygen Cemand (B+C) the amount of o4ygen re*uired to
dissolve and decom#ose organic matter. A "ater *uality measurement often a##lied
to treated se"age.
Bioconcentration (Biomagnification) the strengthening of a harmful and usually
to4ic substance as it moves u# the food chain, as "ith CCT gro"ing 9;; times
deadlier in seagulls and other carnivores than "hen first ingested by marsh animals.
Biocontrol using natural means like #redators to control #ests, like gro"ing ginger
to re#el snails and slugs and nasturtiums to "ard off a#hids, "hich are also food for
ladybugs and lace"ing moths. Goldfish #laced in "ater storage containers eat
incoming mos*uitos.
Bioculture .aul Taylor@s term for ho" humans e4#loit other living things
domesticating animals, force&feeding livestock, etc.
Biodegradable reducible by bacteria as o##osed to something that remains in the
environment (#lastic, certain inustrial "astes).
Biodiversity biological variety of the kind that #reserves s#ecies and their CNA. 2.
'. Whittaker categori!ed it (0K/<) as al#ha, the number of s#ecies in an ecosystem1
beta, the diversity bet"een ecosystems1 and gamma, the diversity of entire regions.
Ce#leted biodiversity leads to #o#ulation crashes, declines in genetic variability, and
e4tinctions.
Biodynamic >arming alternative farming #ractice and #hiloso#hy introduced in
eight lectures in Austria by 2udolf $teiner in 0K<9. Three of its techni*ues 'orn
3anure .re#aration to introduce stirred nutrients into the soil, 'orn $ilica
.re#aration to nourish #lant gro"th, and ,om#ost .re#arations. ,ycles such as
those of the moon are also taken into account in order to build u# humus and
#roductivity. Alan ,had"ick combined biodynamic methods "ith >rench 5ntensive
#rocedures in the late 0K7;s and founded an e4#erimental farm and garden at %,
$anta ,ru!. (Word has it that he "as a gifted horticulturalist but highly com#etitive.)
Biogas a methane and carbon dio4ide emission due to the breakdo"n of organic
matter by anaerobic bacteria. $ome tra# it for use as an alternative fuel source.
Biogeochemical ,ycles the great loo#ings and returns of life&giving substances
through the environment. The three most im#ortant are the gaseous (e.g., the
carbon, o4ygen, and nitrogen cycles), the sedimentary (including the #hos#horus,
sulfur, calcium, magnesium, and #otassium cycles), and the hydrologic ("ater va#or
to rain to streams to oceans to va#or). %ninterfered "ith, these cycles tend to be self&
organi!ing and self&rene"ing.
Biological Weathering "eathering hel#ed along by living things, like #lants that
break u# layers of rock.
Bioluminescence light emitted by chemical reactions "ithin living things (fireflies,
glo" "orms, -ellyfish, etc.). %ses to communicate, esca#e #redators, attract #rey.
Biomass the total *uantity of living matter in a given area or ecosystem.
Biome the largest ecological regions distinguishable by characteristic #lants and
animals. There are si4 tundra, conifer, deciduous forest, grassland, tro#ical, and
desert. Biomes are subdivided into associations made u# of societies.
Biointensive 3ethod an alternative high&yield farming method devised by John
Jeavons. Cra"ing on traditional ,hinese #ractices, $teinerHs biodynamic farming,
and >rench 5ntensive, the biointensive a##roach aims to gro" soil ra#idly, cut "ater
consum#tion, and maintain o#timal food #roduction (the claim is that 0;; s*uare
feet can feed one #erson for a year). The keystone double&dug raised conve4 beds a
meter or t"o "ide oriented in a north&south a4is for ade*uate sunlight. $mall #aths
bet"een ro"s minimi!e soil com#action and ma4imi!e #lant microclimates. ?eaves
of mature #lants -ust touch (Bliving mulchB). $te#s for initial bed #re#aration include
0. $oak area for t"o hours, let dry for t"o days.
<. ?oosen soil 0< inches dee# "ith a s#ading fork and remove "eeds.
:. Water for five minutes and let soil rest a day.
9. $#read com#ost, "ater five minutes, let soil rest a day.
6. Couble dig to <9 inches1 dig, don@t #ulveri!e, and don@t turn over the u##er layer.
Cig "hen moist to avoid "recking the soil structure.
7. 2ake level, "ater 6 minutes, let rest a day.
/. ,om#ost "ith a 6;E soil mi4ture.
=. .lant seeds in beds <&0; inches high. $#ace seeds he4agonally.
K. Water.
0;. Water lightly daily in late afternoon.
$ee Couble Cigging.
Bio#hilia love of nature. ,oined by biologist E. +. Wilson. The o##osite of
necro#hilia, the love of dead things.
Bio#iracy the business #ractice of #atenting seeds and other indigenously gro"n
agricultural #roducts. 3onsanto, a key s#onsor of Cisneyland and develo#er of
nuclear arms, is forcing financially stra##ed farmers in Bangladesh to buy seeds once
#assed do"n through families. .+C&NE2$ has done something com#arable in
3e4ico and has sued 3e4ican yello" bean e4#orters for #atent infringement. $ee
also $eed $aving.
Bioregion a naturally bounded, ecologically distinct geogra#hy a "atershed is one
e4am#le. Term coined by .eter Berg and 2aymond Casmann. The largest bioregion
is an ecoregion (e4am#le the +!ark .lateau), the ne4t largest a georegion (river
basins, mountains, "atersheds), and the ne4t a local mor#horegion. As Berg
described it
# bioregion refers both to geographical terrain and a terrain of
consciousness!!to a place and the ideas that have developed about how
to live in that place... # bioregion can be determined initially by use of
climatology, physiography, animal and plant geography, natural
history and other descriptive natural sciences. $he final boundaries of
a bioregion, however, are best described by the people who have lived
within it, through human recognition of the realities of living!in!
place....
Bioregionalism #hiloso#hies, ecological #ractices, and #olitics built around the idea
that a #lace@s natural features and edges suggest the basis for understanding it and
inhabiting it. $cientifically, this means -oining ecology to anthro#ology through
geogra#hy a seamless interde#endency bet"een ecosystem, culture, and region.
3ost versions of bioregionalism share the follo"ing areas of focus
Those "ho actually live in a bioregion kno" best ho" to manage it.
To#&do"n solutions from far a"ay are to be sus#ected.
C"ellers begin to understand a #lace by reinhabiting it, "hich means
learning all about its ecosystems and animals, "ater sources, "eather,
soil ty#es, "aste management, ecological strengths and traumas, and
resources for ecologically gentle living. The mood that matches this is
learning to feel at home there.
>ood is best gro"n and bought locally.
?ocal democracy is based on direct #artici#ation and small&grou#
discussion. (As ?eo#old Iohr #ut it, B5f something is "rong, then
something is too big.B)
Cevelo#ments that "ould damage the local environment&&sho##ing
malls, tract housing, factories, etc.&&should be firmly and consistently
o##osed. ?ocally made #roducts are #referred over those shi##ed from
a distance or made locally through mass #roduction both of "hich
transfer ca#ital to outside sources.
2es#ect for the rights, needs, customs, #rivacy, and kno"ledge of
indigenous #eo#le living in the area.
?iving sustainably means ecologically sensible #ractices such as reuse
and recycling, "ater and #o"er conservation, and reduction of trash
and other "astes.
Bios#here taken together, the tro#os#here, oceans, and land surfaces "here things
live. Also called the Ecos#here.
Bioremediation using animal microorganisms or #lants (#hytoremediation) to heal
#olluted soil or "ater.
Biotic living.
Biotic ,ommunity a self&sustaining community of living things. An ecosystem.
Biotic >actor the environmental influence e4erted naturally by living organisms
"orms that aerate soil, animals that enrich it "ith manure, trees that thro" shade,
etc.
Biotic .otential a #o#ulationHs ma4imum #roduction rate given ideal surroundings
and resources.
Bioto#e an environmentally uniform area. The #hysical as#ect of an ecosystem.
Bioturbation "hen organisms disturb sediments, as "ith "orms on the ocean floor
that eat food stuck bet"een sand #articles.
Bird according to one source, a vertebrate "hose body is covered "ith feathers. >or
more on this, see .edanticism.
Bis#orangiate a flo"erHs ca#acity for #roducing both megas#ores (female s#ores)
and micros#ores (male s#ores). 3ost flo"ers are bis#orangiate.
Bitumen as#halt.
Black Body in theory, a body that absorbs and emits 0;;E of the electromagnetic
radiation that strikes it and therefore a##ears black. Gra#hite comes close, "ith all
but :E absor#tion.
Black Bo4DWhite Bo4 a research #rotocol that distinguishes bet"een Bblack bo4B
a##roaches "here the researcher mani#ulates an unkno"n, and B"hite bo4B
a##roaches "here kno"ledge of ho" something "orks determines the methods used
to study it. By and large, ecology confines itself to black bo4 methods by looking at
natural events from the outside, Bob-ectively,B "hereas dee# ecology, eco#sychology,
and other more interactive #ers#ectives strive to be in touch "ith the inner "orkings
of nature.
Blo"out a de#ression caused by erosive "ind.
Blue&Green Algae the old term for ,ynobacteria.
Board >oot (3B>) a measure for lumber e*uivalent to a one&inch thick board one
foot long and one foot "ide. +ften used to determine the amount of "ood cut from a
forest.
Bog ('eath, 3uskeg) marshy land covered by shrugs and mosses. Their acidic soils
accumulate #eat, the thick, carboni!ed vegetable tissue decom#osed in "ater. The
"ords BbogeymanB and BheathenB derive from outcasts "ho inhabited these #oorly
drained areas.
Bolson a mountain&ringed desert basin lacking any outlet for drainage.
Bolt the e4#losion of seeds from cool&season #lants suddenly e4#osed to "armth.
Bonemeal an amendment that adds #hos#horus to soils that need it. $ee
3acronutrients.
Boreal of the northern latitudes.
Boreal >orest (Taiga) the high to mid&latitude biome characteri!ed by coniferous
forests inhabited by fir, #ine, s#ruce, larch, and cedar standing on #reviously
glaciated land. $tretches across North America, Euro#e, and Asia.
Botanical (or .lant&Cerived) .esticide one derived from #lant chemicals (e.g.,
strychnine).
Bottomset Bed a fine, hori!ontal delta de#osit of alluvial clay and silt.
Bo"en 2eaction $eries N. ?. Bo"enHs generally acce#ted hy#othesis that ho" rocks
crystali!e from magma&&"hether they turn out mafic, intermediate, or felsic&&
de#ends on the magmaHs com#osition and tem#erature.
Brackish Water "ater contaminated by salt, but "ith a salinity lo"er than :6 #arts
#er thousand. $ee Brine.
Braided $tream a "atery net"ork of t"isting, sediment&bearing channels. >ound
ato# alluvial fans.
Breaker a "ave that colla#ses for"ard near the shoreline as the shoaling sea bottom
makes it to#&heavy. 5t colla#ses "hen the ratio of its height to its "avelength #asses
0/.
Breccia coarse sedimentary rock com#osed of shar#, angular rock fragments
cemented together. ,ontrast "ith ,onglomerate.
Brine sea"ater "ith a salinity greater than :6 #arts #er thousand. Brine is often
made salty by eva#oration.
Buffer .rey a s#ecies targeted by a #redator that usually eats a different s#ecies. This
ha##ens "hen the #referred s#ecies is de#leted or the buffer s#ecies is unusually
numerous.
Buffer $tri#s lines of vegetation #lanted bet"een cro#s to reduce runoff and erosion.
Bulgur dried, ground, sifted, #artially debranned, and #arboiled (#recooked) "heat
for "hole grain use.
Bundle a bioregional summation of a #lace. 5t usually includes a ma#, information
about notable #lants and animals, a historical outline, facts about early d"ellers,
#hotogra#hs, a brief environmental assessment, and in some cases -ournal entries
and art"ork.
Bush >allo" secondary tro#ical or subtro#ical vegetation #lanted in forests in order
to regenerate the soil bet"een cro#s. 5n #laces like "estern $udan, this traditional
#ractice has been subverted by a Western em#hasis on cash&#roducing monocro#s in
disregard of cultural or ecological conse*uences.
Bushel a dry volume measure of fruit and vegetable #roducts e*ual to four #ecks or
eight gallons (<06;.9< cubic inches).
Butte a stee#, craggy, isolated hill "ith a to# less flat than that of a mesa.
Buttons small broccoli or cabbage heads gro"n from seedlings e4#osed to free!es.
Buys&BallotHs ?a" standing some"here in the northern hemis#here "ith your back
to the "ind locates the lo" #ressure area driving it on your left. The reverse is true in
the southern hemis#here. $ee ,oriolis Effect.
Bycatch accidental harvest of one organism instead of another, like the crustaceans
caught in shrim# tra"ls and the dol#hins tra##ed instead of tuna.
,alcareous $oil soil rich in calcium carbonate (calcite) de#osited by "eathering of
calcareous rocks and shells. ,halk, limestone, marl, magnesium, and #hos#hates are
often found in it, making it fertile, if dry or thin. +ften seen in deserts.
,alcicole a #lant that likes high&calcium soil.
,alcification accumulation of calcium carbonate in u##er soil layers. >re*uent in
semi&arid areas and in grasslands.
,alcifuge a #lant that avoids calcareous soils.
,alci#hile a #lant confined to calcareous soils.
,aldera a circular volcanic crater larger than the vent.
,aliche surface soil #articles cemented together by lime (calcium carbonate). ?um#s
of it can block "ater, curtail root gro"th, and cause iron deficiency in nearby #lants.
,alorie a *uantity of energy e*ual to the amount of heat re*uired to raise one gram
of #ure "ater from 09.6 to 06.6M ,elsius under standard atmos#heric #ressure.
,alving breaking off of sheaths of ice from icebergs1 a form of Ablation.
,aly4 the se#als (outer leaves covering the bud) of a flo"er.
,ambrian E4#losion su##osed huge diversification of multicellular life forms in the
EarthHs oceans during the ,ambrian .eriod 6/; million years ago. All that@s certain is
that organisms living before the Fe4#losionG did not leave behind many fossils.
,ambium the cell&generating tissue bet"een the bark and the stem. %sually absent
in monocotyledonous (see 3onocot) #lants.
,andle ne" shoots on needled evergreens.
,ane a gra#evine shoot one year old.
,ano#y a treeHs u##ermost layer branches and leaves.
,a#illary Action "ater movement through tiny absorbent channels, often against the
force of gravity, made #ossible by "aterHs firm hydrogen&o4ygen bondings. ,a#illary
action #lays a ma-or role in "ater diffusion through soils and organisms.
,arbohydrates com#ounds of o4ygen, hydrogen, and carbon formed into the sugars,
starches, and cellulose formed by #lant #hotosynthesis of "ater and carbon dio4ide.
They #rovide energy and facilitate fat #roduction. Three #rimary ty#es
monosaccharides (sim#le sugars like fructose and glucose), disaccharides (lactose,
maltose, and sucrose), and #olysaccharides (cellulose, glycogen, de4trin, starch).
>oods that #rovide carbohydrates include breads, beans, dairy #roducts, #otatoes,
corn, many s"eet deserts.
,arbohydrate ,atabolism a three&ste# breakdo"n of glucose into energy (AT.)
inside the mitochondrion, the cellHs #o"er #lant glycolysis, the Irebs cycle, and
o4idative #hos#horylation.
,arbon an element "hose atoms have si4 #rotons and si4 electrons. Because its
outer electron shell holds only four of the eight electrons it could su##ort, carbon
bonds easily "ith other elements and "ith itself to fashion the com#le4 molecules on
"hich life as "e kno" it de#ends. 5t makes u# almost half of the human bodyHs dry
mass.
,arbonation a ty#e of chemical "eathering in "hich carbonic acid (carbon dio4ide
dissolved in rain"ater) reacts "ith the magnesium, #otassium, sodium, or calcium in
rocks like limestone and felds#ar and thereby dissolves them, sometimes forming
caves.
,arbon ,ycle the #assage and recycling of carbon through the #lantary bios#here,
lithos#here, hydros#here, and atmos#here.
,arbon Cio4ide a colorless atmos#heric "aste&#roduct gas (one carbon atom -oined
to t"o carbon atoms) #roduced by combustion, fermentation, and res#iration. >ossil
fuel consum#tion and deforestation have almost doubled the *uantity of it in the
atmos#here. $ee Greenhouse Effect and .hotosynthesis.
,arbon >lu4 carbon movement1 movement of organic com#ounds through an
ecosystem. $#ecifically, the relationshi# bet"een carbon dio4ide absorbed by green
#lants and carbon dio4ide res#irated by various organisms.
,arbon $inks sites that soak u# carbon (forests).
,arcinogen a substance that fosters cancer, an illness characteri!ed by cells that
cannot *uit dividing in a kind of biological nation&statism.
,arr a "et area of deciduous scrub or "oods gro"n from s"am#y soil.
,arrying ,a#acity the ma4imum #o#lation an ecosystem can su##ort of a given
s#ecies. An ongoing debate focuses on "hether the EarthHs carrying ca#acity for
humans has already been e4ceeded or shortly "ill be.
,asein a tasteless "hite #rotein distilled from milk and used in dessert to##ings,
coffee "hiteners, adhesives and binders, #aint, and #lastics. $ensitivity to it #lays a
role in milk allergies, As#ergerHs $yndrome, and Autism.
,atabolic metabolic #rocesses that break do"n tissues and organs&&turning #rotein
into energy during a fast, for e4am#le. The o##osite of Anabolic.
,atchment a natural or artificial basement for tra##ing "ater. +ne natural version
catches rainfall and feeds it into a stream that drains the catchment area.
,ation an ion carrying a #ositive atomic charge. 3any key soil nutrients em#loy
cations.
,ation E4change ,a#acity ho" "ell a soil hosts e4changes of cations bet"een its
minerals and its #lant roots. 5n general, soils high in clay and organic matter carry a
negative charge that retains #lant nutrient cations against leaching a"ay. 'igh ,E,
usually correlates "ith high fertility.
,avitation fast or even e4#losive erosion forced by air bubbles carried by a ra#idly
flo"ing li*uid. 2uins its share of "ater #um#s.
,ell makers and maintainers of #roto#lasm1 the basic living unit of all organisms
e4ce#t viruses. The cells of organisms other than bacteria are eukaryotes those
containing a defined nucleus in "hich chromosomes contain the CNA reci#es from
"hich cells synthesi!e #rotein. ,ells kno" "hat to do and "hich genes to turn on
because of "hat surrounding cells do in reference to a chemical&directional gradient.
5n organisms of greater com#le4ity cells s#eciali!e into a variety of tissues.
Animal cell diagram. >rom the te4tbook Human Biology (Caniel ,hiras, #ublished Jones and Bartlett,
<;;<)
,ell Gra!ing concentrating gra!ing animals like shee# to #romote soil aeration and
fertili!ation one bloc of land at a time. +vergra!ing and #lant&killing tram#ling are
#revented by moving the animals along before it ha##ens.
,ellulose an insoluble, fibrous carbohydrate that reinforces the cell "alls of #lants,
green algae, and dinoflagellates.
,elsius $cale tem#erature scale in "hich "ater free!es at ;M and boils at 0;;M.
,entrifugal >orce the force that #ushes an orbiting ob-ect out of its circular #ath.
B>orceB is a misnomer, ho"ever, because "ithout the centri#etal force, the ob-ect
"ould naturally straighten its course in accordance "ith Ne"tonHs >irst ?a" of
3otion, "hich states that ob-ects tend to move in a straight line through s#ace unless
acted u#on by an outside force.
,entri#etal >orce force re*uired to hold a moving ob-ect in a circular #ath against its
tendency to fly out"ard. $#inning storms like hurricanes and dust devils e4hibit it.
The force is #ro#ortional to the s*uare of the velocity, "hich means that doubling the
ob-ectHs s#eed increases the centri#etal force four times.
,ereals grasses cultivated for their edible seeds (grains). They include "heat, rice,
mai!e, barley, oats, and rye. Around the "orld, they are gro"n more often and more
abundantly than any other cro#.
,etaceans the order that includes dol#hins and "hales. (,losest living relative to the
"hale the hi##o.) ?ike the +rder $irenia (manatees and dugongs), the ,etaceans
"ere never land animals.
,halk a ty#e of limestone sedimented together from the skeletons and shells of
marine microorganisms1 it resists erosion but is #orous, often gathering a lot of "ater
beneath its formations.
,hanneli!ation altering a stream by straightening, diverting, or dredging, usually to
make it run faster.
,ha#arral an evergreen shrub community ada#ted to dry seasons. Although it
secrets a resin that burns like gasoline, homes continue to be built in its #otentially
e4#losive thickets.
,haracter Cis#lacement given t"o s#ecies that might need to com#ete for a
resource, the members least like each other in "hat they re*uire tend to survive and
re#roduce long enough to evolve into s#ecies "hose niches do not involve
com#etition. $o far, this #rinci#le has not "orked its "ay u# the food chain into the
dealings of nation&states "ith each other.
,hela the cla" of an arthro#od.
,helate a ring&sha#ed com#ound consisting of metals chemically bonded to organic
residues. 3etallo#roteins, for e4am#le, that "ork in the body "ith en!ymes and iron
storage.
,helation chemical "eathering in "hich chelates dra" metallic cations (#ositively
charged ions) out of rocks and rocky minerals. %ltimately, all forms of "eathering
have a hand in forming soils. Also a controversial medical #rocedure in "hich the
organic chemical ECTA is in-ected into the body to chelate heavy metals from the
blood. The list of claimed benefits includes hel# for atherosclerosis and various kinds
of vascular disease, decreased angina, nicer skin color, healing of gangrene, better
blood viscosity and circulation, fe"er free radicals, smoother cell and organelle
functioning, heightened sensuality, healed ulcers, diminished arthritis, 3$,
.arkinonHs, and Al!heimerHs, and of course slo"er aging. .ro#onents "hose #raises
for chelation are ignored claim to be victims of the medical establishment, their
clinking heavy metals chelated by a disbelief freely #layed if not al"ays radical.
,hemical Autotro#h (,hemolithoautotro#h) a guitarless organism that feeds itself
chemically (chemosynthesis), as some bacteria do.
,hemical Weathering chemical decom#osition of minerals and rocks. Ty#es
o4idation (substances dissolved in o4ygen&&iron o4idation, for instance), hydrolysis
(in acidic "ater), carbonation (limestone dissolved in "ater), hydration ("eathering
through "ater absor#tion), chelation.
,hemigation dis#ensing a #esticide through an irrigation system. $#rinklers are
often used for this.
,hemosterilant a chemical that sto#s #ests from re#roducing.
,hemosynthesis the chemical conversion of inorganic com#ounds found in an
autotro#hic organismHs surroundings into food for it. ,om#are .hotosynthesis.
,herno!em $oils soils rich in humus and calcium, like the soils often seen in
meado"s and #rairies.
,hert hard and dense sedimentary rock, light gray to dark gray (flint), com#osed of
*uart! crystals and silica derived from marine fossils. %sually found in limestone
nodules.
,himera an artificially created animal com#osed of mi4ed CNA. A human "ith a
mouseHs brain "ould be an e4am#le, as "ould >rankensteinHs angry monster. 5n
Greek mythology the ,himera&&a fire&breather "ho "as #art lion, #art goat, and #art
dragon&&devastated the land until finally slain by a hero. Nevertheless, certain
enthusiastic biologists are more eager to create chimeras than to read hints and
"arnings from ancient mythology.
,hinam#a a ma!e of raised cro# beds (camellones) on lo", canal&fed islands of mud,
clay, manure, and decom#osing #lants built u# in lakes and #onds. A!tecs and
3ayans used this farming method.
,hinook a "arm, dry "ind that blo"s on the lee sides of mountains in North
America.
,hitin an aminosugar and #olysaccharide (an insoluble carbohydrate s#un from
inter"oven sim#le sugars) found in some fungi cell "alls and in insect e4oskeletons.
Although abundantly #roduced&&almost as much so as cellulose&&some insecticides
#revent it from cycling.
,loche a trans#arent #lant cover that shields #lants from the cold.
,hlorofluorocarbons (,>,s) nonburning chemicals made of carbon, chlorine, and
fluorine and used in aerosol s#rays, solvents, foams, refrigerants, and #acking
materials. When released into the air and e4#osed to ultraviolet radiation in the
u##er atmos#here, they form a gas that o#ens holes in the o!one layer.
,hloro#hyll a green, sunlight&ca#turing #igment in #lants and some bacteria. $ee
.hotosynthesis.
,hloro#last a cell organelle, once a free bacterium, that holds chloro#hyll. $ymbiotic
"ith mitochondria, as sho"n by biologist ?ynn 3argulis.
,holinesterase 5nhibitors chemicals that inhibit the en!yme that manages neural
activity. >ound in many insecticides (carbamates, .arathion, 3estinon). %sed in
small doses to relieve the sym#toms of Al!heimerHs disease and other dementias.
,hordates (.hylum ,hordata) animals "ith a notochord&&a long, cartilaginous
su##ort column running most of the bodyHs length&&located bet"een the stomach and
a fluid&filled dorsal nerve cord.
,hromatin the combination of CNA and the structural #roteins (histones) it "ra#s
around in the cell nucleus. ,hromosomes are made out of chromatin.
,hromosome a long, threadlike structure that carries the bearerHs genetic code
(CNA), among other things. 'umans have <: #airs of chromosomes, 97 in all 99
autosomes and t"o se4 chromosomes, the N (female) and less com#le4 O (male).
+ffs#ring ac*uire half their chromosomes from the biological mother and half from
the biological father. Each chromosome is sha#ed like an N, "ith a dot in the center
(the centromere) and arms reaching out to the ends (the irre#laceable telomeres that
kee# chromosomes from sticking together accidentally1 their gradual shortening
from re#lication after re#lication during cell division sets the biological limit to a
life). $ee Gene, CNA.
,ircum&.acific Belt (2ing of >ire) a !one of volcanoes and volcanic islands circling
an edge of the .acific Basin "here one continental #late grinds under another
(subduction). $ee .late Tectonics.
,ir*ue a large, glacially eroded bo"l on rocky mountains. Al#ine glaciers generally
start out from a cir*ue.
,ities urban systems "hose dominant members occu#y various niches, some of
"hich com#ete. 2ather #arasitic, the large ones, in that they take from all over
"ithout giving, bereft as they are of natural #roducers. Because of their e4clusive
em#hasis on gro"th and #roductivity, they are locked into an ecological immaturity
that "astes resources and "idely and indiscriminately #ollutes. >or all these reasons
they are as unsustainable as the civili!ations that s#a"n them.
#s %omo sapiens&s entry in any intergalactic design competition,
industrial civiliation would be tossed out at the qualifying round. --
David Orr
,itric Acid ,ycle see Irebs ,ycle.
,lade a grou# of organisms that includes their most recent common ancestor and all
of their descendants.
,last a single constituent of a rock (e.g., a grain).
,lastic com#osed mostly of former rocks (like shale and sandstone) "hose
fragments have been carried a long distance from "here they originated.
,lear&,utting removing all the trees from a given area1 a destruction of entire forests
at a time.
,leavage natural #lane of breakage along "hich consecutive breaks #roduce smooth,
#arallel s#lits.
,le#tobiosis "hen one s#ecies steals food from another.
,limate average atmos#heric conditions over a long time interval. Energy from the
sun drives climate, "hich sets limits on a biomeHs #lant life and therefore on the
animals that live there. The Io##en&Geiger classification sorts ma-or climates into
five ty#es humid tro#ical, dry, humid "arm, humid cold, and cold #olar.
,lima4 the culminating stage of #lant succession in a given ecosystem. ,lima4
communities tend to"ard maturity because of having attained harmony "ith their
surroundings through years of e4#erimentation and ada#tation. $ee $uccession.
,line a gradient of variations in a s#ecies that stretches across a geogra#hical
location. E4am#le different ty#es of eucaly#tus trees running across a series of
slo#es.
,losed $ystem one that e4changes energy, but not matter, bet"een itself and its
environment. The Earth is a closed system of finite room and resource.
,loud Ty#esP
,umulonimbus (thunderheads) near ground level to above 6;,;;;
feet.
,irrostratus above 0=,;;; feet.
,irrus above 0=,;;; feet.
,irrocumulus above 0=,;;; feet.
Altostratus 7,;;;&<;,;;; feet.
Altocumulus 7,;;;&<;,;;; feet.
Nimbostratus (rain) belo" 7,6;; feet.
$tratocumulus belo" 7,;;; feet.
,umulus (fair "eather) belo" 7,;;; feet.
$tratus belo" 7,;;; feet.
P Take every ty#ology "ith t"o grains of salt. Nature kno"s no rigid categories.
,oal hydrocarbon and sedimentary rock com#osed of com#acted #lant remains,
mostly ancient club moss trees sitting above tro#ical s"am#s. 3ined coal #rovides
most of the "orldHs electrical energy. A #o#ular com#ound in hell, it "as once carried
by thieves and cut#urses to avoid a##rehension.
,oarse .articulate +rganic 3atter (,.+3) un#rocessed carbon com#ounds added
to an a*uatic environment. E4am#le stra" or leaves blo"n into a #ond.
3icroorganisms eventually break it do"n into >.+3 (>ine .articulate +rganic
3atter).
,obble #ebbles rounded by being bounced around in "ater.
,odominant t"o tree s#ecies (hickory and oak) "ith roughly e*ual #o#ulations and
ecological im#act in the forest they gro" in. Also, the blended e4#ression of t"o
alleles (genetic variations), as "hen "hite carnations crossed "ith red carnations
#roduce #ink ones. $ee Allele.
,oevolution interactions bet"een s#ecies that im#act ho" both evolve. E4am#les
bees and #lants needing #ollination1 the cleaner fish and the "hale shark.
,ol saddle&sha#ed de#ression bet"een mountain #eaks. >ormed by o##osing cir*ue
glaciers.
,old >rame a glass&covered frame (often of "ood) that houses seedlings and delicate
#lants. ,ontrast "ith 'ot >rame.
,ollagen long #roteins stretched into a tri#le heli4 to make strong structural fibers.
They are found in hair, tendons, and about a fourth of the human bodyHs #rotein.
,olonial Nesting the habit of certain birds&&egrets, s"allo"s, herons&&to build
concentrated colonies. ('istorical note +ne year a radio micro#hone "as set u# at
3ission $an Juan ,a#istrano to convey the fla##ings of de#arting s"allo"s to
listeners all over heavily coloni!ed +range ,ounty, but the inconsiderate avians fle"
off ahead of schedule. The missionaries had done something similar in 0=:9 "hen
the mission "as seculari!ed.)
,olony >orming %nits (,>%) bacterial colonies cultured from a "ater sam#le. ,>%s
indicate the "aterHs level of bacterial concentration.
,ombine a grain harvester that combines cutting, threshing, se#arating, cleaning,
and stra" dis#ersing as it moves across cro#land. Australian farmer 'ugh Qictor
3cIay invented the first #ractical combine in 0==<1 as devout a ,hristian as $ven
>oyn, inventor of the har#oon gun, he fought against the establishment of basic
"ages for agricultural laborers but lost that battle. James 3orro" invented a similar
threshing and stri##ing device around the same time that 3cIay did.
,ommensalism a coevolutionary relationshi# bet"een s#ecies (usually animal
s#ecies) that benefits one "ithout significantly im#acting the other.
,ommoner@s ?a"s of Ecology 0. Everything is connected to everything else. <.
Everything must go some"here. :. Nature kno"s best. 9. There is no such thing as a
free lunch, or everything has to go some"here. (Barry ,ommoner, biologist, 0K/0.)
,ommunity ,oefficient a measure of similarity bet"een the #lants and animals of
t"o different ecological communities.
,om#anion .lanting #lanting #lants that do "ell together near each other. 'ere are
some
3arigolds around tomato and #e##er #lants.
As#aragus and #arsley.
Beans "ith #otatoes, carrots, cucumbers, kohlrabi, s#inach,
stra"berries.
Basil near tomatoes, egg#lant, and #e##ers.
,arrots near beats, radishes.
$lo" thistle "ith lettuce.
,orn to shade cucumbers.
3ustard near cabbage and cauliflo"er.
+ne s#inach #lant #er four Bibb lettuce #lants.
$ome combinations to avoid (o##onents)
Cill "ith carrots.
A##le trees "ith #otato seedlings.
Beans or #eas near garlic, onions or shallots.
Worm"ood "ith anything1 eucaly#tus "ith anything.
,om#etition for food and resources. Ty#es interference (by direct attack),
e4#loitation (forced to share a resource), scramble (everyone gets something),
contest (one com#etitor gets it all), and restrictive (#reventing someone else from
getting it)1 also, inter& and intras#ecific modes (bet"een or "ithin s#ecies).
,om#etition tends to characteri!e less mature ecosystems. Note there is some
debate about ho" much of the Bcom#etitionB and BdominanceB "e see in the natural
"orld is #ro-ected there by observers "ho take such behaviors in overmanaged
human societies for granted.
,om#etitive E4clusion "here one s#ecies com#etes another into e4tinction.
,om#osting enriching a soilHs nutrition and ,E, (cation e4change ca#acity) by
adding decom#osed organic matter to it. Grass cli##ings, kitchen scra#s, coffee
grounds, and even certain kinds of "eeds "ill serve "hen mi4ed "ith bro"n matter
(dry t"igs, ne"s#a#er), but not animal fat, meat, oil, or cat or dog feces. A #ro#erly
built, moistened, and aerated #ile "ill gradually heat u# as microorganisms break it
do"n into humus1 for faster results, shred the materials before com#osting, kee#
s#onge&moist, and turn the #ile every three days, shoveling undigested matter at its
edges into its baking heart. 5t is ready to s#read on soil "hen flaky bro"n and no
longer hot. A thin layer of soil on the #ile gets it off to a start. A #ile of less than three
cubic feet may not heat u# #ro#erly.
,om#ound a substance com#osed of various elements.
,ondensation the transformation of ("ater) va#or into li*uid. >alling tem#eratures
trigger it.
,ondensation Nuclei microsco#ic #article of dust, ash, etc. around "hich a raindro#
forms. Cro#s also form around silver iodide #articles seeded into clouds to increase
local rainfall.
,one of Ce#ression the dro# in the "ater table near an overused "ell, resulting in a
cone&sha#ed dry !one called an area of influence.
,onnectance the actual food "eb interactions bet"een s#ecies com#ared "ith the
total #ossible number1 usually e4#ressed as a fraction.
,onglomerate coarse sedimentary rock com#osed of "eather&rounded rock
fragments cemented "ith silt and clay. $ee Breccia.
,onifer a cone&bearing tree. ,oniferous vegetation occu#ies the middle and high
latitudes.
,on-unctive $ymbiosis a mutually beneficial relationshi# in "hich the t"o
#artici#ants -oin into a single organ or body. E4am#le lichens.
,onservation Tillage any #lanting a##roach that leaves :;E or more of the soil
covered by #lant residue or cover cro# "hile tilling as little as #ossible to avoid
destroying the soil structure.
,onstancy the dis#ersion of of a s#ecies throughout a community. A constant is a
s#ecies that sho"s u# in almost every sam#le taken (indicating an occu#ation of
roughly =;E).
,onsumer an organism that consumes other organisms, "hether living or dead.
,om#are .roducer.
,onsumerism the mass delusion, su##lemented by e4#ensive advertising, that using
u# as many #roducts as #ossible as *uickly as #ossible "ill someho" not cave in the
bios#here. $ee Cieback.
,ontact 3etamor#hism alteration of rock by locali!ed high tem#eratures and fluids
circulating near a cooling mass of e4trusive igneous rock (a #luton).
,ontinental ,rust the #redominantly granitic rock that com#rises the stony
foundations of the continents. (+cean floors are com#osed #rimarily of basalt.) The
crustHs thickness varies from <; to /6 kilometers. $ee Earth, ?ayers.
,ontinental Civide the elevation that divides a continentHs largest drainage basins.
,ontinental Crift the theory that continents are mobile rather than fi4ed. .ro#osed
by A. $nider in 0=6=. $ee .late Tectonics.
,ontinental Effect the seasonal tem#erature differences that land surface heating
and cooling have on local climate. The differences tend to be greater than in #laces
closer to an ocean (maritime effect).
,ontinental 3argin the interval bet"een the shore and the ocean floor1 includes the
continental shelf, rise, and slo#e. Active margins mark sites of heavy geological
activity, including continental collision and subduction. Earth*uakes, volcanism,
mountain formation, and a narro" continental shelf characteri!e the tumultous
active margins. .assive margins are the o##osite, calmer and steadier, "ith flat land
and "ide shelves. 5n North America, the "est coast is active and the east coast
#assive.
,ontinental .late a rigid, #rimarily granitic slab floating on the asthenos#here, a
layer of semi&molten u##er mantle. The #lates average 0<6 kilometers of thickness
and are #ushed rather than #ulled by currents in the mantle. ($ee .late Tectonics.)
The continents riding ato# the #lates occu#y <KE of the #lanet surface.
,ontinental $helf the more or less level sedimentary interval from the shore to the
continental slo#e that leads dee#ly do"n"ard to the ocean floor.
,ontinuum subtle gradations in #lant or animal communities "ithin an ecosystem.
,ontour >arming farming #er#endicular to the slo#e of a hill or mountain, instead
of straight u# or do"n it, to minimi!e runoff and erosion. 5ncluding belts of cover
vegetation bet"een cro#s is kno"n as contour stri# farming.
,ontour $tri# 3ining mining (mainly for coal) by slicing contour bands into a slo#e.
,onurbation the fusion of gro"ing metro#olitan areas into a megalo#olis. An
intermediate stage in the develo#ment of "hat ?e"is 3umford referred to as
necro#olis, an e4am#le of "hich is tenemented 2ome around the time that the
Western Em#ire fell. Necro#olis is the final stage in decadence, bureaucratic
alienation, hatred of life, and urban im#losion.
,onvection vertical heat transfer, as in a convection current.
,onvectional .reci#itation "hen heat from the ground rises, cools, saturates the air,
and falls, most often as rain from a highly locali!ed storm. ,ommon along the
e*uator and dee# inside continents.
,onvergence similarities that a##ear inde#endently in more than one ty#e of
organism. (Animals that live in similar surroundings often resemble each other, for
instance.) ,ontrast "ith 'omology.
,onvergent Evolution the evolution of similar characteristics in "idely se#arated
#o#ulations. Wings in unrelated s#ecies of birds are an e4am#le.
,onvergence .reci#itation (>rontal .reci#itation) formed "hen air masses collide,
resulting in "arm, moist air rising until it cools.
,onveyance ?oss "ater lost during trans#ort. Eva#oration from a creek, leakage
from a #i#e.
,oral marine invertebrates that secret a calcium carbonate e4oskeleton and live
symbiotically "ith algae, "ith the algae #roviding nutrients like carbon and the coral
nitrogen, #hos#horous, and an abode. ,orals are #erforate (#orous skeleton) or
im#erforate (solid skeleton). ,olonial corals live in dee# "ater, and reef&building
corals in "arm, shallo" "ater "here their !oo4anthellae algae can receive sunlight.
When corals die, their outer skeletons remain, gro"ing the reefs layer u#on layer (see
Atoll). As of the second millennium, t"o fifths of the "orld@s coral had disa##eared
due to industrial #ollution, and all of the remainder is under threat.
,oral Bleaching "here coral lose their colorful symbiotic algae. This ha##ens "hen
carbon dio4ide (a greenhouse gas) enters the "ater, cutting do"n reef #roduction
and leaving e4isting reefs vulnerable to erosion.
,ord a stack of "ood "ith a gross volume of 0<= cubic feet (9 feet by 9 feet by = feet).
,ordgrass several #lant s#ecies living in brackish or saline estuarine marshes1 belo"
them are tidal mud flats, and above them salt marshes. ,ordgrass #roduces five to
ten times as much nutriment and o4ygen as a com#arable acreage of "heat. Qery
useful for tidal marsh restoration because its roots hold the mud in #lace as the
#lants bracket incoming "aves "hile filtering them for nutrients.
,ordon hori!ontal branching of a gra#evine clinging to a trellis.
,ore the EarthHs iron&nickel interior1 about /,;;; kilometers in diameter. 5ts
currents generate the #lanetHs magnetic field.
,ore Aeration taking #lugs of soil out of the ground to increase its aeration. 2oots
die in overly com#acted ground.
,oriolis Effect the a##arent deflection of an ob-ect in motion because of the EarthHs
rotation. ?o" #ressure systems in the northern hemis#here turn counterclock"ise
(clock"ise in the southern hemis#here). Think of the a##arent curve caused by a
child trying to "alk a straight line from the center of a carrousel to the edge as it
s#ins.
,orm a short, thick stem that stores nutrients underground. %sually a monocot, it
does this through hot summers or cold "inters.
,ormel a corm that gro"s around the #arent corm. .lanting it can gro" a ne" #lant.
,otyledon embryo or seed leaves. They store nutrients for the seed until it gro"s its
o"n #hotosynthetic leaves.
,oulee a dee#, dry ravine or streambed. Also, stee# flo" of hardened lava.
,ounter&2adiation greenhouse deflection of incoming long"ave radiation back to
the #lanet surface.
,over ,ro# a cro# gro"n to #rotect the soil from erosion and nearby food cro#s from
"eeds. ,an be dug under to #ut nutrients back into the ground. ,ommon cover cro#s
include buck"heat, hairy vetch, Austrian "inter #ea, and various clovers.
,rash a sudden #o#ulation dro#off caused by resource de#letion. $ee Cieback.
,raton the stable foundation of the continental #lates1 com#osed of the shield and
#latform.
,ree# slo" do"nslo#e soil movement.
,ross&Bedding sedimentary beds tilted "hen de#osited in the direction the "ater or
"ind that built them "as moving.
,ro"n "here the #lant root -oins the stem.
,ro"n ,over the #ercentage of forest floor overgro"n "ith tree cro"n. A ma-or
com#onent of forest #roductivity. ?ack of light and room to gro" limits it (called
crown shyness).
,rash sudden de#o#ulation as a result of resource de#letion. A crash can often be
seen a long "ay off in communities on a direct course to disaster through overuse of
food and other vital su##lies.
,reationism (renamed 5ntelligent Cesign) the use of scientific&sounding arguments
to F#roveG an un*uestioned belief that a God created the "orld, usually in a short
#eriod of time. ,reationism is a B"orking against natureB rather than a B"orking "ith
natureB enter#rise in its insistence that the divine stands a#art from the natural in a
relationshi# of domination (su#ernaturalism). >e" scientists take ,reationist claims
of "orld"ide Biblical floods and ine4#licable ga#s in the fossil record seriously. 5n
0K70 'enry 3. 3orris (0K0=&) and John ,. Whitcomb, Jr. #ublished a #oorly
researched book called The Genesis Flood that added nothing scientific to the
argument but did ins#ire the formation of a ,reation 2esearch $ociety in 0K7:. $ee
Evolution.
,ryos#here the #art of the Earth that remains belo" the free!ing #oint (e.g., the
#oles).
,ryostatic .ressure ice #ressure of the kind often seen inside glaciers.
,ryoturbation frost churning of soils.
,ry#to#hyte a #lant "hose re#roductive organs (e.g., bulbs, corms) are underground
or under"ater.
,ultivar an organism "ith desirable breeding *ualities.
,ultivate to break u# soil in #re#aration for #lanting. >iring, clearing, #lo"ing, and
cultivating destroy the colloids that hold soil together and tra# nutrients.
,us#ate >oreland (Ness) a triangular shingle of #articles at #oints located bet"een
-oined ridge de#osits along a coastline. $imilar to sand s#its, but "ider.
,uticle a "a4y layer of cutin that #rotects the surfaces of leaves.
,uttings segments cut from #arent #lants for gro"ing else"here. ,uttings gro" best
from sunside shoots or branches "ith t"o nodes each. They are #lanted "ith the to#
bud -ust clear of the soil.
,yanobacteria bacteria that #hotosynthesi!e. They "ere among the first living things
on Earth. The food&making chloro#last of #lants is actually a cynobacterium
im#orted long ago.
,yclone a lo"&#ressure center "ra##ed in rotating movements of air.
,yst a ca#sule&like sac that encloses a s#ore, #arasite, or abnormal gro"th.
,ytokinesis cell division.
,yto#lasm the #ortion of a cellHs #roto#lasm (living matter) outside the nucleus.
Cam#ing +ff a common fungal disease that "ilts seedlings and rots stems. 5t can
often be avoided by holding off on mulching until the seeds have s#routed.
Car"in A"ards BThe Car"in A"ards salute the im#rovement of the human genome
by honoring those "ho accidentally kill themselves in really stu#id "ays.B >air
enough, but the biologically #ertinent *uestion is do they do so before, or after, they
#ass on their genesR
Cays to 3aturity the number of days bet"een #lanting the seed and first harvest. 5n
#olitics, the end of the current geological age.
Ceadhead to remove s#ent blossoms in order to encourage ne" flo"ers. Also, avid if
heavy&lidded collectors of Jerry Garcia T&shirts, skeleton costumes, handmade
-e"elry, and hem#.
Ceclination and 2ight Ascension declination, the angular distance north or south
from the celestial e*uator (the imaginary sky curve #ro-ected u#"ard from the
EarthHs e*uator), combines "ith right ascension (measurement along hour circles
circling like meridians bet"een the celestial #oles) to #lot sky ob-ects in a grid similar
to that of longitude and latitude. Because the Earth s#ins in s#ace, right ascension is
measured in time intervals rather than degrees of arc.
Ceciduous annual or seasonal shedding of foliage from trees and shrubs. ,onserves
"ater by cutting do"n on trans#iration and nutrients by reducing "hat the leaves
re*uired. Ceciduous trees are useful in gardens because they give shade in summer,
let in light in "inter, and dro# leaves that enrich the soil "hen decom#osed. They are
best trans#lanted "hen dormant (late autumn to early s#ring).
Cecom#oser an organism that eats dead organic matter. 3ost are bacteria, algae,
and fungi. They fuel the nitrogen and o4ygen cycles that su##ort all life on Earth.
Cee# Ecology a term coined by Arne Naess in his 0K/: article FThe $hallo" and the
Cee#, ?ong&2ange Ecology 3ovementsG to challenge the e4clusively human&centered
vie" of the natural "orld by looking more dee#ly into *uestions of our #lace in it (as
o##osed to surface environmental reform that addresses #roblems but not their
#sychological or #hiloso#hical under#innings). 5ts t"o fundamental norms,
irreducible to any others self&reali!ation (as o##osed to ego&reali!ation) and
biocentric e*uality that o##oses anthro#ocentrism as the heart of our #roblem "ith
nature. Naess@s motto F$im#le in means, rich in ends.G After "orking out a
#hiloso#hical #latform "ith George $essions "hile cam#ing in Ceath Qalley in 0K=9,
Naess later defined Fdee#G in terms of a #ersistent *uestioning (#roblemati!ing) and
a #ursuit of dee# (significant) change. Cee# ecologists see identification&&"ith #lants
and animals, #laces, the "orld&&as the basis of em#athy and relationshi#. (Cavid
Iidner #refers FresonanceG bet"een self and other to Bidentification.B) War"ick >o4
believes that unlike social ecology and ecofeminism, dee# ecology moves the source
of our "ar against nature from intras#ecies (human) to inters#ecies, a move that
transcends blaming #oliticians or industrialists by focusing on their -ustification
anthro#ocentrism, "hich lovelessly regards the "orld as a thing for human use.
Ceflation the removal of soil by "ind erosion in hollo"s and de#ressions.
Cefoliant an herbicide that kills leaves.
Cegrading %se "ater contaminated before it can reenter the hydrological cycle.
Ceme an interbreeding sub#o#ulation.
Cemersal a bottom&feeding animal.
Cemogra#hic Transition the hy#othesis that industriali!ing nations e4hibit death
rate declines follo"ed by birth rate declines.
Cendrochronology dating a tree by counting its rings.
Cenitrification chemical conversion of dissolved nitrogen (nitrite) into gaseous
nitrogen. >ires on #articular soils do this.
Censity ,urrent "hen a denser current sinks do"n under a less dense current and
flo"s along the bottom.
Censity Ce#endence the tendency of a #o#ulationHs gro"th rate to de#end on its
si!e, "ith an increase in #o#ulation density corres#onding to a decrease in gro"th.
This self&regulating dynamic hel#s #revent e4tinction.
Ce#endent ,o&Arising (.aticca $amu##ada) Buddhist theory of mutual causality,
"hich in #ractice means the interde#endency of #ersonal and social activity. Joanna
3acy links this to a sense of environmental res#onsibility consciousness (not ego)
and "orld rise and fall together.
Ce#osit >eeder a bottom&feeder that eats sedimentary material and by doing so stirs
u# the mud.
Ce#osition the dro##ing of trans#orted #articles out of moving "ater onto a resting
#lace. Also, a transformation from gas to solid as a result of cooling.
Ce#ression a lo" #ressure system.
Cesalini!ation .lant a site "here sea"ater is boiled to se#arate steam from salt1 the
steam condenses into fresh "ater. Because this re*uires a large amount of energy&&
normally #rovided by burning coal or oil&&desalini!ation is normally used only in
very dry areas.
Cesertification the degradation of moist land into a desert. $ome desertification is
natural, but most is from erosion, climate change (global "arming), or overgra!ing.
Cetritus decom#osing organic matter (leaves, bugs, etc.).
Cetritivore an organism that eats detritus.
Ce" .oint the tem#erature at "hich "ater va#or from a saturated air mass turns
into li*uid. Belo" free!ing, called a frost #oint.
Ciagenesis changes to sediment or fossils after burial. $imilar to metamor#hosis,
but "ith less de#th and less heat.
Cia#sid a vertebrate "hose skull has t"o #airs of side o#enings behind the eyes, e.g.,
li!ards, crocodiles, snakes, dinosaurs.
Ciatomite (Ciatomaceous Earth) a sediment formed from diatoms (unicellular algae
"ith yello" chloro#lasts).
Cicot (Cicotyledon) flo"ering #lants "hose embryos have t"o cotyledons (seed
leaves).
Cieback the dee# #o#ulation crash "hen an environment can no longer su##ort a
#o#ulationHs demands. %sually leads to dieoff (e4tinction).
$he facts of nature cannot in the long run be violated. 'enetrating and
seeping through everything like water, they will undermine any system
that fails to take account of them, and sooner or later they will bring
about its downfall. -- C. G. Jung
Cioecious #lants "ith either male or female flo"ers, but not both (s#inach, holly,
date #alm, etc.).
Cio4in a highly to4ic chlorinated hydrocarbon used in herbicides and #roduced by
industrial #ollution.
Ci#loid a cell containing t"o sets of chromosomes. $ee 'a#loid.
Cisaccharides sugars com#osed of monosaccharides (sim#le sugars). E4am#les
sucrose and lactose.
Cis-unct the distribution of a s#ecies "hose #o#ulations have been geogra#hically
divided.
Cissolved +rganic 3atter (C+3)(Cissolved +rganic ,arbon) decom#osing carbon
com#ounds in "ater. ,an be natural or artificial.
Cistributary a branching stream channel that flo"s a"ay from a main stream
channel. $ee Tributary.
Ciurnal active by day.
Ciurnal Tide a tide that comes in once a day.
Civergent Evolution "hen t"o #o#ulations become more and more dissimilar,
usually as a result of different environmental #ressures. The o##osite of ,onvergent
Evolution.
CNA (Ceo4yribonucleic Acid) a form of nucleic acid organi!ed into #airs of double&
heli4 molecules #ackaged into chromosomes carrying the genetic code. The
molecules are made of linked nucleotides units "ith a sugar, a #hos#hate, and one of
four base chemicals adenine, thymine, guanine, and cytosine. These bases -oin like
ladder rungs&&al"ays an A to a T and a , to a G&&"ith the sugar&#hos#hate forming
the outside BbackboneB of the strand. The se*uence of these nucleotides, "ith each
grou# of three s#elling one anino acid Bcodon,B determines the kind of #rotein
manufactured "hen translated by strands of 2NA. (James Watson and >rancis ,rick
discovered this structure in 0K6:.) 2NA also aids in CNAHs re#lication. Everything
living carries the same gene code, one reason scientists are so confident "e are all
related biologically. $ome CNA se*uences are identical in humans and bacteria, a
fact that underlines our common biological origins. $ee 2NA, ,hromosome.
Cockage chaff, stems, and other such non#roductive #lant residue that can be
removed from a cro# of "heat "ith a sieve.
Cogs all are descended from Canis lupus, the gray "olf. ,oyotes are the ne4t closest
relatives.
ColloHs ?a" evolution never reverses itself.
Cormancy a #eriod of summer or "inter metabolic slo"do"n in animals, #lants, or
seeds that need to conserve energy in inhos#itable seasons.
Couble&Cigging digging soil to a certain de#th&&0< inches, say, and in ro"s&&and
loosening the soil to a certain de#th (often another 0< inches) belo" that before
filling back in. %sed to #re#are soil beds "here #lants have not been gro"n. $ee
>rench 5ntensive.
Co"ners meat #acking term for disabled or in-ured animals.
Cra"do"n dro##ing "ater levels in a dam or reservoir. Also the overuse of
resources faster than they can be re#laced. $ee +il.
Credging scoo#ing out a channel bed to #revent accumulated silt from sto##ing shi#
traffic.
Cry >arming irrigationless farming in arid or semi&arid conditions (rainfall belo" <;
inches a year).
Cualism the #erceived s#lit bet"een #eo#le and nature normally traced back to
>rench #hiloso#her 2ene Cescartes but "ith roots in monotheism, .lato, and still
older sources. Qal .lum"ood has named five features that characteri!e dualism
backgrounding, radical e4clusion, incor#oration, instrumentalism, and
homogeni!ation.
Cunes along "ith estuaries they #revent coastal flooding and erosion.
Cust Come bro"n or gray dome of air #articles and #ollutants tra##ed by an urban
heat island above a city. The meteorological e*uivalent of the 3etrodome.
Crumlin an elongated hill of glacial till or drift "hose narro" end #oints to"ard the
retreating glacier.
Cykes vertical veins of igneous rock formed by magma cooling in breaks and
fractures.
Cynamic 3etamor#hism metamor#hism that changes a rockHs sha#e "ithout
changing it chemically. $ometimes associated "ith mountain&building.
Cystro#hic to4ic habitats deficient in nutrients.
Earth, Age +f 9.66 billion years. >ormed by #articles of gas and denser materials
once e-ected from e4#loding su#ernovae and gradually #ulled together by gravity.
Earth Cay a #lanet"ide celebration of our home that started on A#ril <<, 0K/; "ith a
BTeach&5nB organi!ed by Gaylord Nelson to bring greater a"areness to environmental
concerns. 5t s#read s#ontaneously to thousands of cam#uses and involved at least <;
million #artici#ants. Earth Cay has become #o#ular enough that #oliticians and
cor#orate heads have started giving s#eeches on A#ril <<. (.resident Bush tried it in
<;;6, but the Great $moky 3ountains thundered and rained him out. $ee Animism.)
Earth, ?ayers

Ecesis the establishment of a #lant or animal s#ecies in a ne" environment.
Ecli#tic the a##arent circular #ath of the sun around the Earth as seen from the
ground.
Ecocentric term coined by War"ick >o4 in #reference to biocentric (environment&
centered). Both contrast "ith the more human&focused #ers#ective #revalent in
industriali!ed nations.
Ecodynamics, ?a"s +f formulated by #hiloso#her Ed"ard Goldsmith as corrections
to the reductive la"s of thermodynamics. The ?a"s #ostulate that living things seek
to #reserve their structure, gro" to"ard clima4 (maturity) rather than entro#y
(none4istence), move into mutualism and "holeness, and survive and flourish
through s#ontaneous, ada#tive self&regulation.
Ecofeminism term introduced (FecofeminismeG) by >rancois d@Eaubonne in the 0K/9
te4t Le Feminisme ou la Mort. Cissatisfied "ith ecological analyses that leave
#atriarchy out of account, ecofeminists out #arallels bet"een ho" men in the West
mistreat "omen and ho" they mistreat the Earth in both cases a relationshi# of
#o"er, control, a "ill to dominate, and a #ervasive fear of of the fact of
interde#endency. A t"ist on this is the #atriarchal habit of ob-ectifying "omen "hile
femini!ing the environment1 "omen are then seen as less mature or human because
Bcloser to nature.B Not all ecofeminists agree on "omenHs relationshi# to the natural
"orld $alleh thinks that feminine bodily e4#eriences situate "omen more closely to
nature, "hereas 2oach criti*ues this for reinforcing of the old nature&culture
dichotomy. 3any ecofeminists have critici!ed dee# ecologyHs em#hasis on unity (seen
as a deem#hasis on diversity and #articularity) and on the need for elaborate
#hiloso#hi!ing1 for .lum"ood, "ho sees the Western e4altation of rationality as a
suicidal e4#ression of ecological contem#t, BidentifyingB "ith nature is an e4tended
egotism that re#laces relationshi# "ith #sychological fusion. >or Onestra Iing, the tie
"ith nature, though socially colored, should be celebrated rather than re#udiated as
BdeterministB or Bessentialist.B
Ecological Efficiency the #ercentage (usually around 0;E) of useful energy that
#asses from one tro#hic level in a food chain to another. $horter food chains tend to
lose less energy.
Ecological E*uivalents s#ecies that live far a#art but in similar niches and
ecosystems.
Ecology from the Greek oikos (household) and logos (study) the study of
interrelationshi#s bet"een organisms and their environment. The term "as coined
in 0=77 by German biologist and #hiloso#her Ernest 'aeckel, famous also for his
discredited but interesting dictum that ontogeny (individual #hysical develo#ment)
reca#itulates #hylogeny (the evolutionary develo#ment of its s#ecies).
Eco#sychology a relatively ne" disci#line o#erating on an ancient assum#tion the
dee#est levels of the #syche are tied to the Earth (unlike environmental #sychology,
"hich looks in linear fashion at the im#act of surround on #syche). Theodore 2os!ak,
for instance, #osits an Fecological unconsciousG at the core of the #syche1 $te#hen
Ai!enstat describes a F"orld unconsciousG similar to "hat early #hiloso#hers
described as the anima mundi or "orld soul. As "ith dee# ecology, eco#sychology
insists that to be healthy, our relations "ith the Earth must be reci#rocal, not
e4#loitive. BEco#sychology is the effort to understand, heal, and develo# the
#sychological dimensions of the human&nature relationshi# (#sychological, bio&
social&s#iritual) through connecting and reconnecting "ith natural #rocesses in the
"eb of life. At its core, eco#sychology suggests that there is a synergistic relation
bet"een #lanetary and #ersonal "ell being1 that the needs of the one are relevant to
the other.B && 2obert Green"ay, Amy ?en!o, Gene Cil"orth, 2obert Worcester, ?inda
Bu!!ell&$alt!man.
Ecoso#hy the #hiloso#hy of Cee# Ecology.
Ecoso#hy T Arne Naess@s brand of dee#&ecological #hiloso#hy "hose ultimate norm
is $elf&reali!ation reali!ation of self and ecos#here and, ultimately, the universe.
>rom this norm follo" certain values like interde#endency of all things1 ma4imum
diversity1 minimal e4#loitation1 elimination of class society1 ma4imum symbiosis. A
key #remise is that everything living has an intrinsic value a#art from its #urely
human use value. The FTG recalls his hut Tvergastein, named after *uart! crystals
found nearby. (+ne of NaessHs models, $#ino!a, "as a lens&grinder.) $ee Cee#
Ecology.
Ecos#here $hare the financially and #olitically dangerous idea that each #erson is
entitled to a share of the "orld@s resources in accord "ith "hatHs needed to live.
Ecosynthesis 'aikai TaneHs term for a hy#othesi!ed evolution of ecosystems, some
changing in res#onse to human&caused #lanetary changes.
Ecosystem a biotic community and its surroundings, #art inorganic (abiotic) and
#art organic (biotic), the latter including #roducers, consumers, and decom#osers.
The term "as introduced in 0K:6 by $ir Arthur Tansley. $ocial ecologist 3urray
Bookchin #refers the less mechanical "ord ecocommunity. 5ts com#onents are not
reducible to the interde#endent relationshi#s that emerge from it.
Ecosystem, .ulsing 'o"ard +dumHs hy#othesis that ecosystems change not only
gradually, but in the un#redictable starts, fits, and B#ulsesB characteristic of systems
sub-ect to chaos dynamics.
Ecotage term invented by future Environmental Action members at Earth Cay,
0K/;, to describe the sabotage of environmentally harmful machineries (bulldo!ers,
$%Qs) and #ro-ects (housing tracts, su#ermalls). $imilar to monkeywrenching
(Ed"ard Abbey@s term from his 0K/7 novel The Monkey rench Gang). 3ost greens
consider ecotage ina##ro#riate until, at the very least, actions like nonviolent
resistance have #roven futile. Cave >oreman of Earth>irstS distinguishes bet"een
terrorism ("hich is aimed at innocent #eo#le) and ecotage (aimed at devices that
ruins ecosystems). >armer&"riter Gene ?ogsdon has "ondered "hether grou#s "ho
resort to such acts ever think about #rotecting, say, vanishing to#soil.
Ecothera#y Earth&based healing #ractices. BEcothera#y involves understanding and
healing the human&nature relationshi# through connecting and reconnecting "ith
natural #rocessesB(2obert Green"ay). Ecothera#ist ?inda Bu!!ell&$alt!man refers to
the field as Beco#sychology in action.B
Ecotone the transitial !one bet"een ad-acent biotic communities, often "ith uni*ue
nutrients and ecological relationshi#s.
Ecoto#e (Bioto#e) the smallest ecologically distinctive area "ithin a landsca#e
classification system.
Ecoto#ia a vision of an ecologically friendly society.
Ecotourism tourism that makes use of the ecological attributes of a #lace (e.g., bird&
"atching).
Ecoty#e a genetically differentiated sub#o#ulation evolved to remain "ithin its
habitat.
Eda#hic >actor any organism&im#acting feature of the soil, like #' for the #lants
there.
Edge Effect the uni*ue #ro#erties in an ecotone (#lant variety, animal density,
biological diversity), the !one "here t"o communities meet.
Edge Wave one that runs #arallel to the shore.
Effluent a substance (usually to4ic) entering an environment from a #oint source (a
confirmable location). E4am#le "aste"ater from a manufacturing #lant (effluence
from affluence).
Effusive Eru#tion non&e4#losive flo"s of thin basalt&forming magma from a
volcano. +ften associated "ith shield volcanoes.
Elastic ?imit ho" much a rock or mineral can bend "ithout shattering.
Elastic 2ebound Theory earth*uakes ha##en "hen continental #lates moving in
o##osite directions finally sli# after a long accumulation of stress.
Elater a structure that dis#erses s#ores "hen moistened.
Element a molecule com#osed of one ty#e of atom (e.g., ,arbon, 'ydrogen,
'elium). At #resent the .eriodic Table contains 00< elements. T"o or more elements
form a com#ound.
El NiTo (Bthe boyB) a #eriodic climate change brought by "armer .acific currents (as
high as 09o, "armer) normally #ushed a"ay by the .acific trade "inds, "hich fade
every three to seven years. As barometric #ressure shifts over the .acific and 5ndian
+ceans (the $outhern +scillation), floods strike some regions (the West ,oast of
North America, for e4am#le) as droughts bake others (#arts of $outh America).
($outh American fisherman besto"ed the name because the effect&&"hich lasts eight
to ten months&&often arrives near ,hristmas, birth time of the ,hrist ,hild.) $ee ?a
NiTa.
Elfin >orest forest of small, scrubby trees sometimes dra#ed "ith mosses or lichens1
often found near a tree line.
Eluviation movement of humus, chemical substances, and mineral #articles from
the u##er layers of a soil to lo"er layers by the do"n"ard movement of "ater
through the soil #rofile.
Embayment #ortions of o#en "ater or marsh defined by natural to#ogra#hical
features such as #oints or islands, or by human structures such as dikes or channels.
Embryo a !ygote (fertili!ed egg) "hose cells have divided #rior to its develo#ing into
a foetus.
Emergent Wetlands those "hose vegetation #artly above "ater and rooted belo" it.
Emissivity the *uantity of heat flo"ing from the Earth back into s#ace. Emissivity
and albedo hel# balance the global tem#erature.
Endocrine Cisru#tor a #esticide chemical that interferes "ith hormones. 5t is
sus#ected to cause vaginal cancer, immune system deficiencies, and birth defects.
Endo#lasmic 2eticulum net"ork of tubes and sacs involved "ith making #rotein
("ith ribosomes) and steroids and "ith storing calcium and glycogen (stored sugar).
Endosymbiosis "hen one organism lives in another to the benefit of both. E4am#les
of the resulting symbiosis include #lastids, mitochondria, and chloro#lasts.
English, ?atini!ed English evolved from the Anglo&$a4on tongues s#oken by the
Germanic tribes&&Angli, $a4ons, >risians, Jutes&&"hose conscri#ts among the 2oman
legions had visited Britain (later, Angleland, or England) and found it inviting. They
came around 90;, the year 2ome fell to the Qisigoths and the Em#eror 'onorius
decided from the safety of 2avenna that out#osts like Britain "ere on their o"n.
With the 2omans gone, the incoming Germanics blended "ith the indigenous ,elts,
and so did their languages into +ld English and its earthy "ords (Bdream,B B"ater,B
Bstrong,B Btoday,B and BbreadB derive from +E). $o matters stood until William the
,on*ueror invaded in 0;77 and brought along a language s#oken at court Anglo&
Norman, a dialect of >rench nobilitys#eak thick "ith ?atin "ords trans#lanted from
the 2oman Em#ire and its "arlike clerics. Eventually Anglo&Norman mi4ed "ith +ld
English to make 3iddle English (the language of ,haucer), but during the
2enaissance, rene"ed interest in classical science and scholarshi# summoned
another "ave of ?atinisms. With these and an infusion of Greek terms in #lace,
English gre" standardi!ed "ith hel# from the #rinting #ress. Today only about one&
si4th of it is homegro"n, the rest im#orted from other languages. $urrounded by the
cogs and "heels of the 5ndustrial 2evolution, ca#italists and scientists coined more
ne" "ords from Greek and ?atin formations that lent themselves to abstraction,
classification, and measurement. 'ence the need for glossaries like this one. (>or one
more item, see 5nkhorn.)
Enterococcus an anaerobic bacterium "ith t"o strains that live in the intestines and
others that cause infections to "ounds and the urinary tract.
Entomo#hilous seed #lants #ollinated by insects.
Entrainment trans#ort of organisms in moving "ater.
Entro#y disorder or un#roductive energy in a given system. 5t tends to increase over
time.
En!yme #roteins that augment (cataly!e) and manage chemical reactions in cells by
lo"ering the activation energy.
E#ibenthic living on the surface of sediments lying on the floor of a body of "ater.
E#ifauna animals that live on a surface. $ee 5nfauna.
E#i#hyte a #lant gro"ing on, but not nourished by, another #lant. $ee 'emi#hyte.
E#ithelium the layer of cells lining a body cavity to #rotect it (e.g., the stomach).
Both #lants and animals have it.
E#i!ootic im#acting many animals at once, as "ith a disease outbreak.
E*uilibrium $uccess $trategy s#ecies that survive through lo" death rate, relatively
little coloni!ation or e4#ansion, moderately fre*uent re#roduction cycles, and other
steady&state #atterns of ada#tation. Tends to be the larger animals. $ee
+##ortunistic $uccess $trategy.
E*uino4 the t"o annual #eriods "hen the sun crosses over the earthHs e*uator either
north to south or south to north, thereby making a day and a night of e*ual length
an unusual circumstance given the #lanetHs tilt. The s#ring (or vernal) e*uino4 is on
3arch <0 or <<, and the autumn e*uino4 on $e#tember << or <:. 5n other terms the
t"o #eriods "hen the ecli#tic crosses the celestial e*uator.
Erosion some natural, but more and more due to human interference (develo#ment,
urbani!ation, agricultural e4haustion of soil, etc.). 5n the %.$., over 09; million acres
are classified as 'E? (Bhighly erodible landB).
(very time you see a dust cloud, or a muddy stream, a field scarred by
erosion or a channel choked with silt, you are witnessing the passing of
#merican democracy. -- Sterling North
Escar#ment a cliff&like ridge formed by faulting or erosion. 5t divides t"o more or
less even #ieces of land.
Esker long ro#e and ridge de#osits left by glacial melting.
Es#alier a #lant trained to gro" vertically, usually u# a fence or trellis. ,onserves
s#ace, heat for frost&#rone areas1 enhances #roductivity.
Estivation similar to hiberation, but during the summer, underground.
Estuarine Aone an estuary&&a "atery coastal conflu4 "here tide meets river&&#lus
the surrounding "etlands (intertidals, salt marshes, lagoons, bay mouths, etc.) Thick
"ith nutrients and organic matter, such !ones are the highest #roducers in the
ecos#here. Eliminating one removes the grasses needed by local fish, shrim#s, snails,
and other #rotein&rich organisms, de#rives the are of a #ollutant scrubber, and
removes a key flood&control device. With strong&arm hel# from the Army ,or#s of
Engineers, about half of the estuaries in the %.$. have been destroyed by dredging
and filling and other forms of Fdevelo#ment.G K6E are gone in ,alifornia. $ee
Wetland.
Eukaryote an organism "ith a membraned cell nucleus. $ee .rokaryote.
Eustacy sea level changes due to sea"ater volume changes in the oceans.
Eu#hotic Aone the !one of "ater #enetrable by sunlight.
Eurybathic able to tolerate different de#ths in "ater (like a s#erm "hale, "hich can
ride on the surface or dive dee#ly). ,ontrast "ith $tenobathic.
Eurythermic able to tolerate broad tem#erature changes.
Eutro#hic #roductive1 a##lies to habitats rich in nutrients and organic material.
Eutro#hication a gradual nutrient enrichment that increases organic matter
#roduction, as "ith a lake that absorbs "aves of nutrient runoffs.
Eva#oration li*uid "aterHs transformation into va#or. 2e*uires a lot of energy.
Eva#otrans#iration (Trans#iration) the eva#oration of "ater off leaf surfaces. A
natural event, but can cause #lants to lose too much "ater in dry times.
Evenness the even distribution of individuals of a s#ecies. +f t"o grou#s of #lants,
roughly 6; individuals in each grou# is fairly even1 < in one grou# and 6; in the other
"ould be uneven. $ee 2ichness.
Evergreens trees that kee# their foliage throughout the year. Needle&sha#ed leaves
retain moisture "ith less loss to trans#iration. ,om#are Ceciduous.
Evolution ada#tive changes in the genetic characteristics of a #o#ulation over time&&
but this ada#tation is not necessarily Fim#rovement.G This entry says BEvolutionB and
not BEvolutionary TheoryB because evolution is not a theory anymore. Evolutionary
o#erations and outcomes have been observed directly, today, as "ell as indirectly
through field studies, CNA research, evidence&dating techni*ues, the fossil record,
etc. The animal e*ui##ed "ith a ne" and hel#ful feature is likelier to live long
enough to #ass it do"n than an animal "ithout it.
Ele#hants in ,hina are more fre*uently born tuskless, no", due to #ressure from
#oaching. $ee $#eciation for an e4am#le of a family of Asian butterflies branching
into different s#ecies today. Genetic mutations, "hich are rare and usually harmful,
#lay less of a role in evolution than Car"in believed, and cultural forces that
reinforce selection for certain characteristics a larger role. ($ee Natural $election and
$e4ual $election.) According to biologist 2ichard Ca"kins, the eye has evolved
inde#endently at least forty times, echo location four times, the venomous sting ten
times, electrolocation several times, fla##ing flight four times, -et #ro#ulsion t"ice,
and sound #roduction for social #uroses too many times to count. $ee ,onvergent
Evolution, Ta4onomy.
According to this chart, the highest form of life on Earth is the >rench #oodle.
$he walls between )nature) and )culture) begin to crumble as we enter
a posthuman era. *arwinian insights force occidental people, often
unwillingly, to acknowledge their literal kinship with critters. !! Gar
Snder
E4foliation the "eathering off of granite sheets. ,alled unloading "hen it ha##ens
in con-unction "ith u#lift.
E4ogenic e4ternal to the Earth.
E4on the segment of the gene that codes #roteins (not all segments do). Each e4on
codes for a s#ecific #art of the #rotein to be created. Not to be confused "ith E44on,
"hose e4tra 4 symboli!es "hat it codes dangerously un#redictable environmental
ha!ards due to #etroleum #roducts burned or s#illed into the bios#here.
E4otic $#ecies those not native to an ecosystem.
E4#losive Eru#tion common in com#osite and caldera volcanoes. ,ontrast "ith
Effusive Eru#tion.
E4tir#ated a s#ecies that no longer lives "here it used to.
>acilitation 3odel of $uccession ecological succession is driven by #ioneer s#ecies
(often annuals) #re#aring the "ay for later (often #erennial) s#ecies on and into the
clima4. $ee $uccession.
>ecal ,oliform Bacteria unharmful enteric (intestinal) bacteria "hose #resence
indicates harmful comtaminations.
>acultative able to live in more than one kind of environment, like a #lant that
flourishes "ith or "ithout air. >re*uent in s#ecies that d"ell in "etland u#lands.
>aults, Earth*uake
Normal the hanging "all (the fault that moves) slides do"n the foot
"all (stationary).
2everse the hanging "all slides u# the foot "all.
$trike&sli# the hanging "all moves side"ays.
Thrust a reverse fault "here the fault angle is 96M or less.
>ed ,attle those ready for slaughter. 5ndustrially "arehoused beef cattle "eigh
about 0,0;; #ounds after the steady diet of #rotein and steroids they are forced to
eat.
>elds#ar a grou# of common aluminum silicate minerals that contains #otassium,
sodium, barium, or calcium. >els#ars are found in almost all crystalline rocks.
>elsic light&colored minerals containing *uart! and felds#ar. ,ontrast "ith 3afic.
>en #artially flooded lo"&lying #eatland fed "ater from u#slo#e. (>en #eat usually
comes from decom#osing sedges, rushes, and other such #lant matter.)
>ermentation the en!yme&controlled conversion of carbohydrates like gra#e sugar
into hydrocarbons like alcohol.
>etch the stretch of o#en "ater in "hich "ind can blo" freely in one direction.
>ield ,a#acity the "ater remaining in a soil after it has drained naturally.
>ilament the #iece stamen that #ositions the anther to dis#erse #ollen.
>ilter >eeder an organism that screens its food from "ater. Baleen "hales do this by
forcing sea"ater #ast the baleen #lates they use instead of teeth.
>ine .articulate +rganic 3atter (>.+3) organic matter "hich has undergone an
initial decom#osition.
>irn sno" com#acted into glacier ice (!irni!ication).
>irn ?imit (>irn ?ine) the lo"er boundary a glacierHs firn accumulation to have
endured for one year.
>irst ?a" of Thermodynamics energy cannot be created or destroyed, only
converted into another form. $unlight into tissue1 motion into electricity.
>issile cleavable, like a rock that s#lits into #arallel sheets.
>i4ed a genetic mutation that infiltrates 0;;E of a #o#ulation.
>-ord a long, usually narro", inland&reaching coastal valley scul#ted by a glacier.
>locculation the accumulation of #articles into small masses that fall out of li*uid
sus#ension, usually to settle on the bottom. $alt does this "ith clay #articles. 5t can
also be used to se#arate contaminants from "aste"ater.
>lo"er a #lantHs re#roductive organs.
>lood#lain the natural #ath taken by a flood&s"ollen river. 5n the %.$., more than
ten million homes are located in or near flood#lains, and the Bush Administration
has eased building restrictions in such locations. $ee 5nsurance.
>luvial #ertaining to streams.
>ly Ash #o"derlike soot #articles #roduced by coal and oil factories. %.$. coal
factories alone #roduce the better #art of a hundred millions of tons of it #er year.
>oliation the metamor#hic straightening of rock into #arallel layers. Also leaf
formation.
>ood ,hain the #ath of food energy transfer from green #lants (#rimary #roducers)
to gra!ers (#rimary consumers), omnivors and carnivores (secondary consumers),
and to their #redators (to# carnivores). The detritus food chain starts "hen organic
matter settles on the ground and breaks do"n. Because such linear food chains are
relatively rare in nature, see >ood Web.
>ood 3ilesDIilometers term coined by Tim ?ang to denote the distance food must
travel from "here it is gro"n or #roduced and "here it is sold. >oods that must come
a long distance often re*uire more #reservatives and generate more air #ollution
from the #etroleum #roducts used to shi# them. >or this reason food #ackaging does
not usually say "here something is gro"n. Buying from a local gro"er or farmer
reduces or eliminates such environmentally unsound #ractices.
>ood Web the interconnection of all food chains in an ecosystem. >ood "eb
diagrams em#hasi!e the circular com#le4ity of feeding relationshi#s.
>orb a broad&leaved non&grass herb gro"ing out in a field.
>orests 8 rain. ,ut do"n a forest and make a locali!ed drought. Ceforestation is a
direct cause of s#reading desertification "orld"ide. .arallel damage to the human
#syche remains largely une4#lored.
It was our Indian rule to keep our fields very sacred. +e did not like to
quarrel about our garden lands. "ne,s title to a field once set up, no one
ever thought of disputing it- for if one were selfish and quarrelsome,
and tried to siee land belonging to another, we thought some evil
would come upon him....$here is a story of a black bear who got into a
pit that was not his own, and he had his mind taken away from him for
doing so. !! .uffalo .ird +oman
>orest +utlier a #atch of forest se#arated from the main body.
>oraminifera single&celled, shell&encased, microsco#ic #roto!oa found in all marine
environments. 2emains of their shells #roduces chalk.
>ossil >uel coal, oil and natural gas geologically transformed from ancient beds of
#lant matter into burnable hydrocarbons. All told, these industries #ut =;; tons of
carbon dio4ide into the air every second a sobering number given that o4ygen&
breathing life on Earth de#ends on carbon remaining locked in the ground. Although
none of these fuels carries much, if anything, left from the dinosaurs, these no"&
e4tinct saurons have come to symboli!e them "ith an eerie #ersistence.
>ounder Effect a ty#e of genetic drift in "hich the genes of founder organisms&&
those that move on from the #o#ulation they came from&&sho" u# in their offs#ring
more consistently than other gene combinations.
>ragmentation breaking u# of a forest into islands of trees.
>ree&?iving a mobile organism that does not de#end on other organisms for food or
other resources.
>ree 3arket an economic system in "hich the "ealthiest #layers are free to make as
much money as they can regardless of conse*uences or catastro#hes.
>rench Crain a #i#eless drain set in a buried channel of gravel to drain off e4cess
"ater behind "alls. 5nvented in ,oncord by 'enry >rench.
>rench 5ntensive a farming method develo#ed -ust outside .aris involving raised,
humus& and manure&rich beds over double&dug soil. Oields "ere very high com#ared
to traditional agricultural methods.
>re*uency Ce#endence an inters#ecific e*uivalent of density&de#endence in "hich a
s#ecies gro"s "hen its #o#ulation is lo" com#ared to another s#ecies and sto#s
gro"ing "hen the #o#ulation is high. $ee Censity Ce#endence, .redator $"itching.
>reshet a flo" of fresh "ater.
>ront transition !one bet"een air masses. Ty#es include cold fronts (cold air
#ushing back "arm air&&often bringing stormy "eather), "arm fronts, stationary
fronts, dry lines (air barriers se#arating moist from dry air&&very common in the
American 3id"est), and occluded fronts ("hen a cold front catches u# "ith a "arm
one1 the resulting rotations of air can generate cyclones).
>rost ice formation on e4#osed surfaces due to atmos#heric cooling and a relative
humidity of 0;;E.
>rost ,ree# a gradual do"nslo#e movement of soil caused by re#eated tha"ing and
free!ing.
>rost Wedging the "eathering caused by "ater free!ing and therefore e4#anding in
cracks and fissues.
>rugivore an animal "hose main diet is fruit. 3any birds and bats are frugivores.
>undamental Niche for a given s#ecies, the ideal range of suitable conditions
"ithout com#etition or #redators. $ee 2eali!ed Niche.
>ungi (3ycota) sa#ro#hytic (decay&fed), s#ore&making #lants "ithout chloro#hyll
rusts, molds, smuts, milde"s, mushrooms, and yeasts. Their long hy#hae filaments
aerate and bind soils, aid "ater trans#ort, cycle nutrients, decom#ose organic matter,
and allo" roots to absorb nutrients from the ground.
Gaia 'y#othesis formulated by James ?ovelock (0K6K) and further develo#ed by
?ynn 3argulis, the scientific hy#othesis that the Earth and its systems "ork as a self&
regulating "hole to maintain the bios#here through systemic feedback loo#s. The
hy#othesis "as invented to ans"er the *uestion of ho" certain environmental
variables (gasses in the atmos#here, ocean salinity levels) that should be unstable
remain in e*uilibrium.
Gallinaceous Gu!!ler invented by Ben Galding, the term refers to covered, self&
maintained "atering containers or catchments fed by seasonal rains.
Gametes eggs and s#erm1 re#roductive cells that combine to form a !ygote (fertili!ed
egg).
Gameto#hyte the #hase "hen gametes a##ear in #lants.
Gamma Civersity regional diversity.
Gangamma@s 3andala a symmetrical herb garden design that allo"s access "ithout
re*uiring any tram#ling on the garden beds.
Ga# Cynamics the ecological effect of a cano#y ga# o#ened "hen a tree dies or is
other"ise removed from a section of forest.
Gause@s .rinci#le (,om#etitive E4clusion) no t"o s#ecies in an ecosystem can
#ermanently fill the same niche or use the same resources.
Gelifluction the movement of soil over #ermafrost.
GE3 genetically engineered microorganism.
Genetic Crift along "ith natural selection, a key evolutionary #rocess, "hereby the
fre*uency of certain genes (alleles, actually) varies randomly in a given #o#ulation
rather than being B#ushedB by natural selection. Think about a #o#ulation of rats in
"hich all but one have stri#ed tails. A catastro#he kills all but the one, "ho goes on to
breed. 2esult a ma-ority "ith unstri#ed tails.
Germ&?ine ,ells those that s#eciali!e in re#roduction.
Germ .lasm the hereditary material in germ cells (e.g., genes).
Gene(s) a chunk of CNA that allo"s organisms to #ass on ada#tations and ac*uired
features by making a #rotein through codon se*uences. CNA du#lication errors often
create ne" genes. Gregor 3endel discovered genes and "rote about them&&he called
them BfactorsB&&in 0=76, but his "ork "as ignored for 96 years. $ee CNA.
Gene >lo" the #roliferation of alleles (different versions of the same gene) across
#o#ulations.
Generalist an organism able to survive under a "ide range of environmental
conditions.
Genetic Civersity genetic variability found in a #o#ulation due to the genetic
combinations of its individuals.
Genome the genes of a s#ecies. Their chromosomal order controls #hysical
characteristics.
Genoty#e an individual organismHs genetic constitution. $ee .henoty#e.
Geologic Time $cale a scale that measures the vast amounts of time over "hich
geological changes occur. Civided into eons, eras, #eriods, and e#ochs. We are no"
in the .hanero!oic Eon that started 69: million years ago "hen animals began to
fossili!e in large numbers, the ,eno!oic Era (started 76 million years ago "hen the
dinosaurs ble" out), Uuaternary .eriod (roughly < million years ago, "hen #re&
humans a##eared), 'olocene E#och (0;,;;; years ago, "hen the last 5ce Age ended).
Geomor#hic Threshold the limit beyond "hich changes to a landform accelerate into
a ne" state (e.g., a cree#ing slo#e suddenly falls over).
Geostro#hic Winds global "inds1 they blo" above 0,;;; meters u# and are driven
more by #ressureDtem#erature factors than by surface features or conditions.
Geothermal Energy heat energy from the EarthHs interior. Geysers and volcanos are
naturally occuring e4am#les.
Gilgais gentle de#ressions distributed fairly regularly across level landsca#es of clay.
Girdling "ra##ing something like "ire around a tree trunk to choke the cambrium
layer and kill the tree.
Gibbons small a#es that use their arms to s"ing from branch to branch.
Glacier a more or less #ermanent body of ice com#acted from recrystalli!ed sno"
that e4#ands or contracts de#ending on gravity and climate.
Glacial 3ilk glacial melt"ater cloudy "ith sediment.
Glacial Trough a dee# %&sha#ed valley formed by glacial erosion. 3any contain
cir*ues on the valley floor.
Glaciation the modification of land features by glacier activity.
Gla!e an ice coating left by rain on a cold surface.
Glei!ation "hen slo"ed decom#osition in a "aterlogged environment allo"s layers
of vegetation to accumulate. .eat is a fre*uent result. 5n 2ussia glei!ation has been
used to gro" an organic BlinerB to hold "ater in leaky #onds and dugouts.
Global Warming the rising of the EarthHs average global tem#erature because of
greenhouse gases accumulating in the atmos#here. The scientific em#hasis has
s"ung from "hether global "arming e4ists to ho" to minimi!e the damage it "ill
cause. +ne e4am#le of many according to the British Antarctic $urvey and %.$.
Geological $urvey as of 6;;6, =/E of <99 glaciers studied have retreated over the last
fifty years, and average retreat rates are accelerating. 5f the Greenland ice sheet
melts, sea levels "orld"ide "ill rise t"enty feet. $ee Greenhouse Effect.
The tide rises in Tuvalu, but unnaturally high tides are not seen only
in the .acific. They are being s#otted no" all over the "orld.
GloberHs 2ule more heavily pigmented warm-blooded animals tend to be found nearer the
equator.
Glucose a sim#le si4&carbon sugar #roduced by #hotosynthesis. An energy source for
both #lants and animals1 it breaks do"n from ingested carbohydrates. ,ellulose and
chitin contain it.
Glycolysis the breakdo"n of glucose via en!ymes into #yruvic acid, an initial ste# in
the conversion of sim#le sugars into energy for the body. $ee ,arbohydrate
,atabolism.
G3 acronym for genetically modified food cro#s. 3ost Americans do not reali!e that
eating #rocessed food almost al"ays means eating something genetically altered, in
#art because the foods are not normally labelled as such.
Gneiss a coarse, metamor#hosed, foliated (laminated) rock in "hich felds#ars and
*uart!, sometimes hornblende and mica, run in bands.
Golgi A##aratus a cell organelle that "ra#s #roteins in vesicle #ackages for shi#ment
outside the cell.
Graben >ault a subsided block of rock surrounded on t"o sides by faults. $imilar to
rift valleys.
Gradation the gro"th and decline of a #o#ulation. Also a geology term for land
leveling by de#osition and erosion.
Grafting -oining one #lant segment (the scion) to another (the stock a root or an
entire #lant) so they gro" together. %sed as an alternative from gro"ing a #lant from
seed. Grafting #roduces many hybrids.
Grain a ty#e of sim#le dry fruit that does not o#en at maturity (technically called a
caryo#sis). $ee ,ereal. Global "arming is believed to have cut "orld grain #roduction
by K: million tons in <;;: alone.
Granite medium to coarse igneous rock congealed from felsic (light&colored) magma
roiling under continents. 2ich in *uart! and #otassium felds#ar (orthoclase).
Granivory loss of seeds to hungry marauders (e.g., birds).
Grau#el sno" crystals fused "ith raindro#s.
Great ?ea# >or"ard Jared CiamondHs name for the human artifacts, ornaments,
#aintings, and other symbolic innovations that a##eared rather suddenly 9;,;;;
years ago.
Green Algae a common (more than /,;;; s#ecies) algae, es#ecially in estuaries, "ith
nucleated cells and chloro#lasts that make food from sunlight. The BhigherB #lants
evolved from it.
Green 3anure a cro# gro"n to be dug into soil in need of nutrients. 5t is usually
a##lied before the second cro# (usually a food cro#) gro"s to avoid overheating it or
de#riving it of nutrients.
Greenhouse Effect the gradual "arming of a #lanet by an atmos#hereHs conversion
of incoming solar radiation into heat (discovered in 0=<9 by Jean Ba#tiste >ourier).
This natural effect is am#lified by gro"ing *uantities of greenhouse gasses&&carbon
dio4ide, nitrou4 o4ide, chlorofluorocarbons (,>,s), o!one, and methane&&that tra#
reflected radiant energy as it tries to leave the #lanet. $ome "ould see a tragic, bitter
irony in using u# to#soil, #olluting the rivers and oceans, and blackening the
atmos#here "hile unconsciously converting the entire "orld into a giant greenhouse.
$ee Global Warming.
Green .sychology see Eco#sychology. 2al#h 3et!ner #refers the term Bgreen
#sychologyB because instead of sounding like yet another disci#line or de#artmental
s#ecialty, it refers to "hat #sychology should have been doing all along visuali!ing
human beings in our ecological conte4t. 5n his book by the same name he notes, BThe
absence of any consideration given to the ecological basis of human life in te4tbooks
and theories of #sychology is startling itHs as if "e lived in a vacuum or s#ace
ca#sule.B
Green 2evolution a moderni!ation of high&yield agriculture "hich began in 0K99 in
3e4ico "ith the ,oo#erative Wheat 2esearch and .roduction .rogram organi!ed by
the 2ockefeller >oundation and the 3e4ican government under agriculturalist
Norman Borlaug. The resulting #roduction techni*ues boosted "heat yield
enormously, and their use in 5ndia and .akistan saved millions of lives. But because
such #roduction de#ends on irrigation ("hich invites salt), heavy machinery ("hich
com#acts soil), and chemical fertili!ers and #esticides made from #etroleum
#roducts, the long&term ecological conse*uences have been devastating.
Greensand an organic source of #otassium /E #otash #lus trace elements.
Green"ashing the #olitical or business #ractice of masking an environmentally
destructive activity by #romoting it as environmentally beneficial (B'ealthy >orests
5nitiativeB) or, at "orst, minimally damaging (e.g., the Bush AdministrationHs
argument that oil drilling o#erations in Alaska "ill only take u# a fe" thousand
s*uare miles of the immense Arctic National Wildlife 2efuge&&"hich is like claiming
that a man s#raying to4ic fumes into the air all around him takes u# only the fe"
inches on "hich his feet touch the ground).
Gross domestic #roduct (GC.) && Gross domestic #roduct is a measure of the total
#roduction and consum#tion of goods and services in the %nited $tates. Because it
does not take resource de#letion or #ollution into account, the GC. gives a false
#icture of the "ealth of nations.
Gross .rimary .roduction the total amount of energy and nutrients transformed by
#lants into biomass or chemical energy (roughly 0&:E efficiency for #hotosynthesis
and .<E for the ecos#here as a "hole).
Grou# $election the controversial idea that instead of res#onding only to challenges
that #resently face an organism, natural selection encourages im#rovements that "ill
eventually benefit a grou#. This "ould lend evolution a for"ard&looking or
BteleologicalB ca#acity most Car"inians re-ect.
Gro"ing $eason traditionally, the #eriod bet"een the last free!e in the s#ring and
the first frost in the fall. Qaries by location.
Grub a thick, "ormy beetle larva. Gardeners "ork diatomaceous soil into the earth
in s#ring to kee# grubs from eating #lant roots.
Guild a grou# of s#ecies that fill similar ecological niches (e.g., birds that eat bugs
from tree bark), but se#arated by time or geogra#hy so they donHt com#ete. Also a
#ermaculture term for harmonious #lant assemblies gathered around a central
element. .lanted around an orange tree rue and lavender to re#el #ests, nasturtiums
to smother "eeds and grasses, clover and vetch for nitrogen, and an albi!ia tree to
attract ladybirds to eat a#hids. The guild is a version of com#anion #lanting.
Gust >ront the blustery front edge of a thunderstorm. 5t se#arates "arm surface air
currents from cold do"ndrafts.
Gymnos#erm a #lant (e.g., a conifer) that bears naked seeds. $ee Angios#erm.
Gy#sum #ale, sedimentary rock (hydrated calcium sul#hate) ground u# for use in
#lasters, cement, and fertili!ers.
Gyre a s#iral or rotational movement, like a circular air or "ater current.
'abitat the abode of a s#ecies. (Microhabitat of an individual organism.)
'alocline a vertical "ater gradient "here salinity changes stee#ly.
'alf&?ife time re*uired for half of a *uantity of #article&emitting material to
undergo radioactive decay. Because emission slo"s as the isoto#e decreases in
radioactivity, taking half the life of its decay is more meaningful than trying to
estimate the entire amount. 'alf&lives range from millionths of a second to millions
of years.
'alo#hyte a #lant that likes saline soil (cordgrass, rushes, #ickle"eed). 3ost #lants
need less salty soil to gro" in.
'amada a flat e4#osure of desert bedrock.
'a#loid a cell that contains only one set of chromosomes. E4am#le gametes (se4
cells). By contrast, most of the cells that make u# the body are di#loid they contain
chromosomes from both biological #arents.
'a#loty#e a chunk of CNA that moves do"n the generations as a single unit.
'ardening +ff moving flats of s#routing seedlings outdoors into the shade before
finally #lanting them in the ground. Takes about t"o "eeks.
'ard#an a hardened soil layer that blocks #lant root gro"th. ,aused by clay
com#ation, iron #reci#itation, or cementing by calcium carbonate #reci#itates.
Gro"ing #lants like dandelions can loosen it u#.
'ard Technology costly, highly centrali!ed, mechanical technology that uses a lot of
energy, "astes resources, and #ollutes the environment. 3ining and agricultural
machinery, for e4am#le. $ee $oft Technology.
'ard"ood "ood from angios#erm (flo"ering) trees1 usually deciduous and broad&
leafed (ma#les, cotton"ood, ashe, oak, elm. $ee $oft"ood.
'atching Asynchrony "hen birds of the same grou# of eggs hatch at different times
because the mother incubated some before laying the entire clutch.
'eadland a stri# of land that -uts sea"ard, usually "ith a cliff ad-acent. ,alled a
promontory "hen high and narro".
'ead"aters the higher end of a streamHs drainage.
'ealthy .lanet >ood .yramid ?a"rence Bu!!ell&$alt!manHs model of sustainable
consum#tion of local food. >ocusing on where "e get our food, the #yramid rests on
three levels first, from a neighborhood garden1 ne4t, from local organic farmers1 and
last, im#orted from else"here, a costly choice given the amount of fuel and
#reservatives re*uired. The average load of food must no" travel 0,/;; miles an
e4travagance in terms of energy and #lanetary health.
'eath an o#en, coarsely soiled, #oorly drained #atch of land, usually acidic,
su##orting shrubs and small trees1 similar to a moor, but less moist.
'eave the #artial levering of a #lant u# from soil alternately fro!en and tha"ed.
'eavy 3etals elements bet"een lead and co##er in terms of the .eriodic Table. Too
much lead, !inc, nickel, mercury, arsenic, co##er, or cadmium in soil can damage
#lants.
'ectare <.9/ acres. $ee Acre.
'eeling 5n tem#orarily covering the roots of dormant #lants "ith soil or mulch to
#rotect them from the "eather.
'E? see Erosion.
'elo#hyte a cry#to#hyte (a #lant "hose re#roductive organs are underground or
under"ater) that flourishes in "ater or "aterlogged soil. ,attails, rushes, and reeds
are helo#hytes.
'emoglobin the iron&bearing #roteinD#igment in red blood cells that tran#orts
o4ygen to the cells.
'erb a non"oody angios#erm "hose flo"ers back seasonally. 'erbs are gro"n for
seasonings, for medicinal use, and for attracting beneficial insects like bees into
gardens. They do best in at least si4 hours of sunlight daily and are harvested as the
first flo"er buds o#en.
'erb $#iral a s#iral&sha#ed #lanting bed for herbs. 5t offers a more com#act gro"ing
s#ace and #rotects the #lants inside it from "eeds and "ind.
'erbaceous non&"oody #lants1 herbs (graminoids, forbs and ferns).
'erbivores organisms that eat #lants. 5nsects are the most numerous herbivores.
'emi#hyte an e#i#hyte (a #lant that gro"s on another #lant) that eventually
e4tends its o"n roots into the ground.
'etarchy a non&hierarchical coordination of activity bet"een s#ecies.
'eterotro#h an organism that cannot #roduce its o"n food and so must get it from
other organisms. All fungi and animals are heterotro#hs. $ee Autotro#h.
'ibernation an energy&conserving lo"ering of metabolism, res#iration, heart rate,
and body tem#erature "hile the body survives on accumulated fat su##lies. $ee
Estivation.
'igh 3oor a bog "hose vegetation is lo" in nutrients.
'igh"alls the e4#osed, une4cavated cross&sections left by high"all stri# mining of
coal.
'oldfast an anchor or BfootB used by an organism to stick to a surface.
'olding .ond a #ond or reservoir, usually made of earth, built to store #olluted
runoff.
'omeorrhesis the correction of develo#mental defects before develo#ment is
com#lete. A ten&dollar "ord for
Bself&correction.B
'omogeni!ation gushing milk through a filter to s#read out the fat globules into a
mist (li#osomes). This is done to kee# cream from rising to the to#. 'omogeni!ed
milk is sus#ected by some of contributing to several health #roblems, including
hardening of the arteries and diminished resistance to cancer.
'omology a similarity shared by descendants of a common ancestor. We "alk
u#right1 so did early hominids.
'omose4uality characteristic of roughly 0;E of any #o#ulation. 2ecent evidence
suggests a genetic com#onent. Those "ho argue that homose4uality is BunnaturalB
are a##arently una"are of the behavior in birds, shee#, beetles, bats, #enguins,
dol#hins, orcas, maca*ues, bonobos (some /6E of "hom are thought to be bise4ual),
black s"ans, orangutans, and roughly 0,6;; s#ecies.
'orst >ault "hen t"o reverse faults #ush a block of rock u#"ard bet"een them. The
o##osite of a Graben >ault.
'orticulture gardening1 gro"ing fruits, vegetables, and ornamental #lans.
5ndigenous societies once believed on the brink of starvation until Bcivili!edB by
monoculturalists (e.g., the ,alifornia 5ndians and the $#anish 3ission $ystem) are
no" kno"n to have su##orted themselves "ith food gro"n horticulturally in mi4ed
cro#s similar to those no" studied by #ermaculture.
'ot 3anure manure high in nitrogen. %sing too much can burn #lant roots.
'otbed a bed of soil enclosed by a structure "ith a to# of glass, and heated, often by
manure, for raising seedlings.
'o4 genes those that determine "hat #roteins go "here in a develo#ing body.
'umus rich, black organic material1 the living com#onent of soils "here #lant and
animal matter has been allo"ed to decom#ose. 5deal humus 0;; #arts carbon, 0;
#arts nitrogen, 0 #art #hos#horous, 0 #art sulfur. 3ost of the im#ortant
micronutrients are cations1 the most im#ortant anions are boron and molybdenum.
>ertile soil contains 9&0;E organic matter.
'ybrid a cross bet"een t"o genetically diverse #arent #lants. Agribusiness
com#anies #roduce and sell hybrids that do not re#roduce in order to retain a
mono#oly on seeds.
#ny statistical justification of ugliness or violence is a revelation of
stupidity. --!endell "err
'ydration the chemical "eathering of a mineral "hen "ater is added to it.
'ydraulic Ces#otism having established control over all local irrigation, Egy#tian
and Babylonian rulers made "ater available for obedient sub-ects and shut it off for
dissenters. Although Iarl A. Wittfogel coined this term (0K6/) to a##ly only to
+riental des#ots, its #ractice is "orld"ide, as in the ?os Angeles "ater "ars of urban
e4#ansion and assimilation and 5sraelHs diversion of the Jordan, a #ro-ect that led to
the $i4 Cay War of 0K7/. The definition could be broadened to a##ly to enter#rises
like +.E, that mono#oli!e vital resources.
'ydraulic Gradient the slo#e do"n "hich underground "ater flo"s. 5t alters "ith
changes in the "ater table.
'ydrocarbon organic com#ound com#osed #rimarily of hydrogen and carbon
atoms. .etroleum, natural gas, coal, and methane are e4am#les.
'ydrologic ,ycle the ongoing transformation of "ater in the bios#here from ocean
"ater eva#oration to clouds, rain, ground"ater and runoff, storage in organisms, etc.
until its return to the oceans. The Earth holds roughly :<7 cubic million miles of
"ater, K/E of it in the oceans.
'ydrolysis chemical "eathering in "hich hydrogen ions from "ater alter a mineralHs
com#osition.
'ydro#onics gro"ing #lants "ithout soil, usually by su##lying nutrients to the roots
by immersing them in a s#ecially #re#ared solution or "ith s#ecial s#rays
(aero#onics).
'ydros#here the "ater mass of the earth, including "ater va#or. +ceans occu#y /0E
of the #lanet surface roughly the same #ercent occu#ied by "ater in the human
body. +f the fresh "ater in rivers, streams, reservoirs, etc., K;E is believed to sho"
some level of #ollution.
'ydrostatic .ressure the #ush of "ater under #ressure, as in an a*uifer.
'ydro#hyte organisms that live in "ater habitats. E4am#les "ater hyacinths and
bald cy#resses.
'ygro#hyte organisms that live in moist #laces (cree#ing s#ear"orts).
'ygrosco#ic able to absorb moisture, #articularly from the air. $alt, glycerin, ethyl
alcohol.
'y#er#arasite a #arasite to another #arasite. 5n crabs, #e##er s#ot disease occurs
"hen the flat"orms that infect the crab are infected by a #arasitic #roto!oan.
'y#hae microsco#ic filaments from sim#le #lants like mushrooms, bracket fungi,
mushrooms, etc. that "eave soil together.
'y#o4ia de#letion of o4ygen in "ater to less than < miligramsDliter. An e4cess of
nutrients (eutrophication) from fertili!er runoffs, air #ollution, se"age, soil erosion,
and other sources can s#ark enough algal gro"th to de#rive the "ater of o4ygen and
kill off fish and other organisms that need it.
5ce Wedge "edge of ice "hose e4#ansions and contractions from melting and
free!ing o#en large cracks in the ground.
5gneous a rock congealed from molten material beneath (intrusive) or at (e4trusive)
the EarthHs surface. Granite is an intrusive igneous rock.
5lluviation accumulation of soil materials (clay, humus, iron, etc.) leached from one
soil layer or hori!on into another.
5m#ervious ,over a surface that blocks "ater from going into the soil high"ays,
streets, #arking lots. 5n urban areas the resulting storm runoffs s#read #ollution and
"aste, erode "hatever soils they reach, and threaten communities "ith flash
flooding.
5m#ingement #o"er #lant intake screen blockage by fish, "eeds, or other "ater
s#ecies.
5nci#ient $#ecies one about to become genetically isolated from its s#ecies of origin.
$ee $#eciation.
5ndicator .lant a #lant "hose #resence and health give clues about soil *uality. 3oss
sometimes means a lot of acid in the soil, for e4am#le, although to a seasoned eye,
most #lants can serve as indicators.
5ndicator $#ecies a s#ecies that "orks like an indicator #lant its #o#ulation and
health reveal much about its ecosystem.
5nfauna animals that live in sedimentary de#osits on the sea floor.
5nfluent a #lant or animal that has an im#ortant effect on the biotic balance in a
community. $ometimes used to mean a s#ecies that moves into an ecosystem from
outside.
5nhibition 3odel of $uccession small disturbances cou#led "ith varying dis#ersal
and longevity in a dominant s#ecies allo" ne" s#ecies to gain a foothold in the
ecosystem.
5nkhorn a small ink container, but also a term of sarcasm directed at scholarly
#edants "ho insisted on bringing long, ?atini!ed terms&&inkhorn terms&&into
English, a #ractice de#lored in $hakes#eareHs day and even by $hakes#eare. Thomas
WilsonHs rant a##eared in 066:, his cry unheeded by generations of researchers "ho
emulated a ?atin&s#eaking #riesthood by locking a"ay their conce#ts in sacred
verbal sacristies
#mong all other lessons this should first be learned, that wee never
affect any straunge ynkehorne termes, but to speake as is commonly
received/ neither seeking to be over fine or yet living over!carelesse,
using our speeche as most men doe, and ordering our wittes as the
fewest have done. 0ome seeke so far for outlandish (nglish, that they
forget altogether their mothers language. #nd I dare sweare this, if
some of their mothers were alive, thei were not able to tell what they
say/ and yet these fine (nglish clerkes will say, they speake in their
mother tongue, if a man should charge them for counterfeiting the
1ings (nglish.
5nsolation solar energy received by the Earth.
5nsurance "hat homeo"ners need "hen their homes have been constructed on
sli##ing hillsides, canyon floors, eroding coastlines, flood#lains, and s"athes of
cha#arral by develo#ers "orking in com#lete disregard of the forces and cycles of
nature.
5ntegral Ecology a #ers#ective develo#ed by $ean Esb-orn&'argens and 3ichael
Aimmerman to interfuse learnings from the various subfields of ecology "ith the
integral teachings of Ien Wilber, those dealing "ith the All UuadrantsDAll ?ines
as#ect in #articular. According to integral theory, every #henomenon can be studied
either individually or collectively, and from the inside or the outside. 5ntegral ecology
a##lies this by e4#loring the sub-ective, measurable, cultural, and develo#mental
dimensions of a given ecological situation or #roblem rather than staying solely "ith
one angle of attack.
5nteraction the #rimary ones are com#etition, mutualism, #redation, #arasitism,
amensalism, and commensialism.
5nter#lanting gro"ing different cro#s close to each other, as "ith #ole beans at the
base of corn stalks, early #eas follo"ed by lettuce, and s"eet corn "ith bush beans.
When done #ro#erly inter#lanting #rovides a natural mulch or ground cover and
inhibits #est infestations.
5nterstem a #iece of stem grafted bet"een the scion and the stock for im#roved root
strength, bark, and flo"ers. $ee Grafting.
5ntertidal the stretch of shoreline bet"een lo" and high tide.
5ntrons #arts of the gene that are never transcribed. $ee E4ons.
5ntuitive Totali!ation the inflated habit of em#hasi!ing connections bet"een things
"ithout assessing "hether the connections are relevant or im#ortant. A radioactive
cloud drifting half"ay around the "orld demonstrates an ecologically significant
linkage bet"een its #oint of origin and its destination1 Beverything is oneB is verbal
gas. (B5ntuitiveB because in terms of JungHs ty#ology, such a blurring of sensate
distinctions reveals an overe4ertion of the intuitive function, the #sychic knack for
sensing #atterns, to the detriment of the grounding sensation function.) As ,harles
3anson liked to #ut it, B5f all is one, then nothing is "rong.B
5nvertebrate an animal "ithout a backbone. ,ontrast Qertebrate.
5on an atom or grou# of atoms that carries either a #ositive (cation) or negative
(anion) electrical charge because of having lost or gained an electron. 5ons #lay a key
role in many biochemical reactions.
5oni!ation #roducing ions. E4am#le solar radiation striking the u##er atmos#here.
5sobars cartogra#hic (but not actual) lines connecting #laces "ith the same average
air #ressure for a given #eriod1 used to define cyclones (lo"&#ressure regions) and
anticyclones (high&#ressure regions).
5sogamy "here t"o individuals combine half their genes to make an individual
offs#ring.
5sohyets ma# lines connecting #laces "ith the same average #reci#itation for a given
#eriod.
5sostasy the buoyancy of the EarthHs crust (lithos#here) u#on the asthenos#here. >or
a segment of crust, buoyancy de#ends on its thickness and density.
5sotherms lines connecting #laces having the same average tem#erature for a given
#eriod.
5soto#e (Nuclide) an element variant in "hich the number of neutrons does not
e*ual the number of #rotons. %&<:6 has the same number of #rotons, but not
neutrons, as %&<:=, but %&<:= "ill not fission itself into an atomic chain reaction
"hen lum#ed together.
5sothermal ?ayer a vertical atmos#heric layer "here tem#erature remains uniform.
$uch layers form the bottom of the stratos#here, mesos#here, and thermos#here. $ee
Atmos#here, ?ayers.
J&,urve a curve on a gra#h that indicates an e4#onential increase the curve begins
lo" and angles u#"ard ra#idly. World"ide #o#ulation gro"th, for instance.
Jet $tream a long, ser#entine air current -ust belo" the tro#o#ause (about 0< km u#)
and blo"ing "esterly, generated by tem#erature differentials bet"een air masses,
and often e4ceeding a s#eed of <6; miles (9;< kilometers) #er hour. The t"o #olar
-et streams are the strongest.
Junk CNA stri#s of CNA "hose #ur#oses have not been identified. They seem to
#lay no role in anything genetic.
Iame Terrace stratified al#ine ridge de#osited bet"een a melting glacier and a
valley slo#e.
Iangaroo 2at an organism notable for its ability to make its o"n "ater.
Iaolinite (Aluminum $ilicate 'ydro4ide) a clay #roduced by "eathered felds#ar.
,ommon in clays every"here, including ,hina, "here its name comes from. %sed to
make #aint, rubber, ceramic, #lastics, and the glossy stuff they #ut on maga!ines.
Iarst a limestone&bedrock landsca#e dotted by fissures, caverns, sink holes, and
other evidences of chemical "eathering.
Iatabatic Wind "ind blo"ing do"n a mountain slo#e.
Iettle 'ole de#ression or #ond found in glacial de#osits (see Iame Terrace). ?eft by
a chunk of melted glacier.
Ierogen a solid, rubbery, "a4y substance often found in shale. %nder #ressure it
turns into a tarry hydrocarbon.
Ieystone $#ecies a s#ecies that increases or decreases the diversity of a system.
E4am#le otters, "hich "hen hunted to e4tinction remove a check on the sea urchins
that "ill eat local kel# forests on "hich many other s#ecies de#end.
Iinshi# Gardening a form of com#anion #lanting in "hich botanical kin
(ta4onomically selected) are #laced ne4t to each other to foster mutual gro"th and
health. ,once#t by Cr. Alan B3ushroomB Ia#uler.
Irebs ,ycle the second stage in the breakdo"n of glucose (un#rocessed sugar) into
energy (AT.), carbon dio4ide (as "aste), and "ater ,itric acid entering the Irebs
cycle as a #roduct of glycolysis (first stage) e4its as NAC' (reduced nicotinamide
adenine dinucleotide), one molecule of GT. (guanosine tri#hos#hate), and one
molecule of >AC'< (reduced lavin adenine dinucleotide). NAC' and >AC'< give
their high&energy electrons to an electron trans#ort system (third stage) that makes
many AT. molecules. Named after German chemist 'ans Irebs, "ho discovered the
cycle in 0K:/. $ee Glycolysis, ,arbohydrate ,atabolism.
Irummhol! the t"isty, shrubby islands of trees near a tree line ("hich marks the
climatic boundary beyond "hich they "ill not gro").
I&$election s#ecies in stable environments tend to live longer and #roduce fe"er,
and sometimes larger, offs#ring. (I is the constant for carrying ca#acity in terms of
#o#ulation gro"th.) This used to be true for "hales before their environment "as
changed. $ee 2&$election.
?abor&$aving Cevices FWithout Vlabor saving@ technological gadgets to hel# me, 5
save a lot of time by not having to fi4 them.G && Gene ?ogsdon
?actose 5ntolerance the inability to digest lactose, or milk sugar, due to insufficient
lactase en!ymes in the small intestine. $ym#toms include bloating, stomach cram#s,
diarrhea, and nausea. .eo#le of Northern Euro#ean descent tend to suffer it less
because of an evolutionary transformation brought about by milk&drinking, a
#ractice other humans have traditionally given u# after infancy.
?acustrine a very fancy "ay of saying having to do "ith lakes (Ba lacustrine
"etlandB). $ee English, ?atini!ed.
?ahar a mud landslide that rushes do"n the side of a volcano and free!es into #lace
like concrete.
?ake, ?ayers
a littoral !one "here shore #lants gro"
an e#ilimnion, site of sunlight&driven #hotosynthesis
a metalimnion belo" it, se#arating the u##er "aters from the
hy#olimnion, cool bottom "aters, "here organic decom#osition occurs
in the relative dark. ?akes "ith little o4ygen at this layer but abundant
green algae might be eutro#hic (rich in nutrients but often #oor in
animal life), "hereas clear lakes "ith sur#luses of o4ygen in the
hy#olimnion might be oligotro#hic (#oor in nutrients), "ith
mesotro#hic lakes some"here in bet"een.
?aminar >lo" ($treamlined >lo") uninterru#ted #arallel flo"s of li*uid, as "ith
blood flo"ing smoothly through the circulatory system.
?and Bree!e surface air movement do"n a #ressure gradient from land to "ater at
night. The air over land is of higher #ressure because the land, heated during the day,
is "armer than the "ater. $ee $ea Bree!e.
?and $ystems 3ethod a ma##ing a##roach that integrates relatively uniform
environmental features usually measured se#arately rock ty#e, climate, vegetation,
soil, to#ogra#hy, etc.
?a NiTa (Bthe girlB) "hen tro#ical .acific trade "inds strengthen enough to #ile cold
"ater into the central and eastern .acific. An intensification of normal conditions (in
North America, stormy in the north"est and dry in the south"est). The o##osite of
an El NiTo.
?arva a recently born or hatched animal before it undergoes metamor#hosis into its
mature form.
?atent 'eat >lu4 the transformation of heat energy through cycles of air and "ater.
?aterali!ation the s#eciali!ation of brain functions by hemis#here (language in the
left lobe, #attern recognition in the right).
?ateriti!ation the formation of laterite, an infertile red clay soil used for durable
bricks in the tro#ic and subtro#ics, "here rains and hot sunlight combine to "ash
minerals out of the soil before baking it dry. Triggers huge landslides in recently
deforested areas.
?aterite red or orange soil "ith insoluble concentrations of iron, aluminum, and
other metals. ?aterites rich in aluminium o4ides are mined for their aluminium ore.
?ath 'ouse a frame to##ed by stri#s of "ood s#aced to #rovide about 6;E shade for
cro#s like lettuce that need only #artial sun e4#osure.
?atitude a north&south measurement of #osition on the Earth, from the e*uator at
;M to the North .ole or $outh .ole at K;M. An east&"est line connecting #laces of the
same latitude is a #arallel. ?atitude is measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
$ee ?ongitude.
?atitudinal Civersity Gradient around the "orld, the diversity of s#ecies tends to
increases as latitude decreases. 5n other "ords, life gets richer to"ard the e*uator
and less so nearer the #oles.
?a"n one of the most "asteful things to do "ith fresh "ater. According to Bill
3ollision (see .ermaculture), cultivated la"ns go back to the British Em#ire and the
country estate, both in the business of taming the natural "orld. Their demand for
"ater is second only to that of agricultural irrigation. 3any re*uire #etroleum
#roducts to maintain and to fertili!e, and #esticides to kee# #ristine des#ite their
ecological vulnerability.
?eaching the flushing or #ercolation of chemicals, minerals, or other substances
through soil. .esticides, fertili!ers, #oisons from mines or feedlots, and "astes from
industrial #lants sometimes leach into ground"ater. ?eaching also refers to "ashing
the salt from soil to increase its fertility.
?eibig@s ?a" of the 3inimum each s#ecies in a community re*uires certain
conditions to live, such that if any of them fall belo" a critical limit, the s#ecies
cannot survive there.
?egume a flo"ering bean or #ea #lant. All legumes contribute to the nitrogen,
#hos#horus (key to flo"ering and seed formation), and #otassium nutrition of the
cro#s that follo". Alfalfa is the heaviest nitrogen #roducer.
?entic still "ater (#ond, lake, etc.)1 also, organisms living in it. ,om#are ?otic.
?evee an embankment that "orks as a dike. ?evees built to containn floods can
actually accelerate flood"aters by narro"ing natural channels.
?ey arable land used occasionally as hay or #astureland.
?ey >arming the rotation of legume and grain cro#s, develo#ed as an alternative to
cro#&fallo" #ractices in Australia. 5n addition to im#roved soils and reduced erosion,
"heat yields increased 9=E and sho"ed a higher #rotein concentration.
?iana a "oody vine that climbs on trees to s#read its leaves above the cano#y. %sed
to make rattan.
?ibidinal .olitics Onestra IingHs term for #olitics grounded in care and
relationshi#s, in eros rather than logos only.
?ichen the symbiotic association of a true fungi and a green alga. The alga makes
sugar through #hotosynthesis, and the fungi fills out the organism "hile holding it to
a surface (rocks, bark, etc.). ?ichens #ioneer harsh or s#arse environments, #rovide
food for gra!ers, and break do"n rocks through chemical "eathering.
?ife .yramids niche diagrams of the organisms living there.
?ife Aones created by ,. 'art 3erriam in 0=K9 to classify environments by
tem#erature and rainfall. There are eight ma-or life !ones Arctic&Al#ine, Boreal
('udsonian), Boreal (,anadian), Transition, ,arolinian, ?oouisianian, %##er
$onoran, and ?o"er $onoran.
?ignite (Bro"n ,oal) lo"&grade coal.
?imestone sedimentary rock com#osed of calcium carbonate (calcium carbonate)
formed by de#osits of seashells and marine animal skeletons. ?imestone is often
added to cement and other construction materials, including blocks and facings.
?imiting $imilarity the degree to "hich niches must be different to avoid
inters#ecies com#etition for them.
?imnetic fresh "ater. (Limnology is the study of lakes and #onds.)
?i#ids fats, "a4es, oils greasy organic hydrocarbons insoluble in "ater. With
#roteins and carbohydrates, membrane&strengthening li#ids #rovide cells "ith their
structure.
?i*uefaction the brief conversion of saturated soil into a structureless mass that
flo"s like fluid. When earth*uakes trigger it, "alls, dams, buildings, and foundations
are liable to colla#se. >re*uent near coastal develo#ments and areas of #oor
drainage.
?ithification com#action and cementing of sediments into sedimentary rock.
?ittoral the shore bet"een the high and lo" "ater marks. $ee Aonation.
?iving 3ulch ground vegetation gro"n to shelter a cro# from #ests or "eeds.
?oading the rate at "hich something is added to "ater.
?oam a fertile mi4ture of sand, silt, and clay in roughly e*ual #arts.
?oess silt de#osited by the "ind, often near glaciated land. 5ts erosion forms Bcat
ste#sB that slide off each other. A fre*uent com#onent of fertile to#soil.
?ongitude an east&"est measurement of #osition on the Earth. 3easurements of
longitude range from ;M at the .rime 3eridian at Green"ich to W 0=;M West and &
0=;M East of it. A line connecting #laces of the same longitude is a meridian. 5t is
measured in degrees, minutes, and seconds. %nlike latitude, longitude cannot take
the #oles and e*uator as fi4ed #oints of reference. 5t must rely more on time, "hich is
"hy accurate long&voyage navigation had to a"ait the invention of an accurate
time#iece. $ee ?atitude.
?ongshore ,urrent one that moves #arallel to the shoreline.
?otic flo"ing "ater, as in a river or stream. ,om#are ?entic.
?o" 3oor a mineral&rich fen of #eat or muck soil formed in nutritive "aters, often
drained from nearby.
3acroecology the study of statistical distributions of large grou#s of organisms or
s#ecies to see "hy the distribution #atterns vary.
3acronutrients soil nutrients (not including carbon, hydrogen, or o4ygen) needed in
relatively large amounts by #lants nitrogen, #otassium, #hos#horus, calcium,
magnesium, sulfur. $oils lacking one or more of them are sometimes given
amendments to add "hatHs needed.
3acro#hyte a #lant too large to be considered microsco#ic.
3afic dark&colored, igneous, and high in iron and magnesium and other heavy
elements (as in gabbro and basalt). $ee >elsic.
3ad ,o" Cisease bovine s#ongiform ence#halo#athy (B$E), a fatal, infectious
disease that degenerates the central nervous system of cattle. 5t might have evolved
from scrapie, a similar disease that infects shee# and goats. 5n Britain, the #ractice of
feeding cattle "ith the remains of other cattle not kno"n to have been infected
hel#ed s#read the disease in the mid&0K=;s. (Given ho" the meat #acking industry
treats them any"ay, no "onder the co"s are mad.)
3agma molten rock beneath the #lanet surface. (?ava is e4#osed magma.)
3agnetic Ceclination the difference in angle bet"een true north and magnetic
north, or true south and magnetic south. The #oles occasionally s"itch, also, "hich
last ha##ened /=;,;;; years ago.
3agnetos#here the EarthHs magnetic field, generated by the #lanetHs nickel&iron core
and e4tending thousands of kilometers into s#ace. 5t shields the Earth from the
highly charged #lasma (mostly hydrogen #articles) of the solar "ind that emanates
from the sun.
3aldevelo#ment Qandana $hivaHs term for "hat usually goes by the name of
develo#ment and in actuality results in "ides#read #overty and ecological
destruction. 3aldevelo#ment contrasts "ith Breal"ealth,B the actual richness and
diversity of a community.
+hy does progress so often look like destruction? -- John Steinbe#$
3ammal hairy, "arm&blooded vertebrates that nourish their young "ith milk (hence
the name). About 6,6;; s#ecies in all, and all descended from a common ancestor of
the anteater, #laty#us, marsu#ials like the kangaroo, and #lacentals. The e4tinction
of the dinosaurs 76.6 million years ago made "ay for the gro"th of large mammals.
9;E are rodents.
3angrove trees that gro" in coastal "etlands in tro#ical climates. Their trunks block
"ind, and their roots #rovide habitats and a barrier to erosion.
3arble metamor#hic rock made of recrystalli!ed calcite or dolomite. ?imestone
marble is "hite. 3arbles like those #layed "ith on street corners "ere once made of
marble1 the common method of shooting one is called !ulking (no kidding). 5tHs
considered im#olite to fulk "ith another #ersonHs marbles "ithout #ermission.
3a*uis dense, t"isty, drought&resistant evergreen scrub gro"ing in arid regions.
'iding behind it during World War 55 suggested a convenient name for the >rench
underground.
3ariculture gro"ing and harvesting marine life. ,om#are A*uaculture.
3aritime Effect an oceanHs moderating effect on nearby climate. 5t tends to soften
tem#erature e4tremes. $ee ,ontinental Effect.
3arl a light&gray earth made of carbonates from shells or fossils1 can be either loose
or firm. %sed as a fertili!er or a source of lime for lime&#oor soils.
3arsu#ial a mammal "hose offs#ring develo# after birth in the mother@s #ouch (the
marsupium) outside her body. /6E of living marsu#ials come from Australia.
3arsh a dam# "etland less acidic and "aterlogged than a bog.
3ass E4tinction a catastro#hic reduction in s#ecies #o#ulation. The mass e4tinction
no" under"ay threatens more than half the animals on Earth, some of "hom have
already vanished1 others, like the great a#es, are about to. >or a tribute to "hat no
longer lives, see the Altars of E4tinction #ro-ect online.
3ass Wasting the gravity&driven (not "ater& or "ind&driven) movement of rock or
soil do"nslo#e. Tends to occur at higher elevations. E4am#le a landslide.
3atric >orce the attraction that holds "ater to soil #articles. ,ontributes to soil
cohesion and the formation of hel#ful colloids.
3atted&2o" #lacing #lants off center or on a diagonal rather than in s#ace&
consuming ro"s.
3edfly (,eratitis ca#itata) the 3editerranean fruit fly, one of the most destructive
#ests of deciduous fruits like #ears, stone fruits, and a##les. 5ts larvae also eat
vegetables and nuts. Oello"&bro"n "ith reddish #ur#le eyes. ,hemical s#rays do not
control them effectively because of the brief time it takes the adult to lay eggs belo"
the surface of the offs#ringHs future food source. Braconid "as#s and other #arasites
seem to do a more thorough -ob (see Biocontrol).
3egamachine ?e"is 3umfordHs term for a mechanical se*uestering of human
energy into rigid social hierarchies. 'is e4am#les include the labor force that built
the .yramids and the armies of both World Wars.
3eiofauna microsco#ic animals (nematodes, co#e#ods, etc.) that live on the bottom
of a lake or sea, usually bet"een sand grains. The macrofauna (like fish) de#end on
them for food.
3eiosis a t"o&stage ty#e of cell division that creates gametes (se4 cells). Because
each must contain half a future offs#ringHs CNA (one set from the father and one
from the mother), the kind of cell division (mitosis) used else"here "ill not "ork&&it
"ould double the amount of CNA needed. To #revent this, meiosis turns a cell
containing 97 chromosomes into four se4 cells containing <: chromosomes each
(haploids) through an initial e4tra stage that mi4es chromosomes. Aside from that
stage, meiosis is like 3itosis.
3eme a unit of cultural, as o##osed to genetic, inheritance. 2ecent research
su##orts $usan BlackmoreHs theory that the human brain evolved ra#idly to make
itself a better habitat for human memes. $uch memes "ould be available for se4ual
selection.
3ercator .ro-ection a ma##ing system that favors nautical navigation over visual
realism.
3eristem #lant cells that s#eciali!e in making ne" tissue. Cifferent sorts of
meristem make the various tissues (some for bark, some for leaves, etc.).
3ero#hytes grou#s of cells that all originate from one cell. 3ero#hytes build much
of a #lant, the leaves and stems in #articular.
3esic semi&"et.
3esocyclone a s#inning column of air inside a thunderstorm "ith a stee# u#draft.
About half of mesocyclones s#a"n tornados.
3eso#hytes organisms living in habitats of moderate moisture.
3esotro#hic moderately nutrient&rich habitats.
3etabolism an organismHs total biochemical activity. All the #hysical and chemical
factors in the #roduction (anabolism) and breakdo"n (catabolism) of #roto#lasm
and energy. Also all the en!ymatic reactions that go on the cells. 3etabolism is the
fire of biological life.
3etamor#hism the transformation of a rock (called a protolith before the change)
sub-ected to #ressure, fluid, or heat into a different kind of rock. (,alled prograde
metamor#hism "hen the change agents are intensifying, and retrograde "hen they
are decreasing.) A fre*uent occurrence belo" the EarthHs surface. 3etamor#hic rocks
make u# most of the #lanetHs crust.
3eta#o#ulation local but geogra#hically se#arated #o#ulations of a s#ecies that are
linked only by organisms that migrate bet"een them. Although local grou#s might
die out, the migrants kee# the s#ecies alive. (Term coined by 2ichard ?evins, 0K7K.)
3eta!oic many&celled.
3ica a mineral silicate "hose he4agonal arrangements of atoms give it #erfect
cleavage (it breaks in sheets instead of fracturing or crumbling).
3icroclimate the climate of small locales under #lant leaves, in a garden, on a
hillside. ,an be used to offset too much heat, light, or cold in the surrounding area.
3icrohabitat a small, s#ecific habitat, like under a log or in a bush.
3icronutrient nutritional elements (e.g., co##er, boron, manganese) re*uired by a
#lant or animal in small *uantities. $ee 3acronutrient.
3ind&Body .roblem a sterile #hiloso#hical dilemma given its first modern
e4#ression by mathematician and s"ordsman 2ene Cescartes. 5ts basic *uestion
ho" do the mind and the body relate to one anotherR Which im#lies that the t"o are
as se#arate as self and "orld "ere thought to be (another ,artesian gem). A more
#rofound #hiloso#her s#oke to this centuries before Cescartes and his coordinate&
#lane a##roach
+hen you wrack your brain trying to unify things without knowing
that they are already one, it is called )three in the morning.) +hat do I
mean by )three in the morning?) # man who kept monkeys said to
them, )2ou get three acorns in the morning and four in the evening.)
$his made them all very angry. 0o he said, )%ow about four in the
morning and three in the evening?)!!and the monkeys were happy. --
Chuang %&u
3ineral the inorganic, crystalline solid that makes u# rocks. +ver <,;;; varieties
have been discovered.
3inerali!ation decom#osition of organic matter into its inorganic (mineral)
com#onents (e.g., #etrified "ood). 5n archeology, the re#lacement of fossil bone "ith
"ater&borne minerals.
3isanthro#y a hatred or distrust of humankind, as "hen #eo#le #assing for
environmental activists declare human beings a blight u#on the #lanet. The im#lied
dualism is older than Cescartes.
3itigation #romising to set aside a "etland to re#lace the one being built over.
3itochondrion an organelle (although outside the cell nucleus) that #o"er the cell
by converting organic matter into AT. (energy)&&see ,arbohydrate ,atabolism.
3itochondria also regulate bodily heat and refine the o4ygen that "ould other"ise
#oison us. They look like u#turned #illbugs.
3itosis nuclear division, an initial ste# in cytokinesis (cell division).
3i4otro#h an organism that can double as an autotro#h (#roduces its o"n food) or
heterotro#h (eats food #roduced by other organisms). $ome tiny marine #roto!oans
are mi4otro#hs.
3olecule a grou# of atoms bonded together. ,hemistry is the scientific study of
molecular reactions.
3oment 3agnitude $cale develo#ed in 0K/K by Tom 'anks and 'iroo Ianamori to
measure the total energy of an earth*uake by considering the amount of fault
sli##age (the moment magnitude) rather than -ust the seismic gra#hing. The
measurements are more #hysically #recise than the 2ichter $cale it re#laced. $ee
2ichter $cale.
3onoclima4 Theory in any environment, only one clima4 community "ill dominate.
$ee .olyclima4 Theory for a less ca#italistic #ers#ective.
3onocline a fold in "hich rock strata bend in the same direction. ,aused by
sedimentary rocks bending over a fault line.
3onocot (3onocotyledon) flo"ering #lants that have embryos "ith only one
cotyledon (embryo leaf).
3onoculture the cultivation of a single cro# on a #iece of land to the e4clusion of
other cro#s. This generally re*uires large *uantities of artificial fertili!ers, herbicides,
#esticides, nematocides, and other #otentiall to4ic measures to kill bugs and increase
yield. Even "ith these chemical aids, monocultures are #rone to disease outbreaks
and #est infestations. Wes Jackson ("ew #oots !or Agriculture) agriculture leads to
the monoculture of annuals, nature to the #olyculture of #erennials. 3onoculture
invites #ests, diseases, erosion.
3uch of the motivation for high yield in agriculture was in the 4search
for gold5 realm and clearly is predicated on a form of conquest. -- !es
Ja#$son
3onoecious a s#ecies "ith male and female flo"ers on the same #lant (e.g., #ines).
3ono#hagus #redators that favor a single #rey s#ecies.
3onosaccharides sim#le sugars.
3onsoon a reversing seasonal "ind often bearing heavy rainfall. ,ommon near the
5ndian +cean.
3oor an o#en, uncultivated, grassy, often #eaty tract of land "ith scrubby
vegetation. Wetter than a heath but drier than a bog.
3or a layer of humus, #articularly in a forest, "hose chemical com#osition is
distinct from the soil belo" it. +ften acidic, cold, and rich in carbon content.
3orraine a mound of earth or rock left by a glacier.
3or#hology the form and structure of #lants and animals.
3osses small, leafy, s#ore&#roducing #lants "ithout true roots or "ater&conducting
#lumbing. About K,6;; s#ecies. They #refer dark, moist locations.
3oulin a tunnel of "ater that forms "hen a lake on a sheet of ice begins to melt. The
tunnel reaches do"n"ard until it s#reads over the underlying bedrock. 5n the case of
Greenland and Antartica, moulins are lubricating the remaining sheets of ice from
belo", making it easier for them to sna# off and melt in the sea.
3ulch a covering of detritus (leaves, stems, etc.) invented by #lants to survive
"ithout "eeding, "atering, or fertili!ing. Even com#ost is basically treated mulch.
3ulching a garden reduces erosion, conserves soil moisture, inhibits "eed gro"th,
and #rovides the soil "ith organic matter.
3utation change in the structure of a gene or chromosome due to a biochemical
re#lication error.
3utualism a relationshi# bet"een s#ecies that benefits both. ,an be symbiotic or
nonsymbiotic.
3yco#lasma #arasitic bacteria that cause diseases (#neumonia). $imilar to a virus.
3ycorrhi!ae mutualistic association of a fungus "ith #lant roots. The fungus is
nourished and housed by the roots it trans#orts soil nutrients into. Almost nothing
green "ould gro" "ithout this symbiosis.
Natural >arming 3asanobu >ukuokaHs method for letting roots till the soil instead of
machines. Cecrease cultivation and you decrease "eeds. ?eguminous cover cro#s
and mulching instead of fertili!er. >ukuoka #ractices "hat he calls the Bno&#lo"ing,
no&fertili!ing, no&"eeding, no&#esticides, do&nothing method of natural farming.B To
him the idea that #eo#le can gro" cro#s is egocentric, for it is nature that gro"s
cro#s. 'is rice yields have been im#ressive. ('e reads like kind of a nut lots of Fman
in his arroganceG solilo*ui!ing reminiscent of 2oger .ayne in the seventies.)
Natural Gas hydrocarbon gasses that accumulate in rocks of marine sediment.
2oughly =;E methane.
Natural $election natureHs selection of viable strengths through environmental
#ressures that force an organism to ada#t. The bat that hears better than the rest
stands a better chance of living long enough to #ass on that kind of hearing. 5n this
"ay certain favorable genes&&favorable to ada#ting to environment #ressures&&
gradually become more numerous in a given #o#ulation. Ciscovered by ,harles
Car"in and Alfred 2ussel Wallace in 0=6= (rather, discovered years earlier by both1
Car"in beat Wallace to the #ress in 0=6=). Whether the environment sha#es
com#letely #assive life&material or interacts "ith an emerging and ever&more&
conscious creative #otentiality is a most interesting current debate. $ee Evolution.
Natural $ystems Agriculture an a##roach develo#ed by Wes Jackson and the The
?and 5nstitute that em#hasi!es mimicking natural ecosystems by gro"ing #erennial
#olycultures or mi4tures of #erennial grains, as #rairies do.
Nea# Tide one that arrives "hen the moon is in its first or last *uarter. Because the
sun and moon stand at right angles to each other, their tidal #ulls #artially nullify
each other, resulting in a lesser tide. ,ontrast "ith $#ring Tide.
Nektons a*uatic organisms (fish, for e4am#le) that can s"im against the current,
"hereas #lankton drift "ith it.
Nematodes microsco#ic cylindrical round"orms living in "ater and soil. ,an be
#arasitic (as "ith the trichina and the hook"orm) or free&living.
Neoteny retention of -uvenile characteristics in an adult, as in the a4olotl
salamander near 3e4ico ,ity1 under certain environmental conditions it never fully
matures. $ee .rogenesis.
Neuron a nerve cell that transmits electrochemical im#ulses. Neurons "ere thought
to "ork some"hat like electric s"itches "hen triggered at the dendrite end by an
incoming nerve #ulse, they generate a #ulse do"n the a4on ("ith hel# from the
Nodes of 2anvier, "hich "ork like signal boosters) to the terminal button, "here the
#ulse triggers the release of neurotransmitter chemicals into the syn#ase, the s#ace
bet"een one neuron and another. These chemicals then trigger a #ulse (or inhibit
one) in other neurons. As it turns out, ho"ever, each neuron is more like a microchi#
than a sim#le s"itch. At any moment only abut 6&0;E of the human brainHs neurons
are s#arking, but eventually they all do, a fact that contradicts the common but
inaccurate idea that #eo#le use only a small #ortion of their brains. ('o" much of
the brain a #erson uses at once, or regularly, is another matter.) The adult brain
contains about 0; billion neurons, "ith the brain as a "hole dra"ing <;&9; "atts of
#o"er, and "ith an ultimate storage ca#acity of (very roughly) 0;; terrabytes about
the same as every book ever "ritten, digiti!ed. 5tHs hard to estimate because each
dendrite contacts about 0;,;;; other neurons in e4traordinarily com#licated neural
nets.

Neuroto4in a #oison that disru#ts nerve function. $ome venoms are neuroto4ins
that #araly!e the #rey.
Neutralism hy#othesi!ed situation in "hich t"o #o#ulations have no effect on each
other at all. 2are and unlikely. (To take a leaf from George ,arlinHs book, this is one
of those ideas like "alking u# to someone, declaring, B5 have nothing to say to you,B
and "alking a"ay.)
Neutron a chargless #article in the nucleus of an atom. Neutrons and #rotons make
u# most of the atomHs mass.
Niche an organism@s role, function, or #osition in an ecosystem.
Niche Cifferences those that kee# organisms from com#eting for resources (like
#lants that dra" nutrients from different de#ths).
Nick#oint elevation dro# along a stream. >alls occur at nick#oints.
Nitrate a salt or ester (acid&alcohol #roduct) of nitric acid1 in soil, used by #lants for
building amino acids and #roteins. Artificially manufactured nitrates are used in
fertili!ers and e4#losives.
Nitrogen ,ycle (or Nitrification) cycling of nitrogen from the air and soil to #lants,
animals, and then back to the environment. Bacteria, legumes, and algae convert
atmos#heric nitrogen into nitrates that enter #lant roots before turning into
#roto#lasm that decom#osers eventually break do"n again.
Nivation erosion by frost or sno".
Node the #oint on a stem from "here ne" stem or leaves gro".
Nondegradable .ollutants those that do not decom#ose. E4am#les include lead,
mercury, arsenic, #lastics, and synthetics.
Non#oint $ource (N.$) diffuse #ollution "hose source is difficult to determine (like
#olluted runoff).
Nonrene"able 2esource one that can be used u#, like coal and oil.
Nonsymbiotic 3utualism a relationshi# of relative inde#endence, yet necessary for
both s#ecies, as "ith bees and a##le trees.
Nuclear .o"er energy released by the fission (s#litting) or fusion of atomic nucleii
in effect rending the very fabric of matter. The resulting heat drives electric
generators. Although the average nuclear #lant creates <;&:; tons of highly to4ic
by#roducts and "astes a year, no one has thought u# a safe "ay to deal "ith it
(#lutonium has a half&life of <9,9;; years).
Nucleic Acid a very long molecule made u# of nucleotide chains carrying genetic
information built from carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, o4ygen, and #hos#horus. $ee
CNA.
Nucleotide a monomer (a chemical link in chains called #olymers) com#osed of a
sugar, a #hos#hate grou#, and a ringlike organic base.
Nucleus in a cell, the organelle that contains genetic material (CNA and
chromosomes)1 the cellHs control center. Also the center of an atom around "hich
the electrons orbit.
Nuee Ardente an ashy cloud of volcanic gas that churns do"nslo#e burning
"hatever it touches.
Null 3odel a statistical model or com#uter simulation used to analy!e something in
a community or its environment.
Nutrient ,ycling the cycling of nutrients through the environment and its
inhabitants from soil to #lants to animals and back to soil.
Nutrient Tra#s #laces "here nutrients accumulate, as in estuaries.
+bligate a s#ecies confined to a narro" range of conditions (e.g., #lants that need a
very s#ecific soil #').
+bli*uity the tilt of the EarthHs a4is (<:.6M at #resent). The tilt makes seasons
#ossible because at any given #osition in the EarthHs orbit around the $un, half of the
#lanet "ill lean to"ard the sun as the other half leans a"ay from it.
+bsidian dark glass congealed from ra#idly cooled lava. +ften com#osed of rhyolite.
+ccamHs 2a!or >ranciscan #riest William of +ccamHs admonition against
unnecessary #lurality in e4#lanations of something not understood. 5n other "ords,
sim#le e4#lanations re*uiring fe"er assum#tions (cro# circles are cut by #ranksters
on tractors) tend to "ork better than those re*uiring more assum#tions (cro# circles
are cut by e4traterrestrials "ho come here by an unkno"n means to make designs
through an unkno"n method for unkno"n reasons before de#arting again "ithout
leaving any other evidence of their visit). ,hal*uist Trimming of +ccamHs 2a!or
although the most correct e4#lanation is often the sim#lest, the most fruitful
e4#lanation is the one that o#ens u# the most #enetrating *uestions, res#ects the
beingness of the #henomenon under study, stimulates imaginative discussion, and
tends hy#otheses that see through themselves "ith the highest degree of
trans#arency.
+cean >loor (Abyssal .lain) the surface of the oceanic crust 6,;;; to /,;;; meters
belo" the ocean surface. +cean basins take u# :;E of the EarthHs surface.
+ceanic ,rust #rimarily basaltic and roughly 6 to 0; kilometers thick.
+ceanic .late a mobile chunk of #rimarily basaltic lithos#here floating on the
asthenos#here belo" it. The #lates are about /6 kilometers thick. Qolcanism at the
mid&ocean ridges #roduced them /;; million years ago. $ee ,ontinental .late.
+il hydrocarbon li*uid commonly drilled from sedimentary layers #acked "ith
marine matter left over from the ,arboniferous days. 5ts dark, s#ellbinding,
BoildoradoB #ro#erties include convincing large grou#s of #eo#le to vote against
chea# #ublic trans#ortation and elevating #irates and robber barons into heads of
nation&states. $ee .eak +il.
+ld Gro"th >orest a relatively undisturbed forest containing many old trees and
lu4uriant levels of vegetation from the forest floor to its cano#y. ?ogging old gro"th
forests triggers ecological conse*uences, some kno"n (loss of "ater, rainfall, habitat,
o4ygen, carbon, etc.) and some unkno"n.
+ligotro#hic lo" in nutrients, as in lakes high in o4ygen but lo" in #lant or animal
life.
+mnivore an organism that eats both #lants and animals.
+ntogenetic ,ri##ling .aul $he#ardHs term for the emotional and s#iritual stunting
that results from gro"ing u# in a civili!ation at "ar "ith nature and afraid of close
contact "ith anything "ild. An e4am#le "ould be sociali!ing hordes of #eo#le to be
im#ulsive consumers, thereby strengthening their least mature tendencies "hile
curtailing their ca#acity for critical thought.
$he fact that millions of people share the same vices does not make
these vices virtues, the fact that they share so many errors does not
make the errors to be truths, and the fact that millions of people share
the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane. --
'ri#h Fromm
+ntogeny the develo#ment of an organism from the egg to maturity.
+##ortunistic $uccess $trategy s#ecies survival in unstable environments through
ra#id coloni!ation and re#roduction, lo" mobility, and high death rates. B5tHs better
to burn out than to fade a"ay.B ,ontrast "ith E*uilibrium $uccess $trategy.
+#timum $ustainable .o#ulation #retentious term for Bho" many things can live in
one #lace "ithout using it u#.B
+rganic containing carbon1 also, made of living things or the #roducts of their
decom#osition, like humus.
+rganic >arming a form of small&scale agriculture that #roduces yields "ithout
introducing artificial fertili!ers or #esticides. The basic aim is to gro" things
naturally "ith a minimum of mechanical interference. +rganic farming gre" in
#o#ularity from $ir Albert 'o"ardHs #ublished observations of 5ndian farming
techni*ues (0K9;).
>airvie" Gardens, an organic farm and blossoming out#ost of urban agriculture
flourishing in Goleta, ,alifornia. .hoto by ,. ,hal*uist, <;;6.
+rganogenesis the start of organ formation in the embryo.
+rgano#hos#hates chemicals that kill #ests by ruining their nervous system.
+riginally develo#ed by the Na!is during the 0K:;s for use as bio"ea#ons&&B"ea#ons
of mass #roduction,B as .resident Bush "ould say. ,urrently the most #o#ular class
of #esticides. $ee ,holinesterase 5nhibitors. (,hemicals from #oisons and e4#losives,
tractors from cater#illar&treaded tanks over the years mechani!ed agriculture
assumes more and more of the features of a "ar against the soil. $ee Agriculture.)
+rogenesis tectonic mountain&building. They rise as continental #lates smash
together (case in #oint the .acific coast and its long range of mountains).
+rthogra#hic %#lift the rise of air masses bum#ing into a mountain range. +ften
results in rain on the "ind"ard side and a dry rain shado" on the lee side.
+rthogra#hic .ro-ection a ma# simulating the EarthHs three&dimensional surface on
a t"o&dimensional chart.
+smoregulation the ability to control mineral and salt concentration in the blood.
$ome fish do this to hel# them move among "aters that vary in salinity.
+utfall "aste"ater discharge #oint.
+utgassing release of gas from molten rock or from the EarthHs interior. Ancient
outgassing #roduced most of the EarthHs atmos#here.
+ut of Africa the commonly acce#ted evolutionary hy#othesis that all humans
emigrated from Africa, a continent that hosted several hominid s#ecies.
+ut"ash .lain flat layers of sedimentation left by melt from a retreating glacier.
$ome are arable.
+verburden the soil and rock removed by mining.
+verland >lo" the do"nhill movement of a thin sheet of rain"ater.
+ver#o#ulation some #ers#ective to reach one billion #eo#le took humanity from
its beginnings all the "ay to 0=:;. The second billion arrived in a mere century, the
third in 99 years, and the fourth in 0< years.
+vershoot the crisis #oint of e4hausting "hatever resources "ere available. $ee
,rash and Cieback.
+verstory the cano#y of a forest.
+vary in flo"ering #lants, the enclosure around the seed&making ovules. The ovary
becomes the fruit.
+verdrafting taking more "ater from a "ell or a*uifer than it can recharge. 2esults
a falling "ater table, subsidence (this is "hat made diking in 'olland necessary),
encroachment from nearby bodies of salt"ater, and eventual e4haustion.
+vule the rounded #lant outgro"th that #roduces the seed.
+4bo" ?ake a bend in a stream cut off from the rest of the "ater by erosion.
+4idation changing a substance chemically by adding o4ygen to it. $ee 2edo4.
+4idative .hos#horylation the third stage in the breakdo"n of glucose into A.T
energy (see ,arbohydrate ,atabolism), in "hich electrons handed off by the
mitochondrionHs electron trans#ort chain (see Irebs ,ycle) are -oined "ith o4ygen to
#roduce AT. inside the mitochondrion (the cellHs #o"er #lant).
+!one a three&atom o4ygen molecule that in its gaseous state screens ultraviolet
radiation. The #rotective o!one layer hangs 0; to 6; kilometers above the EarthHs
surface.
+!one 'ole a once&natural s#ringtime thinning in stratos#heric o!one over
Antarctica, but no" enlarged by ,>,s and other #ollutants into a hole the si!e of the
3oon.
.aleomagnetic Cating dating ancient minerals by using their magnetic #ro#erties to
trace reversals in the EarthHs magnetic field.
.aleoclimate the reconstruction of ancient climatic conditions.
.alsa a mound of earth, often #eat, #ushed u# near the edge of a glacier.
.alustrine fresh"ater.
.AN (#ero4yacetyl nitrate) a #ollutant found in #hotochemical smog. 5t irritates the
eyes.
.angaea the :;;&million&year&old su#ercontinent that #late tectonics s#lit <;;
million years ago into "hat have become the current arrangements of continents.
There seem to have been at least t"o other su#ercontinents before .angaea.
.anhumanism Gary $nyder@s term for humanistic scholarshi# that fully embraces
the nonhuman.
.arent 3aterial the minerals from "hich a soil originates.
.asteuri!ation heating milk to kill microorganisms that could sicken humans.
.atch Cynamics ho" similar com#onents (#atches) in an environment interact "ith
each other. %sed to study ho" #atches of invasive s#ecies im#act an ecosystem,
among other things. Not to be confused "ith the actings out of .atch Adams, a
famous and dynamic doctor arrested for #rotesting naked in $an >rancisco.
.aternoster ?akes a line of mountain valley lakes carved by glacial erosion. >rom the
air they resemble beads on a cord.
.athogen a microorganism that makes its host sick. ,ertain viruses, bacteria, and
authoritarian flag&"aving fanatics are common e4am#les of #athogens. They tend to
be #arasites that "eaken the organisms they feed u#on until self&#rotective systems
get rid of them.
.attern ,lima4 Theory the #attern of clima4 vegetation tends to reflect the s#atial
variations of its #hysical environment.
.,Bs #olychlorinated bi#henyls. >ifty common chlorine com#ounds that gro"
stronger as they move u# the food chain. +dorless and tasteless, they came from
electronics manufacturing until la"s "ere #assed to forbid their #roduction and
release. They are still #lentiful in the air, soil, and "ater, ho"ever. $ym#toms vary
from de#ression, rashes, and acne to gastrointestinal and liver damage.
.eak +il the gro"ing conviction that oil #roduction has #eaked in most oil&rich #arts
of the "orld and is no" declining. +nce laughed at by conservatives and #ro&
industrial energy advocates, the idea no" gains ground as oil #roduction continues to
dro# and gasoline #rices soar.
.eat #artially decom#osed remains of #lants that once flourished in a "aterlogged
environment.
.edanticism consumed by intellectual detail at the cost of coherence or relevance.
The driving force is usually a bitter blend of #erfectionistic fussiness and nerdy
narcissism. The sight of #sychologists, ecologists, and academics engaged in heated
struggles about the definition of an ecological conce#t "hile the ecos#here burns is a
lamentable one.
.ediment a gradually slo#ing bedrock surface at the alluvial foot of eroded
mountains. +ften seen in dry regions.
.edalfer soils of humid regions1 usually rich in alumina and iron but #oor in
carbonates.
.edocal soils of arid regions1 tend to be rich in carbonates (es#ecially lime).
.edogenesis u#tight "ord for soil formation.
.elagic on the o#en ocean, like -ellyfish.
.erennial #lant s#ecies that bears and seeds more than once. .erennials tend to take
longer to #roduce a food yield than the *uick&gro"ing annuals so heavily e4#loited by
traditional agriculture, but they last longer and do better in marginal soils. $ee
Annual.
.eriglacial near a glacier. %sually refers to landforms sha#ed by glaciation.
.erihelion the #oint in the EarthHs orbit "hen it is closest to the sun (09/.6 million
km). .erihelion occurs on the :rd or 9th of January. The o##osite of A#helion.
.eri#heral 5solate a grou# that ends u# far from the #arent s#ecies. $ee $#eciation.
.eri#hyton tiny organisms like algae and diatoms that cling to the under"ater roots
of a*uatic #lants.
.eriodic Table a list of all kno"n elements (substances "hose atoms are all of the
same ty#e). $ome of the heavier elements only e4ist in laboratories.
.ermaculture coined in 0K/= by Australian ecologist Bill 3ollison and his student
Cavid 'olmgren as a contraction of B#ermanent agricultureB or B#ermanent culture.B
.ermaculture involves designing ecological human habitats and food #roduction
systems em#hasi!ing relationshi#s bet"een elements in (!ones) and energies
(sectors) that integrate human d"ellings, microclimate, annual and #erennial #lants,
animals, soils, and "ater into stable, #roductive communities. According to
'olmgren, #ermaculture is the use of systems #rinci#les and design thinking to make
landsca#es that mimic the #atterns and relationshi#s found in nature "hile yielding
abundant food, fibre, and energy for human needs. Em#hasis is on multi&use #lants,
cultural #ractices like sheet mulching and trellising, and encouraging animals to
recycle nutrients and gra!e "eeds. ,ommunity #lanning includes energy&efficient
buildings, "aste "ater treatment, and gro"ing healthy soils as "ell as #lants.
BWithout #ermanent agriculture,B "rites 3ollison, Bthere can be no #ossibility of a
stable social order.B
+ther #ermaculture #ractices
Aones are laid out from the center (the d"elling) in terms of ho" many
visits daily "e need to make to something. $ectors energies coming
to"ard the house to be shielded, deflected or collected (#onds, banks,
hedges, "alls, screens, trellises, hedges, etc).
Elements are #laced in !ones to "ork together, as in the natural "orld,
and #laced to serve t"o or more functions (a tree for shade and for
erosion control) "hile managing sector energies (blocking rough
"inds). 'edges #rovide forage, shelter cro#s, #rovide mulch, e4clude
ram#ant grss or "eeds, e4clude bro"sing animals. $"ales manage
drainage and hel# trees survive drought.
?ike"ise, every function ("ater collection, fire #rotection, etc.) is
served in t"o or more "ays.
.lants that attract beneficial insects buck"heat, clovers, corlander,
coreo#sis, corn cockle, cosmos, dill, fennel, feverfe", mustard, s"eet
alyssum, tansy, tidyti#s, yarro". Alfalfa, s"eet clover, comfrey,
dandelion, earth"orms, mulch, and daikon radish break u# hard#an.
Water&&drainage, collection, availability&&is the chief design
consideration. $torage sources should be #laced on a slo#e above the
site for gravity feeding do"n"ard. 2oofs can collect rain"ater in
covered drums. Wire fences to dri# de" on the #lants belo".
Everything is a resource. .ests tell something about soil and #lant
#roblems. .redators manage them.
Three key #ermacultural ethical #rinci#les care for the earth, care for
#eo#le, set limits to consum#tion and re#roduction, and redistribute
sur#lus.
.rinci#le of $tability it is not the number of diverse things in a design
that leads to stability, it is the number of beneficial connections
bet"een these com#onents (3ollison).
Edge cro##ing use of edges and !ones, "hich tend to be areas of
diversity and #roduction.
Windbreaks (ideally one&fifth as high as the s#ace bet"een them) to
#reserve moisture1 #lant mulch&#roducing cro#s near them. 5nter#lant
leguminous trees in a cro# and orchard for mulch, soil&building, frost
cover, leaf dri#. Wire fences above cro#s to feed them de". Whitish
#lants like "orm"ood and birch to deflect sunlight and lo"er tem#s, or
dark ones to retain it. ?ots of trees for condensers, "ater&catchers, etc.
3ollisonHs .rime Cirective of .ermaculture FThe only ethical decision
is to take res#onsibility for our o"n e4istence and that of our children.
3ake it no".G
.ermafrost #ermanently fro!en subsoil. >ive ty#es continuous #ermafrost,
discontinuous #ermafrost, s#oradic #ermafrost, al#ine #ermafrost, and subsea
#ermafrost.
.ermeability ho" easily soils and rocks trans#ort "ater hori!ontally and vertically.
$hale is #orous and therefore #ermeable, as is sand and gravel1 granite and clay are
not.
.ersistence ho" long a #o#ulation lasts.
.ests anything that eats or damages "hat "e eat. Too many #ests mean not enough
#redators, like fish or birds for mos*uitos and go#her snakes for go#hers, "ho also
avoid daffodils, elderberry cuttings, and castor beans. Teas made of chamomile,
stinging nettle, comfrey, or horsetail discourage harmful fungi. 3arigolds control
"hiteflies, s#earmint, tansy, and #ennyroyal control ants, 3e4ican marigold controls
nematodes and root #ests, as do >rench marigolds1 yello" nasturtiums decoy black
a#hids, "hich are re#elled by s#earmint, stinging nettle, southern"ood, and garlic,
and borage re#els tomato "orms "hile attracting hel#ful bees.
.etrochemicals chemicals made from natural gas or #etroleum (crude oil).
#' (.otential 'ydrogen) a scale to measure the alkalinity or acidity. $ubstances
"ith a #' belo" /.; are acidic (high in free hydrogen ions), and those above /.; are
alkaline, "ith /.; neutral. Acids tend to be sour and corrosives, and bases (alkaline
com#ounds) the o##osite, and sli##ery. 2ainy climates tend to #roduce acidic soil,
dry climates alkaline soil. >or gro"ing food, soil #' should fall bet"een 7.: and 7.=.
?ime is sometimes added to acidic soil and sulfur to alkaline soil. The more humus in
the soil to buffer it, the less #' im#acts fertility.
.hase ,hange the transformation of one #hysical state into another&&gas into li*uid,
solid into gas, etc. Al"ays re*uires an e4change of energy, "hether an increase or
decrease.
.henoty#e the out"ard, bodily manifestation of the genoty#e (genetic constitution).
.henoty#es are the as#ect visible to natural selection echo location makes some
dol#hins more viable, so the genes those dol#hins carry are #assed on. The
#henoty#e e4tends to the organismHs environment coral for eels, nests for birds.
.hloem the tissue in #lants that conducts food by means of hydrostatic #ressure.
.hos#horylation the BrechargingB of AT., the universal energy of biological activity.
.hos#horus ,ycle cyclic movement of #hos#horus from environment to organism
and back, starting "ith #hos#hate rock dissolved by "ater into #lant roots.
.hotic Aone the "atery layer through "hich light #enetrates to nourish
#hotosynthetic marine organisms like #lankton.
.hotochemical $mog air #ollution #roduced by the reaction of hydrocarbons,
nitrogen o4ides, and sunlight. Automobile and industrial e4hausts are ma-or
contributors.
.hoto#eriodism an organismHs res#onsiveness to changes of daylight or season.
.hoton a #acket of light energy. Beams of light are com#osed of #hotons.
.hotos#here the light&giving surface of the sun.
.hotosynthesis the conversion of sunlight and carbon dio4ide into o4ygen and
glucose (used for energy, starch, cellulose, etc.). .lants do it "ith a light&sensitive
organelle called the chloro#last. .hotosynthesis gave us not only food, but the
atmos#here "e breathe.
.hototro#ism the tendency of #lants to turn to"ard and follo" the sun.
.hylogeny #atterns of evolutionary lineage (like tree shre"s to #eo#le). $ee
+ntogeny.
.hyto#lankton green microsco#ic #lants, ty#ically algae but including diatoms,
desmids, and dinoflagellates. %#on their #hotosynthetic selves hang the food "ebs of
the oceans.
.iedmont Glacier a large lobe of ice s#illed out of a glaciated valley.
.ingo a conical mound of soil&covered ice #ushed u# from ground #ermeated by
#ermafrost.
.ioneer a #lant s#ecies that establishes itself in a bare area like a recently leveled
field until successional s#ecies move in. 3any annuals are #ioneer s#ecies. 3any
tend to be invasive.
.iscivorous fish&eating.
.istil the female re#roductive organ of a flo"er. ,ar#els (ovule&bearing leaves)
com#ose it, and stamens, #etals and se#als ring it. A flo"er "ithout stamens is a
pistillate.
.lace, Qersus $#ace various ecological thinkers have #ointed out that in the West,
the felt sense of #lace&&that tree, this brook, my room&&has slo"ly given "ay to the
abstract notion of s#ace a chunk of real estate, a ,artesian grid, a sector on a ma#.
.hiloso#her Ed ,asey #oints out that many languages contain this #laceDs#ace
distiction, "hich in the West goes back at least as far as .latoHs Timaeus. +ur cultural
#referrence for s#ace to #lace survived even the Einsteinian destruction of categories
like absolute time and s#ace in fact, B#lace "as absorbed into s#ace.B This has far&
reaching conse*uences for ho" "e e4#erience ourselves as sub-ects, lost and #lace&
im#overished, in a conce#tually demateriali!ed "orld. (,asey #oints out, for
e4am#le, the "ord morality goes back to a term for Bcustom,B "hereas the "ord
ethics refers ultimately to the #lace "here the horses "ent home at night. >or more
information, see his Getting Back into $lace and The Fate o! $lace.)
.lace"orld Ed ,aseyHs term for the felt, lived reconnection of s#ace and #lace. An
e4am#le is ho" the self e4#eriences itself as firmly located some"here s#ecific rather
than feeling lost in a sea of #lots or coordinates.
.lacer a surface de#osit of heavy mineral #articles like gold or #latinum. 5n the mid&
0=;;s, #lacer mining by #ick and #an gave "ay to #o"erful hydraulic hoses that
"ashed a"ay entire hillsides.
.lankton microsco#ic algae and #roto!oa drifting in "ater. ?arger organisms gra!e
them like grass.
.late Tectonics the movements of continental #lates over the mantle "hose currents
#ull them around the EarthHs surface. As far back as 0K0<, Alfred Wegener noted that
the continents fit together like #u!!le #ieces into some lost "hole (see .angaea, a
name he coined). 'e "as ignored, but in 0K<K, Arthur 'olmes decided that thermal
convection currents in the mantle could move continents around. These ideas also
account for "here the seafloor comes from (molten material emitted through cracks
bet"een #lates), ho" some of it disa##ears ("hen the edge of one #late vanishes
under another&&subduction), and "hy volcanic and mountain&building activity so
often surfaces in belts (#late edges).
.laty#us often #oked fun at as an egg&laying mammal, the #laty#us s#orts a
remarkable bill that detects its #rey buried by generating an electric field.
.latys#ermic #ossessing flattened, disc&sha#ed seeds. ,ontrast 2adios#ermic.
.laya a tem#orary, shallo" body of "ater "ith a clay bottom. Also, a dry desert lake
bed.
.leiotro#ism ho" a single gene can e4#ress itself in several seemingly unrelated
manifestations. 3utations often do this. (To use the e4am#le of 2ichard Ca"kins,
genes function not as blue#rints, but as reci#es.)
.licate a fanlike folding (e.g., the leaves of #alms and various orchids).
.lo"ing a method of turning soil to enhance #roductivity and destroy soil structure.
?ate in the /th century, northern #easants began using a ne" ty#e of #lo", e*ui##ed
"ith a vertical knife to cut a furro", a hori!ontal blade to slice under the surface, and
a moldboard to turn it over a cross brought do"n into the earth. (2otating crosses
called "indmills #um#ed "ater from the sinking Netherlands, an effort first funded
by the church.)
.lucking (Uuarrying) glacial erosion in "hich fro!en "edges of ice are #ulled out of
rocky cracks by a #assing glacier.
.luton a large mass of intrusive igneous rock. Named after .luto, god of the
under"orld, "hose name also means B"ealth.B
.od!olic moderately to highly acidic soil. $ee #C.
.od!oli!ation formation of acidic soils through leaching and other natural #rocesses.
.oint Bar a sedimentary de#osit (normally sand) inside the bend of a channel. Tends
to build out"ards.
.oint $ource a s#ecific, identifiable source of #ollutants, like the B. oil refinery in
,arson, ,alifornia.
.ollard a tree cut back to the trunk to make its branching or foliage denser. Also, an
animal "ithout horns (e.g., a shee#).
.ollen dustlike micros#ores that carry a seed #lantHs male se4 cell.
.olyclima4 Theory environments contain numerous #oints of relative stability that
enable more than one s#ecies to flourish as a clima4 community. ,ontrast "ith
3onoclima4 Theory.
.olycyclic Aromatic 'ydrocarbons (.A's) over a hundred organic carcinogens
#roduced by the incom#lete burning of oil, coal, gas, tobacco, garbage, and even
meat. $ome are used in #esticides. Aside from causing cancer, their im#act on
humans is unkno"n, although test animals e4#osed to them lost the ability to
re#roduce.
.olycyclic ?andform one e4#osed to more than one cycle of geomor#hic change over
time, as "ith a mountainside scul#ted by "eathering, then by erosion, and later by
"eathering.
.olyculture the #lanting and gro"ing of more than one s#ecies together, as natural
"orld does it. Cifferent from 3onoculture.
.olygenetic ?andform one sha#ed by more than one ty#e of geomor#hic
transformation, like a slo#e that is #artially chemically "eathered and #artially built
u# by de#osition.
.olymer a large molecule assembled chemically by re#eating molecular building
blocks (monomers) through a reaction called polymeri%ation. Not all #olymers are
organic, although most are.
.olymor#hism the e4#ression of t"o or more of a geneHs alleles (varieties) in a
#o#ulation. 'uman hair and skin color are #olymor#hous.
.oly# a coelenterate (corals, sea anemones, -ellyfishes, and hydroids) "ith a hollo"
cylindrical body anchored at one end and o#en at the other, "here a mouth is fed by
tentacles.
.oly#hagous #redators that consume more than one s#ecies of #rey.
.ore Water "ater in the s#aces bet"een the grains of sediment. +ften used for
to4icity testing of a nearby body of "ater.
.orosity the amount of s#ace "ithin rocks or soils.
.otash #otassium carbonate. $ometimes obtained from "ood ashes.
.otentially 2ene"able 2esource one that is either ine4haustible, like solar or "ind
energy, or re#laceable, like "ood from trees.
.rairie an e4tensive, uncultivated tract of level or rolling grassland "ith no or fe"
trees. 5ts soils are usually fertile.
.rairie .othole "etland marshes or de#ressions left by glaciers. .rairie #ostholes
scattered across the %##er 3id"est of North America host 6;E of the continentHs
migrating "aterfo"l.
.recession of the E*uino4es the circular "obble in the EarthHs a4is. The #lanet s#ins
unevenly like a to# on a table, #ulled on by the sun and moon. 5t takes a##ro4imately
<7,;;; years to accom#lish one com#lete "obble. Because of it, the s#ring e*uino4&&
the #oint "here the $un crosses the celestial e*uator late every 3arch&&a##ears from
the earthly #oint of vie" to be sliding out of the constellation of .isces and into
A*uarius.
.redator&3ediated ,oe4istence #redation that thins out a #rey s#ecies enough to
kee# it from com#eting another s#ecies out of e4istence. Qery common in rocky
intertidals.
.redator $"itching a #redatorHs ability to hunt a different s#ecies for #rey "hen its
#referred s#ecies has declined or disa##eared.
.rimary ,onsumer an organism that eats green #lants.
.rimary .roducer an organism that makes its o"n food through #hotosynthesis
(#lants) or chemosynthesis (certain microorganisms). .rimary #roducers form the
foundation of the food "eb.
.rimary Air .ollutant a #ollutant dum#ed directly into the air. (.hotochemical smog
is a secondary air #ollutant it is chemically derived from #rimary #ollution.)
.rivati!ation "hen a #olitical administration transfers resource oversight from
#ublic regulation into the o"nershi# of those "ho su##ort that administration so
they can #rivately do "hat they "ish "ith the resource.
.rocessed >oods those made in factories and altered "ith additives, #reservatives,
colorings, and flavorings. 3aking them drains most of the nutrients out1 #rocessing
them adds nutrients back in. ,om#anies that sell #rocessed food have begun
marketing lo"&fat versions because of obesity concerns. A steady diet of #rocessed
meats (hotdogs, hamburgers, etc.) is sus#ected of a link "ith #ancreatic cancer.
.rocumbent having stems that trail along the ground "ithout rooting. ,ree#ing
vines.
.roductivity the rate at "hich a grou# of organisms #roduces biomass.
.rogenesis se4ual maturity reached "hile still in the larva stage. $ee Neoteny.
.rogradation the natural e4tension of a shoreline sea"ard.
.rogress an ideological -ustification for nonsustainable e4#loitation of natural
resources. $tating that B.rogress is inevitableB "ithout mentioning "ho #rofits from
such an aggressive ideology is like stating that B2udolf the 2ed&Nosed 2eindeer is a
#art of ,hristmasB "ithout mentioning that 2udolf "as invented in 0K:K by
3ontgomery Ward as #art of a holiday advertising blit!. (2udolfHs original name "as
2ollo, but they canned it because it announced the con*uest theme too o#enly.)
.rokaryote an organisms "hose cells lack a nucleus. 2oughly synonymous "ith
bacteria, but divided into eubacteria and archaeans. $ee Eukaryote.
.ro#agation breeding #lants. 3ethods include division (se#arating one #lant into
several), ground layering (bending a shoot from the #arent #lant into the soil so it
"ill root there), budding (inserting a #arent #lant bud into a second #lantHs
rootstock), and grafting (-oining a stem from a #arent #lant onto a second #lantHs
rootstock).
.ro#agule a seed, s#ore, or cutting that gro"s into a #lant.
.rotein e4tremely com#le4 molecules of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and other
elements -oined in chains of amino acids (#e#tides). .rotein constitutes the bulk of
living matter, gives it structure, and has something to do in almost every as#ect of
cell o#eration.
.rotist sim#le, usually one&celled animal "hose cells contain a nucleus. E4am#les
include flagellates, amoebas, ciliates, s#oro!oa, radiolaria, and slime molds. $ome
(microalgae) are #hotosynthetic1 most are microsco#ic1 all sit at the base of the food
"eb.
.roton a #ositively charged #article in the nucleus of an atom. The number of
#rotons determines the nature of an element one #roton for hydrogen, t"o for
helium, etc.
.roto#lasm a generic for living matter.
.roto!oa tiny, single&celled animals "ithout a backbone. %sually classed "ith the
#rotists.
.runing cutting a"ay stems or branches to im#rove a #lantHs vigor. ,andidates
include branches "ith a lot of bulk but little foliage, "eak branches, Q&sha#ed crotch
branches, "ater s#routs, crisscrossed branches, double leaders, shaded branches,
and cro"n s#routs.
.seudofeces undigested food #articles bound in mucus and discarded by oysters and
mussels. $ome bottom&feeding organisms eat it.
.&Wave (.ressure Wave) a seismic oscillation that moves for"ard and back"ard
rather than side to side. An earth*uakeHs first large -olt. $ee $&Wave.
.yramid of Biomass a diagram sho"ing the biomass su##orted at each tro#hic level
of a food "eb. .rimary #roducers are at the bottom and #redators are at the to#.
.yramid of Energy >lo" (Tro#hic .yramid) a diagram sho"ing the flo" of energy
through the tro#hic levels of a food chain or "eb. About 0;E of the usable energy at
one tro#hic level makes it to the ne4t. 3any small organisms are needed to feed
relatively fe" larger ones.
Uuadrat a small area set aside for ecological study.
Uuark the #article that makes u# #rotons and neutrons. Although the *uark is our
current most fundamental #article, some #hysicists sus#ect that in a universe of
shifting relational energies, the very notion of a smallest chunk of building block is
"rong&headed.
Uuart! a he4agonally latticed silicon dio4ide mineral. A chief com#onent of sand and
therefore sandstone. 5t is the second most abundant mineral after felds#ar and is
common in continental crust but rarer in oceanic crust.
Uuart!ite metamor#hic rock rich in *uart! recrystalli!ed from sandstone.
2adicle the root of a #lant embryo1 the first #art of a seedling to emerge during
germination.
2adioactive Cecay the decay of an unstable nucleus (radionuclide) of an atom losing
#rotons, neutrons, or #hotons at random.
2adios#ermic #ossessing round seeds.
2ainforest an evergreen forest gro"ing in a "t, humid climate. 2ainforest coverage
#revents desertification and drought and hosts more than half the "orldHs animal
s#ecies. Every day unchecked industrial develo#ment flattens a #atch of rainforest
the si!e of Ne" Oork ,ity.
2ain $hado" a rainless region on the lee side of a mountain. ,louds have often been
drained of rain"ater by the time they reach it over the mountain.
2eaeration mechanical augmentation of dissolved o4ygen in "ater, as in cresting
"aves or belo" "aterfalls.
2eali!ed Niche the #art of a niche actually occu#ied by a s#ecies. ,ontrast "ith
>undamental Niche.
2eclamation BreclaimingB a##arently useless lands for human develo#ment, as "hen
an ecologically rich "etland is drained and converted into cro#land. Also reusing or
recycling "ater.
2ed Bed red sedimentary layers of sandstone, silt, and shale colored by iron o4ides1
often seen in the American $outh"est.
2edo4 (2eduction&+4idation) a chemical transformation in "hich electrons are
removed from one substance (o4idation) and added to another (reduction). The
reductant transfers electrons to the o4idant. 2edo4 reactions transfer biological
energy. 5n #hotosynthesis, carbon dio4ide is reduced into sugars1 in res#iration,
sugars are o4idi!ed to make carbon dio4ide and "ater.
2ed Uueen 'y#othesis se4ual re#roduction makes evolutionary sense des#ite its
com#le4ities because it allo"s s#ecies to evolve ne" defenses against #arasites.
($ome lab evidence suggests that se4ual re#roducers fend off #arasites more
efficiently than ase4ual re#roducers.) Also biologist ?eigh Qan QalenHs idea that a
s#ecies must develo# continuously -ust to kee# u# "ith s#ecies co&evolving "ith it.
(2ed Uueen refers to a chess #iece in ?e"is ,arrollHs book Through the Looking
Glass "ho tells Alice that one must run -ust to stay in #lace.)
2ed Tide a #hyto#lankton algae (dinoflagellate) bloom that s#reads naturally -ust
offshore but can be triggered by nutrients dum#ed into the "ater. 2ed tides can
cause fish kills and infect shellfish "ith bioto4ins.
2e&Entrant a geogra#hical #ointing in"ard, as "ith bays and inlets1 the o##osite of
$alient.
2efugium a refuge from #redation. The mouse that makes it into the hole esca#es
the cat.
2egolith a layer of loose, "eathered or eroded material covering rock. An im#ortant
habitat for both #lants and animals "ho cannot make a home in solid rock.
2einhabitation the bioregional goal of living consciously and sensitively in oneHs
locale. This includes giving key decision&making #o"er, economic and #olitical, to
locals "ho kno" "hat the #lace "here they live needs. $ee Bioregionalism.
2esidence Time the amount of "ater held in a given body divided by the amount
that flo"s into and out of it. (The oceansH residence time is roughly 9;,;;; years. By
contrast, the average turnover time of a stream is about t"o "eeks.)
2esilience the ability of a biotic community to return to its former state after a
disturbance.
2esource .artitioning the evolved knack of either sharing resources or using them in
"ays that avoid com#etition (e.g., one animal eats the to# of a #lant and another eats
the roots).
2es#iration the conveyance of o4ygen to cells and tissues as carbon dio4ide and
"ater are given off. 5n cells, the conversion of food (e.g., glucose) into energy. 5n most
organisms, res#iration releases the energy that drives metabolism.
2esus#ension dis#ersion of #articles back into "ater, as "hen "ave action or
dredging stir u# sediments that had fallen out of sus#ension and settled.
2etrogressive $uccession "hen a #lant community gradually undergoes
sim#lification, a thinning of variety, and a reduction in mass. +ften associated "ith a
deterioration in the environment.
2eturn "aste"ater returned to a "ater source. Even "hen cleaned, returned "ater
of a tem#erature different than "here it heads can be damaging, as "hen heated
"ater from a #o"er #lant kills fish in an estuary.
2ha#sodic 5ntellect Theodore 2os!ak@s term for the integration of intellect, body,
and emotion that makes an ecological sensitivity #ossible.
2hi!oid a rootlike outgro"th that attaches a #lant (horn"orts, liver"orts, mosses) to
the ground.
2hi!ome a hori!ontal underground stem from "hich s#ring shoots, buds, and roots.
A #otato is a thickened rhi!ome. >ound in ferns, horsetails, and as#aragus.
2ia ,oast an elaborately scul#ted coast "ith #rominent ca#es or headlands and dee#
bays or inlets. >ormed by either the submergence of a continental landmass or a sea
level rise.
2ichness the number of diverse s#ecies occu#ying a #articular area. A sam#le "ith
6; s#ecies is richer than a sam#le "ith 6.
2ichter $cale an obsolete logarithmic scale of 0&0; that measures earth*uake
magnitude (but not its felt intensity). ,reated in ,alifornia by ,harles 2ichter. $ee
3oment 3agnitude $cale.
2iffle a stretch of ra#id, shallo" "ater flo", as in a stream, broken u# by bar
de#osits, rock, or gravel. 5n streams #ools often alternate "ith riffles. Also mining
term for the slats on a sluice that catch heavy minerals.
2ift a !one bet"een t"o diverging tectonic #lates. +ften volcanic, and a site of ne"
sea floor.
2ift Qalley a long, narro" valley subsided bet"een #arallel faults. 5t is #ossible that
the African 2ift Qalley se#arated an a#elike ancestor into t"o grou#s, thereby
allo"ing us to evolve se#arately from todayHs chim#an!ees.
2i#arian ad-acent to a river or stream. 2i#arian !ones e4change organic matter
bet"een "et and dry habitats and regulate erosion, sedimentation, tem#erature, and
nutrients.
2i#arian ?a"s the anti*uated Euro#ean feudal idea that "ho o"ns the banks o"ns
the "ater. Turkey has relied on this argument to take "ater from the Tigris and
Eu#hrates 2ivers even though $yria and 5ra* also de#end on it. (The argument is
s#ecious "ere air a resource that confines itself to channels, no one "ould claim the
right to "ithhold it from #eo#le living do"nhill from its source.) $ee 'ydraulic
Ces#otism.
2i#ra# rock, concrete, brick, etc. assembled into shoreline facing to check erosion.
2i#lines channels cut in gullies to reduce erosion.
2iverain vegetation near "atercourses. $ometimes used as a synonym for riparian.
2NA (2ibonucleic Acid) a versatile nucleic acid that combines "ith a #rotein to
make ribosoomes, the site of #rotein assembly (ribosomal 2NA)1 co#ies genetic
information from CNA for transformation into #roteins (messenger 2NA), and
incor#orates animo acid combinations into develo#ing #roteins (transfer 2NA). The
2NA molecule is identical to CNA (from "hich it is made) e4ce#t for the sugar ribose
instead of deo4yribose and uracil for thymine. At one time 2NA might have been the
only form of life (the 2NA World hy#othesis) it can re#licate "ithout a cell nucleus
or even any CNA.
2oche 3outonnee a resistant, shee#&sha#ed mound of bedrock left by glacial
erosion. 5ts slo#e is gentle "here the ice advanced and -agged and #lucked on the
other side.
2ock ,ycle the cycle of transformations bet"een igneous, metamor#hic, and
sedimentary rock over time. (2ocks are com#osed of crystals li*uids "hose atoms
form lattices "hen congealed.)
2ock >lour rock ground to a #o"der beneath a glacier.
2oll ,loud a rotating, cigar&sha#ed cloud that sometimes #recedes a thunderstorm.
+ften seen in %>+ #hotogra#hs.
2otation using the same soil to gro" different cro#s. 5nterru#ts cycles of "eeds,
diseases, and insects1 builds organic matter, im#roves soil structure. %seful
rotations nutrient&grabbing cro#s like corn, celery, and #otatoes "ith those that
need less, like garlic, mustard, or shallots1 and shallo"&rooting cro#s "ith dee# ones.
($oil im#rovers broad beans, lima beans, #eanuts, #eas, shell beans, sna# beans,
soybeans.)
2otation ,ycle the time interval bet"een the cutting and recutting of a stand of
trees. 5n the %.$., the average rotation cycle has bo"ed to economic #ressure by
falling from 0<; years to 9;.
2&$election ra#id gro"th and occu#ation through early re#roduction, short life
s#ans, lo" biomass, and lots of offs#ring. $ee I&$election.
2ubisco the #rotein that fi4es carbon during #hotosynthesis. The most common
#rotein on earth.
2unoff a lateral flo" (unlike leaching, "hich is vertical) that carries soil, minerals,
"aste, or #ollution.
2uminant a hooved mammal that eats its food, regurgitates it (cud), and eats it
again, a #rocedure made #ossible by a four&chambered stomach. 2uminants include
cattle, bison, shee#, deer, goats, elk, giraffes, antelo#es, and camels. Their s#eciali!ed
stomach evolved to e4tract the ma4imum of nutrients from lo"&*uality food.
2ust a fungal #est that raises bro"n lesions on #lants. 5t never slee#s.
$alient a geogra#hical #ointing out"ard, as "ith #romontories and ca#es.
$alinity the concentration of salts dissolved in "ater, measured in #arts #er
thousand. $ea"ater averages :9 ##t.
$alini!ation accumulation of salt on to#soil. ,aused by irrigation. Around the "orld,
6;&/6 million acres of once&arable land are too salty to gro" food in. 'eavily
salini!ed land is not arable until the salt is leached out of it. $everal civili!ations have
fallen because of the resulting ecological damage.
$almonella a diarrhea&#roducing intestinal bacterium that causes ty#hus and
#oisons ra" milk, eggs, meat, and #oultry.
$alt sodium chloride. Also, com#ounds #roduced "hen an acidHs hydrogen atom is
re#laced by a metal atom. Also, "hat unscru#ulous fast food restaurants do "ith
french fries and #otato chi#s in order to sell more drinks to thirsty customers.
$altation the movement of a #article trans#orted by "ind or "ater, one too heavy to
remain in sus#ension.
$andstone a soft sedimentary rock com#osed of felds#ar and "eathered *uart!
grains. .orous sandstone layers often hold "ater in a*uifers.
$a#ro#hyte an organism that eats dead organisms, thereby recycling the nutrients.
>ungi and bacteria are e4am#les.
$avanna flat tro#ical or subtro#ical grassland "ith occasional shrubs, herbs, and
trees.
$cald e4#osed hard#an.
$carification e4tensive, artificial earth movement that e4#oses the underlying soils.
Also, to nick and "eaken a seed coat enough for germination.
$chist a medium to coarse metamor#hic rock of elongated minerals. 5t s#lits along
#arallel bedding #lanes. +ften found in the com#any of tourmaline and garnet.
$cion the stem thatHs grafted onto a "aiting rootstock.
$clero#hyllous small, tough, drought&resistant evergreen leaves. Also, a #lant "hose
dee# roots and small leaves resist "ater loss.
$cra#ie a fatal degenerative disease that destroys the nervous systems of shee# and
goats. Named after the infected shee#Hs habit of scra#ing its itchy skin against trees
and bushes.
$cree a #ile of "eathered rock fragments at the bottom of a slo#e or cliff.
$crub small or lo" bushes or trees. ,ommon in dry and al#ine regions.
$ea Bree!e the daytime movement of air from "ater to land do"n a #ressure
gradient. $ee ?and Bree!e.
$eafloor $#reading the creation of seafloor crust moving out"ard from the mid&
oceanic ridge.
$eamount a submarine mountain raised by volcanism.
$ea $tack a column or #illar of rock near a coastline. $ha#ed from eroded headlands.
$econd ?a" of Thermodynamics energy (usually heat) dissi#ates in any closed
system (entro#y). This is "hy tro#hic levels in a food "eb narro" as they rise.
$econdary ,onsumer a #redator that eats #lant&eating #rey (#rimary consumers).
$ection 79; acres (0 s*uare mile).
$edentary unmoving.
$edge Grass&like #lant that is ada#ted to gro" in moist habitats. John Ieats sa"
some "ithered from the lake.
$edimentary 2ock rock com#ressed and cemented (lithification) from the "eathered
de#osits of older rocks (clastic), from chemical #reci#itates, or from organic de#osits.
?imestone, chert, halite, chalk, shale, sandstone.
$ediment $ink a #lace "here beach sediment leaves a coastal area.
$eed&$aving collecting seeds (those #assed do"n in families are called heirlooms), a
#ractice that #reserves the #recious genetic diversity no" threatened by agricultural
seed mono#olies.
$eed .elleting coating a small seed "ith a substance that makes #lanting it easier.
%sing organic and mineral material to create the #ellet stresses the environment less.
$eiche a sudden oscillation in #ond or lake "ater due to "ind, "eather, earth*uakes,
etc.
$eif an elongated sand dune formed #arallel to the #revailing "inds. Also, a dune
formed by "inds from multi#le directions.
$elective ,utting cutting only mature or diseased trees. ,om#are ,lear&,utting.
$elf&.runing "hen lo"er tree branches fall off and die because they havenHt received
enough light
$elf&2eliance broad term for the various movements and #ractices to"ard becoming
less de#endent on e4ternal sources of food and #o"er. $ome have suggested that
Binterde#endencyB "ould be a better term for the rene"ed em#hasis on local,
sustainable #ro-ects, and democratic e4#eriments in self&governance.
+e know how to solve every food, clean energy, and sensible shelter
problem in every climate- we have already invented and tested every
necessary technique and technical device, and have access to all the
biological material that we could ever use....$he tragic reality is that
very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold
power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple/ to let people
arrange their own food, energy, and shelter is to lose economic and
political control over them. +e should cease to look to power
structures, hierarchical systems, or governments to help us, and devise
ways to help ourselves. -- "ill Mollison
$emi&Ciurnal t"ice daily.
$entinel $#ecies see 5ndicator $#ecies.
$e#al the bud&#rotecting leaf structures of a flo"er.
$eral $tage one of the intermediate stages of ecological succession bet"een
#ioneering and clima4. $ee $uccession.
$essile attached1 non&mobile.
$e4ual 2e#roduction creating offs#ring by fusing gametes (se4 cells). ,ontrast "ith
Ase4ual 2e#roduction.
$hale a fine, layered, cleavable sedimentary rock com#osed of clay or similar small
#articles. $hale de#osits sometimes contain or are found near coal or oil.
$e4ual $election a form of natural selection in "hich characteristics (e.g., bright
#lumage, dee#er voices) #referred by female mates are #assed do"n to later
generations.
$hear Wave see $&Wave.
$heet Erosion the removal of a layer of soil by rain or runoff. To#soil accumulated
for centuries or eons can erode a"ay in minutes unless anchored "ith vegetation and
#ro#erly drained.
$hoaling decrease in "ater de#th, es#ecially near a shoreline.
$helterbelt a barrier of trees or other vegetation #lanted to block incoming "inds.
$helterbelts #revent moisture loss and erosion.
$hield a large formation of ancient (.recambrian) igneous and metamor#hic rock
that constitutes the core material of the continents.
$hield Qolcano a "ide, shallo"ly slo#ing volcano built from recurring flo"s of
basaltic lava.
$hrub generic name for a "oody #erennial #lant "ithout a "ell&defined main stem.
Bushes and hedges.
$ide&Cress to #lace fertili!er or manure around or beside #lants.
$ilage a green cro# stored in a silo to moisten it. %sually corn, but also grass,
sorghum, legumes, and sunflo"ers, among others.
$ilica a trans#arent mineral of silicon dio4ide. >ound in glass, *uart!, o#als.
$iltation the accumulation of small&grained sediments brought by "ater. A ma-or
#roblem of many dams and dee# "ater #orts.
$ilvicultural forestry.
$ink a de#ression or hole o#ened by sand or soil erosion caused by #oor drainage.
,ommon after a lot of rain, es#ecially in heavily #aved areas. Also a #lace "here
unrecycled com#ounds accumulate.
$inusoidal E*ual&Area .ro-ection a roughly diamond&sha#ed ma# #ro-ection "hose
distances are accurate only along the #arallels and the central meridian. Cistortion
increases near the #oles and a"ay from the center bulge.
$late metamor#hic rock hardened from shale.
$li# Erosion a landslide.
$li#&>ace the lee side of a dune.
$lough a s"am#y inlet.
$nag a tree thatHs dead but still standing.
$nibbiting taking the to# of a #lant and re#lanting the rest of it.
$nout (Terminus) the front of a glacier.
$ocial Ecology a disci#line that links ecological #roblems "ith social #roblems FX
The hierarchical mentality and class relationshi#s that so thoroughly #ermeate
society give rise to the very idea of dominating the natural "orldG (3urray
Bookchin). $ome key em#hases
The #aradigm of domination of nature follo"ed from domination of
society by the state and, before that, of "omen by men.
5nstitutionali!ed hierarchy and domination damage the bios#here and
sub-ugate humans to "ides#read social in-ustices. They should be
re#laced by #ractices that favor thinking and acting in terms of
com#lementarity.
The artificial bifurcation of the "orld into BnaturalB and BunnaturalB
(human) cannot stand. We are #art of the natural "orld "e damage
through our Bsecond natureB symbol&-uggling ca#acities.
,a#italism based on #er#etual e4#ansion is "asteful and outmoded.
The crisis of our time is not the emergence of cities, but of an
urbani!ation that ruins cities and rural areas alike.
Bookchin critici!es dee# ecology@s blindness to the emergence of
hierarchy FAs long as hierarchy #ersists, as long as domination
organi!es humanity around a system of elites, the #ro-ect of dominating
nature "ill remain a #redominant ideology and inevitably lead our
#lanet to the brink, if not into the abyss, of ecological e4tinction.G
$ociety a local clima4 community.
$od turf.
$oil a mi4ture of humus and #articles "eathered from rock. A cubic yard of soil "ill
cover :;; s*uare feet of ground to a de#th of 0 inch. The ma-or nutrients are
nitrogen, #hos#horus, and #otassium. Bacteria and fungi #roduce humus. 'alf the
volume of good soil is #ore s#aces. 3icrobial decom#osers account for 7;&=;E of
total soil metabolism1 bacteria drive nitrification, sulfur o4ication, and nitrogen
fi4ation. Actinomycete microbes hel# form humus1 they are the most numerous
organisms after bacteria. $oil te4ture means the relative #ro#ortions of sand, silt, and
clay. We live on 0D0< of the Earth@s surface but have discarded Y of its #roductive
soil. 2e#lacement of an inch of to#soil takes 6;; years.
$oil ,olloids tiny organic and inorganic (often clay) #articles found in a soil. They
carry a negative electrical charge, have much to do "ith the soilHs chemistry, and
serve as the #rimary sites for cation e4change and the ca#ture and trans#ort of
nutrients.
$oil ,ree# the slo", gravity&driven mass movement of soil do"nslo#e.
$oil 'ori!ons its layers, "hich from to# to bottom are the +&hori!on (or !one of
leaching) of freshly fallen #lant litter, leaves, an A sublayer of "ater&holding humus,
and another of insoluble minerals, a B&hori!on (or !one of de#osition) of clay and
other inorganic #articles, and a ,&hori!on "ith rock fragments "eathered from the
bedrock.
$oil .rofile the overall vertical arrangement of layers or hori!ons in a soil.
$oft Technology (A##ro#riate Technology) the non&intrusive kind that does not
harm the Earth small, decentrali!ed, ine4#ensive.
$oft"ood "ood from gymnos#erm trees (red"ood, #ine, fir, s#ruce&&conifers). $ee
'ard"ood.
$olari!ation covering #lanting beds "ith #lastic sheets during the summer in order
to control "eeds.
$olstice t"o annual dates "hen the sun is farthest from the celestial e*uator June
<0 or <<, "hen it stands the farthest north, and Cecember <0 or <<, its southernmost
#osition (in the northern hemis#here1 dates for the southern hemis#here are the
reverse).
$olum the A and B hori!ons, "here things gro".
$orghum a tall annual cereal used mainly for feed grain and syru#.
$#ecialist an organism that uses a narro" range of resources "ith high efficiency.
The #anda is a s#ecialist "ho harvests the bamboo that makes u# most of its diet.
$#eciation the evolution of a ne" s#ecies. This usually ha##ens through either
geogra#hical se#aration over long #eriods of time, or through rein!orcement, in
"hich subtle differences in characteristics like calls or "ing markings are more
favored in mates. When Agrodiaetus butterflies live together, for e4am#le, the males
tend to develo# markings that distinguish them by s#ecies. >emales of the same
s#ecies #refer them. This #rovides the kind of breeding barrier an ocean or mountain
range might.
$#ecies a grou# of organisms that can breed "ith each other.
$#ecies&Area ,urve s#ecies richness tends to increase in roomier areas.
$#eciesism term coined in 0K/; by British #sychologist 2ichard 2yder to denote a
form of #re-udice against nonhuman s#ecies. An e4am#le "ould be the belief that
animals have fe"er rights than humans because of lesser intelligence.
$#ermato#hyte a seed #lant. 3any s#ill their seeds u#on the ground.
$#icule #ointed skeletal elements found in certain s#onges and sea cucumbers and
made from either silica or calcium carbonate. They #rovide structure and #rotection.
$#iegelmanHs 3onster a strand of self&re#licating 2NA created by microbiologist $ol
$#iegelman by #utting a sim#le viral form in an environment that "ould nourish it.
What started out as an 2NA strand "ith 9,6;; nucleotide bases ended u# as a minor
genome trimmed do"n to <<; bases and able to out&re#licate any com#etition. ?ife
as "e kno" it might have begun some"hat similarly.
$#ore a seedless embryo.
$#ring Tide the high and lo" tide #receding a nea# tide. ,ombined tidal #ulls from
$un and 3oon make the tide rise higher and fall lo"er than normal.
$*uare&>oot Gardening a system of gardening develo#ed by 3el Bartholome" that
uses four&foot&s*uare #lots subdivided into one&foot s*uares for gro"ing vegetables
that use little s#ace but are easy to tend.
$tacking #lanting to take advantage of vertical gro"ing s#ace.
$tamen a #ollen&generating stalk at the base of a flo"erHs #etals. >lo"ers ty#ically
have si4 of them, -ust to make certain.
$tanding ,ro# the biomass of a tro#hic level, community, #o#ulation, or s#ecies at a
certain time and #lace.
$tarch a com#le4 carbohydrate used by #lants to store glucose as food energy.
$tarches make u# corn, "heat, rice, #otatoes, beans, and other vegetables.
$tenobathic able to tolerate only small changes in "ater de#th (see Eurybathic).
$tenothermic tolerating only a small range of tem#erature change.
$te##e a s"ee# of unforested grasslands.
$tigma the sticky ti# of a #istil. Also the #igment clusters that serve #hotosynthetic
microbes as a light sensor.
$tochastic randomly #atterned
$ti#e stalk.
$toma small surface o#ening for gas e4change. .lants use stomata to take in carbon
dio4ide and emit o4ygen and "ater.
$tone 3ulch #lacing stones near #lants to "ater them "ith collected de" and to
conserve "ater in the soil.
$torm $urge the #iling u# of "ater by "inds and lo" #ressure "eather (cyclones,
hurricanes). They cause flooding "hen they rush onshore.
$toss a slo#e that faces into ice flo", "ind, or running "ater. +##osite of lee.
$tream +rder a measure of stream si!e and branching, from first order streams (the
largest) to t"elfth.
$tress .roteins #roteins #roduced in res#onse to environmental stress. $ome of
them "ard off the hy#othermia brought by e4treme cold, for e4am#le.
$triations #arallel scratches or groves left by glacial abrasion.
$tri# 3ining surface mining that stri#s off an entire surface layer (the overburden).
,ommon conse*uences are eroded or denuded hillsides, devastated ecosystems, and
to4ic runoffs, es#ecially of sulfur com#ounds from coal de#osits. This #ollutes not
only the land but nearby "ater sources.
$ubal#ine the highest elevation at "hich forests "ill gro".
$ubduction "here one continental #late is #ushed under another into the
asthenos#here belo". $ee .late Tectonics.
$ublimation a #hase change from a solid into a gas state "ithout any li*uid state
first. E4am#le dry ice turning directly into a va#or. ,an also occur in reverse.
$ubsidence land dro#. The decreased elevation can come from natural settling or
from something done by humans (ground"ater de#letion, #etroleum "ithdra"al).
$uccession the gradual re#lacement of one #lant community by another. Brought
about by changes in climate, in environment, or in the community (climatic
succession, #hysiogra#hic succession, biotic succession), and most fre*uently by
erosion, dro##ing "ater levels, or invasion by another s#ecies. $uccession due to
e4ternal forces is allogenic& and autogenic "hen self&#rom#ted. +verall, succession
starts "ith #ioneer s#ecies and #roceeds to those more mature and longer lived
(clima'). E4am#le an em#ty lot taken over by "eeds, then bushes, then flo"ering
#lants and finally trees.
$uccession .lanting same cro#, but #lanted a little at a time every one to three "eeks
or so to #revent them from all need harvesting at once.
$ucculent -uicy, moisture&retaining #lants like aloe, ice#lant, cactus, agave, and
yucca.
$ugar an affectionate term of endearment.
$ucker a #lant shoot emerging from the root or lo"er stem. ThereHs one born every
minute.
$unscald the #lant e*uivalent of sunburn.
$u#ercell a severe thunderstorm "ith a stee#, rotating u#draft (see 3esocyclone).
$u#ercells are likely candidates for #roducing tornados.
$urface 3icrolayer the surface of "ater, "here #ollutants float and atmos#heric
gasses meet the sea.
$urvival of the >ittest originally a Car"inian hy#othesis t"isted around by
#hiloso#her 'erbert $#encer to -ustify any desired might&makes&right form of social
in-ustice as natural and inevitable. Qery often FfittestG means the most coo#erative&&
see 3utualism.
$us#ension >eeder an organism (e.g., a barnacle) that eats food #articles sus#ended
in "ater.
$ustainable using resources "ithout using them u#.
$ustainable $ociety a society that manages its #olitics, economies, industries, and
#o#ulation si!e "ithout over"helming ecosystems or de#leting resources beyond
their ability to recharge themselves. Alan Thein Curing@s basic definition of a
sustainable society FEach generation should meet its needs "ithout -eo#ardi!ing the
#ros#ects for future generations to meet their o"n needs.G A less human&centered
definition "ould include the ecos#hereHs needs as "ell.
$ustained Oield a "orkable balance bet"een taking and #lanting.
$&Wave ($econdary Wave a seismic #ulse that moves things u# and do"n or side to
side. 5t follo"s the .&"ave.
$"itching "hen a #redator changes from eating one s#ecies to another, usually in
res#onse to changing abundances. Tends to e*uali!e com#etitive #o#ulations.
$ymbiosis a mutually beneficial relationshi# bet"een t"o s#ecies, like the 'a"aiian
s*uid and the luminous bacteria it carries in its stomach. The bacteria gets a home,
and the s*uid is camouflaged by the light.
$ym#atric $#eciation the division of one s#ecies into t"o, but in the same
geogra#hical locale. $ome biologists doubt it occurs. A #ossible e4am#le the t"o
s#ecies of fresh"ater three&s#ined sticklebacks that live in five lakes in British
,olumbia but do not mate "ith each other. E4tensive com#etition may have driven
them a#art someho".
$yna#sid a vertebrate "hose skull has one #air of o#enings behind the eyes (like
mammals and their close relatives).
$yncline a do"n"ard&arching fold in rock. The o##osite of an Anticline.
$ystemic 5nsecticide a chemical that makes a #rey to4ic to a #redator. +ften s#rayed
on #lants.
Talik an unfro!en #atch of ground over, under, or inside a layer of #ermafrost.
Talus a slo#e of rock debris formed at the base of a cliff.
Ta#etum ?ucidum a reflecting membrane that re#rocesses incoming #hotons. 5t
makes the eyes of cats and other night animals shine.
Ta#root the #rimary root of a #lant.
Tarn a small mountain lake in a cir*ue.
Ta4on a classification category for a grou# of organisms (,etaceans, 3ammalia,
.rotista, etc.).
Ta4onomy (see also Tree of ?ife) the classification of life, starting "ith AristotleHs
attem#ts. Botanist ,arl ?inneaus "orked out a system in 0/:6 "hose #rimary
categories are still in use. >rom largest to smallest, here is ho" "e fit them
I5NGC+3 Animalia (animals)
.'O?%3 ,hordata ("ith nerve chords)
$%B.'O?%3 Qertebrata (and backbones)
$%.E2,?A$$ Gnathostomata (and -a"s for biting)
,?A$$ 3ammalia (the young feed on motherHs milk)
+2CE2 .rimata (#rimates five&fingered omnivores)
$%B+2CE2 'a#lorrhini (dry&nosed)
>A35?O 'ominidae (erect, "alking mammals)
GEN%$ 'omo (humans and their close relatives, all no" e4tinct but
us)
$.E,5E$ 'omo sa#iens (this t"o&name genusDs#ecies form is called
binomial nomenclature)
Tea a bre" rich in soil nutrients. E4am#les are sea"eed tea and com#ost tea. 3any
teas are foliar, meaning they can be s#rayed directly on the leaves of #lants.
Techno&Addiction ,hellis Glendinning@s term for the secondary cravings "e use to
fill our Foriginal traumaG of se#aration from the natural "orld. $he follo"s .aul
$he#ard in thinking of the search for identity as not only #sychological, but
ecological.
Tem#erature 5nversion "arm air over cold.
Ten .ercent ?a" only about ten #ercent of the chemical energy available at one
tro#hic level in a food chain is converted into a usable form for organisms at the ne4t
tro#hic level.
Te#al a division of the outer "horl (perianth) of a flo"er (e.g., magnolias, lilies, and
tuli#s) lacking clear differentiation into se#als and #etals.
Te#hra rocky e-ecta blo"n from a volcano.
Terracide a largely unconscious but highly #otent hatred for the Earth and, by
e4tension, embodied, carnal living.
Thalloid #lants "ithout leaves, stems, or roots, like duck"eed, liver"orts, and
horn"orts.
Thal"eg the dee#est #art of a "ater"ay1 also, a subterranean stream. Ge"lath
s#elled back"ards.
Thermal .ollution a tem#erature rise that threatens an ecosystem, #articularly one
in "hich organisms breed or give birth.
Thermocline a boundary marking a vertical change in tem#erature.
Thermokarst high&altitude landsca#e holed #itted by selective #ermafrost tha"ing.
Iarst "ithout the chemical "eathering..
Third ?a" of Thermodynamics an ob-ect cannot be cooled to a tem#erature of
absolute !ero by a finite number of ste#s. 'o" about that.
Threshold .ollutant a chemical thatHs dangerous only "hen concentrated, like
sul#hur dio4ide.
Throughfall scientific&sounding name for rain going through a forest cano#y.
Thro"a"ay 3entality the belief that "e can use u# resources, thro" a"ay the
remains, and move on to fresh ones. 5t is a holdover of the frontiersman mindset.
Tide the #eriodic rise and fall of the ocean surface #ulled on by gravity from moon
and sun.
Till glacial de#osits gravel, rocks, boulders.
Tilth soil aggregation. BGood tilthB means it clum#s #ro#erly for #lanting but is
#orous enough to let air in.
Timber ?ine the highest elevation at "hich forests or stands of trees "ill gro". $ee
Tree ?ine.
Tolerance, Ecological e4amined close u#, the term seems to mean Bability to #ut u#
"ith things that are harsh.B The range of an organismHs ability to do this is referred to
as its ecological amplitude.
Tombolo a sand belt or bar connecting an island "ith the mainland.
To#ocosm Theodore Gaster@s "ord for the entire locality&&soils, #lants, animals,
everything, yesterday, today, and tomorro"&&taken as an organism. The
Neo#latonists called it the anima mundi (World $oul).
To#set Bed the sedimentary surface of a delta.
Trade Winds "inds that blo" to"ard the e*uator from the high&#ressure horse
latitudes, those bands of air above and belo" the e*uator that blo" into the
doldrums. >rom there it rises to the #oles and returns. The trade "inds blo" from
the northeast in the northern hemis#here (the Northeast Trades) and from the
southeast in the southern (the $outheast Trades).
Transect a #ath from "hich an observer records the a##arent gradient of change in
animal or #lant s#ecies "hich, "here, numbers, densities.
Trans#iration eva#oration of "ater from #lant leaves. .lant s"eat. 5ts activity
de#ends on humidity trans#iration is higher in sunlight or "ind, lo"er in fog or
rain.
Tree ?ine the highest elevation at "hich individual trees "ill gro".
Tree of ?ife a classification of all living things from the kingdom level do"n to the
s#ecies level. >ormerly biology te4tbooks divided all living things into the five
kingdoms described by 2obert Whittaker in 0K7K1 the current total, based more
heavily on 2NADCNA research, is three, no" called domains (,arl Woese, 0KK;) but
leaving out the viruses
Archaea (ancient, bacterialike animals that live in e4treme
environments)
Bacteria (the great natural chemists of Earth)
Eukarya (everyone else fungi, #rotists, animals and #lants)
Tributary a stream channel that branches back to"ard its source. The o##osite of a
Cistributary.
Tro#hic nutritive1 see >ood ,hain and >ood Web.
Tro#ic of ,ancer latitude of <:.6M North. The northernmost reach of the sunHs
declination. $ee $olstice.
Tro#ic of ,a#ricorn latitude of <:.6M $outh. The southernmost reach of the sunHs
declination.
Tro#o#hyte a #lant that ada#ts its re*uirements to climate e4tremes, like a
deciduous tree dro##ing its leaves in "inter and gro"ing them back in s#ring.
Tuber a buried stem that stores nutrients. An enlarged rhi!ome.
Tundra an arctic or subarctic treeless #lain "ith fro!en subsoil and small gro"th
some grasses, d"arf shrubs, lichens, mosses, sedges, and herbs. +ften found at high
latitudes bet"een the tree line and the sno" line.
T&Qalue (T&?evel) a 0&6 scale of soil loss tolerance the average ma4imum soil loss, in
tons #er acre #er year, that still allo"s the current #roduction level.
%ltrastructure (>ine $tructure) those structural details of an organism visible only to
an electron microsco#e.
%nderstock the segment of #lant to "hich a graft is -oined.
%nderstory the trees and other vegetation living belo" a forest cano#y.
%ngulates hoofed animals.
%niformitarianism the "ell&substantiated hy#othesis that the Earth and its
organisms develo#ed #rimarily from gradual #rocesses and conditions rather than
sudden Biblical >lood&style catastro#hes.
%#"elling the u#"ard flo" of cold, nutrient&rich "ater to"ard the ocean surface as
currents or seasonal "inds dra" "armer "ater a"ay from a coast. .hyto#lankton
that feed in u#"ellings often su##ort huge fish #o#ulations.
%rban 'eat 5sland a bubble of heat hung over a metro#olis not only by cars,
industrial #lants, business #arks, and other such structures, but by #aved areas
devoid of vegetation. ,ities then gro" "armer than the surrounding land.
Qariegated #lant #igmentation that creates multicolored foliage.
Qascular net"orks of channels that trans#ort nutrients, fluids, and "astes. The
circulatory system is an e4am#le.
Qarve a thin de#osit of sediment found on a lake bottom. Because its thickness
fluctuates annually, its layers disclose information about the lakeHs geological #ast.
Qector a disease&carrying organism.
Qentifact a #iece of stone blasted smooth by "indblo"n sand #articles.
Qertebrate an animal "ith a backbone. 3ost large animals are vertebrates. They
#robably evolved from a "ormlike ancestor that turned u#side do"n (u#side&do"n
catfish do this today). $ee 5nvertebrate.
Qicariance the evolution of a ne" s#ecies from a grou# se#arated from the original
s#ecies by a geogra#hic barrier.
Qirus a #rotein&coated fragment of CNA or 2NA that infects a host cell in order to
re#roduce.
Qolatile +rganic ,om#ounds (Q+,s) a com#onent of #hotochemical smog
consisting of organic molecules released into the atmos#here from household
#roducts like #aint, solvents, aerosols, cleaners, and (oddly enough) air fresheners.
Wallace Effect females attracted to males most like themselves breed offs#ring more
like themselves and less like the members of any subs#ecies, a tendency that
eventually creates a se#arate s#ecies.
Wallace@s 2ealms si4 geogra#hical animal realms Nearctic, .alaearctic, Neotro#ical,
Ethio#ian, +riental, and Australasian. They roughly outline the breaku# of the
su#ercontinent .angaia into continents on "hich different kinds of fauna lived and
evolved.
Washover >an the fan&sha#ed sedimentary de#osits left "hen storm surges "ash
over barrier islands, thereby transferring sand from one #art of the island to another.
Waste Treatment .ond a shallo" lagoon or #ond in "hich agricultural manure and
other "astes are broken do"n by microsco#ic organisms.
Water Budget the balance of all "ater moving into and out of a s#ecified area in a
s#ecified #eriod of time.
Water Table the #ooling of ground"ater on to# of a bedrock layer. This #ooling
holds K6E of the "orldHs total su##ly of fresh"ater.
Watershed the region drained by a stream or river.
Weed a #lant gro"ing "here it is not "anted.
Weir a barrier or fence in "ater that diverts something fish, "ater flo", erosive
material.
Westerlies variable mid&latitude "inds that often bring moisture.
Wetland a "et land1 a bog, fen, marsh, estuary. Wetlands are rich in nutrients,
uni*ue in ecosystems, and hos#itable to many forms of life, including birds on long
fly"ays. They also filter #ollutants out of the "ater and ease the force of #assing
floods. The >lorida Everglades #erformed these and other ecologically beneficial
activities until 0K;6, "hen a governor "ith the remarkably a#t name of Na#oleon
Bona#arte Bro"ard led the #ush to dredge, fill, dig, and canal1 the resulting floods,
stagnation, salini!ation, fish kills, bird deaths, agricultural runoffs, drought,
ground"ater de#letion, and fire #otential have not yet been brought under control.
5n the %nited $tates, farmers "ere encouraged to allo" acreage for "etlands until the
Bush Administration not only ended the incentives, but eased regulations in filling in
e4isting "etlands. $ee Estuarine Aone.
Wilderness Effect 2obert Green"ay@s term for the im#act of the "ilderness
e4#erience on the #syche the gradient goes from none to Fa com#lete blo"out of
one@s usual #rograms for #rocessing reality.G $ome"here bet"een these #oints is
"here information #rocessing s"itches from culture&dominated to nature&
dominated.
Neric dry.
Nero#hytes organisms that live in dry areas.
Nylem "oody tissue that trans#orts "ater and nutrients u#"ard from the roots.
Oardang rock streamlined by "ind erosion.
Oa!oo Tributary a small tributary sto##ed by levees (embankments) from -oining the
main channel.
Aero .o#ulation Gro"th (A.G) "hen birth rate (#lus immigration) e*uals the death
rate (#lus emigration), resulting in an ecologically stable number of organisms.
Aoonotic Ciseases diseases transmissible from animals to humans. Ebola,
tuberculosis, and rabies are e4am#les.
Aoo#lankton #lankton that do not #roduce their o"n food, as #hyto#lankton do. 5n
si!e they fall bet"een #hyto#lankton and larger organisms like fish.
Aygote a fertili!ed egg.
The "orld o#ened in the thickets of the dark. The "ild gra#es "ould soon ri#en on
the vines. The burro"ing ones "ere emerging. 'orned o"ls sat in the treeto#s. 3ice
scurried here and there. $kunks, fo4, the slo" and holy #orcu#ine, all "ere #assing
by this "ay. The young of the solitary bees "ere feeding on #ollen in the dark. The
"hole "orld "as a nest on its humble tilt, in the ma!e of the universe, holding us. &&
?inda 'ogan

Z by ,raig ,hal*uist, <;;9&<;;K.