A

Alevin – (n) a newly hatched salmon that has an attached egg sac from which it obtains its nourishment. Alevins usually reside in the gravel of the spawning bed until the egg sack is depleted.

Algae – (n) simple plants that lack true stems and roots and live primarily in fresh or salt water. May be single-celled and microscopic (e.g. diatoms), or complex and large (e.g. kelp).

Algae bloom – (n) an explosive growth of (usually microscopic) algae, often caused by pollution with nitrates and/or phosphates.

Alkane – (n) a molecule composed of hydroden and carbon atoms that are joined with single bonds.

Amphipod – (n) a crustacean of the order Amphipoda, usually aquatic, with a laterally compressed body; for example “beach fleas.”

Anadromous – (adj) of a fish that migrates from salt water to fresh water in order to spawn.

Anastomosed - (adj) with respect to a stream channel, composed of multiple channels that are highly sinuous, narrow and deep, with well vegetated and stable banks, and a wide floodplain composed of wetlands.

Anoxic – (adj) lacking oxygen

Aquifer – (n) a geologic formation that stores or transmits water; usually refers to those formations that can yield enough water to be useful to people.

Ascidian – (n) a member of the class Ascidiacea; a vase-shaped, sedentary marine animal that is covered with a tunic made of cellulose-like material, with two siphons that filter suspended matter from the water.

Autotroph – (n) an organism that can manufacture its own organic compounds from inorganic molecules, e.g. green plants.

B

Back dunes – sand dunes situated on the landward side of primary dunes; usually support more vegetation and are more stable than primary dunes; also called secondary dunes.

Backshore - (n) the area of land between the highest high tidea and a point 50 m inland, unless a road is located closer than 50 m to the high tide line, in which case the road marks the inland boundary of the backshore.

Bacteria - single-celled, microscopic organisms that have a cell wall and lack a true nucleus. They may use oxygen or other inorganic elements such as sulphur for their metabolism. They are ubiquitous in the environment and in the digestive tracts of animals.

Barrier spit – (n) a large coastal formation composed of sediment (sand or gravel), oriented parallel to the shore and attached at one end; formed by sediment transported by wind, waves and currents.

Baseflow – (n) groundwater that flows into streams and rivers.

BEC – Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification; a method used by forestry, environmental and other land use agencies for grouping large or small land areas according to common characteristics; named for the dominant late-seral stage vegetation (e.g. Coastal Douglas Fir or Coastal Western Hemlock).

Benthic – (adj) of the bottom of a water body such as the ocean, a lake, stream or pond.

Berm – (n) a linear mound of earth, usually built parallel to a shore to prevent flooding by high tide or high water levels.

Biobands – (n) a group of species (marine plants and/or animals) observed in the intertidal zone, identified by a characteristic dominant species, by colour and by typical vertical elevation.

Biodiversity – (n) the degree of variety of life. Can refer to species (in a community), ecosystems (in a landscape) or genetic material (among individuals of the same species). A community with high biodiversity is composed of a large number of different species.

Bioindicator – an organism or trait used to measure the health of an individual or ecosystem.

Biomagnification – (n) the tendency for certain molecules to become more highly concentrated in animal tissue as they move up the food chain.

Bioswale – (n) a depression or wide trench, often containing vegetation overlying a porous material such as gravel, that is designed to capture runoff from roads and parking lots and allow it to infiltrate the ground.

Bivalve – (n) a class of mollusc that is characterized by a soft body and two shells that are hinged together (e.g. clams).

Blade – (n) (of kelp) a leaflike structure that gathers energy from the sun for photosynthesis.

Blue list – a provincial designation for a species determined to be vulnerable and “at risk,” but not yet Extirpated or Endangered.

Braided – (adj) with respect to a stream channel, composed of multiple interconnected channels that are relatively straight, shallow and wide, with eroding banks; occur in relatively flat valley bottoms where there is abundant sediment deposited from upstream sources (e.g. glacial valleys).

Breakwater – (n) a human-made structure composed of rock, cement, and/or wood, that juts out into the ocean and blocks waves, in order to shelter a harbour or port.

Bryozoan – (n) a “moss-like” marine animal that forms colonies attached to surfaces under the water and feeds by capturing organic material suspended in the water with its tentacles.

BTEX – (n) Benzene, Ethylbenzene, Toluene and Xylene; commonly found in petroleum hydrocarbons such as gasoline.

Bulkhead – (n) a wall made of stone, cement or wood, designed to retain earth along the waterfront; sometimes also called a seawall.

C

Capacity – (n) with respect to a stream, the maximum amount of sediment of a particular size that a stream can carry as bed load (source: Trenhaile, A.S. Geomorphology; a Canadian Perspective, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, ON. 2004)

Carcinogen – (n) a substance that causes cancer.

Chlorophenol – (n) a type of hydrocarbon composed of a benzene ring substituted with a hydroxyl group and one or more chlorine atoms; frequently used as a pesticide in wood treatments.

Collector – (n) with respect to functional groups of stream invertebrates, an organism that feeds on small particles of organic matter (as well as microbes), ranging in size from 0.0005 mm to 1mm, which they may filter from the water or gather from sediments.

Colloidal material – very small particles suspended in water by electrical and other forces that are greater than the gravitational forces that would otherwise cause them to settle (source: Trenhaile, A.S. Geomorphology; a Canadian Perspective, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, ON. 2004).

Competency – (n) with respect to a stream, the size of the largest grain that a stream can carry as bed load (source: Trenhaile, A.S. Geomorphology; a Canadian Perspective, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, Don Mills, ON. 2004).

Contaminant – (n) a substance introduced through human activity which causes a deviation from the normal composition of the environment.

Copepod – (n) a type of aquatic crustacean, member of the subclass Copepoda; most are less than 1 mm long, swim freely and feed on suspended organic matter.

COSEWIC – Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada; a national organization that researches and provides information on at-risk species of plants and animals.

Cnidarian – (n) a type of marine organism characterized by a soft, saclike body with only one opening, and stinging tentacles; may be either attached (e.g. anemones) or free-swimming (e.g. jellyfish).

Crustacean – (n) a marine animal belonging to the class Crustacea, characterized by pairs of jointed appendates, a tough exoskeleton, and a segmented body. Examples include crabs and lobsters.

D

DDT – (n) para-dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane, an insecticide.

Delta – (n) a deposition of sediment at the mouth of a river, in a lake or the ocean.

Deposition – (n) placement or accumulation of sediment after erosion and transportation.

Detritus – (n) small pieces of a material that has been broken down; decaying plant and animal matter.

Diatom – (n) a type of single-celled microscopic algae that has a geometrically shaped silica shell.

Discharge – (n) relative to water, the volume that passes a particular point in a stream in a given amount of time; usually measured in cubic metres per second (m3/s).

Diurnal tide – (n) a tide that has a single high tide and single low tide per day.

Downcut – (v) in reference to a stream, to wear away the channel bottom such that the stream channel “sinks” into the surrounding land and is no longer connected with a floodplain.

Dredge – (v) to excavate material under water, e.g in order to deepen a channel or create holes for pilings.

Dual tidal delta – (n) a deposition of sediment on either side of a tidal channel, created by both the ebb tide and the flood tide.

Dyke – (n) a wall built to retain water (e.g. along a river or shoreline) and prevent flooding.

E

Ebb tide – (n) the outflowing or receding tide.

Ebb tide delta – (n) a deposition of sediment on the seaward side of a tidal channel, created by the ebb tidal current.

Echinoderm – (n) a type of marine organism, of the phylum Echinodermata, characterized by radial symmetry, a calcium skeleton and spines (e.g. sea star).

Ecosystem – (n) a complex of various species of organisms that interact with each other and with their physical environment.

Ecosystem Services – (n) the processes of natural systems and the species that comprise them that are invaluable to sustaining and fulfilling human life.

El Niño – (n) a fluctuation in sea-surface temperatures in the southern Pacific ocean that occurs on a four to seven year time scale, and has significant effects on climate, especially in South America and Australia, but also globally.

Endangered – (adj) in imminent danger of becoming extinct or extirpated.

Endocrine disrupter – (n) a chemical that interferes with the body’s system of hormone regulation.

Erosion – (n) denudation by wind, water and ice that dislodges, dissolves or removes surface material (Christopherson, R.W. Geosystems, an Introduction to Physical Geography, MacMillan Publishing, New York, 1992).

Estuarine – (adj) describing the condition of an estuary, especially with respect to circulation of water; fresh water tends to float over top of the more dense salt water.

Estuary – (n) a body of water that receives fresh water from a stream or river, and salt water from the ocean.

Eutrophication – (n) excessive algae growth in fresh or salt water, caused by nitrate and/or phosphate pollution, that causes oxygen depletion of the water by bacteria that break down the algae.

Evaporation – (n) the change of state of a liquid to a gas.

Evapotranspiration – (n) the combined processes of evaporation and transpiration.

Exoskeleton – (n) a hard, protective covering secreted by the skin that covers the exterior of animals such as insects and crustaceans.

Extinction – (n) the permanent loss of all individuals of a particular species.

Extirpation – (n) the extinction of an organism in a particular region (i.e. not globally).

F

Fecal coliform bacteria – (n) a type of bacteria that produce gas and ferment lactose at a temperature of 44°C; they inhabit the intestinal tracts of warm-blooded animals, and are used as indicators of fecal contamination of water, since they require the same environmental conditions of other, disease-causing microbes.

Fetch – (n) the distance of open water over which the wind can blow to create waves.

Filter feeder – an aquatic animal that feeds by filtering suspended organic matter from the water.

Floodplain – (n) a flat area adjacent to a stream, that is formed by sediment deposition, and that is periodically submerged by high water flows.

Flood tide – (n) the incoming (rising) tide.

Flood tide delta – (n) a deposition of sediment on the landward side of a tidal channel, formed by the flood tidal current.

Food web – (n) a complex network of predator-prey relationships.

Foredune – on the coast, the dunes situated closest to the ocean; also called primary dune.

Fry – (n) a juvenile salmonid that has lost its egg sac and emerged from the gravel of the spawning bed.

G

Gamete – (n) a sexual cell that has half the number of chromosomes as the mature individual (e.g. sperm and ova).

Gametophyte – (n) a plant that bears the sex organs and gametes, in plants that undergo an alteration of generations between gametophyte and sporophyte forms.

Gastropod – (n) a class of mollusc characterized by a muscular foot and stalked eyes, often having a singular coiled shell (e.g. snails).

Glacial period – (n) a period in history marked by substantially colder than average temperatures over a long period of time (i.e. millenia).

Glacial till – (n) a mixture of poorly sorted sand, pebbles, cobbles and boulders left behind by glaciers.

Grasshopper effect – (n) the process by which persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are transferred from temperate to polar regions, in a series of evaporation and condensation events.

Grazer – (n) with respect to invertebrate functional groups in streams, an animal that feeds on algae growing on surfaces in the stream; also called a scraper.

Greenhouse effect – (n) the warming effect produced by gases in the earth’s atmosphere that allow short-wave radiation from the sun pass through and heat the earth, but trap long-wave radiation from the surface of the earth. Without this phemomenon, the earth’s average temperature would be -18°C, rather than 15°C.

Greenhouse gas – (n) a gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect. Examples include water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen compounds, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). Some of these gases are produced naturally, but humans have dramatically increased their production.

Groundwater –water that is contained and flows within the saturated zone under the ground.

Groyne – (n) a human-made structure that juts into the ocean, perpendicular to the shore; designed to prevent erosion of beach sand.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – (n) the total revenue from the sale of goods or services produced by an industry in a country or region, less the cost of materials and services consumed in the process of production.

H

Habitat – (n) the physical, chemical and biological systems that support living things; the place where an organism resides.

Habitat fragmentation – (n) the phenomenon of contiguous habitat becoming broken up, usually by human activities such as logging, urban development, farming and roads.

Heterotroph – (n) a type of organism that must obtain its nutrients by ingesting other organisms, either plant or animal matter.

Holdfast – (n) the rootlike structure of kelp that anchors it to the bottom of the ocean; unlike a plant’s roots, it does not absorb nutients.

Hydrocarbon – (n) a molecule formed from the combination of hydrogen and carbon atoms.

Hydrograph – (n) a graphical representation of stream or river discharge over time.

I

Impervious surface – a surface that does not allow water to soak into the ground; usually refers to urban structures such as paved roads, roofs, parking lots, etc.

Infilling – (n) the process of placing material (rock, soil, solid waste, etc.) along a shoreline in order to create more land on which to build structures.

Infiltration – (n) the process of water seeping into the ground.

Interception – (n) precipitation that contacts a solid surface, such as plant leaves, and is detained there; some of it may then evaporate back to the atmosphere.

Intertidal – (adj) residing on a shoreline between the levels of the high low tides.

Intertidal zone – the area of shoreline between the highest high tide and the lowest low tide; characterized by marine plants and animals that can survive some degree of drying and exposure to the air.

Intertidal zonation – the phenomenon of plants and animals forming visible communities along the marine shoreline, between the high and low tide lines.

Invasive species - plants, animals and microorganisms from one part of the world that are transported beyond their natural range and become established in a new area.

Invertebrate – (n) a type of animal that lacks a backbone (e.g. shellfish, insects, worms).

K

Keystone species

L

Lagoon – (n) a body of water that is is partially separated from the ocean by a barrier with one or more openings that allow the exchange of sea water.

Large woody debris – wood in streams, from entire or portions of fallen trees, that is not easily moved by the flowing water; an important structural element of stream channels, that helps to dissipate stream flow energy.

Late-seral – a stage of development in the forest, characterized by no recent significant disturbances (such as logging or fire), older, “climax” vegetation, a more open canopy and greater horizontal and vertical structural diversity.

Lee – (adj) protected; the lee side of a slope faces away from prevailing winds.

Levee – (n) a natural or human-made, linear mound of soil/sediment lying adjacent and parallel to an existing or old river channel.

Long range atmospheric transport – a phenomenon whereby contaminants evaporate in warm climates, are transported through the atmosphere by wind currents, and condense in colder areas; results in certain contaminants accumulating in polar regions; also known as the grasshopper effect.

Longshore current – a current that travels parallel to the shore, due to the combined effect of wind and waves.

Longshore transport – the transport of sediment due to longshore currents, caused by waves that contact the shore on an angle, and recede perpendicular to the shore; results in a “zig-zag” pattern of sediment movement along the shore.

M

Macronutrients – (n) nutrients required by an organism in large quantities.

Methemoglobinemia – (n) (a.k.a. “blue baby syndrome”) a condition caused by nitrates in drinking water that are converted to nitrites in an infant’s stomach. Nitrites react with hemoglobin in the blood and impede its ability to carry oxygen.

Micronutrients – (n) nutrients required by an organism in small quantities.

MMT – (n) methylclopentadienyl manganese tricarbonyl, a gasoline additive designed to boost the octane rating of gasoline.

Mollusc – (n) a member of the phylum Mollusca; an invertebrate animal characterized by a soft, unsegmented body (and in some, a hard shell); e.g. snails, mussels, octopi.

Monoculture – (n) a population of plants that contains only one species.

MTBE – (n) Methyl tertiary-Butyl Ether, a gasoline additive designed to improve the octane rating of gasoline.

Moult – (v) to shed the skin, exoskeleton or feathers.

Mutagen – (n) a substance that causes cellular mutagions.

N

Neap tide – a tide characterized by a small difference between high and low tides; occurs during the first quarter and third quarter of the lunar cycle, when the gravity of the moon is counteracting that of the sun.

Nitrates – (n) molecules composed of nitrogen and oxygen; common in sewage, fertilizer and animal feces.

Nonpoint-source pollution - pollutants from many diffuse sources such as runoff from agricultural fields, septic systems, pesticides and herbicides from gardens, and automobile pollution washed off roads.

O

Organotins – (n) organic compounds that contain tin atoms; frequently used as pesticides for treating the hulls of ships, to prevent marine organisms from attaching and causing drag.

Oxbow lake – a crescent-shaped lake formed when a bend in a river has been cut off from the main channel.

P

PAH – (n) polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon; a common constituent of gasoline and creosote; also produced during combustion, e.g. of coal or wood.

PAN – (n) peroxyacetyl nitrate; a product of atmospheric reaction of nitrogen compounds from gasoline; a component of photochemical smog; inhibits photosynthesis in plants, irritates the eyes.

Particulate matter – small particles produced by combustion (e.g. by automobiles, factories, forest fires), that can enter the lungs.

Peninsula – (n) an elongated land mass that is surrounded on three sides by water and connected to a larger land mass by a neck or isthmus.

Percolation – (n) the movement of water through pore spaces in the ground.

Permeable pavers – (n) interlocking structures (often honey-comb shaped) that contain gravel or soil and grass, and are designed to bear the weight of vehicles while allowing rainwater to flow infiltrate the ground.

Permeability – (n) the ability of a material to allow the passage of a liquid, such as water. Permeable materials, such as gravel and sand, allow water to move quickly through them, whereas impermeable material, such as clay or pavement, don't allow water to flow freely.

PCBs – Polychlorinated biphenyls. Large hydrocarbon molecules with substituted chlorine atoms. Used as insulating liquids in electric transformers and capacitors. Manufacture in Canada is now banned.

pH – a measurement of the relative acidity or alkalinity of a substance, measured as the negative log of the concentration of hydrogen ions (mol/L), given as a scale of 0 to 14, with 0 being the most acidic, 14 the most basic, and 7 neutral.

Phosphates – (n) molecules composed of phosphorous and oxygen atoms; a common pollutant of water bodies; present in fertilizers, sewage, animal feces and detergents.

Photochemical smog – air pollution formed by the combustion of fossil fuels (usually caused by automobiles) that causes a layer of haze to hover over an urban area.

Photosynthesis – (n) the chemical reaction carried out by plants that converts carbon dioxide and water to carbohydrate (sugar), in the presence of sunlight, and releases oxygen.

Phytoplankton – (n) free-floating aquatic plankton that use photosynthesis; includes diatoms and dinoflagellates.

Pinniped – (n) a carnivorous aquatic mammal belonging to the suborder Pinnipedia, characterized by a streamlined body and flippers; includes seals, sea lions and walruses.

Plankton – (n) small or microscopic aquatic organisms (plants or animals) that drift passively in the water column; form the basis of the marine food web.

Pocket beach – a small (less than 1 km long) beach composed of sand or gravel, usually located between rocky headlands.

Point-source pollution – (n) pollution from a single identifiable source, such as a factory smokestack.

Pollutant – (n) a substance which is present in greater than natural concentration as a result of human activity and has a net detrimental effect on the environment, particularly living organisms.

Polychaete worms – (n) segmented worms that are closely related to earthworms and leeches; most live in the ocean and are characterized by bristles or setae on either side of the body; may be free-living or live in tubes or burrows.

Precipitation – (n) condensed or solid water that falls from the sky, i.e. rain or snow

Predation – (n) the act of one animal preying upon, or eating, another animal.

Predator – (n) an animal that hunts and feeds on other animals.

Primary dunes – on the coast, the dunes situated closest to the ocean; also called fore dunes.

Primary producer – an organism that forms the base of a food chain and converts inorganic material to organic biomass through photosynthesis; examples include plants, phytoplankton and some bacteria.

Protozoa – (n) a group of microscopic, single-celled animals, distinguished from bacteria by the presence of a nucleus, and the lack of a cell wall.

R

Rainsplash erosion – erosion caused by the impact of raindrops that dislodges particles of soil.

Range of tolerance – the set of environmental conditions in which an organism can survive.

Red list – a provincial designation for a species considered to be Endangered, Extirpated or Threatened.

Redd – (n) a nest made by a spawning salmonid, a shallow depression scooped out of the gravel by the fish’s tail.

Refraction – (n) in reference to ocean waves, the process of a wave “bending” to meet the shoreline.

Rhizome – (n) an underground, horizontal stem that often sends out roots and shoots.

Riffle – (n) a relatively shallow section of a stream characterised by turbulent water.

Rill erosion – erosion caused by rivulets of water that carve channels in soft soil.

Riparian – (adj) pertaining to the banks of a stream, river, lake or pond; (of vegetation) requiring relatively abundant moisture, but not continuously saturated soils, and able to tolerate periodic (seasonal) flooding.

Runoff – (n) rainwater and snowmelt that flows across the surface of the earth, rather than infiltrating into the ground.

S

Salmonid – (n) a fish belonging to the class Salmonidae, which includes all species of salmon, trout, char, whitefish and grayling.

Saturated zone – the underground area in which all the pore spaces between rock and soil particles are filled with water.

Scraper – (n) with respect to functional groups of stream invertebrates, an organism that feeds primarily on algae attached to surfaces in the stream.

Seawall – (n) a vertical wall built along the shoreline, designed to protect the shore from erosion by waves.

Secondary dunes – sand dunes situated on the landward side of primary dunes; usually support more vegetation and are more stable than primary dunes; also called back dunes.

Secondary producer – an organism that ingests nutrients produced by a primary consumer, e.g. a herbivore that eats a plant.

Sediment – (n) soil, sand, and minerals.

Semi-diurnal tide – two high tides during a 24 hour period.

Sessile – (adj) of an animal that is attached to a substrate and is not mobile.

Shredder – (n) with respect to functional groups of stream invertebrates, an organism that feeds by breaking down coarse organic matter that is greater than 1 mm in size, such as leaf litter.

Shoreline armouring – the process of using seawalls, angular rock and other hard structures to protect against erosion by waves.

Sinuous – (adj) a trajectory that gently and regularly curves to from one side to the other, from the reference point of a straight line; winding.

Slough – (n) an old river channel that contains stagnant or slow-moving water.

Smolt – (n) a juvenile salmon or sea-run cutthroat trout that has undergone physiological changes that allow it to live in salt water.

Spore – (n) a reproductive cell.

Sporophyte – (n) the form of a plant that produces spores.

Spray zone – (n) the zone of the shoreline that is not submerged at high tide, rather only exposed to intermittent ocean spray.

Spring tide – a tide caused by the combined gravitational pull of the moon and the sun when the two are in line; occurs during the new moon and full moon; creates extra-high high tides and low low tides.

Stipe – (n) the stem of a kelp plant.

Stream corridor – (n) a riparian area, composed of moist soils, water-loving vegetation and the associated ecosystems, that borders a stream or river.

Substrate – (n) the fundamental geological material in or on which something lives or resides.

Subsurface flow – water that flows through large pores (animal burrows, roots holes, organic debris, etc.) beneath the surface, and reaches streams relatively quickly.

Subtidal fringe – the area of shoreline that is exposed only at the lowest low tides; borders the subtidal zone.

Subtidal zone – the area of shoreline that lies below the level of the lowest low tide and is constantly submerged.

Surface runoff – rainwater or snowmelt that flows over the surface of the ground instead of infiltrating the soil.

Surfactant – (n) a type of chemical that reduces surface tension of water; often present in detergents.

Swale – (n) a slight depression in the ground, usually containing gravel and/or vegetation, that is designed to intercept runoff and allow it to infiltrate the ground.

T

TBT – (n) tributyl tin; a compound used as a marine anti-fouling treatment for ship hulls.

Threatened – (n) with respect to the status of a species, considered “likely” to become Endangered if adverse factors are not reversed.

Tidal flat – a level shoreline, usually composed of mud and/or sand, that is exposed at low tide.

Transpiration – diffusion of water through the pores (stomata) of plant leaves.

Tunicates – (n) marine animals belonging to the subphylum Tunicata; the larvae have a vertebral nerve cord and resemble tadpoles; as adults, they attach to a hard surface and become filter feeders; most species are Ascidians.

Turbidity – (adj) the extent to which particles in water scatter light, causing the water to appear opaque.

U

Upland – (adj) terrestrial; of the area of land that is not characterized by riparian, wetland or salt water tolerant vegetation.

Urban harbours of Victoria – the harbours surrounding the downtown Victoria area, between Albert Head to the west and Ogden Point to the east. This website concerns mainly these harbour areas simply because they have been the subjects of most of the studies currently available. In the future, we hope to expand the scope of the website to include other areas.

V

Virus – (n) a microscopic particle that can infect other organisms. It cannot reproduce on its own, rather it uses the genetic material of its host to propagate itself.

Viscous – (adj) the tendency of molecules of a liquid to “stick together.” Honey is highly viscous; paint thinner is not very viscous.

W

Watershed – (n) the area of land that drains rainwater and snowmelt to a particular body of water such as a stream, river, wetland, lake or harbour.

Water table – the highest level at which groundwater has accumulated to form a saturated zone in the ground.

Weathering – (n) the mechanism of rock decay that occurs through physical, chemical and biological processes.

Wetland – (n) an area that has continually saturated soils and/or is inundated with shallow water, and contains vegetation that requires saturated soil conditions (e.g. cattails, sedges, rushes); may also be called a swamp, bog, fen, or marsh.

Z

Zooplankton – (n) small, sometimes microscopic, animals that drift at various depths in the ocean with the currents; e.g. protozoa, crustaceans, jellyfish and other invertebrates.