Glossary

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The glossary below consists of terms used in the standard background pages and easy background pages.

biodiversity

The number and variety of living things found within a region. Made from the two words 'biological' and 'diversity'.

conservation

Looking after natural resources such as trees, water, soil, etc for future generations.

ecosystem

A community of living things and the environment in which they live.

endemic

Species found only in New Zealand e.g. kiwi.

environment

All the external factors influencing the life and activities of people, plants, and animals e.g. other animals and plants, water, soils, weather, daylight.

genus

Set of closely related species (plural = genera).

habitat

The natural home of a plant or animal.

hammer-mark bark 

The pattern on kauri trucks caused by bark flaking off, believed to be an adaptation to reduce the competition from climbing plants.

humus

Dark organic material in soils produced by rotting plant and animal material.

introduced species

A plant or animal that has been brought by people to an area where it did not naturally live. 

litter

Surface layer of the forest floor.

microbe

Microscopic organism.

native species

An animal or plant that is naturally found in that area.

nutrients

The chemicals and minerals that are used by plants to grow from its roots to the leafy canopy.

organism

An individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist or fungus.

population

All the members of a species living in the same area and able to breed together.

spores

Reproductive cells - like seeds.

sustainability

Acting in ways that help protect the environment, people, and the planet.