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River Restoration Glossary

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Primitive plants that can make food from sunlight.

Areas underground that hold water.

Person who goes fishing.

River or stream

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

An excessive growth of a particular species.

An animal which eats other animals.

Water vapour changes from a gas to a liquid through condensation. Condensation occurs when water vapour is cooled down.

An area surrounding a waterway that drains into that waterway.

Animals are consumers because they cannot produce their own energy.

Fungi and bacteria that break down organic matter such as leaves.

A freshwater algae sometimes called 'rock snot'.

Unique to a place an not found anywhere else.

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

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

Changing from a liquid into a vapour.

Animal life in general.

food chain
An arrangement of organisms in a community according to which organism is eaten or eats another. Food chains always start with a plant (or plants).

food web
A system of food chains linked to one another. habitat The home or surroundings of an organism e.g. river.

An animal that only eats plants. introduced species A plant or animal that has been brought by people to an area where it did not naturally live.

Any animal that does not have a spinal cord at any stage of its life such as worms, insects, spiders, crustaceans and molluscs.

Water that is used for farming or growing crops.

Naturally found in a location, but may be found in more than one country.

How an organism makes a living. It describes things such as an organism's life history, its habitat, its position in a food chain and food web and its geographic range. No two species can occupy the same niche in the same environment for a long time.

An animal, such as humans, that can eat both plants and animals. organic matter Anything that is, or used to be, living.

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

The chemical process which algae and green plants use to produce food. Photosynthesis needs carbon dioxide, water and sunlight.

Clouds form, join together and grow. Water vapour condenses into water droplets as it cools. These droplets grow in size as the temperature drops until eventually they become too heavy and it rains, snows or hails, depending on the temperature.

Tiny organisms, mainly single celled algae floating near the water's surface, that use photosynthesis to obtain food from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water. (From the Greek words 'phyton' or 'plant', and 'planktos' meaning 'wanderer' or 'drifter').

A plant can make its own energy from the sun through photosynthesis.

Situated or taking place along or near the bank of a river.

Material, originally suspended in a liquid, that settles at the bottom of the liquid when it is left standing for a long time. Material eroded from rocks that is transported by water, wind, or ice and deposited elsewhere.

Animals of the same type. The members of the same species are able to interbreed and produce fertile offspring.

Ecosystem stressors are physical, chemical, and biological factors that impact the health and function of ecosystems. Stressors can be natural, such as storms and fires or caused by people, such as climate change and pollution.

Using natural resources without destroying the ecological balance of an area.

Relating to the tides.

The cyclical rise and fall of the sea occurring about every twelve hours. Tides are caused by the combined effects of the rotation of the Earth and the gravitational forces exerted by the Moon and the Sun.

tipping point
Tipping points occur when small shifts in human pressures or environmental conditions bring about large, sometimes abrupt changes in a system and the system changes from one state to another. It is difficult for these changes to be reversed.

Plants release water through pores (holes) in their leaves. The process of transpiration returns some moisture from the soil back into the atmosphere.

The development and modification of a once natural landscape for human settlement.

Water that has been used for domestic or industrial purposes and probably contains contaminants. It must be treated before it can safely be returned to a clean waterway.

water vapour
Water in its gaseous state. Water that is heated turns from a liquid to a gas.

Small and microscopic animals, mainly crustaceans and fish larvae, floating near or on the water's surface.