Definitions


Aerobic organisms use oxygen for respiration.


Amphibian Quality Assessment Index (AQAI) is a value given to wetlands based upon the number of individuals of each species of amphibian sampled at a site. The values are based upon how sensitive the amphibians are. For example, salamanders need very specialized habitats with little disturbance, thus they generally are given a high score. Bull frogs, on the other hand, are found just about anywhere, therefore, they get a low score.


Drawdown is the point at which water has receded below the water table. In other words, the wetland becomes dry.


Floristic Quality Assessment Index (FQAI) is a value given to wetlands based upon the number of individuals of each species of plant sampled at a site. The values are based upon how sensitive the plants are and whether or not they are indigenous to the area.


Hydrology is the relationship the ecosystem has to water cycles, including precipitation, surface runoff, groundwater, tides, and flooding rivers.


Keystone Ecosystems refer to certain ecosystems that have a disproportionately strong effect on the structure of other ecosystems. For example, wetlands are only a small part of the world's landscape, but they affect rivers, streams, oceans, and the surrounding land.


The larvae form of amphibians generally refer to tadpoles (frogs) and newts (efts).


Lotic means flowing. "Rivers and streams are lotic systems."


Mitigation Projects are undertaken as a compensatory process for the destruction of a natural wetland. Mitigation projects include restoring a wetland, creating a wetland, or buying into a mitigation bank (investing money in the creation of a large wetland).


Morphology refers to the physical attributes of an ecosystem. The morphology of a wetland would include the size, depth, slope of the banks, the type of land it is located on, etc.


Nitrate and phosphorus are limiting nutrients in aquatic systems. Generally fertilizer contains these chemicals, and in heavy rains, nitrate and phosphorus can wash off of agricultural fields and into the watershed. These two chemicals can have many negative effects on aquatic ecosystems.


Replacement wetlands include both restored wetlands, wetlands that have been recreated where a wetland was once found, and created wetlands, wetlands that are newly created in an area where they would not be naturally found.


Riparian Zones refer to the "bank of a body of flowing water; the land adjacent to a river or stream that is, at least periodically, influenced by flooding" (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000). A riparian ecosystem pertains to the ecosystem that makes up the riparian zone. It generally has a high water table due to the close proximity of a water source (Mitsch and Gosselink 2000).


Wetlands are defined as "...lands transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface or the land is covered by shallow water...Wetlands must have one or more of the following three attributes: 1) at least periodically, the land supports predominantly hydrophytes; 2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil; and 3) the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of each year" (Cowardin et al. 1979).