Glossary

Marine Introduced Species Monitoring Resource Center

Abundance: The number of individuals of a species within a survey area. This can be by count, weight or other measurement for a given group in a given area.

Alga (plural: Algae; adj. Algal): Seaweeds; simple organisms composed of one cell, or grouped together in colonies, or as organisms with many cells, sometimes collaborating together as simple tissues. organisms that are either attached in aquatic (marine or freshwater) environments.

Alien: Belonging to a different place and differing in nature to the point of incompatibility.

Aquaculture: The controlled cultivation and harvest of aquatic animals and plants.

Aquatic: Relating to fresh and saltwater systems, including both open waters and wetlands.

Ballast water: Any water that is placed in the hold of a ship for the purpose of maintaining stability.

Benthic: Relating to the substrate (bottom) of a lake, pond, ocean, or other water bodies, which often provide habitat for a variety of organisms.

Biodiversity: the variety of life: the different plants, animals and micro-organisms, their genes and the ecosystems of which they are a part.

Biological Invasion: arrival, establishment, and subsequent expansion of species in a natural community in which they previously did not exist.

Community: A group of species inhabiting a given area, where organism interact and influence one another’s distribution, abundance, and evolution.

Cryptogenic Species: Those species whose origins are not clear; may be native or nonindigenous.

Dispersal Mechanism: A method by which a species expands its population or range. Natural mechanisms include migration, seed broadcast via wind or water, etc. Unnatural mechanisms are typically human-induced and include many of the pathways involved in invasive species introduction (ballast water, hull fouling, aquatic pet release).

Epiphyte: An organism that grows on another plant or animal upon which it depends for mechanical support but not for nutrients.

Exotic Species: See Nonindigenous Species.

Fouling: Entanglement, clogging, or obstruction by an undesired organism often resulting in diminished functioning of ships, intake pipes, and other submerged equipment or machinery.

Human Disturbance: Activity or state caused, directly or indirectly, by humans that intrudes, interrupts, or perturbs the natural state of ecological relationship and function.

Intertidal Zone: The area between high tide and low tide. Synonym: littoral zone.

Introduced Species: A species transported intentionally or accidentally from another region, allowing it to occur in areas beyond its normal range. Synonym: Nonindigenous Species, Nonnative.

Invasive Species: A nonindigenous species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health [taken from Executive Order 13112 on Invasive Species].

Monitoring: Periodic or continuous survey or sampling to determine the status or condition of various groups or systems.

Native Species: With respect to a particular ecosystem, a species that, other than as a result of an introduction, historically occurred or currently occurs in that ecosystem [taken from Ex Order 13112].

Nonindigenous Species: A species transported intentionally or accidentally from another region, allowing it to occur in areas beyond its normal range. Synonym: Introduced Species.

Nuisance Species: Animal or plant species that have been introduced into new ecosystems throughout the world and are having harmful impacts on the natural resources in these ecosystems and the human use of these resources (as defined by the federal ANS Task Force).

Opportunistic Species (genus, family): Able to compete advantageously during periods of stress, both natural and human induced, by colonizing new areas or expanding existing habitat.

Parameter: A measurable attribute or property (e.g., salinity, temperature).

Population: A group of interbreeding organisms occupying a particular space or area; all of the organisms that constitute a specific group or occur in a specified habitat.

Predator: An organism that hunts and consumes other animals.

Protocol: A set of rules governing data collection, such as sampling design, collection methods, species used and level of taxonomic analysis.

Quadrat: An area enclosed within the dimensions set by a frame of a standard size (e.g., a one-meter square).

Quadrant: One of four quarters created by two lines intersecting at right angles.

Qualitative: Involving distinctions based on standards, traits, or perceived value.

Quantitative: Expressible as, or relating to, a measurable value.

Substrate: The various materials that collectively make up the exposed or submerged surfaces of wetlands and aquatic environments, which may include sand, silt, peat, algae, logs, wood, debris, bank surface, sediments, leaf packs, mud, rock, and sometimes solid waste such as tires.

Subtidal Zone: the area below the low tide or intertidal zone. Synonym: sublittoral zone.

Taxonomist: An expert in the skills of systematic classification of organisms.

Transect: A method for environmental sample or survey using a straight line to delineate the area of analysis.

Transport Vector: In terms of invasives species, a vector is an identifiable, physical pathway or method of transport resulting in the introduction of a new species.

 

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