Head to the start of the trailA glossary for the scientific terms used in the guidePrint out the guideSources used to write the guidePeople we wish to thank
Walk The Trail: Quincy Salt Marsh TrailGlossary
Algae Simple single-celled or multicellular photosynthesizing organisms, typically located in water or wet areas. Similar to plants, but usually lacking true roots, stems or leaves.
Annual Life cycle of a plant that is completed in one season or one year.
Axil The angle between a leaf or stem and the supporting stem or branch from which it arises.
Bacteria A group of microscopic organisms, most of which survive by breaking down dead plant or animal matter.
Biennial Life cycle of a plant that lasts for two growing seasons.
Brackish Marsh A marsh flooded regularly or irregularly by water with low salt content.
Cultivated Plants that are grown by people; plants that survive only due to care and attention provided by people.
Deciduous A plant whose leaves fall off at the end of its growing season.
Decompose To decay or rot as a result of being broken down by microorganisms.
Diatoms Any of the many species of microscopic, single-celled algae that inhabit marine or freshwater habitats and have cell walls made out of silica.
Ebbs The movement of the tide towards the sea.
Ecosystem A natural living system produced by the interactions between organisms and their environment.
Estuary An ecosystem formed where the mouth of a river meets the ocean, causing the merging of fresh and salt water.
Herbaceous Not woody, and typically dying down to the ground at the end of each growing season.
High Marsh A marsh flooded irregularly, typically by spring tides or storm surges.
Hip A fleshy or leathery hollow fruit with seeds attached to the inside; the name given to the fruit of Rose species.
Indigenous Originating in and native to a particular region.
Invertebrates Animals without a backbone.
Leaflet A single section of a compound leaf.
Lobed Having indentations on the margins, producing rounded projections. Typically applied to a petal or leaf.
Lower Marsh A salt marsh flooded daily by the tides.
Perennial Life cycle of a plant that continues for more than two growing seasons.
Plankton Tiny plants, animals and other organisms that drift freely in the waters of oceans, rivers, lakes and ponds.
Salinity The concentration of salt in the water.
Salt Marsh A marsh subject to repeated flooding with salt or brackish tidal waters.
Scale A leaf that is small, thin, and flat, often dry and frequently difficult to distinguish as a true leaf.
Submerged Under water; typically applied to plants that can survive under the water either part or full time.
Tidal Creek A channel in a salt water marsh through which the tidal waters ebb and flow..
Toothed An edge with triangular projections resembling teeth, typically applied to leaf margins and sometimes petals.
Twig The end subdivision of a branch.
Upland Used to describe ground that is elevated along a low wetland area.
Whorl A circle of three or more leaves around a stem. Also used to describe a circle of petals on a flower.
Zonation The distribution of different plant and animal communities over a certain area in response to different environmental conditions.
Zooplankton The tiny animals that make up a portion of the plankton

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