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natural resource

something that is found in nature that is useful to humans

aquatic resource

water and all things that live in or around water....


all of the Earth's water, including surface water, ground water, and water vapor


an artificial lake used to store water


the contamination of air, water or soil by substances that are harmful to living organisms


the wise use of natural resources

dissolved oxygen

oxygen gas absorbed by and mixed into water

water pollution

an excess of natural or man-made substances in a body of water


composed of matter that comes from plants or animals either dead or alive


composed of matter that doesn't come from plants or animals either dead or alive


to decay or rot

aquatic organism

any living thing that is a part of an aquatic ecosystem

water quality

the fitness of water source for a given use such as drinking, fishing, or swimming


the gaseous envelope surrounding the Earth; the air

water cycle

the natural process of evaporation and condensation, driven by solar energy and gravity, that distributes the Earth's water as it evaporates from bodies of water


to change from a liquid shape into vapor


the part of the world in which life can exist; living organisms and their environment


the passage of water through a plant to the atmosphere

acid rain

rain or other precipitation containing a high amount of acidity

surface water

precipitation that runs off the land surface


a form of water, such as rain, snow or sleet that condenses from the atmosphere and falls to the Earth's surface


precipitation not absorbed by soil


a low-lying area where the soil is saturated with water


the solid part of the Earth consisting of the crust and the outer mantle


soaked with moisture

ground water

water that flows or collects beneath the Earth's surface in saturated soil or aquifers


an underground layer of sand, gravel, or rock that holds water in pores or crevices

recharge areas

water that soaks into and refills an aquifer


the movement of water through the water cycle


all the land from which water drains into a specific body of water


a stream that flows into a larger stream or other body of water

watershed address

the watershed, sub-watershed, and sub-sub-watershed that includes a particular location


the high ground where precipitation first collects and flows downhill in tiny trickles too small to create a permanent channel


the part of the stream where water collects to flow downstream, including the stream-bed, gravel bars and stream banks

perennial stream

a stream that flows for most of or all of the year

intermittent stream

a stream that flows again at different times of the year

point-source pollution

water pollution that comes from a single source or outlet

non-point pollution

water pollution that comes from a combination of many sources rather that a single outlet


silt, sand, or rocks and other matter carried and deposited by moving water


the wearing away of land


pertaining to physical geography


a behavior or trait that increases a specie's chance of survival in a specific environment


a respiratory organ that enables aquatic animals to take oxygen from water and to excrete carbon dioxide


a wing or paddle-like part of a fish used for propelling, steering, or balancing in the water

swim bladder

an air-filled sac near the spinal column in many fishes that helps maintain buoyancy


any of the small, stiff fat plates that form the outer body covering of most fish

stream bed

the bottom of the stream channel

lateral line

an organ running lengthwise down the sides of fish, used for detecting vibrations for pressure changes


an animal that lives by capturing and eating other animals


an animal that is eaten by a predator


microscopic free floating plant or animal like organisms


a group of individuals of the same species occupying a safe area


a group of plants and animals living and interacting with one another in a particular place


the natural environment in which organisms normally live, including the surroundings and other physical conditions needed to sustain it


the act of actively seeking after and using an environmental resource (such as food) in limited supply by two or more plants or animals


the function position, or role of a species within an ecosystem


of or having to do with life or living organisms; organic


nonliving; not derived from living organisms; inorganic

carrying capacity

an ecosystem's resource limit; the maximum number of individuals in a population that the ecosystem can support


an organism that is able to produce its own from non-living materials, and which serves as a food source for other organisms in a food chain


an organism that feeds on another organism in a food chain


an organism such as bacterium or fungus that feeds on and breaks down dead plants or animals, making essential components available to other organisms

food chain

a series of plants and animals linked by their feeding relationships

food web

many interconnected food chains within an ecological community

energy pyramid

a graphical representation designed to show the relationship between energy and trophic levels of a given ecosystem

trophic levels

a group of organisms that occupy the same position in a food chain; each step of an energy pyramid

natural selection

the natural process in which those organisms best adapted to the conditions under which they live survive and poorly adapted forms are eliminated


a community of organisms together with their physical environment and the relationships between them

aquatic ecosystems

an ecosystem organized around a body of water


a large stream


a body of flowing water


a large body of standing water


a body of standing water small enough that sunlight can reach the bottom across the entire diameter


a wetland dominated by reeds and other grass like plants


a low-lying area where the soil is saturated with water


the part of a body of water continuously moving in a different direction

oxbow lake

crescent-shaped lake formed when a bend of a stream is cut off from the main channel


to serve as a protective barrier to reduce or absorb the impact of other influences


the number and variety of living things in an environment


an area of deeper, slower moving water in a stream


an area of shallow, faster-following water in a stream


an animal without a spinal chord

stream bank

the shoulder-like sides of the stream channel from the water's edge to the higher ground nearby

riparian zone

land next to the stream, starting at the top of the bank, with heavy plant cover on either side


the flat land on both sides of a stream, into which the stream's extra water spreads during a flood

first-order stream

a small stream with no tributaries coming into it


an aquatic invertebrate that feeds by cutting and tearing organic matter


an aquatic invertebrate that feeds on fine material


an aquatic invertebrate that eats aquatic plants (algae)


fisherman, especially one fishing for pleasure

filter feeders

an aquatic animal that feeds by filtering tiny organisms or fine particles of organic matter from water that passes through it

pond succession

the natural process by which sediment and organic material gradually replace the water volume of a pond


loose material that results from natural breakdown; material in early stages of decay


ocurring or living in the absence of oxygen

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