• Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

    Mississippi

    National River & Recreation Area Minnesota

Glossary

  • Allelopathic: A plant that produces chemicals that kill off surrounding plants as a defense mechanism.
  • Biome: A community of living organisms in an ecological area.
  • Bunchgrass: A type of grass that grows in clusters, it is characteristic of shortgrass prairies, which are drier than tallgrass prairies. Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Blue Stem) is the quintessential bunchgrass.
  • Cover crop: A species such as wheat, oats, or annual rye that will kill many weeds while preventing erosion.
  • Dessication: dehydrating, drying out
  • Diversity: Refers to the number of different species present in a habitat. It is often an indication of health because ecosystems with more species are more stable.
  • Exotic: Same as non-native. Plants that evolved somewhere else, usually Europe and Asia, and were brought to North America. They are often thought of as bad, and many are invasive, but many grow just fine here without dominating habitats.
  • Forb: Wildflower
  • Glyphosate: Commonly used herbicide in prairie restoration. It breaks down into safe components, such as water and nitrogen. Sold under the brand names of Kleenup and Roundup, among others.
  • Harrow: Till, cultivate, rake, or break soil into clods. Also refers to a farm implement that is used to harrow.
  • Herbaceous: Shortest layer of vegetation in a forest, it is comprised of grasses and forbs, sometimes with small shrubs as well.
  • Invasive species: Species that, once established, is difficult to get rid of. They are often exotic, but there are native invasive species as well.
  • Mesic: Refers to amount of precipitation that an area receives. Mesic means that the area is not dry, and also is not wet. It also refers to a type of habitat and the plants that are found there. For example, a mesic oak savanna has different plants that characterize it from a dry oak savanna.
  • Mulch: Protective covering, either organic or man-made, that is put over the ground to protect plants from freezing and drying out, and to retard weed growth.
  • Non-native: Same as exotic. Plants that evolved somewhere else, usually Europe and Asia, and were brought to North America. They are often thought of as bad, and many are invasive, but many grow just fine here without dominating habitats.
  • Oak savanna: Ecosystem with scattered oak trees and a ground layer dominated by grasses and forbs. It is a transition habitat between prairies and woodlands.
  • Prairie: Ecosystem dominated by grasses and wildflowers.
  • Pre-settlement: Before Europeans settled North America, when Native Americans were the only people impacting the landscape.
  • Seedbed: Ground that the seeds will be planted and germinate in.
  • Sodgrass: A type of grass that spreads horizontally, like the grass in a lawn, and is characteristic of tallgrass prairies. Andropogon gerardii (Big Blue Stem) is a sodgrass.
  • Stratified: Being exposed to cold before germination will happen. This mimics natural cycles of winter frost and then spring germination.
  • Undisturbed: Habitats that have not been modified by humans. This includes farming, development, logging, etc.

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