adapt – to modify, often to better respond to new conditions

aerate – to mix air with a substance (like soil or water)

agriculture – the practice of managing plants, animals, or fungi and their ecosystem to grow food, fiber, fuel, and medicines

anatomy – the study of bodily structures in both plants and animals

biodiversity – biological diversity in an environment, indicated by numbers of different species of plants and animals

biomass – living or previously living material; organic matter

botany – the study of plants

breeding – the processes which produce offspring for plants and animals

coastal – located at the water’s edge

coastal upland habitat – habitat along a coastline that is above the average high tide line

composta nutrient-rich soil amendment

cover cropsa crop grown specifically for the protection and enrichment of the soil 

crop – any cultivated plant, fungus or algae that harvested by humans, for use as food, clothing, medicine, fuel, animal feed, etc.

crop rotation – the practice of changing what crop is planted on a parcel of land from season to season

cultivate – to prepare and care for something so that it grows and improves

dredge – to scoop out, often referring to removal of sediment in a river or harbor

ecology – a field of science that studies the relationships between living and non-living things

ecosystem – a community of plants, animals and their non-living environment

emergent wetland – wetland with upright, water-loving plants that are partially beneath and partially above the water

erosion – the process by which water and/or wind transport soil and sediment from one location to another

estuary – site where a river meets the ocean; often characterized by tidal changes and mixing of saltwater with freshwater

family – a group of species that share characteristics; e.g. mammals have fur and warm blood and give birth to live children

fertility – the ability to grow and support new life

forage – to seek plants to eat

freshwater wetland – habitat characterized by wet or flooded soils and plants that prefer to grow in fresh (not salty) water

groundwater- water found beneath the surface of the earth

habitat – home for plants and animals

integrated pest managementa pest and disease control method that encourages natural, environmentally friendly approaches and emphasizes the growth of a healthy crop with the least possible disruption to ecosystems 

invasive species – a plant or animal introduced where it was not previously found, often by human disturbance; invasive species can lack predators and outcompete existing species for resources

littoral – relating to or situated on a shoreline

migration – when an organism moves from one region to another, often with a change of seasons.

migratory habitat – a location where animals that migrate pause for food and shelter

native – original to or originating from a particular place

nitrogen – an element that allows plants to make chlorophyll (the green in their leaves and stems) and are part of the building blocks of cells

nitrogen input – a source of nitrogen (an element essential for plant growth), such as vehicle emissions and chemical fertilizers; too many nitrogen inputs causes an overabundance in an ecosystem, with negative effects

non-point source pollution – pollution that comes not from one single area but from many areas, such as runoff from roadways or smog from highways

nutrient – a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life

organic matter – living or previously living material; biomass

organically grown – grown in a way which encourages the cultivation of soil life and organic matter

overharvesting – harvesting of a resource until it is no longer able to replenish itself

oxygen – an element that animals breathe in and that plants release during photosynthesis

pests – insects considered harmful to plants or animals 

petroleum byproduct – material made using crude oil (gasoline, plastics, lubricants, asphalt)

photosynthesis – the process by which light from the sun helps plants make food from water and carbon dioxide in the air

pollinate – to move pollen from male flowers to female flowers, enabling production of fruit and seeds

pollutant – a substance that makes land, air, or water unsafe to use

predators – an organism that primarily obtains food by killing and consuming other organisms

rainwater capture – the process of catching and holding rainwater for later use

raised beds – a style of container for above-ground growing

restore – to bring back; return to its original condition

riprap – a type of coastal defense made from rocks and installed without mortar

row covera fabric used as protective covering for plants to extend growing season, and reduce effects of cold, wind, and insects 

seawall – a constructed barrier protecting land from the potentially destructive processes of rivers and oceans

second growth – habitat that has regrown after a major disturbance such as fire, clear cutting, or pest damage

soil – the upper layer of earth in which plants grow, comprising a mixture of organic matter and mineral particles

stormwater runoff – water from rain and snow that moves across the land, and especially across hard surfaces like roads and parking lots, instead of being absorbed into the ground

sustainable – capable of remaining diverse and productive for long periods of time

swamp – a wetland that has trees which create a canopy

tidal salt marsh – brackish or saltwater coastal habitat that is flooded and drained by the tides, where specialized salt- and water-loving plants are found; considered among the most biologically productive habitats in the world

tide – the rise and fall of sea water, caused by rotation of the earth and by the moon and sun orbiting around it

trellisa physical support for climbing plants 

understory – a layer of vegetation beneath the canopy of a forest

upland – an area of higher land

urban ecology – the scientific study of the relationship between living organisms and non-living elements of in a city (urban) environment

water quality – the chemical, physical, and biological properties of water

watershed – an area of land that drains into a specific water body

wetland – land saturated with water for all or part of the year