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Glossary of Terms

AerobicLiving, active or occurring only in the presence of oxygen.
AlewifeA small food fish of the herring family.
Algae (Anabaena sp.) Chiefly aquatic, nonvascular plants.
AnaerobicLiving, active or occurring in the absence of free oxygen.
Benthic BarrierA growth-inhibiting, usually synthetic material; laid across infested areas of a lake bottom and secured with pins or weights; to control or eradicate invasive plants.
CladoceraMinute, chiefly freshwater crustaceans
DiatomsA class of minute, planktonic algae with silicified skeletons that form diatomite.
EpilimnionThe surface water of a lake, which is warm, well-mixed and high in oxygen.
Eurasian Watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) A particularly aggressive invasive aquatic plant with finely pinnate submersed leaves.
EutrophicationThe process through which a body of water becomes rich in dissolved nutrients but often shallow and seasonally deficient in oxygen. In essence, the dying of a lake.
HerbivorousFeeding on plants.
HypolimnionThe deepest layer of lake water, cold and devoid of oxygen.
Invasive PlantsNon-native plants which tend to spread aggressively.
LimnologyThe scientific study of physical, chemical, meteorological and biological conditions in fresh waters.
MesotrophicHaving a moderate amount of dissolved nutrients, ie. in the middle stages of eutrophication.
NannoplanktonThe smallest planktonic organisms.
OligotrophicDeficient in plant nutrients and having an abundance of dissolved oxygen with no marked stratification.
pHA measurement on a scale of 1 to 14 of alkalinity (greater than 7) and acidity (less than 7), with 7 representing neutrality.
PhosphorusA nonmetallic multivalent element of the nitrogen family which promotes plant growth in water. This is often found in detergents and fertilizers.
PhytoplanktonPlanktonic plant life.
PlanktonThe passively floating or weakly swimming (usually minute) plant or animal life of a body of water.
Rip-RapA foundation or sustaining wall of stones (as in deep water or or on an embankment) to prevent erosion.
Secchi DiskA yellow and black disk lowered into a body of water to measure water clarity.
StratificationThe process in which a body of water separates into distinct layers.
ThermoclineThe region in a body of water which separates warmer, oxygen-rich surface water from cold, oxygen-poor deep water.
TPTotal Phosphorous
TurnoverThe natural occurrence in most lakes, usually in spring and fall, in which the top water layers, previously separated (or stratified) by temperature, mix due to air temperature changes and wind and wave action.
Water MilfoilSee Eurasian Watermilfoil
Water ChestnutAn invasive aquatic herb of the evening-primrose family.
Water CloverA non-indigenous, amphibious plant resembling a four leaf clover with a long plant stalk.
WatershedAn area bounded peripherally by a water parting and draining into a particular body of water.
ZooplanktonPlanktonic animal life.

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