Glossary of ALL Terms for Data on EOL


c3 photosynthetic plant
one of three metabolic pathways for carbon fixation in photosynthesis, along with C4 and CAM. This process converts carbon dioxide and ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP, a 5-carbon sugar) into 3-phosphoglycerate through the following reaction:\r\n\r\nCO2 + H2O + RuBP → (2) 3-phosphoglycerate\r\n\r\nThis reaction occurs in all plants as the first step of the Calvin–Benson cycle.
c4 photosynthetic plant
a photosynthetic process in some plants. It is the first step in extracting carbon from carbon dioxide to be able to use it in sugar and other biomolecules. It is one of three known processes for carbon fixation. The C4 in one of the names refers to the four-carbon molecule that is the first product of this type of carbon fixation.
growing in clusters or tufts
A trimethylxanthine in which the three methyl groups are located at positions 1, 3, and 7. A purine alkaloid that occurs naturally in some organisms, including tea and coffee.
calabrian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
A deep valley with steep sides, typically of limestone, in part submerged by the sea.
calcareous ooze
Calcareous ooze is a marine sediment composed primarily of the shells--also known as tests--of foraminifera, coccolithophores, and pteropods. This is the most common pelagic sediment by area, covering 48% of the world ocean's floor. This type of ooze is limited to depths above the Carbonate Compensation Depth at time of burial. It accumulates more rapidly than any other pelagic sediment type, with a rate that varies from 0.3 - 5 cm / 1000 yr.
calcareous soil tolerance
The relative tolerance of the plant to calcareous soil. Calcareous soil is defined as soil containing sufficient free CaCO3 and other carbonates to effervesce visibly or audibly when treated with cold 0.1M HCl. These soils usually contain from 10 to almost 1000g/kg CaCO3 equivalent.
USDA PLANTS database Characteristics Data Fields.
Calcium carbonate (CO3Ca), calcite structure
calcium (ca)
calcium carbonate
calcium carbonate
A carbonate salt that has formula CO3Ca
calcium phosphate
A calcium salt composed of calcium and phosphate/diphosohate ions; present in milk and used for the mineralisation of calcified tissues.
calcium sulfate
calcium sulfate dihydrate
calcium sulfate hemihydrate
A feature formed by the collapse of land following a volcanic eruption.
callovian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cam photosynthetic plant
Crassulacean acid metabolism. A carbon fixation pathway that evolved in some plants as an adaptation to arid conditions.[1] In a plant using full CAM, the stomata in the leaves remain shut during the day to reduce evapotranspiration, but open at night to collect carbon dioxide (CO2). The CO2 is stored as the four-carbon acid malate in vacuoles at night, and then in the daytime, the malate is transported to chloroplasts where it is converted back to CO2, which is then used during photosynthesis.
Cambisols combine soils with at least an incipient subsurface soil formation. Transformation of parent material is evident from structure formation and mostly brownish discoloration, increasing clay percentage, and/or carbonate removal.
cambrian period
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian series 2 epoch
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian series 3 epoch
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian stage 10 age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian stage 3 age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian stage 4 age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cambrian stage 5 age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
campanian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
Open shrubland and savanna in the north of Brazil and in Colombia and Venezuela, with low, sparse vegetation growing on sandy soils mostly within terra firme land in the Amazon. It can be of the ‘forested’ type, similar to a gallery forest, ‘wooded’ where the trees are shorter, and finally ‘grassy-woody’, where it occurs in wet plains near rivers and lakes. Amongst the more frequent plant families are the Arecaceae, Bromeliaceae, Clusiaceae, Humiriaceae, Marantaceae, Meliaceae and Rapateaceae.
Artificial watercourse with no flow or a controlled flow used for navigation, drainage or irrigation.
Cane is any of various tall, perennial grasses with flexible, woody stalks
A long, hollow or pithy, jointed woody stem that usually lives only one or two years.
A vegetation layer which is formed by a collection of individual plant crowns, themselves constituting part of the aboveground portion of a plant community.
Relatively narrow, deep depression with steep sides, the bottom of which generally has a continuous slope.
capitanian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
capitulum length
carangiform swimming
Body/caudal fin propulsion, with the vast majority of movement is concentrated in the very rear of the body and tail. Carangiform swimmers generally have rapidly oscillating tails.
A bony or chitinous case or shield covering the back or part of the back of an animal (as a turtle or crab).
carapace length
carbon biomass
The amount of carbon present in biomass
carbon dioxide partial pressure
In a mixture of gases, such as air, CO2 has a partial pressure: the hypothetical pressure of that gas if it alone occupied the entire volume of the original mixture at the same temperature.
carbon fixation
A metabolic process in which carbon (usually derived from carbon dioxide) is incorporated into organic compounds (usually carbohydrates)
carbon-to-nitrogen ratio
The percentage of organic carbon divided by the percentage of total nitrogen in organic material.
USDA Plants database. Characteristics Data Fields.
carboniferous period
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
The dead body of an animal.
carcharhiniform swimming
Body/caudal fin propulsion, retaining eel-like body movements and exploiting interactions between the sidewash from an anterior median fin with the next posterior fin, increasing its effective angle of attack
carnian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
organism that eats mostly or exclusively animal tissue
organism that eats mostly or exclusively animal tissue
Crustacean body sizes
carnivorous plant
plants that trap and consume animals or protozoans
carnivorous scavenger
organism that feeds on dead animal material
A fen which has developed to the point where it supports trees.
dead and decaying flesh of an animal
Skeletal tissue that is avascular, rich in glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and typically includes chondrocytes within isolated lacunae. Cartilage tissue is deposited by chondroblasts
Catadromous fish live in fresh water, breed in the sea; the most remarkable are freshwater eels of genus Anguilla, whose larvae drift on the open ocean, sometimes for months or years, before travelling thousands of kilometres back to their original streams.
catadromous (leaves)
a venation pattern in which the first vein in a given segment arises on the side of the leaf segment toward the base
where activity is distributed approximately evenly throughout the 24 h of the daily cycle, or when significant amounts of activity, particularly feeding and/or traveling, occur within both the light and dark portions of that cycle.
an inflorescence with a monopodial growth habit, composed at flowering stage of indeterminate, first order inflorescence axes and sessile, unisexual flowers each subtended by conspicuous inflorescence bracts
Naturally formed, subterranean open area or chamber.
cave entrance
cave floor
cave system
A collection of caves interconnected by enterable passages or linked hydrologically or a cave with an extensive complex of chambers and passages.
cave wall
Minute protoplasmic masses that make up organized tissue, usually consisting of a nucleus which is surrounded by protoplasm which contains the various organelles and is enclosed in the cell or plasma membrane. Cells are the fundamental, structural, and functional units of living organisms.
cell depth
A 1D measurement of a single cell. Typically, this is the distance along a straight line connecting the dorsal-most part of the cell to the ventral-most part of the cell. It is perpendicular to the length axis and the width axis.
Created by Anne Thessen
cell diameter
cell length
A 1D measurement of a single cell along its longest axis. Typically, this is the distance along a straight line connecting the anterior-most point and the posterior-most point.
Created by Anne Thessen
cell mass
Mass of one cell.
cell maxarea/maxvolume
ratio of Maximum Cell Surface Area to Maximum Cell Volume.
Leblanc, K., Arístegui, J., Armand, L., Assmy, P., Beker, B., Bode, A., Breton, E., Cornet, V., Gibson, J., Gosselin, M.-P., Kopczynska, E., Marshall, H., Peloquin, J., Piontkovski, S., Poulton, A. J., Quéguiner, B., Schiebel, R., Shipe, R., Stefels, J., van Leeuwe, M. A., Varela, M., Widdicombe, C., and Yallop, M.: A global diatom database – abundance, biovolume and biomass in the world ocean, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., 5, 147-185, doi:10.5194/essdd-5-147-2012, 2012.
cell minarea/minvolume
ratio of Minimum Cell Surface Area to Minimum Cell Volume.
(Leblanc, K., Arístegui, J., Armand, L., Assmy, P., Beker, B., Bode, A., Breton, E., Cornet, V., Gibson, J., Gosselin, M.-P., Kopczynska, E., Marshall, H., Peloquin, J., Piontkovski, S., Poulton, A. J., Quéguiner, B., Schiebel, R., Shipe, R., Stefels, J., van Leeuwe, M. A., Varela, M., Widdicombe, C., and Yallop, M.: A global diatom database – abundance, biovolume and biomass in the world ocean, Earth Syst. Sci. Data Discuss., 5, 147-185, doi:10.5194/essdd-5-147-2012, 2012.)
cell size
cell surface area
Surface area of a cell.
cell volume
Volume of one cell.
cell width
A 1D measurement of a single cell. Typically, this is the distance along a straight line connecting the left-most part of the cell to the right-most part of the cell. It is perpendicular to the length axis and the depth axis.
Created by Anne Thessen
A consumer that feeds by piercing and sucking fluid from individual cells, of either a single celled or a multicelled organism
component that keeps the agglutinated particles of the non-massive skeleton together.
cenomanian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
cenozoic era
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
central nervous system
the core nervous system that serves an integrating and coordinating function. In vertebrates it consists of the neural tube derivatives: the brain and spinal cord. In invertebrates it includes central ganglia plus nerve cord.
cephalopod feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on cephalopods
A usually tadpole-shaped larval trematode worm that develops in a molluscan host from a redia.
An infectious life-cycle stage, which can infect by direct skin penetration (e.g. Schistosoma sp.) or ingestion (e.g. Fasciola sp.). Cercariae develop in and emerge from the intermediate invertebrate (snail) host.
In Ceriantharia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa), pelagic larvae resembling medusae with flagella and a circlet of marginal tentacles
tropical savanna ecoregion of Brazil
A soft, white, porous limestone.
chalk soil
changhsingian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
The physical confine of a river, slough or ocean strait consisting of a bed and banks.
A shrubland area found primarily in regions with a Mediterranean climate (mid, wet winters and hot dry summers) often shaped by wildfires.
chattian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
chela width
a pincer-like organ terminating certain limbs of some arthropods
a symbiosis in which a bacterium provides chemically-derived energy and nutrients, often via the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide, to a heterotrophic organism.
A consumer that derives energy from a chemosynthetic symbiont
chemosynthetic habitat
marine environments supporting chemosynthetic life, for instance, hydrothermal vents and seeps, whalefalls
organisms that obtain energy by the oxidation of electron donors in their environments
Chernozems are soils with a thick black surface layer that is rich in organic matter.
a young bird that leaves the nest soon after hatching and typically walks or hops near its family group until it is able to fly
a widely distributed group of hydrolytic enzymes that catalyze the breakdown of chitin
chlorophyll a concentration
concentration of chlorophyll A in seawater at a location where this organism has been observed or collected.
chordotonal organs
arthropod sensory structures consisting of special sensilla called the scolopidia, which are mechano-transducers and respond mainly to stretch or flexion. In insects, they consist of bundles of internal sensilla, each of which has a cap cell, an enveloping cell and one or more sense cells.
A dry (salt) lake in the Saharan area of Africa that stays dry in the summer, but receive some water in the winter. This water may come as a groundwater discharge.
ciliary gliding
a type of locomotion in which an animal moves on a secreted layer of mucus, propelled by the beating of cilia. It is characteristic of small, soft-bodied invertebrates.
Martin, G.G. Ciliary gliding in lower invertebrates. Zoomorphologie 91, 249–261 (1978).
ciliary-mucus feeder
a consumer that feeds using rows of cilia carrying a mucus sheet across some structure while water is passed through or across it
cinder cone
A cone built almost entirely of loose volcanic fragments called cinders (pumice, pyroclastics, or tephra). They are built from particles and blobs of congealed lava ejected from a single vent. As the gas-charged lava is blown violently into the air, it breaks into small fragments that solidify and fall as cinders around the vent to form a circular or oval cone. Most cinder cones have a bowl-shaped crater at the summit.
cingulum width
A 1D measurement along the shortest axis of a cingulum
Contributed by Anne Thessen
A deep natural hollow near the crest of a mountain, usually formed by a glacier.
cisuralian epoch
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
A bibliographic reference for the resource.
cites appendix i
Appendix I lists species that are the most endangered among CITES-listed animals and plants. They are threatened with extinction and CITES prohibits international trade in specimens of these species except when the purpose of the import is not commercial, for instance for scientific research. In these exceptional cases, trade may take place provided it is authorized by the granting of both an import permit and an export permit (or re-export certificate). Article VII of the Convention provides for a number of exemptions to this general prohibition.
cites appendix ii
Appendix II lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled. It also includes so-called "look-alike species", i.e. species whose specimens in trade look like those of species listed for conservation reasons. International trade in specimens of Appendix-II species may be authorized by the granting of an export permit or re-export certificate. No import permit is necessary for these species under CITES (although a permit is needed in some countries that have taken stricter measures than CITES requires). Permits or certificates should only be granted if the relevant authorities are satisfied that certain conditions are met, above all that trade will not be detrimental to the survival of the species in the wild. (See Article IV of the Convention)
cites appendix iii
Appendix III is a list of species included at the request of a Party that already regulates trade in the species and that needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent unsustainable or illegal exploitation. International trade in specimens of species listed in this Appendix is allowed only on presentation of the appropriate permits or certificates. (See Article V of the Convention)
Incorporated populated place.
A group of hydrous aluminium phyllosilicate (phyllosilicates being a subgroup of silicate minerals) minerals (see clay minerals), that are typically less than 2micrometres in diameter. Clay consists of a variety of phyllosilicate minerals rich in silicon and aluminium oxides and hydroxides which include variable amounts of structural water.
clay sediment
Sediment characterised by an average particle diameter between 1 and 3.9 micrometers.
clay soil
clear water
An open area in a forest.
A high, steep, or overhanging face of rock.
whole plant lianescent or scandent; eg: liana or vine
ascending a steep object
a comparatively thin, typically horizontal layer within a fluid, in which a property of the fluid varies greatly over a relatively short vertical distance
borne close together, but not fused
cloud forest
clutch/brood/litter size
Single birth offspring quantity. The proportion or number of offspring produced from a single pregnancy (mammals) or ovulation (fish) or nesting (birds).
A length unit which is equal to one hundredth of a meter or 10^[-2] m.
[database_cross_reference: NIST:NIST]
Cubic centimeter. A volume unit which is equal to one millionth of a cubic meter or 10^[-9] m^[3], or to 1 ml
cnidaria feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on cnidarians
co-roost with
coastal dune
coastal inlet
An opening of the sea into the land.
coastal land
The general region of indefinite width that extends from the sea inland to the first major change in terrain features.
coastal plain
An area of flat, low-lying land adjacent to a seacoast and separated from the interior by other features.
coastal scrubland
A coastal scrubland is a scrubland which is part of a coast.
coastal water
coastal wetland
A wetland associated with the part of the land adjoining or near a sea or ocean.
A rock or rock fragment with a particle size between 64 and 256 mm.
cobble sediment
Sediment characterised by an average particle diameter between 64 and 256 mm.
coconut plantation
coefficient of variation
a normalized measure of dispersion of a probability distribution of frequency distribution.
a multinucleate cell which can result from multiple nuclear divisions without their accompanying cytokinesis. Research suggests that coenobium formation may be a defense against grazing in some species.
coffee plantation
wound in a continuous series of loops
cold seep
A marine benthic biome which is determined by a cold seep.
collection code
The name, acronym, coden, or initialism identifying the collection or data set from which the record was derived.
collection ID
An identifier for the collection or dataset from which the record was derived.
colony density
in a colonial organism, the number of individuals per area or per volume
Common species and uncommon species are designations used in ecology to describe the population status of a species. Commonness is closely related to abundance. Abundance refers to the frequency with which a species is found in controlled samples; in contrast, species are defined as common or uncommon based on their overall presence in the environment. A species may be locally abundant without being common.
The exchange of information between objects, people, or groups.
Competitors are species that thrive in areas of low intensity stress and disturbance and excel in biological competition. These species are able to outcompete others by most efficiently tapping into available resources. Competitors do this through a combination of favorable characteristics, including rapid growth rate, high productivity and high capacity for phenotypic plasticity.
one who brings together dispersed materials
The aerobically decomposed remnants of organic materials.
A leaf having two or more distinct leaflets that are evident as such from early in development
compound eyes
A light sensing organ composed of multiple ommatidia, visual units consisting of a limited number of rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells, cornea-secreting epithelial cells, interommatidial pigment cells, and sometimes crystalline cone cells
concave mirror eyes
single-chambered eyes in which the image is formed not by a lens but by a concave mirror; the back of the eye contains a mirror that reflects light to the photoreceptors.
The concentration of a chemical compound
A quality inhering in a substance by virtue of the amount of the bearer's there is mixed with another substance.
movement occurring in snakes and other legless organisms that consists of gripping or anchoring with portions of the body while pulling or pushing other sections in the direction of movement
Seed-bearing organ on gymnosperm plants. A type of fruit, usually woody, ovoid to globular, including scales, bracts, or bracteoles arranged around a central axis, especially in conifers and cycads.
coneplushalfsphere minus 40percent
Olenina et al 2006
coniacian age
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
conifer woodland
A conifer woodland is a woodland which has a tree community primarily composed of coniferous trees, from the Division Pinophyta, also known as Coniferophyta or Coniferae.
coniferous forest
A coniferous forest biome is a forest biome which contains densely packed populations or communities of coniferous trees, strongly limiting light penetration to the forest floor.
conservation dependent
The category is part of the IUCN 1994 Categories & Criteria (version 2.3), which is no longer used in evaluation of taxa, but persists in the IUCN Red List for taxa evaluated prior to 2001. It was assigned to species or lower taxa which were dependent on conservation efforts to prevent the taxon becoming threatened with extinction.
conservation management process
Conservation-focused active ecosystem management process. An active management process which has the conservation of an ecosystem, or a part thereof, as its primary objective.
conservation status
degree of conservation concern as assessed by a government agency or other recognized authority such as IUCN or CITES
The name of the continent in which the Location occurs.
continental island
An island that lies on a continental shelf.
continental rise
A slope which bridges a continental slope and an abyssal plain, is formed by the accumulation of sediments transported from a continental slope by processes including turbidity currents, and has a gradient less than a continental slope yet greater than a continental shelf.
continental slope
A slope which is part of the seafloor and extends from the end of the continental shelf (the shelf break) to the continental rise.
coordinate uncertainty in meters
The horizontal distance (in meters) from the given decimalLatitude and decimalLongitude describing the smallest circle containing the whole of the Location.
post-naupliar life stage of a copepod. All copepodid stages are characterised by two pairs of unsegmented swimming appendages, and an unsegmented "hind-body" comprising the thorax and the abdomen.
copepodid stage 3
The third post-naupliar life stage of a copepod. All copepodid stages are characterised by two pairs of unsegmented swimming appendages, and an unsegmented "hind-body" comprising the thorax and the abdomen. (
copepodid stage 4
The fourth post-naupliar life stage of a copepod. All copepodid stages are characterised by two pairs of unsegmented swimming appendages, and an unsegmented "hind-body" comprising the thorax and the abdomen. (
copepodid stage 5
The fifth post-naupliar life stage of a copepod. All copepodid stages are characterised by two pairs of unsegmented swimming appendages, and an unsegmented "hind-body" comprising the thorax and the abdomen. (
an organism that feeds on feces
coral bleaching
Coral bleaching occurs when coral polyps expel algae that live inside their tissues. Normally, coral polyps live in an endosymbiotic relationship with this algae crucial for the health of the coral and the reef. The algae provides up to 90% of the coral's energy. Bleached corals continue to live but begin to starve after bleaching; some corals recover.
coraltraits tar gz
coral reef
The marine coral reef biome comprises constructional wave-resistant entities which are primarily built by corals and are often cemented together. The growth of these structures is aided by zooxanthellae, algae that are symbiotic with the reef-building corals.
coral reef back reef
coral reef crest
coral reef flat zone
coral reef fore reef
coral sand
a collection of sand of particles originating in tropical and sub-tropical marine environments from bioerosion of limestone skeletal material of marine organisms. One example of this process is that of parrot fishes which bite off pieces of coral, digest the living tissue, and excrete the inorganic component as silt and sand. The term "coral" in coral sand is used loosely in this sense to mean limestone of recent biological origin; corals are not the dominant contributors of sand particles to most such deposits. Rather, remnant skeletal fragments of foraminifera, calcareous algae, molluscs, and crustaceans can predominate. Because it is composed of limestone, coral sand is acid-soluble. Chemically similar to calcareous ooze, but coarser grained.
In cnidarians, term for the external skeleton of a polyp
corallite width
The width of a corallite (skeleton of a single coral polyp), typically measured in association with another trait (e.g., eggs per polyp).
corneal eyes
Because of the difference in refractive index between air and water (or corneal tissue), a curved cornea is an image-forming lens in its own right. Its focal length is determined by the radius of curvature of the cornea. Many corneal eyes (eg: in land vertebrates) also have lenses, but the lens is flattened and weakened compared with an aquatic lens; most of the refractive power is provided by the cornea. Corneal eyes cannot focus in aquatic habitat.
colonies which have horizontal interlocking branches and also have short upright branchlets, usually used for some Acropora species
The role played by a substance in enhancing the appearance or odour of the human body; a name given to the substance itself or to a component of it.
cotton plantation
A vascular leaf formed at the first shoot node of a plant embryo or a seedling
A deprecated term no longer recognized in the ICZN; formerly used for either syntype or paratype [see ICZN Recommendation 73E]. [Zoo.]
counting unit
what is being counted, eg: individuals, cells, polyps, colonies
country code
The standard code for the country in which the Location occurs. Recommended best practice is to use ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 country codes
The full, unabbreviated name of the next smaller administrative region than stateProvince (county, shire, department, etc.) in which the Location occurs.
cow shed
crab feeder
a consumer that feeds primarily on crabs, Brachyura.
crater lake
A lake contained within a volcanic crater.
An organism that moves along via movements of its legs, appendages (e.g. parapodia and chaetae) or muscles
Behavior related to the movement resulting by dragging the body close to the ground or substrate
active primarily during dawn and dusk
cretaceous period
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
crinoid feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on crinoids
critically endangered
A taxon is Critically Endangered when the best available evidence indicates that it meets \r\nany of the criteria A to E for Critically Endangered, and it is therefore considered to be facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild
critically imperiled
At very high risk of extirpation in the jurisdiction due to very restricted range, very few populations or occurrences, very steep declines, severe threats, or other factors.
cruising feeder
An organism which obtains food by foraging while cruising.
crustacean feeder
a carnivore that feeds primarily on crustaceans
crustlike, growing tight against the substrate
cryogenian period
International Chronostratigraphic Chart:
Cryosols comprise mineral soils formed in a permafrost environment. Where water is present, it occurs primarily in the form of ice. Cryogenic processes are the dominant soil-forming processes.
a plant that grows low to the ground, has numerous small leaves and a closed, tightly-packed canopy with dense non-photosynthetic living and dead plant tissues below the canopy
cypress swamp
A cypress swamp is a swamp which has a plant community dominated by Cupressaceae, often swamp cypresses. Swamp cypresses typically belong to the genus Taxodium or the species Glyptostrobus pensilis and Actinostrobus pyramidalis.
From Environment Ontology
cysticercus stage
The larval form of any of the Taenia tapeworms