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Wetlands: Glossary

A

abundant
lots of something
agriculture
related to farming
anaerobic
living without oxygen
aquatic
living in water
aquifers
underground water storage
archeological
related to the study of ancient people

B

brackish
a mixture of sea water and fresh water

C

chemical reactions
a scientific process that involves rearranging the chemical structure of a molecule
consumes
eats
contaminant
harmful substance deposited in the air or water or land
contiguous
touching or near

D

decomposing
to break something down
dredged
dug up

E

ecosystems
habitats
erosion
to move soil from one location to another through water, wind, etc
estuaries
areas near the ocean where salt and fresh water mix together

I

invertebrates
animals without backbones

M

microscopic
so small it can only be seen through a microscope

N

non-native
does not normally grow or exist in that location
noxious
harmful

P

peat
decayed plant material that burns well and is used a fuel
photosynthesis
the process that allows plants to convert sunlight into food
pollutants
waste products that are harmful
primary consumers
animals at the first level of a food chain who eat mostly plants
properties
the qualities of an object that define it
purifiers
things that clean

R

respiration
a plant's version of breathing
runoff
water that drains or flows off the surface of the land

S

saturated
full, no more room, super wet
sediments
fine dirt and soils that sink to the bottom of a body of water

T

toxins
poisons

U

urban expansion
the process in which towns and cities grow - through more building and creating - spreading out

V

vertebrates
animals with backbones

W

water cycle
the continuous circulation of water in systems throughout the planet, involving condensation, precipitation, runoff, evaporation, and transpiration
water treatment system
a process that cleans water - either natural or man-made
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