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Glossary: F is for ... family, food chain, forestry
by Ariadne Unst

Glossary of F...

family
A taxonomic category ranking below an order and above a genus.
For plants, family names end in "-aceae", added to the stem of a prominent genus within the family.
For animals, family names end in "-idae".

fascicle
A small cluster or bundle (one of the common leaf arrangements).

fecundity
The capacity to produce or propagate abundantly.

fern
A group of about 11,000 species of vascular seedless plants in the division Pterophyta. About 75% of the fern species are found in the tropics.

fen
A bog with springs as a water source other than precipitation.

filament
A fine thread; in a stamen, the stalk supporting the anther.

fitness
The health of a species measured in terms of physiology and future reproductive success.

flower
A specialized shoot containing a short stem with four kinds of part, derived from highly specialized leaves: calyx; corolla; androecium; gynoecium.

fluvial
Produced by stream action.

foliose
Bearing leaves.

follicle (n.)
A dry fruit, usually many-seeded. Opens only along one side as in milkweed.

food chain
The passage of energy (in the form of food) from producers to the organisms that feed upon them. The number of links in a food chain varies (from producer to top predator), but seldom exceeds five. Most communities contain food webs, i.e., food chains that are interlinked.
Trees are producers. Their seeds, fallen leaves, live leaves, bark, and so on are consumed by insects and animals.

forb
A non-grass grasslike herbaceous plant.

forest
An ecosystem dominated by trees. Examples of forest biomes are: boreal forest; tropical savanna; deciduous forest.

forestry
The science of caring for the forest.

fossil
Geologically preserved remains of an organism that lived in the past.

fossil fuel
Burnable chemicals that are the resulting remains of prehistoric animals and plants. Carbon based remains of organic matter geologically transformed into coal , oil, and natural gas.

frond
A fern leaf.

frost ring
A zone of injured cambium tissue caused by frost.

fundamental niche
The total range of environmental conditions suitable for the existence of a species, without effects of interspecific competition and predation.


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