Definitions and Context
Adaptation: traits developed over time that help organisms
meet their basic needs and survive.
Context: The adaptation of thorns discourages animals from munching on juicy cactus.
Ballast water: water carried in the bottom of a boat for
Context: When ballast water is collected from a natural body of water it can carry plants and animals to new homes.
Banned: forbidden by law
Context: Apple snails are banned in Texas; no person may import, possess, sell, or place them into water of this state except as authorized by rule or permit.
Exotic: a species that is not native to a certain region
Context: Ringtail cat are native to Texas, but exotic to England.
Generalist: organisms that can use a wide variety of food,
water sources and living spaces
Context: Invasives are often generalists, finding ways to survive in new surroundings.
Habitat: place where an animal or plant naturally lives
or grows, eats, drinks, and finds the shelter it needs
Context: The golden-cheeked warbler finds its habitat in the oak cedar woodlands of central Texas.
Invasive: a species that grows or reproduces quickly, spreads
and lives over time
Context: Giant salvinia is an invasive plant because it grows so quickly and chokes out other plants in its habitat.
Native: a species that originated in a certain region
Context: Bluebonnets are native to central Texas.
Population: the number of a particular species in a defined
Context: The population of Gulf Coast Toads in this watershed may be affected by the use of pesticides upstream.
Preserve: an area that is set aside to protect and preserve
Context: Students worked to clear invasives from a preserve.
Specialist: organisms that have very specific requirements
for food, water sources or living spaces. They often utilize a very specialized
food source or living space and are very successful as long as the food or
space is available.
Context: Endangered species are often specialists that have lost their unique food or homes.
Species: a population that are more or less alike and that
are able to breed and produce fertile offspring under natural conditions;
a category of biological classification immediately below the genus or subgenus.
Context: Black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler are two different bird species that depend on central Texas habitat to survive.
Survive: stay alive
Context: All living things need habitat; food, water, shelter, and space in a proper arrangement to survive.