KEY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

Backwater:  A part of a river which receives little to no current, in which the water becomes stagnant.

Berm: a raised, flat strip of land that borders a river or canal, often used to separate two areas.

Biodiversity: Short for 'biological diversity', the variation of living species on Earth, including plants, animals and fungus.

Ditch systems: A series of depressions in the land used to channel water, often for plant irrigation.

Floodplain: A flat area of land next to a river, in which water spills into during times of flooding.

Flow deflectors: Artificial constructs which create variable flow conditions in a river. Different flow conditions offer different benefits to rivers.

Flow diversity: The variability of the speed of flowing water within a river. Fast water scours the gravel and oxygenates the water, while slower flow offers other species the chance to thrive.

Hinged trees: Trees which have been purposely cut and lowered into a river to act as flow deflectors and create new habitats for river species.

Littoral: The area of a river, stream, sea or ocean that is closest to the shore.

Non-native invasive species: A species which has been introduced by humans outside of its natural range, which then poses a threat to local native wildlife.

Refuge area: An area which offers an organism protection, either from the elements or from predators.

Scrapes: Shallow pools where water overflow can sit.

Sediment: A material formed of rocks, minerals and organic debris that is taken from one area and distributed to another.

Sedimentation: The process of depositing sediment (see above). 

Siltation: The deposition of tiny particles of rock and minerals across and area; a common form of pollution.

Succession: The changing of the variety of species within an ecosystem over time.

Wetlands: A wetland is a distinct ecosystem that is flooded by water, either seasonally or permanently.