Glossary

Quick Access:

[ A - F ] [ G - O ] [ P - Z ]
[ Back To The Menu ]


Terms found in Forest Puzzles

*Acetate
A synthetic material derived from cellulose.

*Aerial Photos
Photographs taken from the air; used to identify major features of the land.

Alpine Region
A region in the mountains above the timberline (or tree line).

Archaeologist
A scientist who studies past cultures by analyzing their artifacts.

Artifact
A human-made object belonging to a past culture.

Bacteria
Simple, one-celled living things found throughout the environment.

*Biltmore Stick
A measuring stick used to determine a tree's diameter and estimate its wood volume.

Broadleaf
A plant that bears leaves, such as oak, maple or alder, rather than needles.

Brown Kraft
A strong, unbleached paper used to make brown paper bags and boxes.

Buffer Area
A protected area around a stream or other feature where human use is restricted.

Canopy
The layer(s) of tree branches, needles and leaves that shade the forest.

Cavity-nester
A bird that nests in holes made in snags or dead standing trees.

Cellulose
The main component of plant cell walls and a fiber used in many products.

Chlorophyll
The green plant pigment that absorbs the sunlight needed for plants to produce their own food.

Climax Stage
The final successional stage which persists and reproduces itself under stable conditions.

Compaction
The result to soils that are compressed by activity (vehicles, heavy machinery, even heavy foot or animal traffic).

Competition
In a forest, plants, animals and trees compete for water, sunlight and nutrients.

Cord
One cord equals a pile of wood 4 feet by 4 feet by 8 feet.

Decompose
To break down organic material, generally through the action of bacteria and fungi.

*Diameter Tape
A special measuring tape used to measure and convert a tree's circumference to its diameter.

Disturbance
An event such as a fire, windstorm or timber harvest that alters succession.

Ecologist
A scientist who studies inter-relationships between living things and their environments.

Engineered Wood Product
Lumber or panels made by bonding smaller pieces of wood together.

Erosion
The wearing away of the soil by wind, water and/or gravity. Human activity can accelerate erosion.

Even-aged
A stand of trees that are all approximately the same age.

Fingerjointing
A way of connecting two pieces of lumber end-to-end by cutting "fingers" that interlock and gluing them together.

Forest Management
Human choices and actions to make use of and/or care for the forest. Forests may be managed to meet one, several or many goals, such as, preserving wilderness, producing lumber, protecting habitat, or providing recreation.

Fuel
Whatever is available to feed a fire, such as fallen or standing dead wood, fallen branches and leaves, dry shrubs, etc.

Fungi
A group of small, plant-like living things that lack chlorophyll and cellulose. The fungi include mushrooms, molds and mildews.

[ A - F ] [ G - O ] [ P - Z ]
[ Back To The Menu ]

*GIS Map
A computer-generated image that translates survey or satellite data into detailed maps. GIS stands for Geographic Information System.

*Groundwood Paper
A low-cost paper that is pulped mechanically. It yellows with age because the lignin is not removed. For example, telephone directories are made from groundwood paper.

Habitat
Everything (food, water, space and shelter) an animal or plant needs to survive and reproduce.

Hardwood
A broadleaf tree or the wood from such trees (oak, alder, maple).

*Hydrologist
A scientist who studies water, its movement, occurrence, quantity and quality.

*Hydropulper
A giant "blender" used to beat recycled fibers into pulp for papermaking.

*Increment Borer
A tool used to take a "core sample" from a living tree to determine its age, growth rate and health.

Laminate
To combine several thin layers into one thick piece.

*Lignin
A tough, durable plant substance deposited in cell walls, especially in wood.

Log Flume
A chute for sliding logs into a body of water, used in the days before roads were built into forests.

Lumber
Timber that has been sawed into planks, boards, etc.

Microorganism
A living thing, such as bacteria or yeast, visible only with a microscope.

Mycorrhizae
A beneficial relationship between tiny strands of fungus and plant roots. Mycorrhizae enhance the uptake of nutrients and water from the soil.

Newsprint
A low-cost, low-grade paper used to print newspapers.

Nonrenewable Resource
Resources such as oil, coal, natural gas, gold and copper, that cannot be replaced after use.

*Non-structural
Part of a structure that is not needed for its support, such as an interior wall.

Nurse Log
A decaying log that provides habitat for many plants, animals and microorganisms.

Organic
Something living or derived from living things. Soil is organic; rocks are inorganic.

Organism
Any living form of life.

[ A - F ] [ G - O ] [ P - Z ]
[ Back To The Menu ]

Partial Removal
Removal of selected trees from a forest.

Permeability
A measure of how quickly soil allows water to flow through it.

Petroglyph
A prehistoric carving or drawing on rock.

Pharmaceutical
A drug or medicine.

Pioneer Plants
The first plants to grow in an area after a major disturbance (fire, harvest, etc.).

Prescribed Fire
A fire set purposely and confined to a specific area for forest management.

Pulp
Cellulose fibers used for making paper products. The process of breaking wood down into usable fibers.

Rayon
A fabric or thread made from wood fibers.

Renewable Resource
A natural resource that may be replenished through natural cycles and sound management. The sun, wind, wetlands, forests and croplands are examples of renewable resources.

Riparian Zone
A zone of land along a river, stream or other body of water.

Root Wad
A upended mass of roots.

*Sawyer
A worker in a sawmill who decides the best way to saw logs into lumber.

Snag
A standing dead tree; an important source of forest habitat.

Softwood
A cone-bearing tree or wood from such trees (Douglas-fir, cedar, pine).

Spore
Released by fungi for reproduction; equivalent to a seed, but simpler.

Stand
A distinct group of trees distinguishable from nearby stands.

Steppe
A vegetation zone characterized by grasses, shrubs and few trees.

Stud
An upright piece (usually made of wood or steel) used to frame a wall.

Subalpine Region
A region found in mountains just below timberline (or treeline).

Succession
A predictable natural pattern of changing conditions and species over time.

*Taxol
A chemical, derived from the Pacific yew tree, used to treat ovarian cancer.

Thinning
Reducing the number of trees in a stand. Trees from a pre-commercial thinning are not marketable. Trees from a commercial thinning are.

Timber
A stand of trees suitable for sawing into lumber.

*Timber Cruiser
A worker who determines the amount of timber in an area of forest.

*Torula Yeast
A product made from wood sugars recovered from the pulping process and used in baby foods, baked goods, vegetarian foods and beverages.

Transpiration
The process by which plant tissues release water.

Underburns
Fires that burn across the forest floor and kill grasses, shrubs and small trees.

Uneven-aged
A forest where the trees are different ages.

Virgin Fiber
Wood fiber that has never been recycled. Virgin fibers are made from wood.

Vole
A small rodent most closely related to lemmings and muskrats.

Wetland
An area which is regularly wet or flooded; a wetland generally has standing water part of each year.

White Ledger
A high-grade, bleached paper commonly used for copy paper and other office paper.

Wildfire
A fire burning out of control.

Woody Debris
Fallen dead wood or large branches; an important source of nutrients and habitat. Woody debris is also a source of fuel for fire.

[ A - F ] [ G - O ] [ P - Z ]

(* Term found only in the Forest Puzzles exhibit.)

Back to the Main Menu