Glossary Terms and References from "Our Place"
Allegheny River A river that rises in the state of Pennsylvania and flows north into New York, meaders back south through Pennsylvania again to join the Monongahela River at Pittsburgh which is the beginning of the Ohio River.
aerial photo A photograph taken from above in aircraft or satellites, for example.
Bernheim Forest A 14,000 acre forest, arboretum and nature preserve located at Clermont, Kentucky with hundreds of labeled plants and trees. A portion of the area is open to the public. (Bernheim Arboretum & Research Forest).
biennial A plant having a life cycle that normally takes two seasons from germination to death to complete; flowering biennials usually bloom and fruit in the second season.
biodiversity The variety of plant and animal life in a particular habitat (or on the planet as a whole)
confluence The flowing together of streams, especially where they meet. This term can also refer to the stream that is thus formed.
corymbs Flat-topped or convex flowering parts of plants in which the individual flower stalks grow up from various points on the main stem to approximately the same height. The outer flowers open first.
Cumberland Gap A natural passageway through the Cumberland Mountains section of the Appalachians, near the area where the boundaries of the states of Kentucky, Tennesssee, and Virginia meet. This gap was much traveled by pioneers heading west in early American history.
deciduous (In reference to plants) Shedding foliage at the end of the growing season.
drainage basin The geographical area drained by a stream and its tributaries.
ecosystem A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their physical environment, such as a forest, or a swampland.
escarpment This term is used to describe a transition between two land areas that differ in elevation. This transition zone often involves steep slopes or cliffs.
evergreen (In reference to plants) Having foliage that persists and remains green throughout the year.
fronds Compound leaves of a fern, palm, or cycad.
fumitory family Erect or climbing herbs of the northern hemisphere such as bleeding heart, Dutchman's breeches, and squirrel corn.
habitat The type of environment in which an organism or group normally lives or occurs. Synonym: home ground
herbaceous A nonwoody herb or plant.
hydroelectric power Electricity generated by the energy (flow) of water.
impoundment In reference to water, an impoundment is a body of water created by placing a barrier, (dam), to stop the flow of water. Synonym: reservoir.
introduced species Refers to a species that does not naturally occur in a given area, but has instead been brought in by other means.
karst (landscape) In geology, refers to a limestone landscape characterized by underground water erosion features such as sinkholes, gorges, and caverns.
Monongahela River A river that rises in northern West Virginia and flows north into the state of Pennsyvlania where it joins the Allegheny River (see above), at Pittsburg to form the Ohio River.
Muldraugh Hill An escarpment in central Kentucky that seperates the Bluegrass Region from the Pennyroyal. This escarpment feature blends into the Pottsville Escarpment on the east. (See escarpment above and Pottsville Escarpment below.)
Murphy's Pond A bald cypress swamp in Western Kentucky and one of the most important ecosystems in the state. The area is home to 200 species of birds, 45 species of mammals, 40 species of reptiles, and 30 species of amphibians.
native species A species naturally occurring in a given area.
naturalized species An introduced species that has occurred for such a length of time that it appears native. (See introduced species above.)
nocturnal Active during the night.
panicles Compound branched clusters of flowers.
perennial In reference to plants, lasting for three seasons or more.
physiographic Refers to the physical features of the earth's surface.
Pottsville Escarpment An escarpment of steep sandstone cliffs in Eastern Kentucky. (See Muldraugh Hill and escarpment above.)
Reelfoot Lake A natural lake formed in the state of Tennessee, (near the Kentucky border), by the New Madrid earthquakes of 1811 and 1812.
species Individual organisms which are similar in apprearance due to their genetic likeness.
wild river (classification) Refers to a river that has excellent water quality and flows freely in a primitive area.