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Glossary

Agricultural approach: known vegetation management solutions copied from farming experience. An effort to control nature.

Community: a grouping of organisms which grow together in the same general place and have mutual interactions. Relatively undisturbed plant communities are used as benchmarks for restoration, revegetation, rehabilitation and mitigation projects.

Ecological approach: known vegetation management learned from scientific research. A holistic way of working with nature.

Ecotype: a strain or race of a species which is differently adapted to the environment than other populations of the same species.

Erosion Control: the work necessary to stabilize soils/slopes during a construction project or anytime soils are disturbed. Vegetation is one of those stabilizers.

Executive Memorandum (EM): A strong recommendation of policy from the White House. In 1994, the EM on beneficial landscaping called for increased use of native plants.

Executive Order(EO): an 1999 order signed by the President that has the weight of law. In 1999, EO13112 was directed at invasive species control, and restoration of native plants as part of continued vegetation management.

Forb: a specialized term for any non-grassy herbaceous plants. Broad-leaved herbaceous plants.

Guidance: Federal suggestions as to how EO, EM, or Acts of Congress should be implemented.

Hardiness: a horticultural term that indicates a plants tolerance to site conditions, especially cold temperatures.

Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM): controlling plants with a combination of tools, including mowing and spraying, that results in a healthy plant community, less maintenance, reduced costs, and possibly improved esthetics.

Invasive Plants*: plants that have been introduced into an environment in which they did not evolve and thus usually have no natural enemies to limit their reproduction and spread. These plants have been called a variety of terms over time: exotics, aliens, weeds, nonnatives, pest plants, biological pollution, nonindigenous harmful species, and more. Many are found on noxious weed lists. Some native plants can also be invasive.

Kuchler: A.W. Kuchler's Potential Natural Vegetation of the United States was completed at the University of Kansas in 1966 and revised in 1985. The Kuchler map gives a quick glance to presettlement vegetation and a plant community descriptions, a clue to plant associations.

MOU (memorandum of understanding): is an interagency written agreement.

Mitigation: restoration, recreation, reclamation, revegetation of wetland vegetation and function in exchange for unavoidable wetland or other impacts.

Native wildflowers: Forbs and grasses that were known to exist in any given region at time of European settlement.

Noxious weeds: plants determined by State and Federal agriculture departments to be harmful to human health, detrimental to agriculture, and/or upset the balance of natural areas. Plants that are native, like poison ivy, can be found on these lists. By law, once listed, noxious weeds must be controlled by landowners. Not all States have these lists.

Pioneer species: a plant found in early stages of succession, usually able to grow on bare soils in full sunlight under variable conditions of soil moisture and soil nutrients.

Remnant: a fragment of an original plant community remaining after the destruction of the bulk of the community by agriculture or development. (or other disturbances, natural or manmade activities)

Reclamation: replanting of highly disturbed soils after original cover has been removed.

Re creation: planting a plant community to a site on which it did not historically exist.

Rehabilitation: repairing an existing community by careful removal of invasives and planting natives only if they do not exist in the seed bank of the site.

Restoration: planting a plant community to a disturbed site where it originally existed.

Revegetation: replanting of soils after original cover has been removed.

Roadside: the green and growing area from the edge of pavement to the right-of-way fence. This right-of-way has a variety of uses, yet is expected to look good, serve as a recovery area, allow water runoff, accommodate signing and utilities, add a visually-pleasing drive, provide habitat for birds and small mammals, protect natural heritage, store snow during winter, and more.

Shrub-carr: a shrub community or intermediate stage between a wet grassland and wet forest type.

Site: a place or location.

Succession: change over time and space.

Vegetation: the total of the plant communities of a region.

Vegetation Management: controlling plants, primarily for safety reasons (visibility and obstacles) especially encroachment of trees and shrubs), traditionally through fence to fence mowing and blanket spraying.....

Weeds: Common term for invasive plants controlled over time by agricultural practices.

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This page last modified on August 4, 2004


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