to adjust to surrounding condition, often by making changes.

a change in an organism that enables it to survive in a certain place.

adaptive radiation
the rapid development of many species from a single ancestral population.

adaptive shift
change from a behavior or habit characteristic of the ancestral group of plants or animals to a strikingly different pattern. Hawaiian examples are carnivorous caterpillars, nectar-eating finches, woody violets, flightless birds, and flightless insects.

brought into an area by humans, deliberately or by accident. Synonyms include introduced, non-native, and exotic.

related to or growing about the tree line.

artesian springs
fresh water that has escaped through cracks in caprock, both below sea level and on land.

of or relating to birds.

avian malaria
an infectious bird disease spread by mosquitoes. It infects a wide range of birds in Hawai`i, has probably contributed to the extinction of some native species, and limits the distribution of other species to higher and drier forests. First reported in Hawai`i in 1947.

capable of decaying and being absorbed by the environment.

biological control
the control of a plant or animal (pest) by the use of living organisms (usually a predator, parasite, or disease o f the pest) rather than chemical herbicides or pesticides.

biological diversity
the rich variety of genetic material, life forms, and ecological roles represented by different species.

the plants and animals of an area.

in Hawai`i, wetland that usually forms in mountain areas of heavy rainfall and poor drainage.

mixture of fresh and salt water.

grazing or eating tender shoots, twigs, and leaves of trees and shrubs.

in ecology, overhead layer formed by leaves and branches of an ecosystem's tallest plants.

consolidated coral, soil, clay, and rock fragments found on coastal plains of some older islands. Caprock is relatively impermeable so it retards the flow of groundwater to the sea.

captive breeding
an animal species management technique where male and female individuals of the same species are captured, transferred to a safe environment, and encouraged to reproduce so that their offspring can be released to restored or improved habitat in the wild. It is usually a final option employed for the most critically endangered species.

weather conditions in a specific area over an extended period of time.

coastal plain
plain formed by sediments deposited during ancient times when sea levels were higher.

coastal strand
one of the island vegetation zones; area along the seashore.

colonizing species
organisms that first settle a new area.

a naturally occurring assemblage of plants and animals living and interacting in a defined area. The same groups of species also occur elsewhere, and the community is usually named for dominant plants or animals or major physical components.

in ecology, to contend for the same, usually limited, resources.

the act or process of making denser or more compact; a reduction to a denser form (as from water vapor to water).

wise use of natural resources to assure their continued availability.

conservation education
planned effort to teach others about protecting, managing, and caring for natural resources. Emphasis is less on nature study than on ecological processes, politics, real-world problems and decisions. Focuses on renewable natural resources (plants and animals) and on key manageable resources (soil, water, air). Sometimes used synonymously with environmental education.

critically endangered
almost extinct, with only a few remaining individuals of any one species.

in reference to native plants, thorns, poisons, or scents that repel grazing or browsing animals.

the process of clearing forests.

of reduced quality or standard; worn down by erosion.

in this context, the spread of organisms from one place to another.

changed or altered by animals, plants, natural forces and/or humans.

disturbed forest
a forest that has changed or been degraded due to human impact.

variety of forms or qualities.

dryland forest
in Hawai`i, a forest community of mixed grasses, shrubs and trees, usually on the drier leeward sides of islands below 6,000 ft. elevation.

a community of living organisms including producers, consumers, and decomposers and the environment they occupy.

in immediate danger of becoming extinct.

endangered species
a species in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Both state and federal wildlife agencies keep an official endangered species list which includes some, though not all, of the species biologists consider endangered.

unique to an area; occurring naturally nowhere else on Earth.

endemic species
a species unique to a given area.

all surroundings that have an influence on an organism.

environmental education
planned teaching about all aspects of the environment including preservation, threats, benefits, and dangers to humans. Includes conservation education.

a plant that grows on another plant but does not derive nutrients from it.

formed by wearing away.

the gradual wearing away of earth by water, wind and ice.

change over time of the genetic traits within a species.

no longer in existence; no longer living.

the dying out of a species.

an animal with domesticated ancestors that has returned to the wild and is no longer dependent upon humans for survival.

fire adapted
plants stimulated to resprout or reproduce after a fire. Many introduced grasses in Hawai`i are fire adapted, but most native plants are not.

an area of land covered largely with trees. Forests are vital parts of our global ecosystem supplying oxygen, habitat for wildlife, timber and recreation areas.

forest reserve
in Hawai`i, government of private land or lands set aside by the governor with the approval of the Department of Land & Natural Resources as forest reservations for the purpose of enhancing the water, habitat, aesthetics and productivity of forest lands.

forest resources
products or services that forests provide, such as timber and recreation.

having to do with inherited characteristics, such as the color of an animal's body or a plant's flower.

ground cover
plants and decaying organic materials covering the ground.

water found beneath the Earth's surface.

the area where an animal or plant naturally lives and grows.

member of a subfamily of birds that is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. Honeycreepers provide perhaps the best example of avian adaptive radiation in the world. Over half of the surviving species are considered endangered, and many are confined to high elevations where mosquitoes, which transmit avian malaria, are absent or scarce.

the offspring of two plants or animals of different races, breeds, varieties, or species.

the ability to resist or overcome the effects of infection.

in nature, it is often a fast change caused by human activity or natural disasters.

naturally occurring in one area, but not unique to that area.

a relationship of mutual need.

a close or dependent connection between organisms or between an organism and its environment.

in this context, brought to an area by humans, either purposely or accidentally.

an animal that has no backbone.

set apart from others or alone

jet stream
a high-altitude, fast-moving wind that blows from west to east usually at middle and upper latitudes; occurs 30,000-40,000 feet above sea level and moves approximately 120 miles/hour.

land use
a particular manner of using land, such as for residences or recreation.

away from prevailing wind.

balance or harmony.

to take care of, preserve.

relatively moist; the intermediate area between wet and dry conditions.

the essentially uniform local climate of a small site or habitat.

a genetic change in an organism resulting in a new form that can be inherited by its offspring.

in this context, species that first arrived in an area without the assistance of humans. Includes endemic (found naturally only in that area) and indigenous (found naturally in that area, but also in other areas).

natural area
an area set aside for preservation of a representative sample of natural communities for educational, scientific, and future needs. These may also be called reserves, preserves, or sanctuaries by different organizations, and in different countries.

natural communities
interrelated groups of living organisms in a habitat.

species that were introduced to an area with the assistance of humans. Not occurring naturally in an area.

family, related group, kin.

of, relating to, or derived from living organisms.

a plant or animal.

the condition of having a population so dense that environmental quality deteriorates.

pioneer species
organisms that first settle an area.

organism that transfers pollen from an anther to a stigma of a flower, in the process of fertilization.

number of a particular species in a defined area.

moisture falling out of the atmosphere as rain, snow, fog, sleet or hail.

the killing of animals by other animals.

animal that lives by preying upon or eating other animals.

protection, as of natural resources; implies protection without consumptive use.

an area set aside for the protection and preservation of natural resources, such as plants and animals; in Hawai`i, these areas must usually be managed to prevent deterioration caused by introduced plants and animals.

animals that are killed or eaten by other animals.

in Hawai`i, a forested area where rainfall is abundant, found primarily on windward slopes between 2,000-6,000 ft. elevation.

replenishment of groundwater by downward movement of water.

the renewal of forest cover by seeding or planting.


able to be made new or replaced.

land set apart by the state or federal government for special purposes.

a cluster of leaves in close circles arising from a short stem.

water that flows along the surface of the Earth in streams, rivers, ponds, lakes or as sheet-flow during a heavy rain.

a tropical or subtropical grassland with scattered trees and shrubs, and drought-resistant undergrowth. In Hawai`i, usually found on dry leeward sides of islands below 3,000 ft. elevation.

a young plant grown from a seed.

area with low, woody plants.

the formation of a new species through evolution.

basic category for classifying living things. A group of similar individuals that can usually breed among themselves and produce fertile offspring.

one of seven Hawaiian vegetation zones; this region is only found on the islands of Maui and Hawai`i above 9,000 ft.

subalpine forest
forest located between 6,000-9,000 ft. elevation where drifting clouds create a wet, cool environment. Only the islands of Maui and Hawai`i are high enough to support this zone.

surface water
water on the land surface such as in streams, rivers, ponds, or lakes.

likely to become endangered.

trade winds
in Hawai`i, winds blowing frequently from the northeast toward the equator.

tropical rainforests
on a worldwide basis, a broad vegetation type with high rainfall (40-400+ inches/year) and high average temperatures. A few thousand years ago the rain forest belt covered 14% of the earth's surface; it may now occur on 7%, but contain over 50% of the earth's species. Tropical rain forests are now being destroyed more rapidly than any other vegetation type.

low growth on the floor of a forest, including seedlings and saplings, shrubs and herbs.

undisturbed forest
forest that has not been significantly disturbed by the activities of humans, where the original composition of flora and fauna is essentially intact, and where processes such as nutrient and water cycles and evolution are essentially unmodified by humans.

vegetation zone
geographical area characterized by a particular plant or group of plants growing in association.

an animal with a backbone, such as a mammal, fish, reptile or bird.

open to attack or damage.

water cycle
the cyclical movement of water between the air, land and sea.

water table
the upper surface of groundwater.

a land area in which water drains to a particular body of water--can be viewed as a giant "bathtub" in the terrain.

land with high soil moisture, such as swamps or marshes.

wildlife refuge
area set aside for the protection of certain species.

into or facing the prevailing wind.

an area marked by distinct physical conditions and populated by distinct communities of organisms.

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