MarLIN Glossary

Glossary items


Biological - a geographical variant of a marine community, or a variant which includes a conspicuous or abundant species not present in the main community (based on Hiscock & Connor , 1991, from Cotton, 1912).


Environmental - a component of the physical, chemical, ecological or human environment that may be influenced by natural events or anthropogenic activity (Tyler-Walters & Jackson, 1999).


Bent or curved like a sickle; hooked (OED, 1990).


1) The animal life of a given region, habitat or geological period; 2) A descriptive catalogue of the above (from Lincoln et al., 1998).

feature (conservation)

Used to refer to specific habitats and species that may characterize a location and to habitats and species that are listed as of marine natural heritage importance (Hiscock, 2018).   


The potential reproductive capacity of an organism or population, measured by the number of gametes (eggs) or asexual propagules.


The distance across water over which the wind blows from a particular direction uninterrupted by land.


See 'fjard'.


Filamentous slender and thread-like (Kozloff, 1996).


See 'suspension-feeders'.


See 'suspension-feeder' .


A small flattened appendage predominantly used for balance by fish species (OED, 2005).


See 'fjord'.


In Scotland - a lengthy estuary or arm of the sea (from Stiegeler, 1976).


Form of asexual multiplication involving division of the body into two or more parts each or all of which can grow into new individuals (Barnes et al. , 1993).


A crack in a hard substratum > 10 mm wide at its entrance, with the depth being greater than the width at the entrance (cf. 'crevice').


A series of shallow basins connected to the sea via shallow and often intertidal sills. Fjards are found in areas of low-lying ground which have been subject to glacial roughening. They have a highly irregular outline, no main channel and lack the high relief and U-shaped cross-section of fjordic inlets. (See Earll & Pagett, 1984 and Howson, Connor & Holt, 1994 for discussion and classification of types.)


A long, narrow-sided inlet of the sea having a shallow entrance sill. Fjords are glacially over-deepened and may have a series of sills and basins, often having deep water at the head. They are commonly surrounded by high ground and in cross-section, have a deep 'U'-shape. (See Earll & Pagett, 1984 and Howson, Connor & Holt, 1994 for discussion and classification of types.)


Shaped like a fan, fanlike (Brusca, 1980).


Soft, limp, flabby (Brusca , 1980).


Acronym to denote the descriptive features used to identify fish species where : F = Fins; L = Lateral line; E = Eyes; M = Markings (inc. appendages); M = Mouth (inc. barbels); and S = Size.

flood tide

Incoming or rising tide.


1) The plants or plant life of a particular region, habitat or geological period. 2) A descriptive catalogue of the above. (from Lincoln et al. , 1998).


Bearing leaves or leaf-like structures; having the appearance of a leaf.


In brachiopods (Brachiopoda), the hole in the posterior of the dorsal valve through which the pedicle passes (Stachowitsch, 1992).


The part of the intertidal zone that lies between normal high- and low-water marks (from Allaby & Allaby, 1990). In English law, the landward limit has been defined as the line of medium high tides between the springs and the neaps, while the seaward limit is assumed to be the low-water line of ordinary tides (from Dowrick, 1977).


In conservation assessment - the degree of sensitivity of habitats, communities and species to environmental change (Ratcliffe, 1977) (cf. sensitivity).


Leaf-like structure formed by the fusion of the stem and foliage in flowerless plants (OED, 1990). In seaweeds a term applied to that part of the thallus other than the attachment structure (Fletcher, 1987).


In the shape of a funnel.


Streamlined and 'torpedo' shaped, or spindle shaped and tapering at both ends.