Terms used to describe the position of an organism relative to its substratum (e.g. rocky or sedimentary seabed) or the water column
Substratum (surface) - position relative the surface of hard or soft substratum
|Epilithic||Growing on the surface of rock or other hard inorganic substrata.|
|Epibenthic||Living on the surface of the seabed.|
|Epifaunal||An animal living on the surface of the substratum (McLeod, 1996).|
|Epifloral||A plant living on the surface of the substratum (McLeod, 1996).|
|Epiphytic||Growing on the surface of a living plant but not parasitic upon it (McLeod, 1996).|
|Epizoic||Growing or living on the exterior of a living animal but not parasitic upon it.|
|Epipelic||An organism that moves over the surface of sediment or living at the sediment / water interface|
Substratum (body)- position relative to the body of the hard or soft substratum.
|Infaunal||Benthic animals which live within the seabed.|
|Interstitial||Relating to the system of cavities and channels formed by the spaces between grains in a sediment (interstitial space).|
|Lithotomous||Relating to an organism that burrows into rock (Lincoln et al., 1998).|
|Endozoic||Living within the body of an animal (Lincoln et al., 1998).|
|Endophytic||A plant living within another plant (Lincoln et al., 1998).|
Water column - position within the water column
|Pleustonic||Living permanently at the water surface due to their own buoyancy, normally positioned partly in the water and partly in the air.|
|Neustonic||Living on or under the surface film of open water.|
|Pelagic||Inhabiting the open waters of the sea or ocean, excluding the bottom layers (Lincoln et al., 1998).|
|Demersal||Living at or near the bottom of a sea or lake, but having the capacity for active swimming (from Lincoln et al., 1998).|
|Hyperbenthic||Living above but close to the substratum (from Lincoln et al., 1998).|
- Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F., 1998. Dictionary of ecology, evolution and systematics. 2nd ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- McLeod, C.R., 1996. Glossary of marine ecological terms, acronyms and abbreviations used in MNCR work. In: Marine Nature Conservation Review: Rationale and methods, (ed. K. Hiscock), pp 93-117. Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee.