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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
River and Stream Ecosystems

Aquatic Organisms

An organism (animal or fish) that lives or depends on the water for survival or reproduction.

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Commercial Fishing

The act of fishing with the intent to make a profit from selling the catch to consumers.

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Crevice

A narrow crack or opening.

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Ecosystem

The living organisms and the nonliving environment interacting in a given area.

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Erosion

The wearing away of land or soil by the action of wind, water, or ice.

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Exotic Fish

Plants or animals introduced into a community that are not native to the area.

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Fish Passages

Any artificial flow passage that fish negotiate by swimming or leaping.

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Habitat

The place or community where a plant or animal lives and grows.

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Hydroelectric Dams

Dams that use the water from rivers to produce electricity.

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Invertebrates

Animals that lack a backbone, including molluscs, (eg. clams), crustaceans (eg. crabs), insects, and worms.

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Juvenile

A juvenile is any fish that is not yet sexually mature.

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Larva

The first stage of development after hatching for many fish and invertebrates.

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Larvae

Plural of larva.

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Lotic

Flowing waters, including creeks, streams, and rivers.

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Migration

Movement, usually seasonal, from one region or climate to another for the purpose of feeding or breeding.

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Native Fish

A fish species which developed and evolved in a particular area.

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Nutrients

Food needed for growth by living things.

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Peak Discharge

Large daily fluctuations in the amount of water being released by the dam.

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Predators

Animals that prey on other animals for their food.

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Sediment

Fine soil or mineral particles that settle to the bottom of the water or are suspended in it.

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Synonyms

Words or phrases which have the same meaning.

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Threatened Species

A species that is likely to become endangered if not protected.

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Water Current

The flow of water in a river.

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Yolk-sac

A source of food for fish species before they can begin feeding with their mouth.

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Michigan Tech > Tech Alive > Series Index > Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum > Module Index > Ecosystems