Glossary A to Z

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  • Ammonitrate

    Nitrogen fertiliser (NH4NO3) compound from ammonium nitrate. Fertilisers used primarily in France, they have the advantage of being more stable and do not return nitrogen into the atmosphere.

  • Avifauna

    (from the Latin “avis”, bird, and fauna) All birds in a given place or period of time.

  • Biomass

    Mass of all living materials per unit of area in terrestrial environment and per unit of volume in aquatic environment.

  • Booting

    Appearance of the stem in grass. This marks the transition between a plant with all its tillers at the vegetative stage and a stage where some tillers have an elongation of internodes. These tillers will have an apex at reproductive stage.

  • Drainage Basin

    An extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point (river, lake, ocean). A drainage basin is delimited by water sharing lines.

  • Effluent

    An outflowing of water from a natural body of water or from a human structure. Effluents are most often associated with polluted or wastewater.

  • Endophyte

    Refers to an organism living within a plant for at least part of its life without causing apparent disease. (Ex: mycorrhizal fungi). Endophytes of the genus neotyphodium are present in some forage grasses. Symbiosis between the grass and endophyte improves tolerance to drought and insect damage. Insect tolerance is due to the production of alkaloids. For certain combinations of plant X fungus and certain races of fungi, a production of alkaloids dangerous for mammals can occur. These combinations should be prohibited in agricultural use.

  • Flushing

    Point situated downstream of a catchment area, to which water leaving a catchment area flows.

  • Grasses

    Family of flowering plants, angiosperms, with cylindrical stems and inconspicuous flowers grouped into spikelets bearing bracts (called glumes) at the base.

  • Hydroponic (conditions)

    Referes to a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.

  • Legumes

    Fabaceae – Family of dicotyledonous, angiosperm plants, including trees, shrubs and herbs, whose fruit is a pod. These species have a characteristic flower with 5 petals and 10 stamens. Petals have a raised keel, two wings and two petals which can be welded and surrounding the reproductive organs (stamens and stigmas).

  • Lemma

    The lower of 2 bracts enclosing a grass flower.

  • Monoecious

    Refers to a species where each individual can produce gametes of both sexes. It is bisexual. This feature has the advantage of facilitating self-fertilisation (such as maize for example).

  • Morphogenesis

    Differentiation and growth of a tissue, organ or organism.

  • Nodules

    Small tumours that some plants develop on their roots, stems (Fabaceae) or leaves (many Rubiaceae) under the action of Actinobacteria fixing atmospheric nitrogen (Rhizobium sp., Actinomycetes, Mycobacterium sp.). These nods present the base of the symbiotic fixation of nitrogen.

  • Organ

    Set of tissues involved in performing the same function or functions. The word ‘organ’ is used to designate leaves of a plant or its stem, roots, etc.

  • Pedoclimatic (conditions)

    Characteristics of the soil (structure, texture, fertility, water resources) and air (temperature, rainfall, evaporation, light, wind) of the environment in which plants will grow.

  • Phenology

    The study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events that follow throughout the year. Phenological stages designate major transitions in the development of plants with appearance of new types of organs. This is a case of the run (appearance of a stem), the heading (appearance of head), flowering (appearance of flowers).

  • Photosynthesis

    Complex set of processes that enable chlorophyllous organisms to synthesise carbohydrates using light as a source of energy. We distinguish Oxygenic and Anoxygenic photosynthesis.

  • Protandry

    (= Sequential hermaphroditism): Type of hermaphroditism characterised by male gametes maturing before female gametes. The reverse condition is called Protogyny.

  • Protogyny

    Type of hermaphroditism characterised by female gametes maturing before male gametes. The reverse condition is called Protandry.

  • Re-booting

    Ability of forage grass to re-grow the ears after cutting.

  • Resistance

    It describes the manner in which a plant is behaving positively when confronted to a pest or a disease with a limited number of symptoms and little or no negative effect on its growth

  • Senescence

    Natural ageing of living structures.

  • Silage

    Method of preserving agricultural products, especially green forage, by placing them in silos. Under these anaerobic conditions, with help bacteria, a production of lactic acid and lowering of the pH occurs. This ensures survival of the forage. Grasses rich in soluble sugars, such as ryegrass, are particularly adapted to this practice.

  • Stress

    Response mechanisms displayed by an organism under constraints and pressures exercised upon it by its environment.

  • Talweg

    from the German word Thal “valley” and Weg “path”. Basic line of a valley.

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