assessment of sustainability of our forests

Southern Forest Resource Assessment

data used to address Assessment questions
 

Draft Glossary of Terms

to appear as part of final report

 

Jump to:
A-E
F-J
K-P
R-S
T-Z

advance reproduction: the young trees in the understory of a forest stand that will grow when the overstory trees are cut and removed.

aquifer: an underground geological formation or group of formations that contain water, a source of ground water for wells and springs.

atmospheric deposition: the addition of elements or substances found in the air to the surface of the earth.

basal area: the area in square feet of the cross section at breast height of a single tree, a group of trees, or all of the trees in a stand, usually expressed in square feet per acre.

basin: the entire area drained by a river and its tributaries.

benthic: of or pertaining to the bottom of a stream, lake, sea, or ocean.

broad management class:  also referred to as "broad management type" or BMT, a classification of timberland based on forest type and stand origin.

channelization: the modification of a channel by clearing, excavation, realignment, lining, or other means to increase its capacity for water flow.

clearcutting: the removal of all the trees on a site for the purpose of utilization and to provide for regeneration of an even-aged stand of trees, usually of a species requiring full sunlight for proper development and growth.

commercial species:  tree species currently or potentially suitable for industrial wood products.

contaminant: a constituent that can impair the use of water.

conveyance: a channel or passage for conduction or transmission, as a pipe, canal, conduit, or ditch.

d.b.h.: diameter at breast height, usually assumed to be 4.5 feet.

dependency ratio: a rough estimate of the number of dependents per worker. The ratio is computed by dividing the number of people who are most likely to be dependent (those under age 19 plus those over 64) by the number of people in the working-aged population (ages 19 through 64).

direct effect: economic response in an industry that results from a change in that industry’s output.

easement: an interest in real property that conveys use or other rights but not ownership.

ecological section: an area or region of land designated for study purposes that has distinct geology, landforms, soils, flora, and fauna that set it apart from surrounding geographic areas.

economic multiplier: see response coefficient.

ecotone: a transitional zone between two adjacent communities, containing species characteristic of both as well as other species occurring only within the zone.

employee compensation: wage and salary payments as well as benefits including health and life insurance, retirement payments, and any other non-cash compensation; includes all income to workers paid by employers (p. 229, MN IMPLAN 1997b).

endangered species: a species or subspecies in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range, as rated and listed by the USDI FWS.

endemic (endemism): species restricted to a particular geographic area; for aquatic species, usually limited to one or a few small streams, a single drainage, or an ecological section.

environmental justice: the pursuit of equal justice and equal protection under the law for all environmental statutes and regulations without discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and/or socio-economic status. Presidential Executive Order No. 12898 (issued February 11, 1994) requires Federal agencies to respond to the issue of environmental justice by “identify[ing] and address[ing] disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental effects of its programs, policies, and activities on minority and low income populations.”

estuarine: of or relating to an estuary, which is an inlet or arm of the sea, especially the lower portion or wide mouth of a river where salty tide meets freshwater current.

evapotranspiration: loss of water from the soil, including that by direct evaporation and that by transpiration from the surfaces of plants.

even-aged management: timber management methods that result in the creation of forest stands in which all trees are essentially the same age.

extirpation: elimination of a species in part of its range.

Federal lands county: a county in which Federal lands made up 30 percent or more of the area in 1987.

fire-dependent: the characteristic of requiring periodic fire as part of the ecosystem.

floodplain: low, relatively flat land adjoining inland and/or coastal waters, which is subject to periodic flooding.

forest fragmentation: the breaking up of large, contiguous forested tracts into smaller or less contiguous tracts.

forest industry land:  land owned by companies or individuals operating primary wood-using plants.

Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA): a USDA Forest Service research program that periodically conducts a forest inventory for each State.

forest land:  land that is at least 16.7 percent stocked by forest trees of any size, or formerly having had such tree cover, and not currently developed for non-forest use.

forest type:  a classification of forest land based on the species forming a plurality of live-tree stocking.

forest: an assemblage of woody vegetation typically attaining positions in a plant community at the tallest level; attains height and diameter growth of canopy-layer trees within established averages for the species.

fragmentation: "the process by which a landscape is broken into small islands of forest within a mosaic of other forms of land use or ownership--note e.g. islands of a particular age class (e.g., old growth) that remain within areas of younger-aged forest -- note fragmentation is a concern because of the effect of noncontiguous forest cover on connectivity and the movement and dispersal of animals in the landscape" - definition from John A. Helms, ed., 1998. The Dictionary of Forestry. The Society of American Foresters, Bethesda MD.

fresh water: water that contains less than 1,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) of dissolved solids.

fungicides: chemicals used to kill unwanted fungi.

geomorphology: a science that deals with the land and submarine relief features of the earth’s surface and seeks a genetic interpretation of them; physiography.

gross regional product (GRP): a measure of total income in a given area. The GRP includes employee compensation, property income, and proprietary income plus indirect business taxes. The GRP is equal to total value added and is the local or regional equivalent of the national measure of economic growth, the Gross Domestic Product.

growing stock: the volume of sound wood in cubic feet (ft) in trees that are at least 5.0 inches (in.) in diameter at breast height (d.b.h.), from a 1-ft stump to a minimum 4.0 ft in top diameter (outside bark) of the central stem or to the point where the central stem breaks into limbs.

growth/removals ratio: a ratio obtained by dividing volume of timber growth by volume of timber removals during a particular time period, usually 1 year.

historic: relating to or existing in times of written history; Within the Assessment area, the historic period is considered to begin with the expedition of Hernando de Soto in the 1540’s.

hydric soil: a soil that is saturated, flooded, or ponded long enough during the growing season to develop anaerobic (oxygen-lacking) conditions that favor the growth and regeneration of hydrophytic vegetation.

hydrologic unit code (HUC): an eight-digit code used to catalog watersheds.

hydrologic unit: a geographic area representing part or all of a surface drainage basin or distinct hydrologic feature as delineated by the Office of Water Data Coordination on State hydrologic unit maps; each hydrologic unit is identified by an eight-digit number; in this assessment, hydrologic units are also referred to as watersheds.

hydrology: the science dealing with the study of water on the surface of the land, in soil and underlying rocks, and in the atmosphere.

impoundments: human-engineered and dammed lakes, ponds, and reservoirs.

indicator species: a species of plant or animal whose presence or absence indicates the general health of the community upon which the species is most dependent. Generally, providing for the needs of the indicator species will also meet the needs of most other organisms in the community.

indirect effect: the economic effect that occurs when a producer purchases goods and services from another producer, who, in turn, also purchases goods and services.

induced effect: the economic effect that occurs through the payment of wages to employees of directly or indirectly affected industries.

in-migration rate: the rate at which people move into a community or region over a given time period.

interest community (community of interest): group of individuals belonging to an organization that has an identifiable set of interests.

inventory elasticity: a measure of the responsiveness of harvest to changes in standing timber inventory.

karst: an area of irregular limestone in which erosion has produced fissures, sinkholes, underground streams, and caverns.

labor force: a group consisting of persons who are either working or looking for work.

labor market: a "place" in economic theory where labor demand and supply interact.

mast: the fruit of flowering trees used by wildlife for food.

mesic: describing sites with a moderate amount of moisture, which support plants that requiure a moderate amount of moisture.

metropolitan county: one that is included in an MA (see metropolitan statistical area).

metropolitan statistical area (MSA): a Census Bureau-defined urbanized area of at least 50,000 inhabitants with a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000. Additional contiguous counties are included in the MSA if they meet certain requirements of commuting to the central counties and other selected requirements of metropolitan character (such as population density and percent urban).

mussel: an aquatic bivalve mollusk.

native species: species that is within its known historical range, and there is no evidence of humans having artificially introduced it.

natural open land: land that is mostly free of trees due to the ecological conditions of the site.

natural pine:  stands that have not been artificially regenerated and with a southern yellow, white pine-hemlock, or other forest type.

neotropical migratory birds: birds which migrate to the neotropics (South and Central America and the Caribbean) during the winter, but breed and nest in North America.

net annual growth:  the net annual change in merchantable volume for a specific year in the absence of cutting (gross growth minus mortality for that specified year).

nonforest land:  land that has never supported forests and land formerly forested where timber production is precluded by development or other uses.

nonmetropolitan county: a county lying outside a defined metropolitan area (see metropolitan statistical area).

nonpoint source pollution: a diffuse source of pollution. May originate from atmospheric deposition as well as surface and sub-surface runoff.

old-growth stand: a stand of trees characterized by a diversity of tree species in several size classes, advanced age, downed logs and snags, large canopy trees, tree fall gaps, undisturbed soils, and other plants and animals that prefer old growth.

other removals:  the growing stock volume of trees removed from the inventory by cultural operations such as timber stand improvement, land clearing, and other changes in land use that result in the removal of the trees from timberland.

out-migration rate: rate at which people move out of a county or region over a given period of time.

pathogen: a parasite that causes disease.

perennial stream: streams that flow throughout the year.

pine plantation: stands that have been artificially regenerated by planting or direct seeding and with a southern yellow pine, white pine-hemlock, or other forest type.

point source pollution: contamination or impairment from a known specific point of origination, such as sewer outfalls or pipes.

poletimber: trees 5.0 to 8.9 in. d.b.h. for softwoods and 5.0 to 10.9 in. for hardwoods.

population density: the number of individuals of a species per unit area.

prehistoric: relating to or existing in times predating written history. This term generally refers to those North American cultures in existence prior to A.D. 1540.

price elasticity: a measure of the sensitivity of supply and demand to changes in price. If price elasticity is low, a large change in price will lead to a small change in supply.

proprietary income: income from self-employment.

province: in the context used in the report, a geographic area having particular geologic and landform characteristics.

rare species: any native or once-native species of wild plant or animal that exists in small numbers and has been determined to need monitoring (may include peripheral species).

rare: a classification reflecting a species’ scarcity in a given area. Rare plants and animals (and eventually communities) are assigned rarity ranks according to The Nature Conservancy’s global ranking system.

real price: price of products adjusted for the effects of general inflation. Adjustments were made using the Gross Domestic Product deflator from the Economic Report of the President.

regeneration cutting: a cutting that provides conditions necessary for the establishment of a new stand of forest trees.

removals: the net volume of growing stock trees removed from the inventory by harvesting or cultural operations such as timber stand improvement (e.g., thinning), land clearing, or change in land use.

Renewable Resources Planning Act (RPA): passed by Congress in 1974 and updated in 1993, this law requires the Forest Service to conduct an assessment of the Nation’s forests every 10 years (and to provide updates every 5 years).

reserved timberland:  forest land sufficiently productive to qualify as timberland, but withdrawn from timber utilization through statute or administrative designation.

reservoir: an artificial lake in which water is impounded for a variety of uses.

response coefficient: effects on jobs, wages, or incomes per unit of production or output such as per million dollars of mineral extracted, million board feet harvested, or million recreation trips.

riparian zone/riparian area: the area of land on either side of streams, channels, rivers, and other water bodies. These areas are normally distinctly different from the surrounding lands because of unique soil and vegetation characteristics (e.g., wetter soil than adjacent soil conditions where aquatic vegetative communities thrive).

riparian: describing lands associated with bodies of water.

rotation age: the age at which an even-aged stand of trees is scheduled for harvest or regeneration cutting (the actual age depends on management objectives, the tree species involved, and local site conditions).

roundwood: logs, bolts or other round sections cut from trees for industrial or consumer uses.

saplings: live trees 1.0 to 5.0 inches d.b.h.

savannah: an assemblage of woody vegetation having a scattered distribution with an understory dominated by grasses and forbs maintained by recurring fire; height and diameter growth of canopy-layer trees may be stunted by environmental factors (i.e., weather, shallow soils) or within established averages for the species.

sawtimber: trees with a 9 in. d.b.h. and larger for softwoods and 11 in. d.b.h. and larger for hardwoods.

section 404 permit: a permit issued under section 404 of the CWA for activities that require dredging and filling of materials within waters of the United States.

seedtree: an even-aged silvicultural harvest and regeneration system that removes most of the mature stems. A number of trees (generally, 4 to 10 per acre, singly or in groups) are retained to provide seeds to establish the new stand.

sensitive species: a term used for species of special concern by some States.

shelterwood cutting: a regeneration cutting method that removes the overstory stand in two or more operations, spaced in time.

shelterwood: an even-aged silvicultural harvest and regeneration system that gradually removes most or all trees in a series of partial cuttings, which resemble heavy thinning. Regeneration establishes under the protection of partial canopy cover.

silviculture: "the art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, composition, health, and quality of forests and woodlands to meet the diverse needs and values of landowners and society on a sustainable basis" - definition from John A. Helms, ed., 1998. The Dictionary of Forestry. The Society of American Foresters, Bethesda MD.

single-tree selection: an uneven-aged silvicultural harvest system that removes selected trees to create canopy gaps. Trees selected for removal may be healthy or diseased, depending on the goals of the landowner.

species density: total number of species per square mile.

species richness: the total number of native species within a particular region.

State Section 305(b) reports: water quality reports submitted every 2 years by each State to EPA that indicate the status of water quality within the state; EPA submits a report to Congress based on these state reports.

stream reach: a segment of a stream.

streamside management zone (SMZ): a designated area that consists of the stream itself and an adjacent area of varying width where management practices that might affect water quality, fish, or other aquatic resources are modified. The SMZ acts as a filter and absorption zone for sediments, maintains shade, protects riparian and terrestrial riparian habitat; protects channels and stream banks, and promotes floodplain stability.

stressor: pressure or change brought upon an ecosystem by pollution sources such as contaminants and toxins.

stumpage price: the price paid by a logger to a landowner for standing timber.

Subregional Timber Supply (SRTS) model: a model developed by Robert C. Abt, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC. The model uses a timber supply framework consistent with the RPA models but tracks inventory and growth trends by individual FIA survey unit or subregion as well as by ownership category (forest industry and nonindustrial private forest).

surface water: an open body of water such as a stream or lake.

threatened species: a species or subspecies that is likely to become endangered throughout all or a significant portion of its range and listed as such by the USDI FWS.

timber dependency: as used in this report, the percentage of all earnings in a county represented by timber-related earnings (SIC codes 08 and 24 of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis).

timber market zones: geographic areas used as a basis for analyzing the economic effects of timber sale programs on national forests. The zones comprise counties with national forest lands plus those counties that have mills that purchase national forest timber.

timberland: forested land that is capable of producing crops of industrial wood at a rate of at least 20 cf/ac per year and has not been withdrawn from timber production. (Some forest lands are not classified by the FIA as timberland because they are unproductive and some-such as national parks and wildernesses-because by law, they are off limits to harvesting.)

timber-significant county: a county where the forest products industry represents a significant share of the economy.

total income: the sum of employees’ compensation, proprietor’s income, and property type income.

total industrial output (TIO): the value of production by industry for a given time period. Output can be measured by the total value of purchases by intermediate and final consumers, or by intermediate outlays plus value added. Output can also be thought of as value of sales plus or minus inventory (p. 233, MN IMPLAN 1997b).

total maximum daily load (TMDL): the sum of (1) a waste load allocation (WLA), or that portion of a surface water’s loading capacity that is allocated to an existing or future point source discharge; (2) a load allocation (LA), or that portion of the surface water’s loading capacity that is due to either existing or future nonpoint source pollution or to natural background sources; and (3) a margin of safety (MS), or that portion of a surface water’s loading capacity that is allocated to uncertainty.  See Clean Water Act.

township: federally mandated division of land encompassing 36 square mi and consisting of 36 sections.

tributary: a stream feeding a larger stream, river, or lake.

turbidity: a measure of water clarity.

uneven-aged management: timber management method that results in forest stands characterized by trees of many ages or sizes intermingled singly or in groups.

Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE): an equation developed to predict soil losses due to runoff from specific field areas in specified agricultural cropping and management systems. The equation consists of a rainfall and runoff factor, soil erodibility factor, slope-length factor, slope-steepness factor, cover and management factor, and support practice factor.

value added: the sum of all income deriving from an industry, including wage income and owner income, less business taxes.

values: relatively firmly held and socially shared positions or expressions about what is good or right; they are abstract and normative and are considered to be somewhat stable.

water quality standard: a standard that defines the goals for a water body or portion of a water body, by designating the beneficial use or uses to be made of the water and by setting criteria necessary to protect the uses. Water quality standards should provide for the protection and propagation of fish, shellfish, and wildlife and for recreation in and on the water, and should take into consideration the use and value of public water supplies. Such standards establish water quality goals for a specific water body and serve as the regulatory basis for the establishment of water quality-based treatment controls and strategies beyond the technology-based treatment required by sections 301(b) and 306 of the CWA.

watershed: the area of land above a given point on a stream that contributes water to the volume of a body of surface water; also referred to as a drainage basin.

wetlands: those areas that are inundated or saturated by surface or ground water at a frequency and duration sufficient to support, and that under normal circumstances do support, a prevalence of vegetation typically adapted for life in saturated soil conditions (U.S. ACE 1987). Wetlands generally include swamps, marshes, bogs, and similar areas; (2) lands that are transitional between terrestrial and aquatic systems where the water table is usually at or near the surface of the land and is covered by shallow water. For purposes of this classification, wetlands must have one or more of the following attributes: (1) at least periodically, the land predominantly supports hydrophytes (plants dependent on saturated soils or a water medium); (2) the substrate is predominantly undrained hydric soil; and (3) the substrate is nonsoil and is saturated with water or covered by shallow water at some time during the growing season of each year.

wild rivers: rivers or segments of rivers included in the NWSRS (P.L. 542-82 stat. 906, as amended) that are free of impoundments; are generally inaccessible except by trail; and the watersheds and shorelines of which are essentially primitive and unpolluted.

wilderness: a Congressionally-designated area that provides opportunities for solitude and primitive, unconfined recreational experiences. There are no constructed facilities such as campgrounds, picnic areas, or interpretive sites and motorized and mechanized vehicles are prohibited.

wildfire: any fire that is not burning for a prescribed management purpose or being managed as a prescribed fire.

woodland range: forest land (within range allotments) that produces minor amounts of forage. It includes occasional even-aged timber harvest areas that have higher forage value for several years before being replaced by shrubs and trees.

woodland: forest land incapable of producing 20 cubic feet per acre per year of industrial wood under natural conditions, because of adverse site conditions. 

red oak leaf as separator

Data Center | Assessment Home

 
modified: 17-SEP-2001
webmaster: John M. Pye