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  Glossary

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L

Landscape - The combination of soil type, slope, rivers, streams, ponds, and other topographical features and the extent of uniform areas that determine appropriate land use systems and their patterns. A landscape generally has no fixed size or boundary. It is used ecologically to designate an area of intensive biological interaction. It also can be synonymous with water shed, political township or community.

Landscape design - The selection and use of agricultural and forestry options that protect and use a landscape in a manner compatible with the social and economic environment.

Latitude - The distance, measured in degrees north or south, from the equator.

Leaching - The process by which dissolved materials (nutrients or contaminants) are washed away or carried with water down through the various layers of the soil.

Life zone - Large portions of the earth’s land area that have generally uniform climate and soil, and consequently a biota showing a high degree of uniformity in species composition and environmental adaptation; related terms are vegetational formation and biome.

Limiting factors - Whatever environmental variable tends to restrict the growth, distribution, or abundance of a particular population.

Lithosphere - The soil and rock of Earth’s crust.

Litter - Non-decomposed plant residues on the soil surface.

Littoral zone - The shallow-water area along the shore of a lake or pond.

Loam - A soil that has approximately equal portions of sand, silt, and clay. A loamy soil that also contains organic material makes an excellent agricultural soil.

Long-term - Means more than one human lifespan (approximately 70 years).