Appendix B: Glossary of technical terms

Aggregate deposits: A collection of mineral substances used as construction material (gravel, sand, or rock).

Best Management Practices: Proven design, construction and management techniques and approaches designed to avoid or minimize impacts on the environment.

Biodiversity: The richness of biological variation, ranging from the species level to the community level.

Canadian Shield: An ancient geological feature characterized by the worn-down surface of bedrock dating from the Precambrian era.

Catchment area: The area from which a surface watercourse (creek or river system) derives its water.

Conservation Authority: a government agency responsible for water and land management activities (such as flood protection, natural area protection, or outdoor education and recreation) within a particular watershed.

Conservation easement: a portion of private property over which access is granted to another party (for example, to a public agency to allow for inspection or maintenance or to a trail association to allow people to cross).

Cultural Thicket: a vegetation community originating from or maintained by human influences, characterized by less than 10% tree cover and greater than 25% tall shrub cover.

Dune: a low hill or ridge of sand sorted and deposited by wind.

Ecological functions: natural processes that living and non-living environments perform within or between species, ecosystems, and landscapes.

Environmental Impact Study (EIS): a study assessing the potential effects of a proposed development or change in land use on a natural area.

Fen: a rare wetland type characterized by peat and nutrient-rich waters, primarily vegetated by low shrubs and grasses.

Fish habitat: spawning grounds as well as nursery, rearing, food supply, and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly for their survival.

Flood and fill regulations: regulations imposed by a conservation authority that restrict the construction of any structures or the placement of earth fill within areas (usually associated with the shorelines of lakes or the bottoms of valleys containing a watercourse) that are subject to flooding under major storm events.

Forest interior habitat: portions of large woodland areas that are situated at least 100 metres from the edge of the forest in all directions. Forest interior provides critical breeding habitat for a number of bird species.

Moraine: a prominent physiographic feature (usually a broad ridge of land) comprised of a mix of silts, sands, and gravel that was deposited during the last glacial episode.

Neotropical breeding birds: bird species that winter in Central and South America and breed in temperate climates, including Ontario.

Old field: An early successional vegetation community composed of scattered trees and shrubs that has regenerated from abandoned agricultural land.

Ontario Municipal Board: An independent and impartial adjudicative tribunal appointed by the Government of Ontario that listens to the appeals and concerns of individuals, public bodies, or corporations who object to the decisions of public or approval authorities such as local or regional councils, committees of adjustment, land division committees, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, or an expropriating authority. The Board holds public hearings throughout the province.

Seepage: The slow movement of groundwater just beneath the surface of the soil, which emerges at the surface to form wet patches of ground. Seepage areas often occur on the side or at the base of a slope.

Sink: an area of habitat within which species are present and breeding, but in which they are unable to produce enough offspring to be self-sustaining.

Source: an area of habitat that supports wildlife species capable of producing enough offspring to exceed the mortality of the adults (that is, they are able to produce enough offspring to be self-sustaining.