soil or water that has a pH of less than 7 and a high concentration of hydrogen ions (The sandy soil of the Pinelands is very acidic.)


a change in structure, function, or form that better prepares an animal or plant to survive in its environment- (Because of their unique adaptations, the dwarf pitch pines and scrub oaks of the Plains are rarely destroyed by wildfire.)


a one-celled plant that grows in groups in water (The algae clogged the stream.)


a layer of sand and gravel beneath the earth's surface that has pore spaces saturated with water (The Cohansey aquifer is the major Pinelands aquifer.)

basal crook

the hook-shaped part of a root located near the earth's surface that puts forth sprouts (When the forester returned to the burned area two weeks after the fire, he found many sprouts growing from basal crooks.)


a wet level area with spongy soil in which the water table is at or very near the earth's surface; bogs are acidic and nutrient poor (Cranberries grow well in a bog.)


a tree's or shrub's cell layer that provides the base for growth of woody tissue and bark (Because the fire severely damaged the cambium of the oaks, it was feared they would die.)


the tallest layer of plants in an area (Trees usually form the canopy layer.)

carnivorous plants (or insectivorous plants)

insect-eating (Sundews are carnivorous plants.)


a thin transparent material made from wood pulp (The blueberries were covered with cellophane.)

Cohansey geologic formation

soils in the New Jersey Pinelands that are mostly medium to coarse grained sands, although some thin clay soil layers are present (The soils of the Cohansey geologic formation are very porous.)


to make impure by contact or mixture (Salt in drinking water will contaminate it.)

conveyor belt

a wide moving belt which carries objects from one place to another (The conveyor belt lifted the cranberries from the bog to the truck.)


a period of geologic time at the end of the Mesozoic era (The Cretaceous period began over 100 million years ago.)


the upper portion of a tree including the branches and leaves (The Red- tailed Hawk perched on a branch at the crown of the pitch pine.)


to encourage or promote growth (Elizabeth White was the first person to cultivate the blueberry.)


the growing of plants especially to improve the stock or quality (High bush blueberry was used in the culture of blueberries.)


something such as rocks or sand that is placed or laid down in a certain location (The force of the ocean's waves deposited sand on the beach.)


an immediate or distant member of a family (The descendants of J.J.White still operate Whitesbog.)


a plant that loses Its leaves in the autumn (When we came to school one October morning, we found out that the deciduous maple tree in the yard had dropped many of its leaves.)


the most important species occurring most often in an area (Low bush blueberry was the dominant shrub.)


alive but inactive; not growing (The dormant buds of the clammy azalea began to expand and open in the warm May sunshine.)


one who studies the relationship of living things to their environment (The plant ecologist did not want the habitat destroyed.)


a substance made by living cells that causes some particular chemical change to happen without itself being destroyed (The insect was dissolved by the enzyme.)


a huge mass of moving ice originating from snow (The melting glacier deposited gravel.)


a cell, or group of cells, that makes and gives off a liquid substance (The glands of the pitcher plants secrete enzymes.)


an unconsolidated mixture of rock fragments or pebbles (Most of the highest hills in the Pinelands are composed of gravel.)


a place where an organism lives (The wetlands provides habitats for 80% of the Pinelands rare plants and animals.)



a plant with no woody parts; short lived and low growing (Turkeybeard is an herbaceous plant of the New Jersey Pinelands.)


the downward movement through the soil of nutrients and chemicals that are dissolved in water (Leaching occurs rapidly in the coarse, sandy soil of the Pinelands.)


any simple organism, microscopic as an adult (Microorganisms aid in the decay of plant and animal material.)


a naturally occurring inorganic substance such as calcium, nitrogen, phosphorous, etc. (Pinelands soils are low in minerals.)


glue-like organic compounds of vegetable origin and complex structure (The insect was trapped in the sundew's mucilage.)


sweet substance produced by plants to attract insects (The top of the pitcher plant leaf contains many nectar glands.)


chemicals containing nitrogen, potassium, or sodium nitrate found in fertilizers (The plant fertilizer contained potassium nitrate.)


a nonmetallic element occurring in various minerals and in all proteins (Carnivorous plants get nitrogen from the insects they eat.)


elements like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that nourish or feed a plant or animal and, therefore, help it to grow (The Pinelands soil is low in nutrients.)


upland pine-oak -forests where mature trees seldom grow taller than the height of a man; an area of frequent fires. Also called the pygmy forest. (Hudsonia grows well in the plains.)


full of pores, or tiny holes, through which fluids, air, or light may pass (The Cohansey sand is very porous.)

root crown

the point at or just below the earth's surface where a trunk and root join. Sprouting often occurs from this point after a fire (The forest fire was so devastating that even the root crowns of pitch pine did not put forth new sprouts.)


a ground plant just developed from a seed (Pitch pine seedlings are susceptible to fire damage because they have not yet developed thick protective bark.)

septic system

the plumbing system which takes wastewater from a house to a tank (Most houses in the Pinelands have a septic system.)


a pine cone that is opened by intense heat and, in so doing, releases its seeds (The forest fire's intense heat opened the pitch pine's serotinous cones.)


a plant with woody stems. Shows annual increase in girth. Shorter than most trees (Mountain laurel is a shrub.)


a single kind of plant or animal (Only one species of pitcher plant grows in the Pinelands.)

Sphagnum moss

a genus of moss which forms peat upon decomposition (The orchids were growing in Sphagnum moss.)


sending out new growth (Sprouting is probably the pitch pine's most most important adaptation to fire.)


underground stems of the Utricularia genus (The bladderworts have modified leaves for trapping insects which grow from stolons.)

tap root

a plant's or tree's main root that grows straight down from its stem or trunk and is usually thicker than the lateral roots (Pitch pine trees have very large tap roots.)


one of the hairs on the leaves of insectivorous plants (The tentacles of the sundew closed around the ant.)


the height and slope of the land's surface (Overall the topography of the Pinelands is generally flat.)


Horizon A; the soil on the earth's surface containing relatively large amounts of organic matter and plant nutrients (Most of a plant's roots are found in the topsoil.)


a plant with a woody bark and stems. Shows annual increase in girth. Part of the canopy layer of a forest. (The dominant tree in the Pinelands is the pitch pine.)


quite different or one of a kind (Many unique plants grow in New Jersey's Pinelands.)


high land or land well above sea level generally with a low water table (In New Jersey's Pinelands, upland is often no more than 150 feet above sea level.)


a space empty of matter (As the water is withdrawn from the bladder sacs, a partial vacuum is created.)


the plants of an area or region (The vegetation of the Pinelands is unique.)

water table

the level below the earth's surface where the soil is saturated (I dug a hole five feet deep before I reached the water table.)


low land that is mostly swampy due to the fact that the water table is at or near the surface (Wetland is often near a stream or lake.)