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New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

Glossary of Terms

Class B Waters - A standard for classifying surface waters of the state, pursuant to RSA 485-A:8, I-III. Class B is the second highest quality, considered acceptable for fishing, swimming and other recreational purposes and, after adequate treatment, for use as water supplies.

Class A Waters - A standard for classifying surface waters of the state, pursuant to RSA 485-A:8, I-III. Class A is the highest quality designation. These waters are considered as being potentially acceptable for water supply uses after adequate treatment.

Ion - An atom or group of atoms with a positive or negative charge. The charge results from the gain or loss of electrons.

Matrices - Plural of matrix. The substance in which the chemical or biological test is being conducted. Examples: water matrix, sediment matrix, fish tissue matrix, air matrix.

Young-of-the-year - Fish born within the year

Plankters - Plants and animals that are freely moving about the water column

Lotic - Referring to moving waters, rivers and streams.Lentic refers to "standing" water, lakes.

Benthic - On or in the substrate of a water body, bottom dwelling

Piscivorous - Fish eating

Trophic Level - The feeding level of an organism where it fits into the food web.

Macroinvertebrates - Organisms without a backbone, generally visible to the naked eye. "Bugs".

Quadrat - a square metal template measuring 0.2 square meters, placed on the bottom of a stream to standardize the amount of substrate disturbed during a kick-net event.

Riffle - Aquatic habitat type in which water travels over a shallow, rocky substrate, causing the introduction of oxygen.

Methylate - to incorporate mercury into an organic methyl (CH3) compound, accomplished by microorganisms

Anoxia - lacking oxygen

Lipid-soluble - Lipids are a family of compounds that are insoluble in water, including fats. Substances that are lipid-soluble are dissolvable in fats and oils.

Otolith - One of three paired structures in the inner ears of fishes, formed by alternating layers of high and low density calcium carbonate

Etiology - the cause of a disease or disorder

Periphyton - sessile organisms, such as algae, attached to underwater surfaces

Autotrophic - produced by autotrophs. These are organisms that use energy from the sun or from the oxidation of inorganic substances to make organic molecules. They do not eat other organisms. Plants!

Instars - insect between molting events. They shed their exoskeleton in order to grow.

NH Department of Environmental Services | 29 Hazen Drive | PO Box 95 | Concord, NH 03302-0095
(603) 271-3503 | TDD Access: Relay NH 1-800-735-2964 | Hours: M-F, 8am-4pm

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