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Glossary of Terms
Afforestation To convert an area into a forest by planting trees.
Calcareous Composed of or containing calcium carbonate or chalk.
Deciduous Trees which shed all their leaves annually at the end of the growing season.
Eutrophication High levels of nutrients lead to a high level of algae growth. It is natural for some lakes to go through a phase of, or be eutrophic. However pollution is leading to excessive eutrophication which reduces light and oxygen availability in the water. This leads to a reduction in or elimination of some species.
Herbicides Chemicals used to kill plants.
Intensive agriculture Agriculture which involves intensive management of land such as over fertilisation, reseeding of grasslands, mowing grasslands several times a year for silage. Also may involve clearing hedges, scrub and rocky areas.
Invasive species Non-native species which tend to spread and dominate areas, replacing native species and are difficult to remove. For example Rhododendron spreads rapidly in woodlands, do not allow anything else to grow under them and are very difficult to permanently remove.
Native species Species which have occurred naturally in Ireland since the last ice age.
NHA Natural Heritage Area. Areas designated due to their importance nationally.
NPWS National Parks and Wildlife Service (Formerly Dúchas), under the Department of Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
Pesticides Chemicals used to kill animals.
Semi-natural habitat Habitats which are not completely natural i.e. have had some effects from human activities.
SAC Special Area of Conservation. Areas designated because they contain protected species or habitats under the European Habitats Directive.
SPA Special Protection Area. Areas designated because they contain important populations of birds protected under the European Birds Directive.