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Glossary

F

fair trade: a term used to describe a social-responsibility movement demanding that farmers receive fair prices for their products; also describes products that are produced by these farmers.

fauna: animals, especially those that live in a particular area.

fecal bacteria: bacteria associated with excrement (feces) or digestive waste.

fertility: the state of being fertile; capable of producing offspring.

fertilizer: a material that is added to soil to increase its fertility and enhance plant growth; includes manure (a natural fertilizer) and synthetic materials made from nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium compounds.

fire ants: ants of tropical and subtropical America that feed on a mixed diet of plant and animal material that can inflict a painful sting. One common genus is Solenopsis.

fishery, fisheries: the occupation or industry of catching, processing and selling fish and shellfish; an area where fish or shellfish are caught.

flora: plants, especially those that live in a particular area.

food chain: a lineup of organisms from producers (plants) to consumers (other plants, animals and fungi), with each organism feeding on or getting nutrients from the previous organism.

food web: the interconnected feeding relationships in an ecosystem. These relationships can be complex; some organisms may feed on more than one trophic level, or changes may occur depending on a species' life history stages or the availability of food.

Forest Stewardship Council (FSC): an international organization that has developed standards emphasizing environmentally- and socially-responsible criteria to certify and label wood products from well-managed forests.

Formosan subterranean termite: a termite species, Coptotermes formosanus, considered the most widely distributed and most economically important of all termites. First described in Taiwan in the early 1900s, it is endemic to southern China.

fossil fuels: fuels formed millions of years ago from decayed organisms. Oil, coal and natural gas are all fossil fuels. See also nonrenewable energy.

fragmentation: the breaking up of large habitats into smaller, isolated chunks. Fragmentation is one of the main forms of habitat destruction, which is the primary reason biodiversity is in decline.

French Quarter: the oldest section of New Orleans in Louisiana and area there most popular with tourists, especially along Bourbon Street.

fuel-efficient: a way of describing any system whose fuel input is well matched to its productive output.

fungi: organisms that use living or dead organisms as food by breaking them down and then absorbing the substances into their cells. Fungi make up one of the five kingdoms of living things on Earth. Mushrooms, yeast and molds are types of fungi.

fungicides: an agent, such as a chemical, that kills fungi.


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