Glossary

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L

Leaf area index
The area of leaves exposed over a unit area of land surface.
Leptokurtic
A symmetrical frequency distribution which differs from a normal distribution by deficiency in the shoulders compared to the tails and the top.
Life cycle
The sequence of stages through which an organism passes in development from a zygote to the production of progeny zygotes.
Life form
Characteristic structure of a plant or animal.
Life history
An organism's lifetime pattern of growth, differentiation, storage and reproduction.
Life table
A summary of the age- or stage-related survivorship of individuals in a population.
Light compensation point
see Compensation point.
Lignin
Complex organic material deposited within the cell walls of plants associated with cellulose, especially in wood and fibers.
Limiting similarity
The level of similarity between two competing species which cannot be exceeded if the species are to coexist.
Lipase
Enzyme(s) that split true fats into alcohols and acids.
Littoral zone
The zone at the edge of a lake or ocean which is periodically exposed to the air and periodically immersed.
Local stability
The tendency of a community to return to its original state when subjected to a small perturbation.
Logistic equation
A much-used equation for the growth of a single-species population without discrete generations under the influence of competition, which is simple and captures the essence of actual examples but very few of the details of actual examples.
Longevity
Length of life.

 
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