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Labyrinth Organ: An organ found on anabantids (labyrinth fish.) They are wrinkled areas located above the eyes, which enable them to take in oxygen from the water surface, or when on land.

Lagoon: A shallow, pond-like body of water that is usually connected to a larger body of water, such as a river, lake or sea; the body of water beween a barrier reef and a beach shoreline, or surrounded by an atoll.

Lamina: The part of a leaf that is flattened, to a greater or lesser degree.

Laminar Flow: The movement of a fluid where movement of the entire fluid is regular and with parallel streamlines.

Larva: (pl. Larvae) The immature stage, between egg and pupa, of various organisms that later undergo metamorphosis in order to reach adulthood. Coral polyps after being produced by means of sexual reproduction pass through a larval stage in which they are small and drift in the ocean before becoming adults.

Larvacea: A group of planktonic tunicates that secrete a gelatinous house, used to strain unsuitable particles (large particles are rejected). An inner filter apparatus of the house, the so-called food trap or particle-collecting apparatus, is used to retain food particles.

Lateral Line: The lateral line is a line of perforated scales along the flanks of a fish which lead to a pressure-sensitive nervous system. This enables the fish to detect vibrations and electrical impulses in the surrounding water caused by other fish, prey, and their own reflected vibrations against obstacles.

Lateral: At or toward the sides.

Laterite: A substance used in fresh water plant tanks to supply nutrients, either a powder placed under the gravel or chunks mixed in the gravel bed.

LD50: The value of a given experimental variable required to cause 50% mortality.

Leaching: The removal of dissolved chemicals from soil or addition into a water supply by the movement of a liquid (like water).

Lead (Pb): The MCL is 0.05 mg/L. Symptoms of lead poisoning start as abdominal pains, constipation, fatigue, depressed appetite and decrease endurance, but long-term exposure may led to nerve and kidney damage and anemia.

Lecithotrophic Larva: A planktonic-dispersing larva that lives off yolk supplied via the egg.

Leeward: The side of an island opposite from the one facing a persistent wind.

Lentic: Pertaining to aquatic environments with nonflowing waters; e.g. lakes, ponds.

Lepidophores: Fish specialized in tearing off and eating the scales of other fish.

Lepidophages: See Lepidophores.

Lesion: Any injury or wound in any circumscribed area that presents as diseased tissue; an isolated patch or infected area on the skin.

Life Table: A table summarizing statistics of a population, such as survival and reproduction, all broken down according to age classes.

Lift Tube: Used as a source of water movement for under gravel filters and some other filters, such as sponge filters. Large bubbles are released in a tube about 1 inch wide. As they rush upwards, they pull the water in the tube up as well.

Limestone: A common, naturally occurring form of calcium carbonate of which coral reef structures are made.

Litter: Accumulations of dead leaves in various states of fragmentation and decomposition.

Littoral: Pertaining to the edge of the lake, near the shore; an area of the shore between mean high water and mean low water; the intertidal zone.

Livebearers: Fish that produce live young rather than laying eggs. Freshwater livebearers include guppies, mollies, platys, and swordtails.

Live Fish: fish that are captured and sold to the consumer alive.

Live Rock: These are rocks removed from the vicinity of a tropical coral reef with all of the life intact on them. They commonly have algae, sponges, worms, feather dusters, small crustaceans, polyps and urchins on them. Live rocks are an important way to build up a complete and stable ecosystem for a coral reef because it initiates and maintains the nitrogen cycle and constitutes the main element in the Berlin method of filtration.

Living Requirements: A set of conditions that are needed in order for a plant or animal to live.

Locus: See Genetic Locus.

Logistic Population Growth: Population growth that is modulated by the population size relative to carrying capacity. Population growth declines as population approaches carrying capacity, and is negative when population size is greater than carrying capacity.

Longshore Current: A current moving parallel to a shoreline.

Losing Stream: A stream or portion of a stream that discharges water into the groundwater. See also influent stream.

Lotic: Pertaining to aquatic environments with flowing waters; e.g. streams, rivers.

Low Permeability Layers: These layers may serve as a base material, or confining beds for an aquifer. This may be caused by a fragipan or silt clay horizon in the soil and include soil, sediment or other geologic material that inhibit water movement.

Lumens: A measurement of light intensity. (1 lumen=10.76 lux).

Lux: The standard for measuring light.
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