The Wolf Intelligencer


Vocabulary O-P

A-B / C-D / E-F / G-H / I-J / K-L / M-N / O-P / Q-R / S-T / U-V / W-X / Y-Z


Old-growth Stage (Forest Succession)
Old-growth (forth stage of succession) or a relative steady state in which shade-tolerant canopy species replace themselves through regeneration in canopy gaps (Oliver and Larson1990). In this model, old-growth is synonymous with a climax forest—the last stage of forest development (i.e., structural change) and succession (i.e., compositional change) in which the forest community is self-perpetuating and relatively stable in the absence of stand-replacement disturbance.

Spies TA. Ecological concepts and diversity of old-growth forests. Journal of Forestry. 2004 Apr

Oligotrophic lakes
Generally very clear, deep, and cold lakes. The lake substrate is typically firm and sandy. Nutrient levels are low, so the lake generally does not support large populations of aquatic plants, animals, or algae. The fish that occur in oligotrophic lakes are often low in abundance, but large in size. Many oligotrophic lakes divide into two layers in the summer, a condition known as stratification. The lower layer, called the hypolimnion, is cold and supports cold-water specialist fishes, like lake trout and cisco. These species require cold temperatures and high oxygen levels, so they remain in the lake’s lower level throughout the summer.

The Manitowoc County Lakes Association

Open System Thermodynamics
An open system is a system that freely exchanges energy and matter with its surroundings.

Passive Microwave Radiometry (remote sensing)
A microwave radiometer is a passive sensor that simply measures electromagnetic energy radiated towards it from some target or area. As a passive sensor, it is related more to the classical optical and IR sensors than to radar, its companion active microwave sensor. The energy detected by a radiometer at microwave frequencies is the thermal emission from the target itself as well as thermal emission from the sky that arrives at the radiometer after reflection from the target. The thermal emission depends on the product of the target’s absolute temperature and its emissivity, but at microwave frequencies (in contrast to the thermal infrared) it is the change in emissivity rather than the change in temperature that produces most of the significant differences between the various targets.
The microwave portion of the electromagnetic spectrum includes wavelengths from 0.1 mm to more than 1 m. It is more common to refer to microwave radiation in terms of frequency, f, rather than wavelength, λ. Recall that c = λ f, where c is the speed of light. In frequency then, the microwave range is from 300 GHz to 0.3 GHz. Most radiometers operate in the range from 0.4-35 GHz (0.8-75 cm). Atmospheric attenuation of microwave radiation is primarily through absorption by H20 and O2 and absorption is strongest at the shortest wavelength.
Philipson & Philpot: Remote Sensing Fundamentals Passive Microwave; W.D. Philpot, Cornell University, Fall 2012

Patch Dynamics
Patch dynamics is an ecological perspective that the structure, function, and dynamics of ecological systems can be understood through studying their interactive patches. Patch dynamics, as a term, may also refer to the spatiotemporal changes, heterogeneity and disturbances within and among patches that make up a landscape. From a patch dynamics perspective, populations, communities, ecosystems, and landscapes may all be studied effectively as mosaics of patches that differ in size, shape, composition, history, and boundary characteristics.

Wu J, Loucks OL. From balance of nature to hierarchical patch dynamics: a paradigm shift in ecology. The Quarterly review of biology. 1995 Dec

Partial Pressure of Carbon Dioxide (pCo2sw)
The world’s oceans readily exchange carbon dioxide (CO2) with the atmosphere. The CO2 dissolves in water to an extent determined by its partial pressure and the chemical reactions of the dissolved carbon dioxide with other solutes. The partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2) is the gas phase pressure (i.e. in the air above a waterway) of carbon dioxide which would be in equilibrium with the dissolved carbon dioxide. Courtesy of

The seawater pCO2 depends on the temperature, the total amount of CO2 dissolved in seawater and the pH of seawater. Over the global ocean, it varies from about 100 μatm to 1000 μatm (1 μatm = 10-6 atm = 0.101325 Pascal).

Global ocean surface water partial pressure of CO2 database:

NOAA Surface CO2 Flux Map

Variability of Surface Water pCO2 in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago From 2010 to 2016. Ahmed M, Else BG, Burgers TM, Papakyriakou T. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans. 2019 Mar

The fur, hair, or wool of a mammal.

The skin and fur of a dead animal, or the skin with the fur removed.

Perennial Snowfields
“Perennial snowfields, like glaciers, are masses of snow and ice that persist for many years and form through the accumulation and compaction of snow. However, unlike glaciers, snowfields never grow thick enough to flow with gravity. In both modern times, as in the past, caribou herds move to these snowfields in the summer to stay cool and avoid insects (Anderson and Nilssen 1998). Perennial snowfields are also important ecosystems for an array of different bird species (Rosvold 2015). They influence water availability for down-slope vegetation (Lewkowicz and Young 1990) and alter geology (Berrisford 1991) and permafrost (Luetschg et al. 2004).” [National Park Service]

The study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate, as well as habitat factors. {Cite}

Spatiotemporal habitat use by a multi-trophic Alaska alpine mammal community. Dertien J, Bagley C, Haddix JA, Brinkman AR, Neipert ES, Jochum KA, Doherty, Jr PF. Canadian Journal of Zoology. 2019 Apr

The tendency of an animal to either stay in or return to a particular area, most notably the birthplace.

“The fitness benefits of philopatry became evident after a rabies epizootic, when philopatry and expansionism prevailed in under-saturated conditions, until large groups split or provided dispersers that established locally. This study shows that high concentrations of prey can shift the balance of costs and benefits towards group living and cooperation in long-lived territorial carnivores, in so far as this dictates immediate rewards accrued from a given increment in territory size, namely greater foraging area per animal, leading to group enlargement and eventual inheritance of breeding space.”

Ecological bases of philopatry and cooperation in Ethiopian wolves. Marino J, Sillero-Zubiri C, Johnson PJ, Macdonald DW. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology. 2012 Jul

Philopatry and dispersal in the wolf population (Canis lupus L.). Contemporary problems of ecology, Kochetkov, V.V., 2015

The length of the daytime. The period of the day during illumination, daylight.

Behavioral timing without clockwork: photoperiod-dependent trade-off between predation hazard and energy balance in an arctic ungulate. Tyler NJ, Gregorini P, Forchhammer MC, Stokkan KA, van Oort BE, Hazlerigg DG. Journal of biological rhythms. 2016 Oct;

Phylogeography (of wolves) is the study of the historical processes that may be responsible for the current day geographic distributions of wolves. This is accomplished by considering the geographic distribution of wolves in light of genetics, particularly population genetics.

Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography and population history of the grey wolf Canis lupus. Vilà C, Amorim IR, Leonard JA, Posada D, Castroviejo J, Petrucci‐Fonseca F, Crandall KA, Ellegren H, Wayne RK. Molecular ecology. 1999 Dec

Biology. the primary subdivision of a taxonomic kingdom, grouping together all classes of organisms that have the same body plan.

Pinch Period
The period in the annual cycle when the conditions for living and finding food are least favorable. For wolves, the pinch period is often in late summer when prey are in prime condition and difficult to catch, but when growing pups still need to be fed.
International Wolf Center Glossary

Pleistocene (ICE AGE)
adj. [GEOLOGY] of, relating to, or denoting the first epoch of the Quaternary period, between the Pliocene and Holocene epochs. [as n.] (the Pleistocene) the Pleistocene epoch or the system of deposits laid down during it. The Pleistocene epoch lasted from 1,640,000 to about 10,000 years ago. It was marked by great fluctuations in temperature that caused the ice ages, with glacial periods followed by warmer interglacial periods. Several extinct forms of human, forerunners of modern humans, appeared during this epoch. mid 19th cent.: from Greek pleistos ‘most’ + kainos ‘new’.

(2010-04-01). The New Oxford American Dictionary (Kindle Locations 634542-634557). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Adj. [GEOLOGY] of, relating to, or denoting the last epoch of the Tertiary period, between the Miocene and Pleistocene epochs. [as N.] (the Pliocene) the Pliocene epoch or the system of rocks deposited during it. The Pliocene epoch lasted from 5.2 million to 1.64 million years ago. Temperatures were falling at this time and many mammals became extinct. The first hominids, including Australopithecus and Homo habilis, appeared. mid 19th cent.: from Greek ‘more’ + kainos ‘new’.

(2010-04-01). The New Oxford American Dictionary (Kindle Locations 635150-635164). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

The act of illegal take of an animal, either one that is taken out of season, by illegal means or methods, or by the fact they are listed as endangered, threatened, or special concern.

Polymorphism (biology)
The occurrence of different forms among the members of a population or colony, or in the life cycle of an individual organism.

Polymorphism (genetics)
The presence of genetic variation within a population, upon which natural selection can operate.

Arbanasić H, Huber Đ, Kusak J, Gomerčić T, Hrenović J, Galov A. Extensive polymorphism and evidence of selection pressure on major histocompatibility complex DLA‐DRB1, DQA1 and DQB1 class II genes in Croatian grey wolves. Tissue antigens. 2013 Jan

“Praxic” Behavior
Visually controlled activities involving the manipulation of the environment:
Motor planning or praxis is the ability of the brain to conceive, organize, and carry out a sequence of unfamiliar actions.

Hatched or born in an advanced state and able to feed itself almost immediately.

Predation Risk
Probability of predation per unit time

Predator Control
A wildlife management policy aimed at reducing populations of predatory species either to protect livestock or boost populations of game animals. Coyotes, bobcats, grey and red wolves , bears, and mountain lions have been the most frequent targets. Historically, efforts were centered in government-run programs to hunt, trap, or poison predators, while bounties offered for particular predatory species encouraged private citizens to do the same.

Predator control should not be a shot in the dark; Adrian Treves, Miha Krofel, Jeannine McManus; Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment: 01 September 2016

Pre-release facility
A unique facility that is designated by the Service, to be used to maintain any wolf that is going to be released into the wild. Wolves managed at these facilities are not open to the public and manage the species to ensure the highest likelihood of success once in the wild. Wolves that are potential candidates for release into the wild are evaluated based on their genetic makeup, reproductive performance and various behavioral criteria.

Prey Heterogeneity
Distribution and density of prey. Wolf prey typically has highly patchy distribution and has low density, but not always.

Vucetich JA, Peterson RO, Schaefer CL. The effect of prey and predator densities on wolf predation. Ecology. 2002 Nov

Prey Renewal;
Prey turnover.

Mattioli L, Capitani C, Gazzola A, Scandura M, Apollonio M. Prey selection and dietary response by wolves in a high-density multi-species ungulate community. European Journal of Wildlife Research. 2011 Aug

Prey Richness
Amount, a count individual prey.

Tallents LA, Randall DA, Williams SD, Macdonald DW. Territory quality determines social group composition in Ethiopian wolves Canis simensis. Journal of Animal Ecology. 2012 Jan

Prima Facie
Latin term- The literal translation would be “at first face” or “at first appearance”, from the feminine forms of primus (“first”) and facies (“face”), both in the ablative case. Based on the first impression; accepted as correct until proved otherwise. In environmental ethics – a prima facie moral duty to protect that which holds intrinsic value.

Primary Recovery Zone
This area, in Arizona, is the only part of the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area where captive-bred wolves (with no experience in the wild) may be released. Captive-bred wolves with wild experience can be translocated into the secondary recovery zone. Courtesy of Mexican Gray Wolf Environmental Impact Statement

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