Animal Info - Glossary V

Varzea
Floodplain forest that is seasonally inundated by nutrient-rich white water. This habitat is found in the Solimoes/Amazon River system. It is seasonally inundated, with annual fluctuations in water level of up to 15 m (50'). It includes tall forest, which is restricted to narrow interlinked corridors (restingas) located on alluvial levees marking the deposition areas of old watercourses. This vegetation is flooded for less than six months each year. Areas of low, dense scrub (chavascais) separate the restingas, with some open grassy areas and many ribbon-like lakes. This low vegetation is flooded for more than half the year, usually being submerged completely. At peak flood, only the canopies of the restinga trees can be seen above the water (Ayres & Johns 1987). Compare igapo.
Vascular Plant
A plant with a specialized system of channels for carrying fluids that includes xylem (thick walled, water conducting cells) and phloem (thin-walled food-conducting tissue) plus any associated tissues.
Veld or Veldt
A grassland, especially the grassy undulating plateaus in southern Africa (South Africa and Zimbabwe), and usually having scattered shrubs or trees.  The veld includes areas of varying elevation - the lowveld (150 - 610 m (500 - 2,000')), the middleveld (610 - 1,220 m (2,000 - 4,000')), and the highveld (1,220 - 1,830 m (4,000 - 6,000')).
Ventral
Related to the front or lower surface of an animal, opposite to the animal's back.
Vertebrate
An animal (including amphibians, birds, fish, mammals and reptiles) with a backbone.

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Last modified: June 3, 2006;

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