saline— Salty; pertaining to soil or water rich in soluble salts.
salverform— A corolla with a slender tube abruptly expanding into a flat border, as in phlox. (See Fig. 6.1.)
samara— Simple, dry, one-seeded or two-seeded winged fruit.
sandstone— A cemented or otherwise compacted sedimentary rock, commonly composed of quartz grains of sand size (0.6–2 mm).
sapsucker borings— Sap-producing holes drilled in trees by woodpeckers of the Genus Sphyrapicus .
scapolite— A complex group of aluminum-silicate minerals, commonly in calcium-rich metamorphic rocks.
scorpioid— A one-sided inflorescence gently coiled at the end like the tail of a scorpion. (See Fig. 6.1.)
scurfy— Clothed with small, branlike scales.
sedentary— Tending to stay quietly in one place.
sedges— A group of plants resembling grasses; solid stems; grasses with hollow stems.
sedimentary— Pertaining to or containing sediment (e.g., sedimentary rock).
seleniferous soil— Soil containing the element selenium.
semiserotinous— Refers to cones that open slowly, releasing seeds over a prolonged time period. Seed shed may be induced by fire.
sepal— A segment of the calyx; the outer whorl of a flower. (See Fig. 6.1.)
sequence— A succession of geologic events, processes, or rocks arranged in chronologic order to show their relative positions.
serrulate— Serrate with small teeth.
serviceberry— Tree or shrub of the Genus Amelanchier (Family Rosaceae).
sessile— Attached directly at the base, not stalked, as a leaf without a petiole.
setpoint— A point (e.g., temperature) at which a feedback system attempts to maintain itself, such as the temperature setting on a home heating system.
settlement category— Class of settlement used by aboriginal peoples. Base camps and Pinyon camps are two of many categories of settlement used by the aboriginal peoples of eastern California.
settlement system— An organized pattern of aboriginal land use that incorporates one or more settlement categories.
shadscale— Common name for Atriplex confertifolia, a common desert shrub in the Chenopodiaceae.
Shadscale Zone— Semidesert community grown to saltbush or shadscale (Genus Atriplex ).
shale— A fine-grained, detrital, sedimentary rock formed by the compaction of clay, silt, or mud. It is finely laminated and splits readily. Shale is well indurated but not as hard as argillite or slate. It may be red, brown, black, or gray.
silicle— A short silique, not much longer than wide.
silique— A narrow, many-seeded capsule, much longer than wide, usually in the Mustard Family.
sillimanite— An orthorhombic (see andalusite ) mineral, Al2 SiO5 ; forms at the highest temperatures and pressures of a regionally metamorphosed sequence.
siltstone— Sedimentary rock composed of silt, having the texture of shale but lacking fine laminations.
site— Literally, any place used by humans for activity as reflected by the presence of artifacts and features (see artifact, feature ).
slate— A compact, fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into slabs.
solifluction— The slow downslope movement of waterlogged soil; includes the flow occurring at high elevations in regions underlain by frozen ground acting as a downward barrier to water percolation; initiated by frost action and augmented by meltwater resulting from alternate freezing and thawing of snow and ground ice. (See also gelifluction lobe .)
spathelike— Having the appearance of a broad, sheathing bract, as in the Calla Lily.
spatulate— Spatula-shaped; rounded above and gradually narrowing to the base, broader in the upper half. (See Fig. 6.1.)
spinescent— More or less spiny.
spur— A slender projection from a petal or sepal.
squamate— Covered with scales.
stamen— The part of the flower producing the pollen, composed (usually) of anther and filament.
staminate— Having stamens but not pistils, said of a male flower or plant (hence not seed-bearing).
stellate-pubescent— Having a coat of fine, star-shaped, branched hairs.
stigma— The receptive part of the pistil, on which the pollen germinates.
stipe— The stalk beneath an ovary.
stoloniferous— Having stolons, that is, modified stems that bend over and root at the nodes.
stomate— A small opening on the surface of a leaf through which gaseous exchange takes place.
stoops— Long dives by birds (e.g., raptors) either in combat, in courtship, or in pursuit of prey.
strap-shaped— In the form of a narrow, flat strip with straight sides.
strata— Plural of stratum, which is a tubular or sheetlike body or layer.
stratigraphic— Refers to layered rocks.
stratocumulus— A common low cloud type that is predominantly horizontal with cumuliform lumps.
stratus— A principal low cloud type that is nearly horizontal, commonly obscures higher terrain, and consists of water droplets.
striate— Marked with fine, longitudinal lines or furrows.
stridulation— Buzzing, trilling, or scratching sound.
strip-bark growth— Concentration of the living cambium and bark along one upright section of the tree trunk, with wood exposed along the remainder of the trunk; characteristic of conifers living in the Subalpine Zone.
subduction— The process of one lithospheric plate (crustal layer) descending beneath another.
subglabrous— With almost no hairs present or almost smooth; usually pertains to leaf surface.
subspecies— A group of organisms ranked below a species.
substrate— The surface an animal clings to or walks on; the substance, base, or nutrient on which, or the medium in which, an organism lives and grows, or the surface to which a fixed organism is attached (e.g., soil, rocks, leaves).
subtended— Below and close to.
subterminal— Almost terminal in position.
succession— A series of strata that succeed one another in chronologic order.
succulent— Juicy, fleshy, somewhat soft.
supercooled— Refers to cloud particles that remain in liquid form at temperatures below freezing (i.e., lower than 32°F or 0°C).
supraocular scales— Scales above the eyes.
symbiotic— Refers to organisms that live in continuous beneficial contact with one another.
sympatric— Occurring together in one locality or region.
synclinal— A fold the core of which contains the stratigraphically younger rocks.
synoptic— Pertaining to an overall view at a given instant; in meteorology, it usually refers to weather maps resulting from analyses of observations and measurements made at the same time at many locations.