infauna Animals that live under the surface of the seabed or other sediments, either by tunneling or by constructing tubes.
infiltration 1. The movement of water through the soil surface. The properties of different soils, especially surface structure and texture, give them different capacities for infiltration. See also percolation.
2. The leakage of water from the soil into manmade underground structures such as pipes through cracks and damaged surfaces.
3. The application of waste water to land, so that it penetrates the underlying soil.
influent 1. Water, waste water, or another liquid that flows into a stream, reservoir, treatment plant, or industrial process.
2. A factor, such as an immigrating individual, that perturbs the balance of a community.
ingestion 1. A form of heterotrophic nutrition in which prey or pieces of prey or detritus are taken in through the mouth. 2. The taking into the body of toxic substances through the mouth or lungs.
inheritance The receiving of characteristics by transmission of genetic material from parent to offspring.
inhibition Resistance to a colonizing species by an already-established species, especially during a succession.
inorganic Describing a substance that is not derived from living organisms or their remains, or which does not contain carbon. However, simple carbon-containing compounds such as oxides and sulfides of carbon are usually considered to be inorganic compounds.
Insecta The largest class of arthropods (see Arthropoda) and the largest class in the animal kingdom. Most insects can fly. The body is characteristically divided into a head, thorax, and abdomen. The head bears a pair of antennae, compound eyes, and simple eyes (ocelli). The mouthparts are modified according to the diet. The thorax bears three pairs of five-jointed legs and, typically, two pairs of wings. The abdomen is usually limbless. Most insects are terrestrial and respiration is carried out by tracheae (branching tubes) with segmen-tally arranged spiracles (tiny holes opening to the outside). Usually the life cycle includes complete metamorphosis, with a larval and pupal stage, but in some species metamorphosis is incomplete - the larvae (nymphs) resemble the adult and there is no pupal stage. Many insects are beneficial, being pollinators of flowers and predators of pests; others are harmful, being pests of crops, disease carriers, and destroyers of clothes, furniture, and buildings. See also biological control; pollination.
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