Definition: Capable of creating a new organism by combining the genetic material of two gametes, which may come from two parent organisms or from a single organism, in the case of self-fertilizing hermaphrodites.
Definition: Common species and uncommon species are designations used in ecology to describe the population status of a species. Commonness is closely related to abundance. Abundance refers to the frequency with which a species is found in controlled samples; in contrast, species are defined as common or uncommon based on their overall presence in the environment. A species may be locally abundant without being common.
Definition: Stress tolerant species live in areas of high intensity stress and low intensity disturbance. Species that have adapted this strategy generally have slow growth rates, high rates of nutrient retention, and low phenotypic plasticity. Stress tolerators respond to environmental stresses through physiological variability. These species are often found in stressful environments.
Definition: Colonial organisms are clonal colonies composed of many physically connected, interdependent individuals. The subunits of colonial organisms can be unicellular, as in the alga Volvox (a coenobium), or multicellular, as in the phylum Bryozoa. The former type may have been the first step toward multicellular organisms