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|Lagoon (saline)||A shallow body of coastal salt water (from brackish to hypersaline) partially separated from an adjacent sea by a barrier of sand or other sediment, or less frequently, by rocks (based on Ardizzone et al., 1988). Three features serve to identify a coastal lagoon: 1) the presence of an isolating barrier beach, spit or island; 2) the retention of all or most of the water mass within the system during periods of low tide in the adjacent sea; 3) the persistence of natural water exchange between the lagoon and the parent sea - by percolation through and/or overtopping of the barrier, through inlet/outflow channels, etc. - permitting the lagoonal water to remain saline or brackish. As defined for the EC Habitats Directive, lagoons are "Expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity and water volume, separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle, or, less frequently, by rocks. Salinity may vary from brackish water to hypersalinity depending on rainfall, evaporation and the addition of seawater from storms or from temporary flooding by the sea in winter" (European Commission 1995).|
|Littoral||The area of the shore that is occupied by marine organisms which are adapted to or need alternating exposure to air and wetting by submersion, splash or spray. On rocky shores, the upper limit is marked by the top of the Littorina /Verrucaria belt and the lower limit by the top of the laminarian zone (Lewis, 1964). It is divided into separate subzones, particularly marked on hard substrata.|
|Local importance||In conservation assessment - biotopes or locations which are among the best examples or the only examples within a particular physiographic feature or area of coast but occur widely elsewhere in the coastal sector (q.v.). This was, until 1995, defined as being: "communities or areas which are widespread in similar situations but for which the one mentioned is a good example in the coastal sector under consideration". (Based on Hiscock & Mitchell, 1989.) Cf. 'international importance: species', 'national importance', 'regional importance' (biotopes or areas and species).|
|Lough / Loch||Lake, in Irish and Scottish respectively.|
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