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vernal pool

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A seasonal body of standing water that typically forms in the spring from melting snow and other runoff, dries out completely in the hotter months of summer, and often refills in the autumn. Vernal pools range from broad, heavily vegetated lowland bodies to smaller, isolated upland bodies with little permanent vegetation. They are free of fish and provide important breeding habitat for many terrestrial or semiaquatic species such as frogs, salamanders, and turtles.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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