TENDUA - Association for biodiversity conservation

Little Glossary about Biodiversity

Allochthonous

  • Found in a place other than its original aera.

Anthropogenic

  • Related to human activity. Qualifies any evidence directly or indirectly caused by human activities, as opposed to those occurring in natural environments without human influences .

Autochthonous

  • A plant or animal that grows or lives naturally in a place.

Biodiversity

  • Is the variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome or for the entire Earth. Biodiversity is often used as a measure of the health of biological systems. The biodiversity found on Earth today consists of many millions of distinct biological species, which is the product of nearly 3.5 billion years of evolution.

Biogeography

  • Is the study of the distribution of biodiversity over space and time. It aims to reveal where organisms live, at what abundance.

Biomass

  • (Ecology) Refers to the quantity of living biological material that corresponds to a specific surface or volume. The overall weight of all the individuals of a particular species is the biomass of that species.

Biotope

  • Is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals. Biotope is almost synonymous with the term habitat, but while the subject of a habitat is a species or a population, the subject of a biotope is a biological community. The word biotope, literally translated, means an area where life lives.

Canopy

  • Is one of the uppermost levels of a forest, below the emergent layer, formed by the tree crowns.

Commensalism

  • Is a kind of symbiotic relationship between two organisms where one benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped (like a bird living in a tree). There is no apparent benefit or harm to either member of the association. A problem with commensal relationships is that if you look at one long enough and hard enough, you often discover that at least one member is being helped or harmed during the association.

Ecosystem

  • Is a natural unit consisting ofall plants, animals and micro-organisms (biotic factors) in a particular area, and the way in which they are related to each other and to the non-living physical (abiotic) factors of the environment .

Endemic

  • Is always present in a particular place (country, region, archipelago, island...) that you can not find naturally elsewhere.

Foliage

  • All the leaves of a plant or a tree.

Introduced

  • A species is defined as introduced (also known as non-indigenous, alien or exotic) in a certain geographical area, if that area is outside the species’ native distributional range, and the species has arrived there by human activity.

Juvenile

  • An individual organism after birth (hatching, germination, etc), that has not yet reached its adult form, maturity or size.

Native

  • About a species which is naturally present on a specific area.

Oviparous

  • Method of animal reproduction in which eggs are laid by the female and develop outside the body, in contrast to ovoviviparous and viviparous. It is the most common form of reproduction.

Ovoviviparous

  • Is a zoological term that refers to animals that produce eggs but retain them inside the female body until hatching occurs, so that “live” offspring are born. The egg-hatching strategy of ovoviviparity occurs in a rather wide diversity of animals, including certain insects, fish, lizards, and snakes. However, ovoviviparity is much less common than the external development of fertilized eggs (that is, oviparity).

Parasitism

  • Is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species. The parasite benefits from a prolonged, close association with the host, which is harmed. In biology, the term parasite refers to an organism that grows, feeds and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host.

Pelagic

  • Relating to or living in or on oceanic waters ; about a marine animal (bird, fish, mammals) living in open sea most of the year, far from the bottom and any substratum. The pelagic zone of the ocean begins at the low tide mark and includes the entire oceanic water column.

Restoration ecology

  • Is the study of renewing a degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystem through active human intervention.

Subspecies

  • In zoology, as in other branches of biology, subspecies is the taxonomic rank immediately subordinate to a species. The characteristics attributed to subspecies are generally derived from changes that have taken place or evolved as a result of geographical distribution or isolation from the primary species or nominate form, also called nominate subspecies.

Speciation

  • Is the evolutionary process by which new biological species arise. There are four modes of natural speciation, based on the extent to which speciating populations are geographically isolated from one another: allopatric, peripatric, parapatric, and sympatric. Speciation may also be induced artificially, through animal husbandry or laboratory experiments.

Subadult

  • An individual that has passed through the juvenile period but not yet attained typical adult characteristics.

Substrate

  • The surface on or in which plants, algae or animals, such as barnacles or clams, live or grow. A substrate may serve as a source of food for an organism or simply provide support. Silt and sand are soft substrates.

Symbiosis

  • The relationship between two different living things that depend on each other for particular advantages.

Taxon (plural taxa)

  • Or taxonomic unit, is a name designating an organism or a group of organisms. In biological nomenclature according to Carl Linnaeus, a taxon is assigned a taxonomic rank and can be placed at a particular level in a systematic hierarchy reflecting evolutionary relationships}
  • Species, Genus, Family, Order, Class, Phylum, Kingdom, Domain, Life.

Taxonomy

  • The process of organizing things such as plants or animals into different groups or sets that show their natural relationship. Taxonomic rank (rank, category, taxonomic category) is an abstract term used in the scientific classification, or taxonomy, of organisms. Taxonomic rank indicates the level of a taxon in the taxonomic hierarchy.

Territory

  • The area that an animal regards as its own and will defend against other animals, in particular in order to keep the food source.

Trophic dynamics

  • Is the system of trophic levels which describe the position that an organism occupies in a food chain - what it eats, and what eats it.

Vernacular

  • The language spoken in a country or area, especially when it is not the official language. It is the common name of a species or subspecies in the native language of a country or a locality.

Viviparous

  • A viviparous animal is an animal employing vivipary: the embryo develops inside the body of the mother, as opposed to outside in an egg (ovipary). The mother then gives live birth. The less developed form of vivipary is called ovoviviparity, which, for instance, occurs in most vipers.

Zoonosis

  • Or zoonose is any infectious disease that is able to be transmitted (by a vector) from other animals, both wild and domestic, to humans or from humans to animals.
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