A glossary of definitions for terms relating to biodiversity, ecosystems services and conservation.
All definitions are referenced, where possible preference has been given to internationally recognised definitions (for example those defined by international conventions or agreements). The terms have been chosen to support understanding of biodiversity and conservation issues, and terms relating to biodiversity loss are complemented by those relating to conservation responses supported by international conservation organisations, governments, scientists and business sectors.
More detailed explanations are provided for a number of key terms, to provide further background information.
The terms can be filtered by category to aid in the navigation of the many definitions.
A measure of the overall species diversity within a landscape or geographic area, obtained by multiplying alpha diversity and beta diversity (where alpha diversity is the number of species, and beta diversity is the variety of species in an area).
Scientific Definition: Richness in species of a range of habitats (a landscape, or geographic area, an island) is a gamma diversity and is consequent on the alpha diversity of the individual communities and the range of differentiation or beta diversity among them.