You are here

Glossary

Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

B

Biological diversity

The variability among living organisms from all sources including, inter alia, terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems. [7]

C

Connectivity

Focuses on the maintenance and restoration of functioning natural ecosystems across landscapes. Connectivity is built around habitats which are linked across different land uses and are able to maintain ecological and evolutionary process. [2]

Cryopreservation

The process of cooling and storing cells, tissues or organs at very low temperatures, usually in liquid nitrogen.

D

Dormancy

Refers to viable seeds that do not germinate despite being provided with appropriate temperature, moisture and light conditions. [6]

Dormant

Viable seeds that do not germinate despite being provided with appropriate temperature, moisture and light conditions.

E

Endemic

Where species or other taxonomic groups are restricted to a particular geographic region. Endemics are native to the region in which they are found. [1]

Ex-situ conservation

The conservation of components of biological diversity outside their natural habitats. [7]

G

Genetic material

Any material of plant, animal, microbial or other origin containing functional units of heredity. [7]

H

Habitat

<p>The place or type of site where an organism occurs naturally. [3]</p>

I

In Vitro

The growing of biological material or organisms in glass or plastic vessels in a laboratory. (vitro (Latin) = within glass)

In-situ conservation

The conservation of ecosystems and natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations of species in their natural surroundings and, in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties. [7]

K

Keystone species

A species that has a disproportionately strong infleunce within a particular ecosystem, such that its removal results in severe destabilisation of the ecosystem and can lead to further species losses.

O

Orthodox seed

A seed that remains viable when desiccated to 5% moisture content or less (desiccation tolerant seed) and survives storage at sub-zero temperatures. [6]

P

Provenance (genetic)

<p>The place of origin of a collection; area containing a population of a species that is&nbsp;genetically distinct from other populations; usually thought to&nbsp;represent genetic&nbsp;adaptation to local environmental conditions. [3]</p>

R

Recalcitrant

Recalcitrant seeds are intolerant of desiccation and rapidly lose viability when bulk 'free' water is removed by drying; such seeds cannot therefore be stored at sub-zero temperatures. These seeds are typically found in wetter environments such as the wet tropics where species often have large seeds, thin seed costs and fleshy-fruits.

Recalcitrant seed

A seed that does not survive desiccation and, therefore, cannot be stored at sub-zero temperatures. [6]

Rehabilitation

The process of improving specific ecosystem factors in a degraded habitat. [6]

S

Scarification

Involves methods that break the hard seed-coat or soften it using chemicals. These methods allow water and air to penetrate and this can help break dormancy so the seeds will germinate. [4]

T

Taxon (taxa)

The named classification unit to which individuals are assigned e.g. genus, species, subspecies, variety etc. [3]

Translocation

The deliberate transfer of plants or regenerative material from an ex situ collection or natural population to a location in the wild. [3]

U

Understorey

A general term for the plants (usually shrubs and herbs) of a community occurring at levels lower than the top stratum (usually trees).

V

Viable

Refers to a seed that is alive and has the potential to germinate. [6]