PRBO Conservation Science
Quarterly Journal of PRBO Conservation Science, Number 150, Fall 2007: Units of Conservation: Single Species to Ecosystems

Units of Conservation: Single Species to Ecosystems


Defining Terms

Units of Conservation
Glossary of Terms
CEO's column
Snowy Plovers and Sandy Coastline
Sierran Forest Focal Birds
Marine Ecosystem Research
Ecosystem-based Management
PRBO News and Highlights
Remembering Bob Mayer
Focus on Black Rail Habitat
Latin American Intern Story
Bird-A-Thon 2007
The Grand List

Biodiversity. Number and variety of living organisms; includes genetic diversity, species diversity, and ecological diversity.

Conservation Biology. A branch of biology that focuses on the protection and restoration of biodiversity by addressing three fundamental questions. How is the diversity of life distributed and maintained around the planet? What threats does this diversity face? What can people do to reduce or eliminate these threats so as to restore biological diversity and ecosystem health?

Ecosystem. All the interacting components of the physical and biological world.

Ecosystem Services. The fundamental life-support services (such as clean water, timber, habitat for fisheries, and plant pollination) provided by natural ecosystems, without which human civilization would cease to thrive.

Ecosystem Resilience. The ability of an ecosystem to return to its original state following an environmental perturbation or disturbance.

Ecosystem-Based Management. An integrated approach to management that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans. Its goal is to maintain a healthy, resilient ecosystem that can provide the services humans want and need.

Population Viability. The ability of a population to persist over the long term. Population viability analysis is increasingly used to understand the factors that affect vulnerable populations and species in the face of both predictable and unpredictable environmental variation in the future.

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