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.
Very large regions of coastal, benthic or pelagic ocean across which biotas are internally coherent at higher taxonomic levels, as a result of a shared and unique evolutionary history. Realms have high levels of endemism, including unique taxa at generic and family levels in some groups. Driving factors behind the development of such unique biotas include water temperature, historical and broadscale isolation, and the proximity of the benthos.