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of terms related to the biodiversity



impact assessment

An evaluation of the likely impact on biological diversity of proposed programmes, policies or projects.

important bird area (IBA)

Sites of importance to birds, identified by Birdlife International (http://www.birdlife.net/) and International Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau. The sites are identified for four groups of birds: regularly occurring migratory species which concentrate at and are dependent on particular sites either when breeding, or migration, or during the winter; globally threatened species (i.e. species at risk of total extinction); species and sub-species threatened throughout all or parts of their range but not globally; species that have relatively small total world ranges with important populations(population) in specific areas.

in- situ conservation of farm animal genetic diversity

All measures to maintain live animal breeding populations(population), including those involved in active breeding programmes in the agro-ecosystem where they either developed or are now normally found, together with husbandry activities that are undertaken to ensure the continued contribution of these resources(resource) to sustainable food and agricultural production, now and in the future.


(opp.: ex-situ) - Maintenance or study of organisms within an organism’s native environment. - In the original location.

in-situ conditions

Conditions where genetic resources(genetic resource) exist within ecosystems(ecosystem) and natural habitats(habitat), and in the case of domesticated or cultivated species, in the surroundings where they have developed their distinctive properties.

in-situ conservation

- A biodiversity conservation method that attempts to preserve the genetic integrity of gene resources by conserving them within the evolutionary dynamic ecosystems(ecosystem) of the original habitat or natural environment. - The conservation of ecosystems, natural habitats and the maintenance and recovery of viable populations(population) 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.

in-situ gene banks

Protected areas(protected area) designated specifically to protect genetic variability of particular species.

in vitro

- Literally 'in glass'. Experimental reproduction of biological processes in isolation from a living organism, e.g. tissue culture. - Storage of living materials as tissue culture, and may include cryopreservation (storage at low temperature, usually in liquid nitrogen). - Storage of plant or animal dermplasm in tissue-culture form in glass containers. The growing of cells, tissues, or organs in plastic vessels under sterile conditions on an artificially prepared medium.

in vitro culture

(also: tissue culture) - A technique in which portions of a plant or animal are grown on an artificial culture medium. -In vitro methods of propagating cells from animal or plant tissue.

in vivo

Taking place in a living organism.


A cross between parents of similar genetic constitution which could be from the same blood line (shared ancestry).

inbred line

In plants, a line produced by repeated selfing and selection. Results in true breeding and a fixed genotype.


- Mating among related individuals. - Mating of close relatives resulting in increased genetic uniformity in the offspring. - Mating of close relatives, which reduces genetic diversity, often leading to expression of deleterious recessive characteristics and reduction of fitness in the offspring. - A mating system involving the mating or breeding of closely related individuals, the most extreme form of which is self-fertilization. It is used to “fix” economically useful genetic traits in genetically improved populations(population); however, it also can result in fixation of deleterious recessive alleles(allele).

indicator species

A species whose status provides information on the overall condition of the ecosystem and of other species in that ecosystem. He reflect the quality and changes in environmental conditions as well as aspects of community composition.

indigenous peoples (also: native peoples or tribal peoples)

People whose ancestors inhabited a place or country when persons from another culture or ethnic background arrived on the scene and dominated them through conquest, settlement, or other means and who today live more in conformity with their own social, economic, and cultural customs and traditions than with those of the country of which they now form a part.

insurance value

The value of biodiversity in maintaining ecosystem functions over a range of environmental conditions.

integrated area management (IAM)

Management approach whereby a specific area is zoned and regulated for a variety of uses, including research, species protection, tourism, harvesting, cutting down trees, hunting or fishing, that is compatible with the management goals for the area.

integrated pest management

- An ecologically based strategy that relies on natural mortality factors, such as natural enemies, weather, and crop management, and seeks to control tactics that disrupt these factors as little as possible while enhancing their effectiveness. - The challenging or control of pests(pest) through a tailored programme of different strategies including biological control agents and agrochemicals.

intergenerational equity

A core proposition is that future generations have a right to an inheritance (capital bequest) sufficient to allow them to generate a level of well-being no less than that of the current generation. Fairness in the treatment of different members of the same generation.


Between different species.

intertidal zone

The zone of overlap between land and sea that is submerged at high tide and exposed at low tide.

intrinsic value

The value of creatures and plants independent of human recognition and estimation of their worth.

introduced species

(also known as alien species) A species occurring in an area outside of its historically known natural range as a result of intentional or accidental dispersal by human activities.


The entry of a pest (or species) resulting in its establishment.

introduction of a biological control agent

The release of a biological control agent into an ecosystem or an area where it did not exist previously.


Incorporation of genes(gene) of one species into a gene pool of another species.

inundative release

The release of overwhelming numbers of a mass-produced biological control agent in the expectation of achieving a rapid reduction of a pest population without necessarily achieving continuing impact.

invasive species

An introduced species which invades natural habitats(habitat).


On-site collection of data on natural resources(resource) and their properties.


The surveying, sorting, cataloguing, quantifying and mapping of entities such as genes(gene), individuals, populations(population), species, habitats(habitat), ecosystems(ecosystem) and landscapes or their components, and the synthesis of the resulting information for the analysis of process.


Any animal without backbone or spinal column.

island biogeography

The study of the relationship between island area and species number. This idea has also been applied to isolated areas of habitat in continental areas which are effectively islands for many species. The extent to which habitat fragmentation may lead to extinction of species can be predicted from the relationship between number of species and island area.

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