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abiotic - non-biological elements of the ecosystem (from a - not, and bios life)

adaptive management - adaptive management rigorously combines management, research, monitoring, and means of changing practices so that credible information is gained and management activities are modified by experience.

anthropogenic - produced or caused by humans (from anthropo - human and genes - produced)

autecology - the biological relationships between a single species and its environment, the biology of individual species (from autos - self, oikos - household and logos - discourse)

benchmark - a state (e.g. of an ecosystem) against which later change is measured.

biogeoclimatic - dealing with living organisms and their relationship to earth (soils, landforms, etc.) and climate (from bios - life, ge - earth and klima - climate). In British Columbia a Biogeoclimatic Ecosystem Classification system provides a basis for ecosystem restoration planning. Ministry of Forests BEC publications will give ecosystem information for your site. See resource section.

biotic - pertaining to life (from bios - life)

climax community - a plant community that represents the final stage of natural succession for its environment.

coarse filter restoration - an ecosystem-based approach to restoration that assumes that most species will have their needs met by restoring or protecting the fundamental structure of an ecosystem. The coarse-filter approach is almost always used in tandem with the fine filter approach to restoration.

coarse woody debris - sound and rotting logs and stumps that provide habitat for plants, animals, and insects and a source of nutrients for soil development.

decompaction - to release from a compacted condition by ripping or otherwise loosening the soil.

degradation - the diminution of biological productivity or diversity.

degrading agent - a mechanism or instrument of degradation (see above).

desired future condition - a description of a restoration goal, or end-point. The desired future condition may be a facsimile of the ecosystem before degradation, or it may describe a new reality that takes into account impacts that cannot be redressed, including climate change.

ecological integrity - the quality of a natural unmanaged or managed ecosystem in which the natural ecological processes are sustained, with genetic, species and ecosystem diversity assured for the future.

ecological restoration - the process of assisting the recovery and management of ecological integrity. Ecological integrity includes a critical range of variability in biodiversity, ecological processes and structures, regional and historical context, and sustainable cultural practices. (definition from the Society for Ecological Restoration)

ecological processes - natural phenomena that determine the patterns of ecosystems. Specifically, ecological processes such as natural disturbance, hydrology, nutrient cycling, biotic interactions, population dynamics, and evolution determine the species composition, habitat structure, and ecological health of every site and landscape.

enhancement - in the context of restoration this usually means to change a habitat type or species to outside its natural range of variability.

exotic species - organisms from outside the bio-region or continent in question. The term exotic species are often used synonymously with the term 'invasive species'. Invasive species may or may not be exotic. Invasive species expand their range and their coverage at the expense of other species, often aiding by human activity. Many problem weedy plants are both invasive and exotic.

extension - in this context extension means to spread information about the subject to others either through presentations at conferences, preparation of papers or report.

extirpate - to lose from the area. This refers to plants or animals that were once found in the area but are no longer present. This is not to be confused with extinction, where the species is gone from the earth.

fine filter restoration - restoration treatments for ecosystem components, like individual species or specific habitat attributes. Fine filter restoration is usually paired with the concept of coarse filter restoration.

habitat (scale) restoration - restoring specific structures or features within ecosystems. This approach usually assumes that ecological processes do not need restoring, and individual species will recover once the appropriate habitat is restored.

keystone species - a species that affects the survival and abundance of many other species, and if removed will result in a relatively significant shift in the composition of the ecological community.

landscape-level - a watershed, or other natural biophysical (ecological) unit, within a larger regional planning area. This term is most often used for conservation or restoration planning, where large areas are needed to plan for ecological integrity.

large woody debris - a large tree part, conventionally a piece greater than 10 cm in diameter and 1 m in length. This term most often refers the tree parts that provide channel stability or create fish habitat diversity in a stream channel. Similar tree parts on land are usually called coarse woody debris.

mitigation - the reduction of environmental harm or impacts. Sometimes mitigation includes the concept of working to offset overall negative impacts by creating habitat or undertaking reclamation in one area to make up for losses in another.

natural disturbance - periodic processes or events such as insect outbreaks, fire, disease, flooding, windstorms and avalanches that cause ecosystem change and renewal.

natural disturbance regime - the historic patterns (frequency and extent) of fire, insects, wind, landslides and other natural processes in an area.

natural disturbance pattern - the landscape level effects of natural disturbance. For example, fire may create a mosaic or pattern of forest stands of different ages. Infrequent disturbance (such as in coastal forests) creates a pattern of mostly older trees, with smaller areas of the landscape in younger age classes.

natural range of variability - the spectrum of ecosystem states and processes encountered over a long time period.

overstory - the layer of vegetation above the layer being considered such as the herb layer provides an overstory to the moss layer and the shrub layer is an overstory to the herb and moss layers

reclamation - to stabilize soil and water on lands that have been damaged by industrial activity, and return the land to some useful purpose.

reference ecosystem - a less disturbed ecosystem similar to the one requiring restoration.

riparian - an area of land adjacent to a stream, river, lake or wetland that contains vegetation that, due to the presence of water, is distinctly different from the vegetation of adjacent upland areas.

seral/ seral stage - a successional stage of a plant community before it reaches its 'climax' community.

species (scale) restoration - restoration where the focus is on an individual species, rather than on ecosystem components or ecological processes. Species scale restoration may include restoring habitat or population size for important or rare species, and it also includes the removal of problem species, like invasive exotics.

stand-level - usually used in conjunction with landscape level, stand level refers to the scale of forest management at which a relatively homogeneous land unit can be managed under a single prescription, or set of treatments, to meet well-defined objectives.

succession - the sequence of changes a plant community passes through before reaching its maximum possible development, or 'climax community'.

umbrella species - a species that requires large areas of habitat, and if managed for, will encompass the needs of some other species as well.

understory - the layer of plants below the overstory such as the mosses under an overstory of herbaceous vegetation or mosses, herbs and shrubs under an overstory of trees.

wildlife trees - a wildlife tree is a standing live or dead tree with special characteristics that provide valuable habitat for the conservation of wildlife. Characteristics include large diameter and height for the site, current use by wildlife, declining or dead condition, value as a species, valuable location and relative scarcity.

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