The IPBES core glossary provides a standard definition for important terms of broad applicability to IPBES outputs. This core glossary does not replace the assessment-specific glossaries, but is complementary to them. It was developed by a glossary committee established for this purpose.
Breakdown of complex organic substances into simpler molecules or ions by physical, chemical and/or biological processes.
Human-induced conversion of forested land to nonforested land. Deforestation can be permanent, when this change is definitive, or temporary when this change is part of a cycle that includes natural or assisted regeneration.
Land in a state that results from persistent decline or loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services that cannot fully recover unaided.
Reduction of nitrates and nitrites to nitrogen by microorganisms.
Desertification means land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities. Desertification does not refer to the natural expansion of existing deserts.
The transformation of information from coarser to finer spatial scales through statistical modelling or spatially nested linkage of structural models.
In the context of IPBES, drivers of change are all the factors that, directly or indirectly, cause changes in nature, anthropogenic assets, nature’s contributions to people and a good quality of life.
Drylands comprise arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas. The term excludes hyper-arid areas, also known as deserts. Drylands are characterised by water scarcity and cover approximately 40 % of the world's terrestrial surface.
Downscaling based on mechanistic models, which may be more appropriate than statistical downscaling in systems where the relationship between coarse scale and fine scale dynamics are complex and non-linear, or observational data are insufficient.