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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.


The place or type of site where an organism or population naturally occurs. Also used to mean the environmental attributes required by a particular species or its ecological niche.

Habitat connectivity

The degree to which the landscape facilitates the movement of organisms (animals, plant reproductive structures, pollen, pollinators, spores, etc.) and other environmentally important resources (e.g., nutrients and moisture) between similar habitats. Connectivity is hampered by fragmentation (q.v.).

Habitat degradation

A general term describing the set of processes by which habitat quality is reduced. Habitat degradation may occur through natural processes (e.g. drought, heat, cold) and through human activities (forestry, agriculture, urbanization).

Habitat fragmentation

A general term describing the set of processes by which habitat loss results in the division of continuous habitats into a greater number of smaller patches of lesser total and isolated from each other by a matrix of dissimilar habitats. Habitat fragmentation may occur through natural processes (e.g., forest and grassland fires, flooding) and through human activities (forestry, agriculture, urbanization).


The process of bringing together, and comparing, models or scenarios to make them compatible or consistent with one another.


A row of shrubs or trees that forms the boundary of an area such as a garden, field, farm, road or right-of-way.

Hedonic pricing

An economic valuation approach that utilizes information about the implicit demand for an environmental attribute of marketed commodities.


When used in the ecological sense “homogenisation” means a decrease in the extent to which communities differ in species or functional composition.

Human appropriation of net primary production (HANPP)

The aggregate impact of land use on biomass available each year in ecosystems.

Hybrid model

See "models".