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Glossary of NHNM Terms

Click on a term below to link to further information. If you don't find the term you are looking for, please e-mail NHNM and we will add it to our glossary.

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ABI Association for Biodiversity Information. Former name of NatureServe™.
Association for Biodiversity Information Former name of NatureServe™.
BCD Biological Conservation Data System. The Heritage Program database system and software developed by The Nature Conservancy. Replaced by NatureServe's Heritage Data Management System.
Biological Conservation Data System A complex database designed by The Nature Conservancy to store, manage, and retrieve biological and conservation data on the rare elements of biodiversity.
Element A species or a natural community (i.e., natural plant community). The term "species" is used to include all entities at the taxonomic level of species, including interspecific hybrids, as well as all subspecies and plant varieties.
Element Occurrence An area of land and/or water in which a species or natural community is, or was, present.
Element Occurrence Record A record in the NHNM Natural Heritage Information System (NM Biotics) containing information on an element occurrence, such as location, condition, and type of occurrence.
Endangered Facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
EOs Element Occurrence records. An Element Occurrence (EO) is an area of land and/or water in which a species or natural community is, or was, present. An EO should have practical conservation value for the Element as evidenced by potential continued (or historical) presence and/or regular recurrence at a given location. For species1 Elements, the EO often corresponds with the local population, but when appropriate may be a portion of a population (e.g., long distance dispersers) or a group of nearby populations (e.g., metapopulation). For community Elements, the EO may represent a stand or patch of a natural community, or a cluster of stands or patches of a natural community. Because they are defined on the basis of biological information, EOs may cross jurisdictional boundaries.
GIS Geographic Information System. Computer software which allows electronic spatial data to be viewed, manipulated, and printed out.
Global Rank Global conservation status rank for an element, as determined by ABI, based on information provided by Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers.
NatureServe™ An organization dedicated to providing reliable information on species and ecosystems for use in conservation and land use planning. NatureServe is an independent non-profit organization created in collaboration with the Network of Natural Heritage Programs and Conservation Data Centers and The Nature Conservancy. Formerly known as the Association for Biodiversity Information.
Natural Heritage Network The network of Conservation Data Centers and Natural Heritage Programs throughout the Americas. All network members use the same methodology and database to track the rare elements of biodiversity in their jurisdictions.
Plant Community A plant community is a unit of vegetation with a relatively uniform species composition and physical structure. Plant communities also tend to have characteristic environmental features such as bedrock geology, soil type, topographic position, climate, and energy, nutrient, and water cycles.
State Rank Conservation status rank for an element occurring or formerly occurring in New Mexico
The Nature Conservancy The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is the world's leading private, International conservation group. The mission of TNC is to preserve plants, animals and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. TNC used to oversee the Natural Heritage Network, but that duty is now being taken over by the Association for Biodiversity Information.
Threatened Likely to become endangered if limiting factors are not reversed.
TNC The Nature Conservancy
Vulnerable Particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events.