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  Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs and aspirations of the current generation without compromising the ability to meet those of future generations.


The study of the historical evolutionary and genetic relationships among organisms and of their phenotypic similarities and differences.


The more or less predictable changes in the composition of communities following a natural or human disturbance. For example, after a gap is made in a forest by logging, clearing, fire, or treefall, the initial (or "pioneer") species are often fast-growing and shade-intolerant. These species are eventually replaced by shade-tolerant species that can grown beneath the pioneers. If a community is not further disturbed, the outcome of the successional sequence may be a so-called climax community whose composition is unchanging. In practice, many communities are frequently disturbed and may never reach a climax composition.

Taxon (pl. taxa)

The named classification unit (e.g. Homo sapiens, Hominidae, or Mammalia) to which individuals, or sets of species, are assigned. Higher taxa are those above the species level.


The naming and assignment of organisms to taxa.

Vascular Plants

Plants with a well-developed vascular system that transports water, minerals, sugars, and other nutrients throughout the plant body. Excludes the bryophytes: mosses, hornworts, and liverworts.


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