A branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environment.


Refers to the entire global ecosystem that comprises atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere as inseparable components.


A dynamic and complex system of plant, animal and microorganism communities and their non-living environment all interacting as a functional unit within a defined physical location. The term may be applied to a unit as large as the entire ecosphere, but usually refers to a division thereof.


The discharge of industrial or urban waste material into the environment; the outflow from a lake or river.


The release of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors into the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.

Endangered Species

A species threatened with extinction.


All of the external factors, conditions, and influences which affect an organism or a community. Also, everything that surrounds an organism or organisms, including both natural and human-built elements.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA)

The critical appraisal, both positive and negative, of the likely effects of a proposed project, ,development, activity or policy on the environment.

Environmentally Sound

That which does not harm the environment in any way.


The wearing away of land surface by wind, water, glaciers, chemicals, and exposure to the atmosphere. Erosion occurs naturally but can be intensified by land-clearing practices related to farming, residential or industrial development, road building or deforestation.


A bay or inlet, often at the mouth of a river, in which large quantities of freshwater and seawater mix together. These unique habitats are necessary nursery grounds for many marine fishes and shellfishes.


Over-enrichment of a water body with nutrients, resulting in excessive growth of organisms and depletion of oxygen concentration.

Extinct species

A species that no longer survives anywhere in the world.

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