Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry

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Appendix III. Glossary

[These definitions are provided solely for the purposes of this Special Report.]

The degree to which the mean of a sample approaches the true mean of the population; lack of bias.

A practice or ensemble of practices that take place on a delineated area over a given period of time.

A reference scenario against which a change in greenhouse gas emissions or removals is measured.

Systematic over- or under-estimation of a quantity.

That component of the Earth system that contains life in its various forms, which includes its living organisms and derived organic matter (e.g., litter, detritus, soil).

Carbon Flux
Transfer of carbon from one carbon pool to another in units of measurement of mass per unit area and time (e.g., t C ha-1 yr-1).

Carbon Pool
A reservoir. A system which has the capacity to accumulate or release carbon. Examples of carbon pools are forest biomass, wood products, soils, and atmosphere. The units are mass (e.g., t C).

Carbon Stock
The absolute quantity of carbon held within a pool at a specified time.

See "Carbon Flux."

Forest Estate
A forested landscape consisting of multiple stands of trees.

Forest Stand
A community of trees, including aboveground and below-ground biomass and soils, sufficiently uniform in species composition, age, arrangement, and condition to be managed as a unit.

Heterotrophic Respiration
The release of carbon dioxide from decomposition of organic matter.

Land Cover
The observed physical and biological cover of the Earth's land as vegetation or man-made features.

Land Use
The total of arrangements, activities, and inputs undertaken in a certain land cover type (a set of human actions). The social and economic purposes for which land is managed (e.g., grazing, timber extraction, conservation).

The longevity of a carbon pool and the stability of its stocks, given the management and disturbance environment in which it occurs.

See "Carbon Pool."

An action or set of actions that affect the land, the stocks of pools associated with it or otherwise affect the exchange of greenhouse gases with the atmosphere.

The repeatability of a measurement (e.g., the standard error of the sample mean).

The renewal of a stand of trees through either natural means (seeded on-site or adjacent stands or deposited by wind, birds, or animals) or artificial means (by planting seedlings or direct seeding).

A pool.

The process of increasing the carbon content of a carbon pool other than the atmosphere.

Shifting Agriculture
A form of forest use common in tropic forests where an area of forest is cleared, or partially cleared, and used for cropping for a few years until the forest regenerates. Also known as "slash and burn agriculture," "moving agriculture," or "swidden agriculture."

Any process or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol, or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. A given pool (reservoir) can be a sink for atmospheric carbon if, during a given time interval, more carbon is flowing into it than is flowing out.

Opposite of sink. A carbon pool (reservoir) can be a source of carbon to the atmosphere if less carbon is flowing into it than is flowing out of it.

See "Forest Stand."

See "Carbon Stock."

Soil Carbon Pool
Used here to refer to the relevant carbon in the soil. It includes various forms of soil organic carbon (humus) and inorganic soil carbon and charcoal. It excludes soil biomass (e.g., roots, bulbs, etc.) as well as the soil fauna (animals).

The addition of carbon to a pool. A similar term is "sequestration."

Wood Products
Products derived from the harvested wood from a forest, including fuelwood and logs and the products derived from them such as sawn timber, plywood, wood pulp, paper, etc.

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