Biological productivityThe amount of organic matter, carbon, or energy content that is accumulated during a given time period.
BiomassThe total dry organic matter or stored energy content of living organisms that is present at a specific time in a defined unit (community, ecosystem, crop, etc.) of the earth's surface.
BiosphereThe portion of earth and its atmosphere that can support life. The part (reservoir) of the global carbon cycle that includes living organisms (plants and animals) and life-derived organic matter (litter, detritus). The terrestrial biosphere includes the living biota (plants and animals) and the litter and soil organic matter on land, and the marine biosphere includes the biota and detritus in the oceans.
BiotaThe animal and plant (fauna and flora) life of a given area.
Carbon-based resourcesThe recoverable fossil fuel (coal, gas, crude oils, oil shale, and tar sands) and biomass that can be used in fuel production and consumption.
Carbon budgetThe balance of the exchanges (incomes and losses) of carbon between the carbon reservoirs or between one specific loop (e.g., atmosphere-biosphere) of the carbon cycle. An examination of the carbon budget of a pool or reservoir can provide information about whether the pool or reservoir is functioning as a source or sink for CO2.
Carbon cycleAll parts (reservoirs) and fluxes of carbon; usually thought of as a series of the four main reservoirs of carbon interconnected by pathways of exchange. The four reservoirs, regions of the earth in which carbon behaves in a systematic manner, are the atmosphere, terrestrial biosphere (usually includes freshwater systems), oceans, and sediments (includes fossil fuels). Each of these global reservoirs may be subdivided into smaller pools ranging in size from individual communities or ecosystems to the total of all living organisms (biota). Carbon exchanges from reservoir to reservoir by various chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes.
Carbon densityThe amount of carbon per unit area for a given ecosystem or vegetation type, based on climatic conditions, topography, vegetative-cover type and amount, soils, and maturity of the vegetative stands.
Carbon dioxide fertilizationEnhancement of plant growth or of the net primary production by CO2 enrichment that could occur in natural or agricultural systems as a result of an increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2.
Carbon sinkA pool (reservoir) that absorbs or takes up released carbon from another part of the carbon cycle. For example, if the net exchange