All of the following terms appear in the videos or article for this tutorial section on Biodiversity Hotspots. The terms are arranged here in alphabetical order, and nouns are given in just their singular form unless the plural of the term is unusual.

adaptations: physical and behavioral traits of an organism that make it well-suited to its environment and more likely to survive and reproduce

amalgamation: a combination or union of two or more things

biodiversity hotspot: a large-scale area of biological and conservation importance that has over 1,500 species of endemic plants and has also lost over 70% of its original habitat

biome: a type of ecosystem that has a characteristic set of climatic conditions, plants and animals, and occurs over a large geographic area, usually in multiple places around the world

botany: the study of plants

convergence: coming together

corridor: a passageway; in a geologic context, a strip of land; in a biodiversity conservation context, a strip of undeveloped, protected land that allows species to move from one natural area to another

curator: a person who oversees the collections in a museum; in a natural history museum, they add to the collections and do research using the specimens

desert: a type of terrestrial biome that is characterized by very little rainfall, sparse vegetation, and organisms that are adapted to arid conditions

endangered species: a species that has so few living individuals that it is at risk of extinction

endemic: a term used to describe a species that occurs only in one specific, restricted geographic area; all endemic species are also native to their area, but not all native species qualify as endemic (see definition below for native)

endemism: the amount of endemism in an ecosystem is determined by how many endemic species live there; it is also a measure of uniqueness and irreplaceability

entomology: the study of insects

equatorial: on or near the Earth’s equator; 0 degrees latitude

grassland: a type of terrestrial biome that is characterized by moderate annual rainfall, and dominance of grasses and wildflowers, not trees

habitat: a general term for the type of environment where an organism lives

hydroelectric dam: a dam that generates electricity when water stored behind the dam is released to flow over a turbine; it is the turning of the turbine in the water flow that generates the electricity 

hotspot: a general term for a place where something important is going on, such as a biodiversity hotspot that has unique and threatened species; a geologic hotspot where volcanoes are active; or a Wi-Fi hotspot where you can get online

invertebrate: an animal that does not have a vertebral column (backbone)

migration: the movement of organisms from one place to another

native: a term used to describe a species that occurs naturally in an area; in other words it has not been introduced to the area through either human action or by some extraordinary, rare natural event such as a major storm blowing birds to new areas; native species are also called indigenous; native species can have a very broad distribution compared to endemic species that occur in a very restricted area; all endemic species are native to their area, but not all native species qualify as endemic

ocean: the bodies of salt water that cover almost three-quarters of the Earth’s surface; it is a marine biome

Pleistocene: a geologic span of time (technically known as an epoch) that began about 2.8 million years ago and ended about 11.7 thousand years ago; also referred to as the Great Ice Age, it was a time of much cooler climates and many glaciers

relict species: used in ecological and evolutionary contexts, a relict species is one that survives from a previous time when most of the other species that lived then went extinct

river system: also called a watershed; the system is comprised of a river, its tributaries, and all of the land drained by the river and its tributaries

soil types: a classification of different soils on the basis of their mineral composition and the size of the particles

species: a distinct type of organism

triage: the process of determining the priority sequence for dealing with an urgent situation; originally applied to medical situations such as dealing with a lot of badly injured people all at once, the principle has more recently been applied to prioritizing decisions related to saving threatened species and ecosystems; decisions are made on the basis of both most urgent need and also likelihood of survival

tropical rainforests: a type of terrestrial biome characterized by high annual rainfall, humidity and temperatures, and great biodiversity, including lush plant growth

vegetation: plants; usually refers to the plants growing in a particular area

volcanism: volcanic activity; the geologic event in which subsurface molten rock (magma) pushes through the Earth’s crust

wetlands: a type of ecosystem that is saturated permanently or seasonally with fresh water or salt water; swamps, saltmarshes and bogs are examples of wetlands; healthy wetlands have a lot of biodiversity and provide many ecological services

zoology: the study of animals