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Glossary of terms for managing wholes

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capping - (Also soil crust.) A hard crust that forms on exposed soil in brittle and semi-brittle environments. Immature capping (physical soil crust) has nothing growing on it. Mature capping (biological soil crust) has algae, lichen, or moss growing on it. See soil crust.

Related terms: soil crust, physical soil crust, biological soil crust, rest

carbon cycle - The cycling of carbon in the Earth's ecosystems. Plants combine carbon from carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere with energy from sunlight to make energy-bearing carbohydrates. Eventually respiration and decay return this carbon to inorganic forms.

Related terms: mineral cycle

catchment - The land area that catches water that goes into a stream, river, or lake. Many people prefer this term to watershed, since in most cases we want the area to catch and absorb water rather than shed it.

Center for Holistic Management - Allan Savory's organization for promoting Holistic Management. It consists of the Allan Savory Center for Holistic Management ("Savory Center") in Albuquerque, New Mexico, U.S.A., and the Africa Centre for Holistic Management near Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

Related pages: Center for Holistic Management website

cheatgrass - A low-succession annual grass, often regarded as a weed because it grows so successfully if ecosystem damage is severe enough. Since it can stand virtually no competition from higher-succession plants, it is easy to eliminate with managed grazing that raises the succession level.

commerce - The exchange or buying and selling of commodities on a large scale involving transportation from place to place. What most people refer to as economics or "the economy."

community dynamics - The development of communities of living organisms. Because of the constant interplay of species, weather and climate variations, etc., this process is ongoing. The greater the biodiversity in a community, the more stable and robust that community tends to be. See succession.

Related terms: biodiversity loss, desertification,

Related pages: "Community dynamics in the ecosystem", "Fundamental ecosystem processes and how they work"

conflict resolution - A collaborative way of solving disputes and dealing with conflict. The goal is a solution that will work for everyone. Some types of conflict resolution involve a mediator (a neutral person who acts to facilitate the process).

Related terms: consensus

Related pages: "Consensus building" (articles)

consensus - A decision-making process which results in decisions approved of by everyone involved. It is a powerful way to resolve conflicts, improve communication, and deal with change, scarcity, diversity, and power imbalances.

Consensus is very different from win-lose decision-making, where some people get they want but others do not, or compromise, where everyone agrees to something less than what they really want.

Related terms: conflict resolution

Related pages: "Consensus building" (articles)

crumb structure - A soil with good crumb structure consists aggregates or crumbs of soil particles held together with a "glue" of organic matter that resists erosion. Air and water can occupy the space around each crumb, and these promote plant growth.

cryptogamic crust - (Also cryptogamic soil.) A hard soil crust dominated by a plant community of algae, lichens, or mosses. See biological soil crust.

Related pages: Soil crust basics", "Cryptogamic soil crusts"

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Updated 1 November 2005