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Reference categories

LEGEU LegislationECPEC Policy Documents
ECTEC Technical DocumentsORGInternational Organisations (excluding organisations dealing with standards)
AGEAgency Documents (e.g. EEA, US agencies reports and glossaries)STLScientific & Technical Literature
STAStandardsDICDictionaries
OWNBiomass Study own Definition(GLO)Glossary (subcategory only)

Above ground biomass

ORG - All living biomass above the soil including stem, stump, branches, bark, seeds and foliage.

(FAO, 2010, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, Terms and Definitions Working Paper 144/E Rome Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.)

 

Acidification [LCA]

ECP - Impact category that addresses impacts due to acidifying substances in the environment. Emissions of NOx, NH3 and SOx lead to releases of hydrogen ions (H+) when the gases are mineralised. The protons contribute to the acidification of soils and water when they are released in areas where the buffering capacity is low, resulting in forest decline and lake acidification.

(EC, 2013a, Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210.

 

Aerosol

ORG - A collection of airborne solid or liquid particles (excluding pure water), with a typical size between 0.01 and 10 micrometers (μm) and residing in the atmosphere for at least several hours. Aerosols may be of either natural or anthropogenic origin.

(UNEP/WMO, 2011, Integrated Assessment of Black Carbon and Tropospheric Ozone, UNEP, Nairobi.)

 

Afforestation

ORG - Establishment of forest through planting and/or deliberate seeding on land that, until then, was not classified as forest.

(FAO, 2010, Global Forest Resources Assessment 2010, Terms and Definitions Working Paper 144/E Rome Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.)

 

ORG - The direct human-induced conversion of land that has not been forested for a period of at least 50 years to forested land through planting, seeding and/or the human-induced promotion of natural seed sources.

(IPCC, 2003, The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Good Practice Guidance for Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (GPG-LULUCF), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) for the IPCC.)

 

Agricultural area (AA)

ECT (GLO) - Agricultural area, abbreviated as AA, (or utilised agricultural area abbreviated as UAA) describes the area used for farming. It includes the land categories:

- arable land;

- permanent grassland;

- permanent crops;

- other agricultural land such as kitchen gardens (even if they only represent small areas of total UAA).

The term does not include unused agricultural land, woodland and land occupied by buildings, farmyards, tracks, ponds, etc.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Agricultural holding

ECT (GLO) - An agricultural holding is a single unit, in both technical and economic terms, operating under a single management, which undertakes agricultural activities within the economic territory of the European Union, either as its primary or secondary activity. Other supplementary (non-agricultural) products and services may also be provided by the holding.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Agricultural income

ECT (GLO) - The main indicator for agricultural income is the 'factor income per labour input' expressed in annual work units (AWU).

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Agri-environmental indicator (AEI)

ECT (GLO) - Indicator used to monitor the integration of environmental concerns into the European Union Common agricultural policy (CAP).

These indicators serve to:

- provide information on the farmed environment;

- track the impact of agriculture on the environment;

- assess the impact of agricultural and environmental policies on environmental management of farms;

- inform agricultural and environmental policy decisions;

- illustrate agri-environmental relationships to the broader public.

(Eurostat a, Eurostat's Concepts and Definitions Database, accessed 14 October 2015)

 

Albedo

ORG - The fraction of solar radiation reflected by a surface or object, often expressed as a percentage. Snow covered surfaces have a high albedo; the albedo of soils ranges from high to low; vegetation covered surfaces and oceans have a low albedo. The Earth’s albedo varies mainly through varying cloudiness, snow, ice, leaf area and land cover changes.

(IPCC, 2014, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) 'Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change'.)

 

Algae

AGE - Refers to a diverse mix of organisms from different kingdoms of life. Traditionally, algae have been unified based on their ability to carry out photosynthesis and live in aquatic habitats. Algae include microalgae (unicellular eukaryotic organisms), macroalgae (seaweeds), and cyanobacteria (historically known as blue-green algae).

(US DOE, 2010, National Algal Biofuels Technology Roadmap, U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Biomass Program, Washington D.C.)

 

Algal productivity

STL  - Measurement of algal growth expressed as weight of dried algae per square meter per day.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010.)

 

Allocation [LCA]

ECP STA  - An approach to solving multi-functionality problems. It refers to “partitioning the input or output flows of a process or a product system between the product system under study and one or more other product systems”.

(EC, 2013a, Commission Recommendation of 9 April 2013 on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. OJ L124, 04.05.2013, pp. 1-210.

ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Anaerobic digestion

STL - Process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010.)

 

Ancillary input [LCA]

STA - Material input that is used by the unit process producing the product, but which does not constitute part of the product.

(ISO, 2006a, EN ISO 14040:2006: Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Principles and frameworks. July 2006.)

 

Animal feed

ECT (GLO) - Quantities of product used for animal feed and/or for the manufacture of foodstuffs for animals.

(Eurostat a, Eurostat's Concepts and Definitions Database, accessed 14 October 2015.)

 

Animal output

ECT (GLO) - Animal output comprises the sales, changes in stock levels, and the products used for processing and own final use by the producers.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Annual work unit (AWU)

ECT (GLO) - One annual work unit, abbreviated as AWU, corresponds to the work performed by one person who is occupied on an agricultural holding on a full-time basis. Full-time means the minimum hours required by the relevant national provisions governing contracts of employment. If the national provisions do not indicate the number of hours, then 1 800 hours are taken to be the minimum annual working hours: equivalent to 225 working days of eight hours each.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Aquaculture

ECT (GLO) - Aquaculture, also known as aquafarming or fish farming (although it does not just concern fish), refers to the farming of aquatic (freshwater or saltwater) organisms, such as fish, molluscs, crustaceans and plants for human use or consumption, under controlled conditions. Aquaculture implies some form of intervention in the natural rearing process to enhance production, including regular stocking, feeding and protection from predators. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of, or contractual rights to, the stock being cultivated.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

STL - The cultivation of food fish or shellfish under controlled conditions, including marine net pens, freshwater ponds, brackish-water ponds, and cages.

(Delgado, C.L., Wada, N., Rosegrant, M.W., Meijer, S. and Ahmed, M., 2003, Fish to 2020. Supply and demand in changing global markets, Appendix F, WorldFishCenter Technical Report 62, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Washinton D.C., World Fish Center, Bayan Lepas, Malaysia.)

 

Aquafeeds

ORG (GLO) - Formulated feed provided to organisms raised in Aquaculture.

(FAOa, Glossary of Aquaculture, http://www.fao.org/fi/glossary/aquaculture/default.asp, accessed 23 September 2015)

 

Arable land

ECT (GLO) - Arable land, in agricultural statistics, is land worked (ploughed or tilled) regularly, generally under a system of crop rotation. In the Farm structure survey (FSS) arable land is further subdivided using the following classification: Cereals, Pulses, Potatoes, Sugar beet, Fodder roots and brassicas, Industrial crops, Fresh vegetables, melons, strawberries, Flowers and ornamental plants, Fodder crops, Seeds and seedlings, Other crops on arable land, Fallow land.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Area grazed

ECT (GLO) -Is the total area of pastures owned, rented or otherwise allocated to the agricultural holding on which animals were kept for grazing during the reference year. The grazed area can also be harvested by mowing or other means. It includes all grasslands that are grazed, independent if they are temporary or permanent nature. Permanent grasslands no longer used for production purposes are however excluded, as well as common lands not allotted to individual holdings.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Area under cultivation

LEG - It is the area that corresponds to the total sown area, but after the harvest it excludes ruined areas (e.g. due to natural disasters).

(EU, 2009a, Regulation (EC) No 543/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 June 2009 concerning crop statistics and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 837/90 and (EEC) No 959/93, OJ L167, 29.06.2009, pp. 1-11.)

 

ECT (GLO) - Area under cultivation means the area that corresponds to the total sown area, but after the harvest it excludes ruined areas (e.g. due to natural disasters). If the same land parcel is used twice in the same year, the area of this parcel can be counted twice.

(Eurostat b, Glossary, accessed 14 October 2016)

 

Atmospheric carbon parity point

ECT - Net zero carbon emissions to the atmosphere by balancing the amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset in comparison to the reference scenario.

(JRC, 2014, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IET, Carbon accounting of forest bioenergy : Conclusions and recommendations from a critical literature review, Agostini, A., Giuntoli, J., Boulamanti, A., Marelli, L., 2014, EUR 25354 EN, Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2014.)

 

Attributional modelling principle

ECT - The attributional life cycle inventory modelling principle is also referred to as "accounting”, “book-keeping”, “retrospective” or “descriptive” (or sometimes and potentially confusing: “average” or “non-marginal”). It depicts the potential environmental impacts that can be attributed to a system (e.g. a product) over its life cycle, i.e. upstream along the supply-chain and downstream following the system's use and end-of-life value chain. Attributional modelling makes use of historical, fact-based, measureable data of known (or at least know-able) uncertainty, and includes all the processes that are identified to relevantly contribute to the system being studied. In attributional modelling the system is hence modelled as it is or was (or is forecasted to be).

(JRC, 2010, European Commission, Joint Research Centre – IES, International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) Handbook - General guide for Life Cycle assessment - Detailed guidance. First edition, EUR 24708 EN. Luxembourg. Publications Office of the European Union, 2010.)

 

Autotroph

STL - Organisms that build complex organic compounds using inorganic molecules and light or inorganic chemical reactions.

(Darzins, A., Pienkos, P. and Edye, L., 2010, Current status and potential for algal biofuels production. A report to IEA Bioenergy Task 39, Report T39-T2, August 2010.)