UPSC IAS Prelims Exam: Environment and Ecology: Glossary of Terms -1

The Environment and Ecology forms a very important part of the Civil Services Prelims Exam especially after the year 2011 and the combining of the Indian Forest Services Preliminary Exam with the Civil Services Prelims. Here we are presenting a glossary of terms

Created On: Sep 22, 2015 18:55 IST

Environment and Ecology is a very important component of the IAS Prelims Syllabus. Though it was seperated in the year 2011, but it asked in each of the IAS Prelims General Studies Paper in one or the other form. Previously it was covered under the Geography. It has a highly technical terminology and the candidates need to know the explaniation and definition of the terms used in Environment and Ecology.


Block Plantation

Tree plantations in compact blocks of more than 0.1 ha on lands outside recorded forest area.


The cover of branches and foliage formed by the crown of trees.

Canopy Density

Percent area of land covered by the canopy of trees, It is expressed as a decimal coefficient, taking closed canopy as unity.

Cartographic Limit

The minimum area of a feature which can be presented on a map at a given scale.

Change Matrix

It presents change in forest cover classes for a given region (State or UT) during the period of two consecutive assessments in a matrix form by showing the changes of area from one class to

Crown Area

It is the area of horizontal projection of a tree crown on the ground.

Culturable Non Forest Area (CNFA)

It is the net geographical area, lying outside recorded forest and forest cover, which can support tree vegetation (thus, excluding areas under wetlands, riverbeds, perennial snow covered mountains, etc.). CNFA is the area over which the sample data on tree cover is aggregated for the assessment of tree cover.

Digital Image Processing (DIP)

Interpretation and classification of digital satellite data using computer and a DIP software.

Error Matrix (Confusion matrix)

It is a means to quantitatively assess the accuracy of classification of an interpreted satellite data. Under this, the reference data (ground truth) is compared with the corresponding results of the classification on the randomly selected locations on category-by-category basis. It is presented in a square matrix.

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