This page is part of the Earth Journalism Toolkit’s glossary.
Manure: organic matter used as fertilizer in agriculture.
Megadiverse countries: The 17 countries that are home to the largest fraction of wild species
Microorganism: an organism visible only through a microscope.
Monoculture: the practice of producing or growing one single crop over a wide area.
Mortality Rate: the total number of deaths per 1000 people of a given age group
Municipal waste: solid waste generated from domestic premises (garbage and hard waste) and council activities such as street sweeping, litter and street tree lopping. Also includes waste dropped at transfer stations and construction waste from owner/occupier renovations.
Natural capital: natural resources and ecological processes that are equivalent to financial capital.
Natural resources: natural substances that are considered valuable in their relatively unmodified (natural) form.
Natural selection: the process by which favourable heritable traits become more common in successive generations of a population of reproducing organisms, and unfavourable heritable traits become less common.
Net primary production: the energy or biomass content of plant material that has accumulated in an ecosystem over a period of time through photosynthesis.
Noise pollution: displeasing human or machine created sound that disrupts the activity or happiness of human or animal life.
Nonpoint source pollution: water pollution affecting a water body from diffuse sources, rather than a point source which discharges to a water body at a single location.
No-till farming: considered a kind of conservation tillage system and is sometimes called zero tillage.
Non Government Organisation (NGO): A not-for-profit or community based organization.
Nutrients: chemicals required for the growth of organisms. Phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium are major plant nutrients but there are also many trace elements, elements that are needed in small quantities for the growing and developing of animal and plant life.