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  1. 1. the variety and abundance of life forms, processes, functions, and structures of plants, animals, and other living organisms, including the relative complexity of species, communities, gene pools, and ecosystems at a defined spatial range from local through regional to global- synonyms biological diversity, diversity 2. an index of richness in a community ecosystem, or landscape and the relative abundance of these species. [source: DCNR State Forestry Resource Management Plan, Glossary of Terms: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/sfrmp/glossary.htm]