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Definition of Sensitivity:
(conservation assessment) An assessment of the intolerance of a species or habitat to damage from an external factor and the time taken for its subsequent recovery.[1]
This is the common definition for Sensitivity, other definitions can be discussed in the article


For example, a very sensitive species or habitat is one that is very adversely affected by an external factor arising from human activities or natural events (killed/destroyed, 'high' intolerance) and is expected to recover over a very long period of time, i.e. >10 or up to 25 years ('low'; recoverability). Intolerance and hence sensitivity must be assessed relative to change in a specific factor.


  1. McLeod C.R. (1996). Glossary of marine ecological terms, acronyms and abbreviations used in MNCR work. In Marine Nature Conservation Review: rationale and methods. (Edited by K. Hiscock). Peterborough: Joint Nature Conservation Committee. Appendix 1, pp. 93-110.