An Element Occurrence (EO) is an area of land and/or water in which a species or natural community is, or was, present. An EO should have practical conservation value for the Element as evidenced by potential continued (or historical) presence and/or regular recurrence at a given location. For species Elements, the EO often corresponds with the local population, but when appropriate may be a portion of a population (e.g., long distance dispersers) or a group of nearby populations (e.g., metapopulation). For community Elements, the EO may represent a stand or patch of a natural community, or a cluster of stands or patches of a natural community.
An Element Occurrence record is a data management tool that has both spatial and tabular components including a mappable feature (i.e., an Element Occurrence Representation [EO Rep]) and its supporting database attributes.