The meaning of the word mosaic that I am getting on Goolge is

First meaning is

a picture or pattern produced by arranging together small colored pieces of hard material, such as stone, tile, or glass

and the second meaning is

an individual (especially an animal) composed of cells of two genetically different types

I need to understand the meaning of the words - mosaic cropland, mosaic grassland, mosaic vegetation. But I am not able to see what does these words can mean if I use the above-mentioned meaning of mosaic. So, can someone please explain to me the meaning of mosaic in the context of given three words?

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    It probably has something to do with the tiled appearance of some fields etc that's suggestive of the signature look of mosaics (using the first meaning of mosaic in your question).
    – Lawrence
    Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 12:01
  • 1
    Try a different dictionary. M-W lists these three senses first: << mosaic 1 : a surface decoration made by inlaying small pieces of variously colored material to form pictures or patterns; also : the process of making it 2 : a picture or design made in mosaic 3 : something resembling a mosaic (sense 1.) ... >> and AHD gives senses : <<2. A composite picture made of overlapping, usually aerial, photographs. 3. Something that resembles a mosaic >>. Commented Feb 24, 2017 at 17:42

2 Answers 2


Biology Online gives these definitions:

(1) A pattern consisting of numerous small pieces (or elements) fitted together.

(2) Anything that resembles such a pattern, as in fluid mosaic model of cell membranes.

(genetics) Mosaicism, or the organism exhibiting mosaicism, which is the occurrence of two or more cell populations with different genotypes in an individual.

(botany) A mosaic disease: a viral disease of ornamental and crop plants characterized by mottling and discoloration of leaves.

(ecology) A habitat mosaic: a pattern of interspersed ecosystem of similar size and on a recurring basis.


In genetics, a mosaic or mosaicism refers to the presence of two (or more) populations of cells, each with different genotypes in an individual. It may be a gonadal mosaicism or tissue mosaicism. An example of mosaicism is 46/47 XY/XXY mosaic.

I've put the part you need in bold.

The basic idea is that if you look at the landscape from a big distance, it will somewhat resemble a mosaic tiled floor.


mosaic cropland


Cropland Mosaics(CERES/SARB) (Images) , Grassland, Vegetation

Cropland mosaics is closely related to the Surface Scene Type parameter. Scientists have classified regions of the world into different types of surface cover. In the LAS, there are 18 different surface type categories. These categories have been defined by the CERES team. These 18 categories provide a “snapshot” overview of what the land surface is like in that area. These parameters can be used to investigate patterns in other Earth science parameters, and how they are related to environment and surface cover.

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