AskDefine | Define biocoenosis

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Extensive Definition

A biocoenosis (alternatively, biocoenose or biocenose ), termed by Karl Möbius in 1877, describes all the interacting organisms living together in a specific habitat (or biotope). Biotic community , biological community, and ecological community are more common synonyms of biocenosis, all of which represent the same concepts. Two additional words coined by analogy are zoocoenosis for the faunal community and phytocoenosis for the floral community within a biotope. The extent or geographical area of a biocenose is limited only by the requirement of a more or less uniform species composition.
An ecosystem, as originally defined by Tansley (1935), is a biotic community (or biocoenosis) along with its physical environment (or biotope as defined by many known ecologists).
The importance of the biocoenosis concept in ecology is its emphasis on the interrelationships among species in a geographical area. These interactions are as important as the physical factors to which each species is adapted and responding. In a very real sense, it is the specific biological community or biocoenosis that is adapted to conditions that prevail in a given place. Biotic communities may be of varying sizes, and larger ones may contain smaller ones. The interactions between species are especially evident in food or feeding relationships. Therefore, a practical method of delineating biotic communities is to map the food network to identify which species feed upon which others and then determine the system boundary as the one that can be drawn through the fewest consumption links relative to the number of species within the boundary.
Mapping biotic communities is particularly important when identifying sites in need of environmental protection such as the British Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs). The Australian Department of the Environment and Heritage maintains a register of Threatened Species and Threatened Ecological Communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


Further reading

  • Kendeigh, S. Charles. 1961. Animal Ecology. Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 468 p.
  • Möbius, Karl. 1877. Die Auster und die Austernwirtschaft. (tr. The Oyster and Oyster Farming) Berlin. (English translation) U.S. Commission Fish and Fisheries Report, 1880: 683-751.
  • Tansley, A. G. 1935. The use and abuse of vegetational concepts and terms. Ecology, 16(3): 284-307.
biocoenosis in Arabic: جماعة حيوية
biocoenosis in Bosnian: Biocenoza
biocoenosis in Bulgarian: Биоценоза
biocoenosis in Czech: Společenstvo
biocoenosis in Danish: Biocønose
biocoenosis in German: Biozönose
biocoenosis in Estonian: Fütotsönoos
biocoenosis in Spanish: Biocenosis
biocoenosis in Esperanto: Biocenozo
biocoenosis in French: Biocénose
biocoenosis in Galician: Biocenose
biocoenosis in Croatian: Biocenoza
biocoenosis in Italian: Biocenosi
biocoenosis in Lithuanian: Biocenozė
biocoenosis in Occitan (post 1500): Biocenòsi
biocoenosis in Polish: Biocenoza
biocoenosis in Portuguese: Biocenose
biocoenosis in Romanian: Biocenoză
biocoenosis in Russian: Биоценоз
biocoenosis in Slovak: Spoločenstvo (ekológia)
biocoenosis in Serbian: Биоценоза
biocoenosis in Serbo-Croatian: Biocenoza
biocoenosis in Finnish: Eliöyhteisö
biocoenosis in Ukrainian: Біоценоз
biocoenosis in Chinese: 群落
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