biocycle n. [Gr. bios, life; kyklos, circle] Subdivisions of the biosphere: land, sea and freshwater.
biodegradable a. [Gr. bios, life; L. de, down; gradatus, step by step; abilis, tending to be] Substances that can be broken down by micro-organisms (mainly aerobic bacteria).
biodemography n. [Gr. bios, life; demos, people; graphein, to write] A science concerned with the statistical study of the ecology and genetics of a given population.
bioecology n. [Gr. bios, life; oikos, house; logos, discourse] The study of the interrelationships of plants and animals and their environment.
bioelectricity n. [Gr. bios, life; elektron, amber] The electric phenomena within living tissues.
bioenergetics n. [Gr. bios, life; energos, active] The science of conditions and laws governing the manifestation of energy in living organisms.
biogen n. [Gr. bios, life; genos, beginning] The hypothetical protoplasmic unit of which cells are composed; precursor of bios.
biogenesis n. [Gr. bios, life; genesis, beginning] The doctrine that living organisms originate from antecedent life. see abiogenesis, neobiogenesis.
biogenetic law The recapitulation theory of Haeckel that "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny". see palingenesis.
biogenous a. [Gr. bios, life; gennaein, to produce] Being produced from living in or on other living organisms; providing life.
biogeny n. [Gr. bios, life; genesis, beginning] The evolution of organisms, comprising ontogeny (individual) and phylogeny (tribal).
biogeochemistry n. [Gr. bios, life; ge, earth; chemeia, chemistry] The study of the distribution and movement of chemical elements within living organisms and their interaction with the geographical environment.
biogeography n. [Gr. bios, life; ge, earth; graphein, to write] That biological science dealing with the geographical distribution of plants and animals. see zoogeography.
bioherm n. [Gr. bios, life; herma, mound] A body of rock composed largely of sedentary organisms such as corals and mollusks.
biological a. [Gr. bios, life; logos, discourse] Pertaining to biology, the science of living things.
biological assay, bioassay The determination of the effect of any stimulus, physical, chemical, biological, physiological, or psychological, by means of the response which it produces in living organisms or matter.
biological classification The arrangement of organisms into taxa on the basis of inferences concerning their genetic relationship.
biological clock An endogenous physiological rhythm, such as metabolic or behavioural rhythmical changes. see cir-cadian.
biological control The reduction in population of undesirable animals and plants by the intentional introduction of a predator, parasite or disease; biocontrol.
biological productivity The increase in biomass, normally measured in protein-time units.
biological races Noninterbreeding sympatric populations that are morphologically alike, but physiologically different due to preference for food or other hosts. see sibling species.
biological species concept A concept at the species level stressing reproductive isolation, and the possession of a genetic program effecting such isolation; biospecies. see species.
biology n. [Gr. bios, life; logos, discourse] The scientific study of living things.
bioluminescence n. [Gr. bios, life; L. luminescere, to grow light] The production of light by living organisms, as occurs in the insect orders of Collembola, Homoptera, Diptera and Coleoptera, all ctenophores, some cephalopods, a large number of polychaetes, and certain diplopods; biophotogenesis.
biolysis n. [Gr. bios, life; lysis, to loosen] The disintegration of life or organic matter; the decomposition of organic matter as a result of the activity of living organisms; death. bio-lytic a.
biomass n. [Gr. bios, life; L. massa, quantity, bulk] The total weight of a population or other specified group of individuals per unit of area or volume.
biome n. [Gr. bios, life] A major biological community of living organisms characterized by distinctive dominant vegetation and associated animals.
biometeorology n. [Gr. bios, life; meteoros, high in the air; logos, discourse] The science of the relationship of plants and animals to weather.
biometer n. [Gr. bios, life; metron, measure] An indicator organism that determines climate and condition acceptability.
biometry n. [Gr. bios, life; metron, measure] The statistical study of biological phenomena; the application of mathematics to the study of living organisms. see biostatistics.
biomorphotic a. [Gr. bios, life; morphe, form] Concerning the development or change of form of a living organism by the formation of tissues.
bion n. [Gr. bios, life; on, being] 1. A living, independent organism; a living cell or unit; synonymous with "individual". 2. Sometimes used as a variant spelling of biome; a biont.
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