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From saprobe +‎ -ic.


saprobic (not generally comparable, comparative more saprobic, superlative most saprobic)

  1. (biology) Of, pertaining to, or of the nature of a saprobe or saprobes; that feeds on dead or decaying organic matter.
    • 1986, William Bridge Cooke, The Fungi of Our Mouldy Earth[1], page 38:
      It cannot be said that one saprobe is more saprobic than another, even though one produces ten times as many spores as another in the same habitat or one produces no spores in the polluted habitat but countless numbers of spores in the ivory tower of the pure culture laboratory.
    • 2004, E. R. Boa, Wild Edible Fungi: A Global Overview of Their Use and Importance to People[2], page 8:
      Saprobic edible fungi are also collected from the wild but they are best known and most widely valued in their cultivated forms.
    • 2009, R. Danovaro, C. Gambi, S. Höss, S. Mirto, W. Traunspurger, A. Zullini, 6: Case Studies Using Nematode Assemblage Analysis in Aquatic Habitats, Michael John Wilson, Thomais Kakouli-Duarte (editors), Nematodes as Environmental Indicators, page 162,
      Diploscapter coronatas and Poikilolaimus oxycerca are two of the most saprobic species.
  2. (ecology) That contains dead or decaying organic material (and therefore also saprobes).
    • 1969, Wilhelm Rohde, Crystallization of Eutrophication Concepts in Northern Europe, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.), Eutrophication: Causes, Consequences, Correctives, Symposium Proceedings, page 60,
      Each of the polysaprobic, mesosaprobic, and oligosaprobic zones is now divided into one α- and one β-level, of which the former is more saprobic than the latter.
    • 1996, P. D. Abel, Water Pollution Biology, 2nd Edition, page 87,
      The s-score relates to the saprobic zone of which the species are characteristic; a score of between 1 and 4 is assigned to each species, depending upon whether it is typically found in oligosaprobic, α-mesosaprobic, β-mesosaprobic or polysaprobic zones, respectively.

Usage notes[edit]

In the ecological sense, a zone is more saprobic than another if it scores higher on a scale that depends on the number of saprobe species found, as well as the abundance of each species.


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