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The Collaborative International Dictionary

biotope \biotope\ n. a region uniform in its environmental conditions and in the types of plants and animals living in it.


n. 1 A geographical area that has a uniform biological environment and a uniform distribution of plants and animals 2 (context figuratively English) a context where someone feels 'naturally' at home, such as their field of professional or scientific expertise


Biotope is an area of uniform environmental conditions providing a living place for a specific assemblage of plants and animals. Biotope is almost synonymous with the term' habitat', which is more commonly used in English-speaking countries. However, in some countries these two terms are distinguished: the subject of a habitat is a population, the subject of a biotope is a biocoenosis or ''biological community.

It is an English loanword derived from the German " Biotop", which in turn came from the Greek bios, "life" and topos, "place." (The related word geotope has made its way into the English language by the same route, from the German " Geotop".) The word biotope, literally translated, means an area where life lives.