From Big Medical Encyclopedia

BIOTOPE (grech, bios life + topos the place, the area) — the site of the land surface which is characterized by bigger or smaller uniformity of a geological structure, microclimate, water relationships, relief and soil cover.

Can be B.'s examples an oozy bottom of the tropical sea on shallow water, a sandy bottom of the cold sea on shallow water, a gentle clay slope of a beam in the northern desert, a meadow hummocky bog at the coast of the lake in a forest strip. Set of the animals, plants and microorganisms living in B.'s limits forms biocenosis (see). B. and a biocenosis together make biogeocenosis (see). Similar B. usually combine in districts of life — biochores (e.g., steppe, forest, desert, littoral), biochores — in the field of life (biocycles): land, seas and oceans, internal reservoirs.

Within B. distinguish microbiotopes. So, on a slope of a ravine there are more abrupt and less abrupt, convex and concave sites differing on illumination and moistening; in the wood — less lit sites under crowns and more lit, mezhkronovy, sites with some features of soils, a microclimate etc. To each microbiotope there corresponds the microbiocenosis. The microbiotope together with a microbiocenosis forms a part of a biogeocenosis — a parcel. Some B. are the natural centers of infectious diseases of the person and animals — see. Natural ochagovost (diseases). As a rule, the territory of the natural center occupies several adjacent B. as implementation of circulation of the activator with the populations of carriers and carriers supporting him requires a variety of ecological conditions, napr, water B.' combination where larvae of mosquitoes, and land where adult insects live develop.

Bibliography: A. G. Geobotanik's ravens, M., 1963, bibliogr.; Shmitkhkg z e of N And. The general geography of vegetation, the lane with it., M., 1966; Carpenter J. R. An ecological glossary, N. Y. — L., 1962, bibliogr; Daubenmire R. F. Plant communities, textbook of plant gynecology, N. Y. a. o., 1968, bibliogr.

A. G. Voronov.