Depauperate ecosystem

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A depauperate ecosystem is one which is lacking in numbers or variety of species, often because it lacks enough stored chemical elements required for life. Thus, depauperate ecosystems often cannot support rapid growth of flora and fauna, high biomass density, and high biological diversity.[1] An urchin barren is an example of a depauperate ecosystem.

An ecosystem is a biological community of interaction organisms and their actual physical environment. In Ecology, depauerate is an area that is so poor in species quantities and diversity. It lacks in numbers or a variety of species. Basically, a plant or animal is imperfectly developed. The reasons why there are depauperate areas are because the species do not have many competitors to fight with. Also, they have fewer resources causing the species not to survive without any protein or nutrients. Because these species lack the basic life necessities that they need, it’s hard for them to continue to carry on with life. ( The ecology of Adaptive Radiation). Therefore they aren’t reproducing the way that they are supposed to. In some cases, the species will actually start inbreeding. And because of that there are the same species everywhere. Therefore, competing with themselves, which can cause them to die. So, the area ends up falling short of the natural developmental size.

An example of a depauerate ecosystem is the growth of flora. This ecosystem cannot support the rapid growth of flora because it's in a severely diminished area. On top of that, the flora cannot grow because of the young geological age of the island. ( Primate Behavioral Ecology). Since the species aren’t alive anymore, they have turned into fossils. Apparently, you will find a lot of fossils in a depauperate area. You will find multiple fossils because there was a lack of stored chemical elements that were required for the life of the species.


  1. ^ "Environmental Science: Earth as a Living Planet", Daniel B. Botkin, Edward A. Keller, Fifth Edition, p. 186, ISBN 978-0-470-91781-7

Schluter, Dolph. The Ecology of Adaptive Radiation. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.

Strier, Karen B. Primate Behavioral Ecology. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2000. Print.