Definition of refugium in English:



  • An area in which a population of organisms can survive through a period of unfavourable conditions, especially glaciation.

    • ‘The authors hypothesized their common origin from an Atlantic refugium after the last glaciation.’
    • ‘For the latter taxa, an alternative hypothesis would imply the iterative invasion of shelf habitats by morphologically conservative populations from shallow refugia.’
    • ‘We suggest that the shallow epicratonic platform area of the Canadian Shield may have served as a refugium for relatively archaic taxa.’
    • ‘During the Quaternary glaciations, cork oak may have survived in scattered refugia which possessed favourable microclimate conditions, and from which post-glacial colonization occurred over recent millennia.’
    • ‘Moreover, resting stages also afford species a temporal refugium from adverse conditions.’


1950s: from Latin, literally place of refuge.