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A plant, fungus, or microorganism that lives on dead or decaying organic matter.
- ‘While the leaf was young and healthy, many other fungal colonists - the true saprophytes (organisms living on dead or decaying matter) - remained quiescent.’
- ‘Most fungi are saprophytes, feeding on dead or decaying material.’
- ‘Unlike more advanced plants, fungi lack chlorophyll and so can only grow as saprophytes (from dead plants or animals); or as parasites (on living plants); or in a mycorrhizal relationship (symbiosis between fungi and the roots of trees).’
- ‘Mucor, a fungus from the class of Zygomycetes, is a ubiquitous saprophyte that resides in soil and decaying organic matter.’
- ‘Members of this genus have been recovered from a variety of habitats, but are especially common as saprophytes on decaying vegetation, soils, stored food, feed products in tropical and subtropical regions.’
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