One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(of a flora, fauna, or ecosystem) lacking in numbers or variety of species.‘oceanic islands are generally depauperate in mayflies’
- ‘The flora is largely derived from that of south-eastern Polynesia, but is comparatively depauperate, due to the remoteness and the young geological age of the island.’
- ‘Compared with natural forest, of course, even agroforest lands are generally depauperate.’
- ‘Three years after thinning plus herbicide, the plantations remained depauperate of deciduous trees.’
- ‘Generally, the Arctic invertebrate fauna is depauperate, and some groups (Odonata and Megaloptera) are usually absent.’
- ‘Forestry activities within habitats tend to promote homogeneity and result in a depauperate lichen community.’
- 1.1 (of a plant or animal) imperfectly developed.
- ‘Does the genetic variation of organelle DNAs in D. sinensis tend to become depauperate because of their small effective population size, as in many endangered species?’
- ‘Compared to nine previously analyzed woody mints, however, M. alba is genetically depauperate.’
- ‘Such studies permitted taxonomic identification of morphologically depauperate fossils as a prerequisite to assembling databases for biodiversity studies.’
- ‘As a result, high-elevation populations will tend to be genetically depauperate.’
Late Middle English (in the sense ‘impoverished’): from medieval Latin depauperatus, past participle of depauperare, from de- ‘completely’ + pauperare ‘make poor’ (from pauper ‘poor’).
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