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’
- ‘Forestry activities within habitats tend to promote homogeneity and result in a depauperate lichen community.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘Compared with natural forest, of course, even agroforest lands are generally depauperate.’
- ‘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.’
- 1.1 (of a plant or animal) imperfectly developed.
- ‘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.’
- ‘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?’
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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