from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The combined flora and fauna of a region.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The living organisms of a region.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. all the plant and animal life of a particular region.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The sum total of animal and plant life of a given region or period: the equivalent of fauna and flora combined.
- n. A treatise upon the animals and plants of any geographic area or geologic period.
- n. A group of conifers, now commonly referred to Thuja, the arbor-vitæ. The name, however, is frequent in nurserymen's catalogues.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. all the plant and animal life of a particular region
The biota is generally considered derived from hygrophilous tropical warm level stock as well as Andean elements that arrived through the eastern mountain range of Colombia in particular and others with more affinity to the Andes of Mérida and the mountain range on the Venezuelan coast.
So it's a very different kind of biota that would have been in these lagoons or near-shore deposits, near-shore areas 36 million years ago.
Our mission was to survey the unique biota of the islands, which had just received official conservation status from the Malagasy government.
To become a naturalist—that is, someone with "a working knowledge of a broad slice of the biota, and how the parts fit together with one another and their physical setting," as contributor and butterfly expert Robert Michael Pyle explains it—requires copious reading and long days outdoors, exploring and observing.
The Charles Darwin Research Station advises the National Park Service on protective programs for the biota, tourism policies and environmental education programs.
The marine environment has a mixture of species formed in the convergence of ocean currents which have transported marine biota from tropical and subtropical regions of Central and South America and the Indo-Pacific.
The seasonally fluctuating North Equatorial Front, which separates tropical and subtropical water masses, lies just south of the small northern islands of Darwin and Wolf for much of the year, and these islands are the most tropical in their marine biota, with extensive fringing reefs.
At the confluence of three major ocean currents, cold and warm, and combining sub-Antarctic with tropical biota, these volcanic islands and the surrounding marine reserve are the largest, most diverse almost pristine archipelago remaining in the world, a natural museum for the study of geological, ecological and evolutionary processes.
Biologists have encountered bacteria underneath a mile of Antarctic ice and nestled within rocks in a Yellowstone geyser; it's only a modest stretch to imagine that the next generation of robotic spacecraft might find simple biota in equally hostile havens on Mars or on one of Jupiter's moons.
Once in the environment it can remain there for hundreds of years where it accumulates in the human food chain and other biota.