Dictionary > Saprophyte

Saprophyte

Definition
noun, plural: saprophytes
(botany) An organism (especially a plant or plant-like) that feeds, absorbs or grows on decaying organic matter.
Supplement
The term saprophyte is no longer in popular use since there are no true embryophytes or true plants that are saprophytic in nature. Plants that are once thought of as saprophytes such as orchids and monotropes are now considered as parasites on fungi. Organisms feeding on dead organic matter such as fungi and bacteria are no longer categorized as plants or belonging to Plant Kingdom. Hence, a more appropriate term to describe such organisms is saprophage or detrittivore.
Word origin: Gr. Phyton = plant.

Related form: saprophytic (adjective)
Synonym: saprophage


You will also like...

Still Water Animals
Still Water Animals

Animals living in aquatic habitats have diversified and evolved through time. They eventually occupy ecological niches a..

Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

Genetic engineering
Genetic Engineering Advantages & Disadvantages

This tutorial presents the benefits and the possible adverse eventualities of genetic engineering. Know more about this ..

Ploidy
Polyploidy

Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..

Geological Periods
Geological Periods

Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

Growth Patterns
Growth Patterns

This tutorial describes the sigmoid curve, annual plant growth, tree growth, human growth, and insect growth as the grow..