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This glossary is far from complete. We are constantly adding terms.

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  • Region of the earth that encompasses all living organisms: plants, animals and bacteria
  • Also termed biotic region and ecosphere


The Biosphere, in Montreal's Parc Jean-Drapeau
The biosphere:
  • is a feature that distinguishes the earth from the other planets in the solar system.
  • includes the outer region of the earth (the lithosphere), the lower region of the atmosphere (the troposphere) and the region of lakes, oceans, streams, ice and clouds comprising the earth's water resources (the hydrosphere).
  • is considered to extend from the bottom of the oceans to the highest mountaintops, a layer with an average thickness of about 20 kilometers.
  • can be divided into relatively large regions called biomes, a region characterized by a distinct climate and particular living organisms (especially vegetation).


  • The bulk of living organisms live within a small fraction of the biosphere, from about 500 meters below the ocean's surface to about 6 kilometers above sea level.


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