Eurytopic Organism

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Eurytopic Organism


a plant or animal capable of living in extremely varied habitats. Eurytopic organisms have high ecological valence, as opposed to stenotopic organisms. Their areas of distribution are usually extensive. The Scotch pine, for example, grows on the most varied substrates, including sandy soils, clayey loams, chalk, rock, and sphagnum marshes. It tolerates low winter and high summer temperatures and is found beyond the polar circle and occasionally in the steppe zone. The common reed and couch grass are also eurytopic.

Eurytopic animals include the black-bellied hamster and the common vole, which inhabit steppes, fields, meadows, and forest margins, as well as the wolf, fox, and many others.

The degree to which a species is eurytopic may vary. Species populations in the center of an area of distribution are eurytopic, while at the margins they usually become stenotopic. For example, the common vole in the forest-steppe inhabits watersheds and ravines, meadows, and steppe areas, while in the semidesert it inhabits only river valleys.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.