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An organism that thrives at high temperatures.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an organism that lives at temperatures above 45°C, a situation that is lethal to most living things. Thermophiles include certain fish, invertebrates (worms, insects, and mollusks), microorganisms (protozoans, bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, and algae), pteridophytes, and flowering plants. They inhabit hot springs, where the temperature reaches 70°C, thermal waters, the upper layers of soil intensely heated by the sun, and piles of organic matter (moist hay, grain, peat, or manure) heated as a result of the vital activities of thermogenic bacteria.

Thermophiles, in the broad sense of the word, include inhabitants of the tropics (except for ocean depths and high-mountain regions), saprophytes, and parasites of homeothermic (warmblooded) animals with body temperatures of 35°–40°C. Some thermophiles found at temperate and high latitudes may be considered relicts of warmer eras, when they were widely distributed.


Imshenetskii, A. A. Mikrobiologicheskie protsessy pri vysokikh temperaturakh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1944.
Mishustin, E. N., and V. T. Emtsev. Mikrobiologiia. Moscow, 1970.
Genkel’, P. A. Mikrobiologiia s osnovami virusologii. Moscow, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
* Badgers in Bialowieza Primeval Forest prefer cambisols or entic podzols of fresh moisture, made of loamy sands on ablation moraines or eolic dunes, with potential vegetation of thermophilous oak-hornbeam forest or fresh pine-oak mixed forest in the distance of 2 km from the nearest active main setts, and they avoid vicinity of roads, open areas or built-up areas for settling their setts.
Especially suffered Poaceae, Cyperaceae, Artemisia, and Chenopodiaceae; constituents of thermophilous trees Quercetum mixtum and Picea disappeared from the pollen spectra.
The pollen record is dominated by deciduous tree types, some of thermophilous species.
Grey alder shares the broad climatic relationships of birch, but it is more shade intolerant and thermophilous and restricted to sites with almost bare mineral soil.
The notion that a thermophilous species such as white pine could migrate into the region at low densities at a time of rapid cooling when spruce populations were crashing is admittedly difficult to accept, but it should be borne in mind, though, that according to the Milankovitch astronomic theory of climate change, the Younger Dryas period was a time of maximum summer insolation (Berger 1978), with northern hemisphere summers receiving 8% more solar radiation than at present.
Finally, for the purposes of proper management of the area, it would be desirable to adopt some specific conservation measures, in accordance with the Habitats Directive, aimed at re-naturalise or restore degraded or damaged habitats, especially the habitat of evergreen bush with Olea europaea and habitat of thermophilous shrubs with Euphorbia dendroides, as well as program of concrete measures for the eradication of invasive alien species, in particular Ailanthus altissima and Opuntia ficus-indica and as ultimate goal the control and containment of the Yellow-legged Gulls populations (Larus michahellis).
The role of central Italy as a centre of refuge for thermophilous plants in the late Cenozoic.
Probably, low summer temperatures delayed the expansion of more thermophilous tree taxa like elm, Ulmus glabra, lime tree, Tilia cordata, or oak, Quercus robur in Central Europe.
The evolution of the temperature can be divided in three periods: one short period (2 to 3 days) characterized by an augmentation of the temperature, followed by a thermophilous phase of 25 days when the temperature remains high between 50[degrees]C and 70[degrees]C for the wind-rows rich in manure (F2, F3, F4 and F5) and between 40[degrees]C and 50[degrees]C for the F1 wind-row and finishes by a cooling phase which lasts approximately 15 days; the temperature fall to values of 25[degrees]C to 35[degrees]C close to the ambient temperature after 42 days of composting (figure.
The absence of grazing in particular led to scrub encroachment and natural woodland succession throughout the open plains in the Forest, causing major declines in floristic and thermophilous insect diversity (Rackham 1986).