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quasi-organismQuasiorganismus (ger.)

  • A system resembling an organism in certain aspects, especially the collection of (plant) species in an ecological community.  

    [Wer aber den Versuch machen wird, in das Wesen des merkwürdigen Organismus oder Quasi-Organismus, welchen dies vedische Opfer darstellt, einzudringen, findet in jedem Fall hier eine Vorarbeit, die seinen Dank verdient.

    Oldenberg, H. (1881). [Rev. Hillebrandt, A. (1879). Das altindische Neu- und Vollmondsopfer in seiner einfachsten Form mit Benutzung handschriftlicher Quellen dargestellt. Deutsche Litteraturzeitung 1-2, 159].]


    [Clements’] view of vegetation as an organism is as legitimate as the familiar idea of a human society from the same point of view. Both conceptions are useful and desirable so long as it is remembered that they are essentially analogical, that these quasi-organisms do not possess many of the essential features of real organisms. The incomplete correspondence of organisms and quasi-organisms is illustrated by the statement that “the functions of a formation are association, invasion and succession”; since none of these occur as functions or normal activities in a stable or adult vegetation, it would be truer to regard by them as processes or activities of the development of the quasi-organism.

    Blackman, F.F. & Tansley, A.G. (1905). [Rev. Clements, F.E. (1905). Research Methods in Ecology]. New Phytologist 4, 232-253: 247-8.


    Though less like true organisms than human communities plant communities may still be regarded as quasi-organisms, or organic entities, for on the one hand they are composed of organic units, and on the other they are certainly entities, in the sense that they behave in many respects as wholes, and therefore have to be studied as wholes.

    Tansley, A.G. (1920). The classification of vegetation and the concept of development. J. Ecol. 8, 118-144: 125.