—communital, adj./keuh myooh"ni tee/, n., pl. communities.1. a social group of any size whose members reside in a specific locality, share government, and often have a common cultural and historical heritage.2. a locality inhabited by such a group.3. a social, religious, occupational, or other group sharing common characteristics or interests and perceived or perceiving itself as distinct in some respect from the larger society within which it exists (usually prec. by the): the business community; the community of scholars.4. a group of associated nations sharing common interests or a common heritage: the community of Western Europe.5. Eccles. a group of men or women leading a common life according to a rule.6. Ecol. an assemblage of interacting populations occupying a given area.7. joint possession, enjoyment, liability, etc.: community of property.8. similar character; agreement; identity: community of interests.9. the community, the public; society: the needs of the community.[1325-75; < L communitas, equiv. to communi(s) COMMON + -tas -TY2; r. ME comunete < MF < L as above]Syn. 1. COMMUNITY, HAMLET, VILLAGE, TOWN, CITY are terms for groups of people living in somewhat close association, and usually under common rules. COMMUNITY is a general term, and TOWN is often loosely applied. A commonly accepted set of connotations envisages HAMLET as a small group, VILLAGE as a somewhat larger one, TOWN still larger, and CITY as very large. Size is, however, not the true basis of differentiation, but properly sets off only HAMLET. Incorporation, or the absence of it, and the type of government determine the classification of the others. 8. similarity, likeness.
* * *(as used in expressions)European Atomic Energy Community EuratomRule of the Communitycommunity centreEuropean Community EC
* * *▪ biologyalso called biological community,in biology, an interacting group of various species in a common location. For example, a forest of trees and undergrowth plants, inhabited by animals and rooted in soil containing bacteria and fungi, constitutes a biological community.A brief treatment of biological communities follows. For full treatment, see biosphere.Among the factors that determine the overall structure of a community are the number of species (diversity) within it, the number of each species (abundance) found within it, the interactions among the species, and the ability of the community to return to normal after a disruptive influence such as fire or drought. The change of biological communities over time is known as succession, or ecological succession.The various species in a community each occupy their own ecological niche. The niche of a species includes all of its interactions with other members of the community, including competition, predation, parasitism, and mutualism. The organisms within a community can be positioned along food chains (food chain) by showing which eats which, and these positions are known as trophic levels (trophic level). The first level includes the producers—the photosynthetic plants—which convert the Sun's radiant energy into nutrients available to other organisms in the community. These plants are eaten by herbivores (herbivore) (plant-eaters, or primary consumers), the second trophic level. Herbivores are, in turn, eaten by carnivores (flesh-eaters), which are frequently eaten by larger carnivores (secondary and tertiary consumers, respectively). The food chain ends when the last link dies and is attacked by various bacteria and fungi, the decomposers that break down dead organic matter and thereby release essential nutrients back into the environment.An ecosystem consists of the biological community of an area together with its physical environment.
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