Community of organisms - whether biological or alife - interacting with one another and with the chemical and physical factors making up their environment.
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    The abundance of different biological species and varieties found in any environment, such as a natural biosphere, a ship, or an orbital or deep-space habitat. In almost every case (there are exceptions - e.g. on special purpose ships, military, freighter, etc etc), a high biodiversity is preferable to a low biodiversity for ecological robustness, resource value, evolutionary potential, and aesthetic appreciation.
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    Any autonomous self-supporting, self-containing, homeostatic ecosystem. Natural Biospheres - planets such as Earth, Trees, and Eden, are very rare. Most biospheres are artificial, and may be hollowed out asteroids, planetary domes, ships, orbital habs, and so on. Strictly speaking most of these are not spheres, but the original usage has remained. The term was coined by the Old Earth Russian scientist Vladimir Vernadsky in 40 BT (1929 c.e.).
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Development Notes
Text by M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 24 October 2001.