Entry from US English dictionary
1A period in which a significant proportion of a population dies naturally, usually within a short time.
- She attributes the decline in plants such as eelgrass to pollution, high-speed water traffic and natural cyclic die-offs.
- The theory implies, but does not ever really try to prove, that the dates the supposed mutations occurred have some timing connection with the dates of population die-offs and the appearance in the fossil record of new body forms.
- 20 years ago, the world's panda population was feared to have fallen to around 1,000, their numbers depleted by low fertility, illegal logging, poaching and periodic die-offs of their staple food, bamboo.
1.1A process causing this.
- Once a trigger mechanism sets the process of a die-off in motion, he adds, common organisms become massive killers.
- As aquatic vegetation decomposes, either as a result of herbicide use or natural die-off, the process uses oxygen.
- Ichthyosaurs gradually disappear from the fossil record of about 90 million years ago, a full 25 million years before mass die-offs wiped out the dinosaurs.
1.2The death of a significant proportion of a population in this way.
- Scientifically speaking, the last die-off technically ended on Jan. 5 because no new deaths were reported in the two weeks following that date.
- Either periodic passage of the solar system through molecular clouds or periodic massive volcanic eruptions could be behind the massive die-offs.
- The authors conclude that recent marine ecosystem collapses, including die-offs of seagrass beds, kelp forests and coral reefs, often had their origins decades or even centuries earlier.
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