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fertility


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1 The potential capability of an organism to reproduce itself. In sexually reproducing plants and animals it is the number of fertilized eggs produced in a given time. For practical purposes this usually cannot be measured, and the only reliable indicators are the numbers of mature seeds produced, eggs laid, or live offspring delivered. However, these measures are strictly referred to as fecundity, since they exclude fertilized embryos that have failed to develop.

2 The relative ability of a soil to support plant growth. It consists of both physical factors, e.g. particle size and moisture content, and chemical factors, e.g. concentration and availability of nutrients.

Subjects: Biological Sciences.


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