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Essential, necessary; unable to exist in any other state, mode, or relationship; restricted to one particularly characteristic mode of life. An obligate predator lives off of only one species or specific group of prey; an obligate parasite is capable of living naturally only as a parasite and only on its single host; an obligate halophyte is a plant that requires salty soils in order to thrive; an obligate relationship is a relationship between organisms in which neither can exist without the other.

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