Ecotone

Definition - What does Ecotone mean?

An ecotone acts as the boundary or barrier between two biomes. It is the area where two distinct types of environments merge and blend.

Ecotones could be the border where forestland and grassland meet or the boundary where wetlands meet prairie. Many things form a sharp boundary such as natural formations. The area where the land meets water such as where the mangrove fields meet the ocean is also considered an ecotone. The estuary between freshwater and saltwater is also a natural ecotone.

MaximumYield explains Ecotone

An ecotone can be a narrow or wide area of the ecostyem. It is considered a zone of tension.

The word ‘ecotone’ was derived from the word ecology and the Greek word tonos, which means tension.The ecotone often shares many of the animal and plant species that both areas contain but it is also unique because it is the blending of two distinct areas.

Plants and trees tend to live along an ecotone and stretch as far into the other area as possible but because of the transition the plants or trees cannot survive past the ecotone.

The ecotone is visually very dramatic when viewed from up in the air, say from inside an airplane or via satellite images.

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