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An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an
ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity ...
and geographically defined area that is smaller than a
bioregion A bioregion is an ecologically Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Topics of int ...
, which in turn is smaller than a
biogeographic realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeography, biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial animal, terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregions, which are classif ...
. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural
communities A community is a social unit (a group of living things) with commonality such as norms, religion Religion is a social system, social-cultural system of designated religious behaviour, behaviors and practices, morality, morals, beliefs, wor ...
and
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
. The
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
of
flora Flora is all the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respiration, ca ...
,
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...
and
ecosystems An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...
that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation (largely undefined at this point). Three caveats are appropriate for all bio-geographic mapping approaches. Firstly, no single bio-geographic framework is optimal for all taxa. Ecoregions reflect the best compromise for as many taxa as possible. Secondly, ecoregion boundaries rarely form abrupt edges; rather,
ecotone An ecotone is a transition area between two biological communities, where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and gra ...
s and mosaic
habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers at the ...

habitat
s bound them. Thirdly, most ecoregions contain habitats that differ from their assigned
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
. Biogeographic provinces may originate due to various barriers, including physical (plate tectonics, topographic highs), climatic (latitudinal variation, seasonal range) and ocean chemical related (salinity, oxygen levels).


History

The history of the term is somewhat vague, and it had been used in many contexts: forest classifications (Loucks, 1962),
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
classifications (Bailey, 1976, 2014),
biogeographic Biogeography is the study of the distribution of species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often define ...

biogeographic
classifications ( WWF/
Global 200 The Global 200 is the list of ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an and geographically defined area that is smaller than a , which in turn is smaller than a . Ecoregions cover relatively large areas o ...
scheme of Olson & Dinerstein, 1998), etc.Bailey, R. G. 2014. ''Ecoregions: The Ecosystem Geography of the. Oceans and Continents''. 2nd ed., Springer, 180 pp.

The concept of ecoregion applied by Bailey gives more importance to ecological criteria and climate, while the WWF concept gives more importance to biogeography, that is, the Species distribution, distribution of distinct species assemblages.


Definition and categorization

An ecoregion is a "recurring pattern of ecosystems associated with characteristic combinations of
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
and
landform A landform is a natural or artificial feature of the solid surface of the Earth or other planetary body A planet is an astronomical body Astronomy (from el, ἀστρονομία, literally meaning the science that studies the laws ...

landform
that characterise that region". Omernik (2004) elaborates on this by defining ecoregions as: "areas within which there is spatial coincidence in characteristics of
geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...
phenomena associated with differences in the quality, health, and integrity of
ecosystems An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles and energy flows. Energy enters the syste ...
". "Characteristics of geographical phenomena" may include
geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geology
,
physiography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabita ...
, vegetation, climate,
hydrology Hydrology (from Ancient Greek, Greek wikt:ὕδωρ, ὕδωρ, ''hýdōr'' meaning "water" and wikt:λόγος, λόγος, ''lógos'' meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and management of water on Earth and ...
, terrestrial and
aquatic Aquatic means relating to water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known li ...

aquatic
fauna Fauna is all of the animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotroph, consume organic material, Cellular r ...

fauna
, and soils, and may or may not include the impacts of human activity (e.g. land use patterns, vegetation changes). There is significant, but not absolute, spatial correlation among these characteristics, making the delineation of ecoregions an imperfect science. Another complication is that environmental conditions across an ecoregion boundary may change very gradually, e.g. the prairie-forest transition in the midwestern United States, making it difficult to identify an exact dividing boundary. Such transition zones are called
ecotone An ecotone is a transition area between two biological communities, where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and gra ...
s. Ecoregions can be categorized using an
algorithm In and , an algorithm () is a finite sequence of , computer-implementable instructions, typically to solve a class of problems or to perform a computation. Algorithms are always and are used as specifications for performing s, , , and other ...

algorithm
ic approach or a holistic, "weight-of-evidence" approach where the importance of various factors may vary. An example of the algorithmic approach is Robert Bailey's work for the U.S. Forest Service, which uses a hierarchical classification that first divides land areas into very large regions based on climatic factors, and subdivides these regions, based first on dominant potential vegetation, and then by
geomorphology Geomorphology (from Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek ...

geomorphology
and soil characteristics. The weight-of-evidence approach is exemplified by James Omernik's work for the
United States Environmental Protection Agency The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is an Independent agencies of the United States government, independent executive agency of the United States federal government tasked with environmental protection matters. President Richard Nixon pro ...
, subsequently adopted (with modification) for
North America North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continen ...

North America
by the
Commission for Environmental Cooperation The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC; es, Comisión para la Cooperación Ambiental; french: Commission de coopération environnementale) was established by Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America ...
. The intended purpose of ecoregion delineation may affect the method used. For example, the WWF ecoregions were developed to aid in biodiversity conservation planning, and place a greater emphasis than the Omernik or Bailey systems on floral and faunal differences between regions. The WWF classification defines an ecoregion as:
A large area of land or water that contains a geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities that: :(a) Share a large majority of their species and ecological dynamics; :(b) Share similar environmental conditions, and; :(c) Interact ecologically in ways that are critical for their long-term persistence.
According to WWF, the boundaries of an ecoregion approximate the original extent of the natural communities prior to any major recent disruptions or changes. WWF has identified 867 terrestrial ecoregions, and approximately 450 freshwater ecoregions across the Earth.


Importance

The use of the term ecoregion is an outgrowth of a surge of interest in ecosystems and their functioning. In particular, there is awareness of issues relating to spatial scale in the study and management of
landscapes A landscape is the visible features of an area of land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agric ...
. It is widely recognized that interlinked ecosystems combine to form a whole that is "greater than the sum of its parts". There are many attempts to respond to ecosystems in an integrated way to achieve "multi-functional" landscapes, and various interest groups from
agricultural Agriculture is the practice of cultivating plants and livestock. Agriculture was the key development in the rise of sedentary Image:Family watching television 1958.jpg, Exercise trends, Increases in sedentary behaviors such as watching tele ...

agricultural
researchers to
conservationists The conservation movement, also known as nature conservation, is a political, environmental, and social movement that seeks to manage and protect natural resource , Malaysia is an example of undisturbed natural resource. Waterfalls provide sp ...
are using the "ecoregion" as a unit of analysis. The "
Global 200 The Global 200 is the list of ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an and geographically defined area that is smaller than a , which in turn is smaller than a . Ecoregions cover relatively large areas o ...
" is the list of ecoregions identified by WWF as priorities for
conservation Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources, or the conservation of various quantities under physical laws. Conservation may also refer to: Environment and natural resources * Nature conservation, the protection and manageme ...
.


Terrestrial

Terrestrial ecoregions are land ecoregions, as distinct from freshwater and marine ecoregions. In this context, ''
terrestrial Terrestrial refers to things related to land Land is the solid surface of the Earth that is not permanently covered by water. The vast majority of human activity throughout history has occurred in land areas that support agriculture A ...

terrestrial
'' is used to mean "of land" (soil and rock), rather than the more general sense "of
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
" (which includes land and oceans). WWF (World Wildlife Fund)
ecologist Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms In biol ...
s currently divide the land surface of the Earth into eight
biogeographical realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ec ...
s containing 867 smaller terrestrial ecoregions (see
list A ''list'' is any set of items. List or lists may also refer to: People * List (surname)List or Liste is a European surname. Notable people with the surname include: List * Friedrich List (1789–1846), German economist * Garrett List (194 ...
). The WWF effort is a synthesis of many previous efforts to define and classify ecoregions. The eight realms follow the major floral and faunal boundaries, identified by botanists and zoologists, that separate the world's major plant and animal communities. Realm boundaries generally follow
continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of th ...

continent
al boundaries, or major barriers to plant and animal distribution, like the
Himalayas The Himalayas, or Himalaya (; Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It ar ...

Himalayas
and the
Sahara The Sahara (, ; ar, الصحراء الكبرى, ', 'the Greatest Desert') is a desert on the African continent Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is any of several large landma ...

Sahara
. The boundaries of ecoregions are often not as decisive or well recognized, and are subject to greater disagreement. Ecoregions are classified by
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
type, which are the major global plant communities determined by rainfall and climate. Forests, grasslands (including savanna and shrubland), and deserts (including xeric shrublands) are distinguished by climate (
tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at S; these latitudes correspond to ...

tropical
and
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locat ...

subtropical
vs.
temperate In geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its populati ...
and
boreal Boreal, meaning "(far) northern" in Latin and Greek language, Greek, may refer to: Climatology and geography *Boreal (age), the first climatic phase of the Blytt-Sernander sequence of northern Europe, during the Holocene epoch *Boreal climate, a c ...
climates) and, for forests, by whether the trees are predominantly
conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The division contains a single e ...
s (
gymnosperm The gymnosperms ( lit. revealed seeds) are a group of seed-producing plants that includes conifers Conifers are a group of cone-bearing seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the division Pinophyta (), also ...
s), or whether they are predominantly broadleaf (
Angiosperm Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ...

Angiosperm
s) and mixed (broadleaf and conifer). Biome types like
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in ...
;
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
; and
mangroves A mangrove is a shrub A shrub (often called a bush) is a small- to medium-sized perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Pl ...

mangroves
host very distinct ecological communities, and are recognized as distinct biome types as well.


Marine

Marine ecoregion A marine ecoregion is an ecoregion, or ecological region, of the oceans and seas identified and defined based on biogeography, biogeographic characteristics. Introduction A more complete definition describes them as “Areas of relatively homogen ...
s are: "Areas of relatively homogeneous species composition, clearly distinct from adjacent systems….In ecological terms, these are strongly cohesive units, sufficiently large to encompass ecological or life history processes for most sedentary species." They have been defined by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to aid in
conservation Conservation is the preservation or efficient use of resources, or the conservation of various quantities under physical laws. Conservation may also refer to: Environment and natural resources * Nature conservation, the protection and manageme ...
activities for
marine ecosystems Marine ecosystems are the largest of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several ...
. Forty-three priority marine ecoregions were delineated as part of WWF's Global 200 efforts. The scheme used to designate and classify marine ecoregions is analogous to that used for terrestrial ecoregions. Major habitat types are identified: polar, temperate shelves and seas, temperate upwelling, tropical upwelling, tropical coral, pelagic (trades and westerlies), abyssal, and hadal (ocean trench). These correspond to the terrestrial
biomes A biome is a collection of flora, plants and fauna, animals that have common characteristics for the natural environment, environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological community (ecology) ...

biomes
. The Global 200 classification of marine ecoregions is not developed to the same level of detail and comprehensiveness as that of the terrestrial ecoregions; only the priority conservation areas are listed. See Global 200 Marine ecoregions for a full list of marine ecoregions. In 2007, TNC and WWF refined and expanded this scheme to provide a system of comprehensive near shore (to 200 meters depth) Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW). The 232 individual marine ecoregions are grouped into 62 marine provinces, which in turn group into 12
marine realms A marine ecoregion is an ecoregion, or ecological region, of the oceans and seas identified and defined based on biogeography, biogeographic characteristics. Introduction A more complete definition describes them as “Areas of relatively homogene ...
, which represent the broad latitudinal divisions of polar, temperate, and tropical seas, with subdivisions based on ocean basins (except for the southern hemisphere temperate oceans, which are based on continents). Major marine biogeographic realms, analogous to the eight terrestrial
biogeographic realm A biogeographic realm or ecozone is the broadest biogeography, biogeographic division of Earth's land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial animal, terrestrial organisms. They are subdivided into ecoregions, which are classif ...
s, represent large regions of the ocean basins:
Arctic The Arctic ( or ) is a polar regions of Earth, polar region located at the northernmost part of Earth. The Arctic consists of the Arctic Ocean, adjacent seas, and parts of Alaska (United States), Canada, Finland, Greenland (Danish Realm, ...

Arctic
,
Temperate Northern Atlantic The Temperate Northern Atlantic is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the temperate and subtropical waters of the North Atlantic Ocean and connecting seas, including the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea co ...
,
Temperate Northern Pacific The Temperate Northern Pacific is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the temperate waters of the northern Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arcti ...
,
Tropical Atlantic The Tropical Atlantic realm is one of twelve marine realms that cover the world's coastal seas and continental shelf, continental shelves. The Tropical Atlantic covers both sides of the Atlantic. In the western Atlantic, it extends from Bermuda, ...
,
Western Indo-Pacific The Western Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters of the eastern and central Indian Ocean The Indian Ocean is the third-largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering or 19.8% of the ...
,
Central Indo-Pacific The Central Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region of Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean i ...
,
Eastern Indo-Pacific The Eastern Indo-Pacific is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the tropical waters around island groups in the central Pacific Ocean The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends f ...
,
Tropical Eastern Pacific The Tropical Eastern Pacific is one of the twelve marine realms that cover the shallow oceans of the world. The Tropical Eastern Pacific extends along the Pacific Coast of the Americas, from the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula in the ...
,
Temperate South America Temperate South America is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the temperate and subtropical waters of South America, including both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts of the continent and adjacent islands. It also includes the rem ...
,
Temperate Southern Africa Temperate Southern Africa is a biogeography, biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the temperate waters of southern Africa, where the Atlantic Ocean and Indian Ocean meet. It includes the coast of South Africa and Namibia, and reache ...
,
Temperate Australasia Temperate Australasia is a biogeographic region of the Earth's seas, comprising the temperate and subtropical waters of Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the ...
, and
Southern Ocean The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. As such, it is regarded as the second-smallest of t ...

Southern Ocean
. A similar system of identifying areas of the oceans for conservation purposes is the system of large marine ecosystems (LMEs), developed by the US
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA ) is an American scientific and regulatory agency within the United States Department of Commerce that forecasts weather, monitors oceanic and atmospheric conditions, charts the seas, c ...
(NOAA).


Freshwater

A freshwater ecoregion is a large area encompassing one or more freshwater systems that contains a distinct assemblage of natural freshwater communities and species. The freshwater species, dynamics, and environmental conditions within a given ecoregion are more similar to each other than to those of surrounding ecoregions and together form a conservation unit. Freshwater systems include
river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reaching another body of wate ...

river
s,
stream A stream is a body of water (Lysefjord) in Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the No ...

stream
s,
lake A lake is an area filled with water, localized in a basin, surrounded by land Land is the solid surface of Earth that is not permanently submerged in water. Most but not all land is situated at elevations above sea level (variable ove ...

lake
s, and
wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which they interact. These biotic and abiotic components are linked together through nutrient cycles ...

wetland
s. Freshwater ecoregions are distinct from terrestrial ecoregions, which identify biotic communities of the land, and marine ecoregions, which are biotic communities of the oceans. A map of Freshwater Ecoregions of the World, released in 2008, has 426 ecoregions covering virtually the entire non-marine surface of the earth.
World Wildlife Fund In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the worl ...
(WWF) identifies twelve major habitat types of freshwater ecoregions: Large lakes, large river deltas, polar freshwaters, montane freshwaters, temperate coastal rivers, temperate floodplain rivers and wetlands, temperate upland rivers, tropical and subtropical coastal rivers, tropical and subtropical floodplain rivers and wetlands, tropical and subtropical upland rivers, xeric freshwaters and endorheic basins, and oceanic islands. The freshwater major habitat types reflect groupings of ecoregions with similar biological, chemical, and physical characteristics and are roughly equivalent to biomes for terrestrial systems. The
Global 200 The Global 200 is the list of ecoregion An ecoregion (ecological region) or ecozone (ecological zone) is an and geographically defined area that is smaller than a , which in turn is smaller than a . Ecoregions cover relatively large areas o ...
, a set of ecoregions identified by WWF whose conservation would achieve the goal of saving a broad diversity of the Earth's ecosystems, includes a number of areas highlighted for their freshwater
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
values. The Global 200 preceded Freshwater Ecoregions of the World and incorporated information from regional freshwater ecoregional assessments that had been completed at that time.


See also

*
Crisis ecoregionA crisis ecoregion is a terrestrial biome A biome is a collection of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communitie ...
* Lists of ecoregions


References


Bibliography

Sources related to the WWC scheme: * Main papers: ** Abell, R., M. Thieme, C. Revenga, M. Bryer, M. Kottelat, N. Bogutskaya, B. Coad, N. Mandrak, S. Contreras-Balderas, W. Bussing, M. L. J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, G. R. Allen, P. Unmack, A. Naseka, R. Ng, N. Sindorf, J. Robertson, E. Armijo, J. Higgins, T. J. Heibel, E. Wikramanayake, D. Olson, H. L. Lopez, R. E. d. Reis, J. G. Lundberg, M. H. Sabaj Perez, and P. Petry. (2008). Freshwater ecoregions of the world: A new map of biogeographic units for freshwater biodiversity conservation. ''BioScience'' 58:403-414

** Olson, D. M., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E. D., Burgess, N. D., Powell, G. V. N., Underwood, E. C., D'Amico, J. A., Itoua, I., Strand, H. E., Morrison, J. C., Loucks, C. J., Allnutt, T. F., Ricketts, T. H., Kura, Y., Lamoreux, J. F., Wettengel, W. W., Hedao, P., Kassem, K. R. (2001). Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: a new map of life on Earth. ''Bioscience'' 51(11):933-938

** Spalding, M. D. et al. (2007). Marine ecoregions of the world: a bioregionalization of coastal and shelf areas. ''BioScience'' 57: 573–583

* Africa: ** Burgess, N., J.D. Hales, E. Underwood, and E. Dinerstein (2004). ''Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment.'' Island Press, Washington, D.C.

** Thieme, M.L., R. Abell, M.L.J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, B. Lehner, G.G. Teugels, E. Dinerstein, A.K. Toham, N. Burgess & D. Olson. 2005. ''Freshwater ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A conservation assessment.'' Washington DC: WWF

* Latin America ** Dinerstein, E., Olson, D. Graham, D.J. et al. (1995). ''A Conservation Assessment of the Terrestrial Ecoregions of Latin America and the Caribbean.'' World Bank, Washington DC.

** Olson, D. M., E. Dinerstein, G. Cintron, and P. Iolster. 1996. ''A conservation assessment of mangrove ecosystems of Latin America and the Caribbean''. Final report for The Ford Foundation. World Wildlife Fund, Washington, D.C. ** Olson, D. M., B. Chernoff, G. Burgess, I. Davidson, P. Canevari, E. Dinerstein, G. Castro, V. Morisset, R. Abell, and E. Toledo. 1997. ''Freshwater biodiversity of Latin America and the Caribbean: a conservation assessment''. Draft report. World Wildlife Fund-U.S., Wetlands International, Biodiversity Support Program, and United States Agency for International Development, Washington, D.C.

* North America ** Abell, R.A. et al. (2000). ''Freshwater Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment'' Washington, DC: Island Press

** Ricketts, T.H. et al. 1999. ''Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: A Conservation Assessment''. Washington (DC): Island Press

* Russia and Indo-Pacific ** Krever, V., Dinerstein, E., Olson, D. and Williams, L. 1994. ''Conserving Russia's Biological Diversity: an analytical framework and initial investment portfolio''. WWF, Switzerland. ** Wikramanayake, E., E. Dinerstein, C. J. Loucks, D. M. Olson, J. Morrison, J. L. Lamoreux, M. McKnight, and P. Hedao. 2002. ''Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a conservation assessment''. Island Press, Washington, DC, USA

Others: * Brunckhorst, D. 2000. ''Bioregional planning: resource management beyond the new millennium.'' Harwood Academic Publishers: Sydney, Australia. * Busch, D.E. and J.C. Trexler. eds. 2003. Monitoring Ecosystems: Interdisciplinary approaches for evaluating ecoregional initiatives. Island Press. 447 pages.


External links


WWF WildFinder
(interactive on-line map of ecoregions with additional information about animal species) *
Original page

Activist network cultivating Ecoregions/Bioregions
*
Original page
{{Authority control Ecoregions, Biogeography