An ecoregion is a contiguous area characterized by well defined similarity in flora and fauna as well as geomorphology, climate and soils; ecoregions are generally relatively large geographic units on the order of 50,000 square kilometers or more. Ecoregions may be terrestrial or marine, and do not recognize any political boundaries or landscape alterations by humans. Generally an ecoregion is depicted by a geographic descriptor coupled with a biome identity, further articulating one or more specific climatic or dominant plant community appellations: for example, Chilean Mattoral or Madagascar Dry Deciduous Forests.
There are several alternative formal naming schemes for the Earth's ecoregions; one of the most widely used, developed by the World Wildlife Foundation, recognizes 867 separate ecoregions. Because of the very large scale of an ecoregion, the landscape is not monolithic, but may have pockets of ecological diversity; however, the ecoregion is defined by its preponderant vegetative, geological and meteorological composition. Correspondingly boundaries between regions are sometimes diffuse, resulting in a broad ecotone.
The Moist Pacific Coast mangroves is an ecoregion along the Pacific coast of Costa Rica with a large number of embayments that provide shelter from wind and waves,...
Western Java rainforestsLast Updated on 2013-05-25 at 23:43
The Western Java rainforests are found on one of the most active volcanic islands in the world. Once the home of the extinct Javan Tiger (Panthera tigris sondaicus), these... More »
Temperate rainforestsLast Updated on 2013-05-25 at 21:50
This article draws upon the work of numerous writers, published by Ecotrust in the cited works below, and was also contributed to by Malka Geffen of Ecotrust.... More »
Northwestern thorn scrub forestsLast Updated on 2013-05-25 at 15:23
The Northwestern thorn scrub forests ecoregion represents a large expanse of degraded dry forest surrounding the Thar Desert. Neither exceptionally species-rich nor high in... More »
Sulu Archipelago rainforestsLast Updated on 2013-05-25 at 14:29
Although these islands represent transitional stepping stones from the island of Borneo to Mindanao in the Philippines, they have evolved their own distinctive faunas. The Sulu... More »
PanamáLast Updated on 2013-05-24 at 13:23
Panama is a nation of three-and-a-half million people, located between Costa Rica to the north and Columbia to the south.
Panama connects the continental land masses of... More »
Sumatran lowland rainforestsLast Updated on 2013-05-24 at 00:32
The Sumatran lowland rainforests are one of the most diverse forests on Earth and also among the most threatened.
These forests contain comparable levels of More »