Ecoregions

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.

 

  • Ecoregion Featured Article Ecoregion Ecoregion

    An ecoregion is a relatively large unit of land or sea that contains geographically distinct assemblage of natural communities with boundaries that approximate the original extent... More »

  • Jalisco dry forests Featured Article Jalisco dry forests Jalisco dry forests

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Jalisco dry forests on the Pacific coast of Mexico is characterized by low lying mountains and a... More »

  • Belizean coast mangroves Featured Article Belizean coast mangroves Belizean coast mangroves

    The Belizean coast mangroves ecoregion (part of the larger Mesoamerican Gulf-Caribbean mangroves ecoregion) extends along the Caribbean Coast from Guatemala, encompassing the... More »

  • Borneo peat swamp forests Featured Article Borneo peat swamp forests Borneo peat swamp forests

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection Although the Borneo peat swamp forests are not as biodiverse as neighbouring lowland rainforests, the... More »

  • Great Victoria Desert Featured Article Great Victoria Desert Great Victoria Desert

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection A vast, sparsely populated region covered by dunefields and gibber plains, the Great Victoria Desert... More »

  • Magellanic subpolar forests Featured Article Magellanic subpolar forests Magellanic subpolar forests

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Magellanic subpolar forests is an ecoregion dominated by trees of the genus Nothofagus; this... More »

  • Patagonian steppe Featured Article Patagonian steppe Patagonian steppe

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Patagonian steppe ecoregion extends approximately from the mid-Andean Precordillera southward,... More »

  • Angolan mopane woodlands Featured Article Angolan mopane woodlands Angolan mopane woodlands

    WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Angolan Mopane Woodlands are located in northern Namibia and  southern Angola, completely... More »

  • Ecoregions of Chile Featured Article Ecoregions of Chile Ecoregions of Chile

    Chile has eight ecoregions that occur entirely or partly within its borders on the mainland and three ecorgions offshore: Sechura desert Atacama... More »

Recently Updated
Alberta Mountain forests Last Updated on 2014-11-30 21:48:14 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Alberta Mountain forests ecoregion lies entirely within Canada and almost fully within the province of Alberta, but hugs the Alberta-British Columbia border from Banff northward to Jasper and Kakwa. The ecoregion is classified within the Temperate Coniferous Forests biome. Mean annual temperature in the Eastern Continental Ranges is 2.5°C, mean summer temperature is 12°C and mean winter temperature is -7.5°C. Precipitation increases from east to west and also with elevation, from 600-800 millimetres (mm) per year. Valley regions are marked by warm, dry summers and mild, snowy winters, and subalpine areas have cool, showery summers and cold, snowy winters. This region covers the Rocky Mountains of Alberta, incorporating the eastern flanks of the Continental Ranges. The major peaks cluster... More »
Mississippi River Last Updated on 2014-11-29 22:15:22 The Mississippi River drains the largest river basin in North America, and is one of the major rivers of the world. The Mississippi River watershed is the fourth largest in the world, extending from the Allegheny Mountains in the east to the Rocky Mountains in the west. The watershed includes all or parts of 31 states and two Canadian provences. The watershed measures approximately 1.2 million square miles (3.1 million square kilometers), covering about 40% of the lower 48 states. The Mississippi drains most of the United States between the Appalachian Mountains in the east and the Rocky Mountains in the West. The mainstream of the Mississippi River has headwaters rising at Lake Itasca, Minnesota and flows approximately 2340 miles (3765 km). Though the longest part of the river includes the the Missouri River which flows approximately 2540 miles (4088 km) before joining the... More »
Ecoregions of Bangladesh Last Updated on 2014-10-19 17:45:45 Bangladesh has five ecoregions: Sundarbans mangroves Sundarbans freshwater swamp forests Lower Gangetic Plains moist deciduous forests Mizoram-Manipur-Kachin rain forests Myanmar coastal rain forests The ecoregion lies in the vast delta formed by the confluence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers. The maze of mangrove channels extends across southern Bangladesh and India's West Bengal State.The Sundarbans Mangroves ecoregion is the world's largest mangrove ecosystem. Named after the dominant mangrove species Heritiera fomes, locally known as sundri, this is the only mangrove ecoregion that harbors the Indo-Pacific region's largest predator, the tiger (Panthera tigris). Unlike in other habitats, here tigers live and swim among the mangrove islands, where they hunt scarce prey such as chital deer (Cervus axis), barking deer (Muntiacus muntjak), wild... More »
Ecoregions of Canada Last Updated on 2014-09-06 20:21:29 Canada  has 50 ecoregions that occur entirely or partly within its borders as listed below and shown in the accompanying figure:     South Avalon-Burin oceanic barrens Eastern Canadian forests Newfoundland Highland forests New England-Acadian forests Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests Eastern Great Lakes lowland forests Southern Great Lakes forests Eastern forest-boreal transition Eastern Canadian Shield taiga Torngat Mountain tundra Low Arctic tundra Middle Arctic tundra High Arctic tundra Davis Highlands tundra Baffin coastal tundra Southern Hudson Bay taiga Central Canadian Shield forests Western Great Lakes forests Northern tall grasslands Midwestern Canadian Shield forests Northern Canadian Shield taiga Mid-Continental Canadian forests Canadian Aspen... More »
Eastern Carpathian beech forests Last Updated on 2014-07-08 14:27:50 Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians are comprised of ten reserves are in the eastern Carpathian Mountains, five clustered in eastern Slovakia and southwestern Ukraine near the Polish border, and five in southwest Ukraine near the point the mountains pass into Romania. These forests, classified as substantially primeval by the United Nations, are situated between 47°56’12”N to 49°05’10”N and 22°11’23”E to 24°23’35”E. 1908:    First Ukrainian forest Natural Reserve established in Stuzhytsia; 1920s:  Several Ukrainian beech forests became Protected Areas; 1968:    The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve created by Soviet Council decree 568; 1977:    The Eastern Carpathian National Park established in Slovakia 1980:    Karpatskiy National Park (50,303 ha)... More »