Definition of ecotone
: a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities
ecotonalplay \ˈē-kə-ˌtō-nəl, ˈe-kə-\ adjective
ecotone was our Word of the Day on 12/02/2010. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Every modification of climate, every disturbance of the soil, every interference with the existing vegetation of an area, favours some species at the expense of others. As Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker observed in Flora Indica (1855), all ecological communities are subject to some kind of disturbance, ranging from the simple, yet significant, loss of a tree to a catastrophic wildfire. Each disturbance creates an opportunity for a new species to colonize or flourish within the ecosystem in a process known as "ecological succession." Scientists refer to the area of overlapping landscapes where the "foreign" species encounter each other and blend together as ecotones, an apparent allusion to the tension created when competing species come together (in Greek tonos means "tension").
Origin and Etymology of ecotone
ec- + Greek tonos tension — more at 1tone
First Known Use: 1904
Learn More about ecotone
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ecotone
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up ecotone? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).