n. (alternative spelling of eco-region English)
An ecoregion (ecological region) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems 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, ecotones and mosaic habitats bound them. Thirdly, most ecoregions contain habitats that differ from their assigned biome. Biogeographic provinces may originate due to various barriers. Some physical (plate tectonics, topographic highs), some climatic (latitudinal variation, seasonal range) and some ocean chemical related (salinity, oxygen levels).
Usage examples of "ecoregion".
Unlike Eritrea—enclosed by mountains and deserts and culturally unified by a thirty-year guerrilla war against Ethiopia—the majority of ecoregions tend to flow in and out of one another.
Replacing fixed and abrupt lines on a flat space would be a shifting pattern of ecoregions and buffer entities, like the Kurdish and Azeri buffer entities between Turkey and Iran, the Turkic Uighur buffer between Central Asia and inner China (itself distinct from coastal China), and the Turkic, Pathan, and Punjabi regions between Russia and the heartland of India.