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ecotone

[ek-uh-tohn, ee-kuh-] /ˈɛk əˌtoʊn, ˈi kə-/
noun, Ecology
1.
the transition zone between two different plant communities, as that between forest and prairie.
Origin
1900-1905
1900-05; eco- + tone < Greek tónos tension
Related forms
ecotonal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for ecotonal

ecotone

/ˈiːkəˌtəʊn; ˈɛkə-/
noun
1.
the zone between two major ecological communities
Derived Forms
ecotonal, adjective
Word Origin
C20: from eco(logy) + -tone, from Greek tonos tension, tone
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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ecotonal in Science
ecotone
  (ē'kə-tōn')   
A transitional zone between two ecological communities, as between a forest and grassland or a river and its estuary. An ecotone has its own characteristics in addition to sharing certain characteristics of the two communities. See also edge effect.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for ecotonal

ecotone

a transition area of vegetation between two different plant communities, such as forest and grassland. It has some of the characteristics of each bordering community and often contains species not found in the overlapping communities. An ecotone may exist along a broad belt or in a small pocket, such as a forest clearing, where two local communities blend together. The influence of the two bordering communities on each other is known as the edge effect. An ecotonal area often has a higher density of organisms of one species and a greater number of species than are found in either flanking community. Some organisms need a transitional area for activities such as courtship, nesting, or foraging for food.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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