Ecotones and ecoclines are different

Ecotones and ecoclines are different FORUM Ecotones and ecoclines are different van der Maarel, Eddy Department of Ecological Botany, Uppsala University, Box 559, S-751 22 Uppsala, Sweden; tel. +46 18 182860; Fax +46 18 559888; E-mail EDDY@PAX.UU.SE Ecotone and ecocline: the starting point Ecotones are commonly considered to be ecological transition zones at large, also in most textbooks. A typical textbook definition of an ecotone is “a narrow ecological zone which possesses a mixture of floristic and faunistic characteristics in between two different and relatively homogeneous ecological community types. Ecotones often represent gradients between two vegetations with different physiognomies” (Allen & Starr 1982). Despite earlier attempts (e.g. van der Maarel 1964, 1976), I have not succeeded in convincing colleagues that we should differentiate between a) the original concept of ecotone in a strict sense (Livingston 1903), i.e. an environmentally stochastic stress zone (tonus = stress), and b) the concept of ecocline (coined independently by Whittaker 1960 and, as coenocline, by van der Maarel & Westhoff 1964), a gradient zone which is relatively heterogeneous but environmentally more stable. Of course, variation in boundary types has been recognized in many textbooks (most clearly in Daubenmire 1968), but to my knowledge only Margalef (first, 1979, in http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Vegetation Science Wiley

Ecotones and ecoclines are different

Journal of Vegetation Science, Volume 1 (1) – Feb 1, 1990

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1990 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science
ISSN
1100-9233
eISSN
1654-1103
DOI
10.2307/3236065
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

FORUM Ecotones and ecoclines are different van der Maarel, Eddy Department of Ecological Botany, Uppsala University, Box 559, S-751 22 Uppsala, Sweden; tel. +46 18 182860; Fax +46 18 559888; E-mail EDDY@PAX.UU.SE Ecotone and ecocline: the starting point Ecotones are commonly considered to be ecological transition zones at large, also in most textbooks. A typical textbook definition of an ecotone is “a narrow ecological zone which possesses a mixture of floristic and faunistic characteristics in between two different and relatively homogeneous ecological community types. Ecotones often represent gradients between two vegetations with different physiognomies” (Allen & Starr 1982). Despite earlier attempts (e.g. van der Maarel 1964, 1976), I have not succeeded in convincing colleagues that we should differentiate between a) the original concept of ecotone in a strict sense (Livingston 1903), i.e. an environmentally stochastic stress zone (tonus = stress), and b) the concept of ecocline (coined independently by Whittaker 1960 and, as coenocline, by van der Maarel & Westhoff 1964), a gradient zone which is relatively heterogeneous but environmentally more stable. Of course, variation in boundary types has been recognized in many textbooks (most clearly in Daubenmire 1968), but to my knowledge only Margalef (first, 1979, in

Journal

Journal of Vegetation ScienceWiley

Published: Feb 1, 1990

References

  • The confusion between scale‐defined levels and conventional levels of organization in ecology
    Allen, Allen; Hoekstra, Hoekstra
  • Gradient analysis of vegetation
    Whittaker, Whittaker

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