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Ecoregions as a level of ecological analysis

Biological Conservation

By:
, ,
DOI: 10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00002-0

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Abstract

There have been many attempts to classify geographic areas into zones of similar characteristics. Recent focus has been on ecoregions. We examined how well the boundaries of the most commonly used ecoregion classifications for the US matched the boundaries of existing vegetation cover mapped at three levels of classification, fine, mid- and coarse scale. We analyzed ecoregions in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The results were similar among the two ecoregion classifications. For both ecoregion delineations and all three vegetation classifications, the patterns of existing vegetation did not correspond well with the patterns of ecoregions. Most vegetation types had a small proportion of their total area in a given ecoregion. There was also no dominance by one or more vegetation types in any ecoregion and contrary to our hypothesis, the level of congruence of vegetation patterns with ecoregion boundaries decreased as the level of classification became more general. The implications of these findings on the use of ecoregions as a planning tool and in the development of land conservation efforts are discussed.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Ecoregions as a level of ecological analysis
Series title:
Biological Conservation
DOI:
10.1016/S0006-3207(98)00002-0
Volume
86
Issue:
2
Year Published:
1998
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Biological Conservation
First page:
207
Last page:
213
Number of Pages:
7