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Ecoregions: Mapping Ecosystems to Protect Biodiversity

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Part of the Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals book series (ENUNSDG)


Ecoregions are geographic regions of the world that indicate the distribution of ecosystems (see “Terrestrial Ecosystem”) and plant and animal communities. They have been variously defined according to the specific purpose of specific regionalization approaches. Omernik and Bailey (1997) have defined ecoregions in very broad terms: “Ecological regions, at any scale, can be defined as areas with relative homogeneity in ecosystems. Our intent has been to depict regions within which the mosaic of ecosystem components (biotic and abiotic as well as terrestrial and aquatic) is different than that of adjacent regions.” Bailey (1998) defines ecoregions as “any large portion of the Earth’s surface over which the ecosystems have characteristics in common.” They are understood as macroecosystems, the “largest regional-scale ecosystem units,” corresponding “to the large climatic regions where climatic conditions are relatively uniform” (Bailey and Ropes 2002).They are distinguished...

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Correspondence to Stephan M. Funk .

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Funk, S.M. (2020). Ecoregions: Mapping Ecosystems to Protect Biodiversity. In: Leal Filho, W., Azul, A., Brandli, L., Özuyar, P., Wall, T. (eds) Life on Land. Encyclopedia of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Springer, Cham.

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