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[ek-uh-tohn, ee-kuh-] /ˈɛk əˌtoʊn, ˈi kə-/
noun, Ecology.
the transition zone between two different plant communities, as that between forest and prairie.
Origin of ecotone
1900-05; eco- + tone < Greek tónos tension
Related forms
ecotonal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for ecotone


/ˈiːkəˌtəʊn; ˈɛkə-/
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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ecotone in Science
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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