[ 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.

Nearby words

  1. ecotage,
  2. ecotarian,
  3. ecotaxis,
  4. ecotecture,
  5. ecoterrorist,
  6. ecotourism,
  7. ecotropic virus,
  8. ecotype,
  9. ecowas,
  10. ecphonesis

Origin of ecotone

1900–05; eco- + tone < Greek tónos tension

Related formsec·o·ton·al, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for ecotone

British Dictionary definitions for ecotone


/ (ˈiːkəˌtəʊn, ˈɛkə-) /


the zone between two major ecological communities
Derived Formsecotonal, adjective

Word Origin for ecotone

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

Science definitions for ecotone


[ ēkə-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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.