• synonyms


[ek-uh-tohn, ee-kuh-]
noun Ecology.
  1. the transition zone between two different plant communities, as that between forest and prairie.
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Origin of ecotone

1900–05; eco- + tone < Greek tónos tension
Related formsec·o·ton·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for ecotone

Historical Examples of ecotone

  • The result is a transition area or ecotone which epitomizes the next stage in development.

    Introduction to the Science of Sociology

    Robert E. Park

British Dictionary definitions for ecotone


  1. the zone between two major ecological communities
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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

ecotone in Science


  1. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.