[ ek-uh-tohn, ee-kuh- ]

  1. the transition zone between two different plant communities, as that between forest and prairie.

Origin of ecotone

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

Other words from ecotone

  • ec·o·ton·al, adjective

Words Nearby ecotone Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ecotone in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ecotone


/ (ˈiːkəˌtəʊn, ˈɛkə-) /

  1. the zone between two major ecological communities

Origin of ecotone

C20: from eco (logy) + -tone, from Greek tonos tension, tone

Derived forms of ecotone

  • ecotonal, adjective

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

Scientific definitions for ecotone


[ ēkə-tōn′ ]

  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.

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