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Ecoregions

  • By: Robert G. Bailey
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

There is an increasing realization that natural resources do not exist in isolation but interact with each other. Understanding this has led to a focus on a more holistic approach of managing whole ecosystems that considers both biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystems. Ecosystems are of different sizes and can be identified at multiple scales in a hierarchy. The smaller systems are embedded, or nested, within larger macroscale ecosystems. The larger systems are the environments that control their behavior. By understanding the larger forces that create macroscale ecosystems, we can better predict how management practices will affect smaller local systems. At the macroscale, ecosystem patterns are controlled by macroclimate (i.e., the climate that lies just beyond the local modifying irregularities of landform and vegetation). ...

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