Ecological land classification
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Ecological land classification is a cartographical delineation of distinct ecological areas, identified by their geology, topography, soils, vegetation, climate conditions, living species, habitats, water resources, as well as anthropic factors (corroborated by ref). These factors control and influence biotic composition and ecological processes.
- Biogeography - Biogeographical provinces take into account both flora and fauna.
- Phytogeography - from Greek words phyto = plant and geography meaning also distribution, concerned with the geographic distribution of plant species.
- Botany - botanists have identified floristic provinces based on flora-plant communities
- Zoology - zoologists have identified zoogeographic provinces based on faunal communities.
- Conservation - approximating ecosystem capacity and potentials.
- Geology and Pedology (soil study) - the physical matter and energy that constitute the Earth.
In Canada ecological land classification schemes are commonly used. Provincial authorities have adopted methods to classify ecosystems within various ecoregions of the province. Ontario is one such province that uses an extensive method to define ecological units. Improvements in hand held technology have allowed for more efficient collection of vegetation and physiological data in the field, such as with the ELC eTool.
Hierarchy of classification levels in ecology compared to other fields
- From largest at top to the smallest at bottom the classification levels are:
|ecozone||biome||zoozone (zoogeographic region) ||floristic kingdom|
|ecotope (ecosystem sensu stricto?)||biotope‡||zootope‡||phytotope‡||physiotope||geotope‡||pedotope|
|Sources: ‡ These words are all loanwords from German science.|
- Ecozones or realms
- Marine ecozones or realms
- Endolithic biome
- Klijn, F., and H. A. Udo De Haes. 1994. "A hierarchical approach to ecosystems and its implications for ecological land classification." In: Landscape Ecology vol. 9 no. 2 pp 89–104 (1994). The Hague, SPB Academic Publishing bv.
- Gregorich, E. G., and et al. "Soil and Environmental Science Dictionary." Canadian ecological land classification system, pp 111 (2001). Canadian Society of Soil Science. CRC Press LLC. ISBN 0-8493-3115-3.
- Kellogg, Charles (February 1933). "A Method for the Classification of Rural Lands for Assessment in Western North Dakota". The Journal of Land & Public Utility Economics 9 (1): 12.
- Part of the list proposed below is inspired by Miklos Udvardy classification of the Biographical Provinces in the World which was prepared by Unesco's Man and the Biosphere program, published in 1975 and updated in 1982.
- "faunal region".
- "Zoogeographical Region".