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Explanatory Supplement to Ecoregions Map of the Continents

  • Robert G. Bailey

This explanatory note is intended to accompany the map included in this issue. The map is on a scale of 1:30,000,000 (1 cm = 300 km) and shows regional-scale ‘ecosystem’ units, or ecoregions, differentiated according to a scheme modified from J.M. Crowley (1967), and using climate and vegetation as indicators of the extent of each unit. The units are similar in concept to ‘ecobiomes’ as proposed by Polunin (1984). The map was developed following a proposal by Bailey & Hogg (1986) to supplement the Udvardy (1975) system of biogeographical provinces with a treatment of higher resolution. Three levels or categories of this hierarchy are shown. Of these the broadest, domains, and within them divisions, are based largely on the broad ecological climate zones following the Koppen system as modified by Trewartha (1968), and summarized in our Tables I and II. Climate is emphasized at the broadest levels because of its overriding effect on the composition and productivity of ecosystems etc. from region to region.

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Bailey, R.G. (1983). Delineation of ecosystem regions. Environmental Management, 7, pp. 365–73, illustr.
Bailey, R.G. (1988). Ecogeographic analysis: a Guide to the Ecological Division of Land for Resource Management. US Department of Agriculture Misc. Publ. 1465, Washington, DC, USA: 18 pp., illustr.
Bailey, R.G. & Hogg, H.C. (1986). A world ecoregions map for resource reporting. Environmental Conservation, 13(3), pp. 195202, illustr.
Crowley, J.M. (1967). Biogeography in Canada. Canadian Geographer, 11, pp. 312–26, illustr.
Gerasimov, I.P. (Ed.) (1964). Types of natural landscapes of the Earth's land areas. Plate 75. In Fiziko-geograficheskii Atlas Mira [Physico-geographic Atlas of the World]. USSR Acad. Sci. and Main Administration of Geodesy and Cartography. Moscow, USSR, scale = 1:80,000.000.
Polunin, N. (1984). Our use of ‘Biosphere’, ‘Ecosystem’, and now ‘Ecobiome’. Environmental Conservation. 11(3). p. 198.
Trewartha, G.T. (1968). An Introduction to Climate, 4th edn.McGraw Hill, New York, NY. USA: vii + 408 pp., illustr.
Udvardy, M.D.F. (1975). A Classification of the Biogeographical Provinces of the World. International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Occasional Paper 18, Morges, Switzerland: 48 pp., illustr.
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Environmental Conservation
  • ISSN: 0376-8929
  • EISSN: 1469-4387
  • URL: /core/journals/environmental-conservation
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