Terrestrial Ecoregions


This map depicts the 825 terrestrial ecoregions of the globe. Ecoregions are relatively large units of land containing distinct assemblages of natural communities and species, with boundaries that approximate the original extent of natural communities prior to major land-use change. This comprehensive, global map provides a useful framework for conducting biogeographical or macroecological research, for identifying areas of outstanding biodiversity and conservation priority, for assessing the representation and gaps in conservation efforts worldwide, and for communicating the global distribution of natural communities on earth. We have based ecoregion delineations on hundreds of previous biogeographical studies, and refined and synthesized existing information in regional workshops over 10 years to assemble the global dataset. Ecoregions are nested within two higher-order classifications: biomes (14) and biogeographic realms (8). Together, these nested classification levels provide a framework for comparison among units and the identification of representative habitats and species assemblages. Ecoregions have increasingly been adopted by research scientists, conservation organizations, and donors as a framework for analyzing biodiversity patterns, assessing conservation priorities, and directing effort and support (Ricketts et al. 1999a; Wikramanayake et al. 2001; Ricketts et al. 1999b; Olson & Dinerstein 1998; Groves et al. 2000; Rosenzweig et al. 2003; and Luck et al. 2003). More on the approach to ecoregion mapping, the logic and design of the framework, and previous and potential uses are discusses in Olson et al. (2001) and Ricketts et al. (1999a). Groves, C., L. Valutis, D. Vosick, B. Neely, K. Wheaton, J. Touval, and B. Runnels. 2000. Designing a Geography of Hope: A practitioner's handbook to ecoregional conservation planning. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA. Luck, G.W., T.H. Ricketts, G.C. Daily, M. Imhoff (2003). Spatial conflict between people and biodiversity. Procedings of the National Academy of Sciences - US. 101(1):182-186. Olson, D.M., and E. Dinerstein. 1998. The Global 200: a representation approach to conserving the Earth's most biologically valuable ecoregions. Conservation Biology 12:502-515. Olson, D.M., E. Dinerstein, E.D. Wikramanayake, N.D. Burgess, G.V.N. Powell, E.C. Underwood, J.A. D'Amico, I. Itoua, H.E. Strand, J.C. Morrison, C.J. Loucks, T.F. Allnutt, T.H. Ricketts, Y. Kura, J.F. Lamoreux, W.W. Wettengel, P. Hedao, and K.R. Kassem. 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the world: New map of life on earth. Bioscience 51(11):933-938. Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C. Loucks. 1999. Who's where in North America? Patterns of species richness and the utility of indicator taxa for conservation. Bioscience 49(5):369-381. Ricketts, T.H., E. Dinerstein, D.M. Olson, C.J. Loucks, W. Eichbaum, K. Kavanagh, P. Hedao, P. Hurley, K.M. Carney, R. Abell, and S. Walters. 1999. Ecoregions of North America: A conservation assessment. Island Press. Washington DC. 485 pp. Rosenzweig, M.L., W. Turner, J.G. Cox, and T.H. Ricketts. 2003. Estimating diversity in unsampled habitats of a biogeographical province. Conservation Biology 17(3):864-874. Wikramanayake, E., E. Dinerstein, C. Loucks, D. Olson, J. Morrison, J. Lamoreux, M. McKnight, and P. Hedao. 2001. Terrestrial ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a Conservation assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC. The map shows terrestrial ecoregions. The boundaries have been modified by The Nature Conservancy (2010) in order to allow display in Google Fusion Tables. Ecoregions are relatively large units of land containing distinct assemblages of natural communities and species, with boundaries that approximate the original extent of natural communities prior to major land-use change. These data were displayed in a map published in The Atlas of Global Conservation (Hoekstra et al., University of California Press, 2010). More information at http://nature.org/atlas. Data compiled and managed using ESRI ArcGIS Desktop.

Marine Ecoregions


The map shows marine ecoregions. The boundaries have been simplified by The Nature Conservancy (2010) in order to allow display in Google Fusion Tables. These data were displayed in a map published in The Atlas of Global Conservation (Hoekstra et al., University of California Press, 2010). More information at http://nature.org/atlas. Original ecoregion shapefile abstract: A biogeographic classification of the world's coastal and continental shelf waters following a nested hierarchy of realms, provinces and ecoregions. Original ecoregion shapefile abstract: A biogeographic classification of the world's coastal and continental shelf waters following a nested hierarchy of realms, provinces and ecoregions. Marine ecoregion full citation: Spalding, M. D., H. E. Fox, G. R. Allen, N. Davidson, Z. A. Ferdana, M. Finlayson, B. S. Halpern, M.A. Jorge, A. Lombana, S.A. Lourie, K.D. Martin, E. McManus, J. Molnar, C.A. Recchia , J. Robertson. 2007. Marine ecoregions of the world: A bioregionalization of coast and shelf areas. BioScience 57: 573-583. More information at: nature.org/meow. Data compiled and managed using ESRI ArcGIS Desktop.

Freshwater Ecoregions


The map shows freshwater ecoregions. The boundaries have been simplified by The Nature Conservancy (2010) in order to allow display in Google Fusion Tables. These data were displayed in a map published in The Atlas of Global Conservation (Hoekstra et al., University of California Press, 2010). More information at http://nature.org/atlas. Original ecoregion shapefile abstract: Freshwater Ecoregions of the World. This biogegraphic framework includes ecoregions and major habitat type (biome), but does not currently include Biogegraphic Realms. Freshwater ecoregion full citation: Abell, R., M.L. Thieme, C. Revenga, M. Bryer, M. Kottelat, N. Bogutskaya, B. Coad, N. Mandrak, S. Contreras Balderas, W. Bussing, M.L.J. Stiassny, P. Skelton, G. R. Allen, P. Unmack, A. Naseka, R. Ng, N. Sindorf, J. Robertson, E. Armijo, J.V. Higgins, T.J. Heibel, E. Wikramanayake, D. Olson, H.L. Lopez, R.E. Reis, J.G. Lundberg, M.H. Sabaj Perez, and P. Petry. 2008. Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation. BioScience 58: 403-414. Digital media at: www.feow.org. Imported at Wed Jun 01 14:02:54 PDT 2011 from Freshwater Ecoregions (with Atlas Data).csv. Data compiled and managed using ESRI ArcGIS Desktop.