Thursday, December 2, 2010

And the word of the day is ...

I've recently subscribed to Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day. What a great way to keep "green and growing" on a daily basis.

I wanted to share today's word -- ecotone -- because it relates to the earth, and my ecofeminist mission to keep it "green and growing," at least as much as it depends on me.

Subscribe to Merriam-Webster Word of the Day here.

a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities

Cowbirds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds — in particular, those located in the ecotones along the edges of a mature forest.
"Thus for dung beetles examined in a Bolivian forest-savannah ecotone, almost complete turnover occurred between forest and savannah, with only two of the 50 most common species occurring in both…." — From T.R. New's 2010 book Beetles in Conservation

"Every modification of climate, every disturbance of the soil, every interference with the existing vegetation of an area, favours some species at the expense of others." As Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker observed in Flora Indica (1855), all ecological communities are subject to some kind of disturbance, ranging from the simple, yet significant, loss of a tree to a catastrophic wildfire. Each disturbance creates an opportunity for a new species to colonize or flourish within the ecosystem in a process known as "ecological succession." Scientists refer to the area of overlapping landscapes where the "foreign" species encounter each other and blend together as "ecotones," an apparent allusion to the tension created when competing species come together (in Greek "tonos" means "tension").

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