An Ecoregions Approach to the World

Ecoregions, short for ecological regions, are areas with similar environmental resources. They often have common geographic features such as mountains or watersheds, but their delineation is also based on additional biological, geological, and climate-related patterns. This blog focuses on world geography with attention to ecoregions. I am posting information about different ecoregions. Most descriptions are based on a map area of ten degrees of latitutude and variable longitude depending on distance from the equator. Each map comes with a description of the environment and scientific and cultural points of interest. Special attention is paid to world heritage sites, wetlands of international importance, national parks and other special and unique places.

“Two-dimensional Rand McNally travelers who see a region as having borders will likely move in only one locality at a time, but travelers who perceive a place as part of a deep landscape in slow rotation at the center of a sphere and radiating infinite lines in an indefinite number of directions will move in several regions at once”–William Least Heat-Moon. Prairy Erth: A Deep Map. Houghton Mifflin, 1991.

“With every great idea comes a gaggle of mediocre minds who oppose it. It was with the creation of virtually every national park in the United States, from Yellowstone to Yosemite, from Kobuk Valley to the Everglades.”–Kim Heacox. A Poet, A Painter, and the Lonesome Triangle. Audubon, May 1990.

“If Carlyle was correct in saying that all history is forged by the deeds of great men, then Roosevelt earned his place in the American pantheon by simply refusing to let commercial interests desecrate the Grand Canyon. There is something about the Grand Canyon’s power that makes one consider immortality. It was grander than all the music Roosevelt had heard; it was finer than all the Transcendental poetry he had read. If Roosevelt had done nothing else as president, his advocacy on behalf of conserving the canyon might well have put him in the top ranks of American presidents.”–Douglas Brinkley. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. Harper Perennial, 2009.

“To Roosevelt, the main thrust of American history was western expansionism…Of course, national politics was full of drum-beating American expansionists, imperialists, and proponents of manifest destiny. What was unique about President Roosevelt was his righteous insistence that Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, the redwoods, Mount Olympus, the Painted Desert, and so on were the rightful trophies of expansionism. As a conquering conservationist-preservationist he wanted them all saved.” –Douglas Brinkley. The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America. Harper Perennial, 2009.

Evolutionary biologists are trained in a world view…that recognizes that species are genetically variable in almost every respect; that species and their environments are highly complex, sometimes unpredictable systems; that nothing is constant in the fullness of time; and that technological quick fixes will have manifold but often predictable side effects and will provide only temporary solutions.–Douglas J. Futuyma. 1995. The Uses of Evolutionary Biology. Science 267:41-42.

Nothing makes sense in biology except in the light of evolution.–Theodosius Dobzhansky. 1964. Biology, Molecular and Organic. American Zoologist 4:443-452.

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