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ecoclineÖkokline (ger.)

  • 1) A gradual change in the composition of the flora across an environmental gradient, involving one or more plant communities. Also: an area of such change. (OED)

    The valleys, bluffs and the ecoclines of the hills afford so much diversity with respect to water relations especially that an unusual series of communities is available for study.

    Clements, F.E., Weaver, J.E. & Hanson, H.C. (1929). Plant Competition. An Analysis of Community Functions: 189.


    The seration, or sequence of communities across valleys, exhibits similar though inverted relations in comparison with the ecocline, by virtue of its concave form

    Clements, F.E. (1934). The relict method in dynamic ecology. Journal of Ecology 22, 39-68: 48.


    different microclimates are associated with difference in ecocline

    Phillips, J. (1935). Succession, development, the climax, and the complex organism: an analysis of concepts, part II. Development and the climax. Journal of Ecology 23, 210-246: 232.


    The seration is a series of communities produced by a graduated compensation across a valley and operating within a formation or through adjacent ones, while the ecocline embraces the differentiation brought about by shifting slope-exposures around a mountain or on the two sides of a high ridge.

    Clements, F.E. (1936). Nature and structure of the climax. Journal of Ecology 24, 252-284: 267.


    an ecocline may be conceived as a gradation in characteristics of ecosystems along an environmnental gradient, a gradation which may be underlain or caused by a particular environmental gradient, but is usually expressed in complexly interrelated changes in all aspects of ecosystems

    Whittaker, R.H. (1960). Vegetation of the Siskiyou Mountains, Orgeon and California. Ecol. Monogr. 30, 279-338: 308.
  • 2) A gradual change in the phenotype of a species along an environmental gradient. Also: a set of such phenotypes. (OED)

    Geographical subspeciation appears to be much commoner in animals than in plants, while ecoclines on the other hand seem to be less frequent in animals.

    Huxley, J.S. (1939). Ecology and taxonomic differentiation. Journal of Ecology 27, 408-420: 416.


    at one end of the cline [of Viola riviniana] is subspecies nemorosa, in its sheltered habitat, and at the other, subspecies minor, in its exposed habitat; in between lie a series of forms (called in this paper forma intermedia) and many intermediate habitats, and these now range themselves along the cline. It is called here an ecocline, as it is based partly on ecological criteria

    Valentine, D.H. (1941). Variation in Viola riviniana Rchb. New Phytologist 40, 189-209: 205.