Welcome to Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Friday to amp up your nature vocabulary!
Ecotone [ EK-uh-tohn, EE-kuh] (noun): A transitional area of vegetation between two different biological communities. This transitional area can exist along a broad belt or in a small pocket.
An ecotone shares many of the animal and plant species of each bordering biological community but also has its own biological characteristics because it a unique blend of those two distinct communities. The influence of the two bordering communities on each other is known as the edge effect.
An ecotonal area often has a higher density of organisms of one species and a greater number of species than are found in either neighbouring community. Some organisms need this transitional area for activities such as courtship, nesting, or foraging for food.
These ecotones are very important for many of the species that visit or live in High Park. For example, the transitional areas between the woodland habitats and the wetland habitats provide the different bats species in High Park with the opportunity to feed on a greater diversity of insects.
If you are interested in learning more about bats, we have our final Urban Bat Walk & Star Party of the 2019 Summer on August 28!