The conceptual development and use of ecoregion classifications Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/bg257j40p

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  • This thesis explores the genesis of the ecoregion concept, examines the conceptual development of ecoregion classification systems, investigates applications of ecoregion classification systems for a broad range of purposes, and discusses the prospects for the further evolution of this concept. An ecoregion is an area that exhibits patterns of homogeneity in specified criteria such as soils, vegetation, climate, geology, physiography, land use, and hydrology. Ecoregions provide a unifying spatial framework for environmental research, assessment, management, and monitoring and are appropriate tools at continental, national, and state plarming levels. Recent years have seen marked interest in the development, use, and application of ecoregion classifications. A literature review provides a thorough look at the geographer's concept of regions and regionalization, and identifies ecoregion classifications in use today, including Bailey's, the EPA's, and others' frameworks in the context of their specialized perspectives, purposes, and differences. The contemporary uses, applications, and trends of ecoregion classifications are also discussed. Conclusions are made regarding the proliferation of ecoregions to meet diverse information needs, trends in expanded use, and concerns about the information value of ecoregion classification frameworks. This analysis has shown that ecoregions have been used effectively for a wide array of applications, including broad-based holistic resource analysis, development of biological criteria for water quality standards, evaluation of protected area representativeness, wetland mitigation, and calibration of remote sensing data. Over 40% of all ecoregion uses between 1976 and 1998 were for water quality management; however, recent trends indicate ecoregions are being used for more holistic assessment of terrestrial, aquatic, abiotic, and biotic resources with increasing interagency collaboration. Ecoregion theory has developed rapidly within the past thirty years, and this thesis identifies the current utility of ecoregion classifications in the international arena.
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  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Linda Kathman(linda.kathman@oregonstate.edu) on 2008-11-03T18:12:54Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 Compressed Brewer_Isaac_1999.pdf: 7886425 bytes, checksum: fbbb8c123a8ad5007bfc41ba16151850 (MD5)
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