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Related to Ecotype: ecophene, ecocline


A subunit, race, or variety of a plant ecospecies that is restricted to one habitat; equivalent to a taxonomic subspecies.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a group of similar populations within one and the same plant species that are adapted to certain climatic, edaphic, or cenotic conditions and that have developed, under these conditions, hereditary morphological, physiological, biochemical, and other features. Thus, an ecotype is isolated with respect to distribution; genotypically it is an intraspecific subdivision, which distinguishes it from a biotype.

The term “ecotype” was introduced in the 1920’s by the Swedish scientist G. Turesson. Different plants have different numbers of ecotypes. The ecotypic composition of a species becomes more varied as its geographic range and ecological amplitude increase. For example, 36 ecotypes have been distinguished in the pine Pinus silvestris and 27 in the spruce Picea abies. Ecotypic polymorphism is most clearly manifested at the center of speciation and morphogenesis. In the medic Medicago falcata, for example, there are many ecotypes in the Caucasus and only a few in the northern USSR. Parallel ecotypic differentiation is observed in many species. Thus, the wormwood Artemisia campestris, sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), and Silene uniflora, which grow in bright, dry habitats where there are strong winds, develop eco-types with procumbent stems.

Three main groups of ecotypes are distinguished: climatic, edaphic, and biotypic. Climatic, or geographic, ecotypes occupy a separate part of the area of distribution of a species and originated under the influence of specific climatic conditions; for example, in the awnless brome (Bromus inermis), the southern eco-type differs from the northern one by its nanism, narrow rough leaves, and wax coating. Edaphic ecotypes develop under the influence of soil and ground conditions, such as the pine ecotype on the chalky outcrops of the Don River, which has even been described as the independent species Pinus cretácea. Biotypic, or cenotic, ecotypes appear and develop mainly under the influence of plants together with which the given species form plant communities, for example, the field and forest ecotypes of the cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) and the forest and dune ecotypes of the narrow-leaved hawkweed (Hieracium umbellatum).

The development of an ecotype is a lengthy process. If an ecotype has progressive characteristics, which permit it to extend the range of the species, it may give rise to a new species, and consequently an ecotype is one of the stages in the process of specia-tion.


Sinskaia, E. N. Dinamika vida. Moscow-Leningrad, 1948.
Zavadskii, K. M. Uchenie o vide. Leningrad, 1961.
Korchagin, A. A. “Vnutrividovoi (populiatsionnyi) sostav rastitel’nykh soobshchestv i metody ego izucheniia.” In the book Polevaia geobotanika, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Specimens of the Elysia crispata "crispata" ecotype, identified using morphological characteristics as noted in Krug et al.
Studies of the domestication history of the Naqu yak and estimations of the gene flow among different ecotype yak populations in this area are important and will help improve the genetics of the local yak.
However, with regard to JAR scale, the broiler meats were found to tend toward to juicy, while the Kakamega ecotype IC was closest to JAR score on juiciness.
songaricum into two ecotypes, including the Outside Great Wall type and Inside Great Wall type.
An evaluation of variability in the expression of forage characteristics of interest and of the genetic diversity of ecotypes and hybrids of different species of the genus Paspalum by means of a meta-analysis enables the comparison of data from different trials, thus increasing the number of ecotypes, hybrids, and repetitions evaluated.
avenae from the eight locations belong to the Mediterranean ecotype characterized by winter hatching activity.
Species composition and quantity of the pooled samples of different mowing regimes (LF: life form; EF: ecotype form; M: mowing once a year in May; MS: mowing twice a year in May and September; S: mowing once a year in September; C: abandoned without management; arbu: arbusticol; gra: graminicol; pra: pratinicol; sil: silvicol; hyg: hygrophilic; mes: mesophilic; m-hyg: moderately-hygrophilic; m-ther: moderately-thermophilic; ther: thermophilic).
In this study, we validated the most useful DNA barcoding markers for duckweed previously reported and designed new markers for ecotype identification [18].
To assess the relative importance of the climatic variables on the rice yield, particularly temperature and rainfall, the coefficients resulting from the LMM model for each rice ecotype were used.
Lowest value of calcium was seen in ecotype E10 of Ficus palmata grown in AJK which is 175 mg/100g.