Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A transitional zone between two communities containing the characteristic species of each.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a transition area between two adjacent ecological communities (ecosystems).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In phytogeography, the line along which two types of vegetation compete for the same ground. See tension-line.

Etymologies

eco- + Greek tonos, tension, tone; see tone.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Combination of eco- (“ecology”) +‎ -tone, from the Greek τόνος (tonos, "tension"). (Wiktionary)

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