Characteristic of Ecotone
A general characteristic of ecotone is that it has sufficiently greater number of species and the diversity of most of the species at times is higher than that in the neighbouring communities. The phenomenon of increased variety of plants at the boundary is called the edge effect and is essentially due to wider range of suitable environmental conditions. The ecotone area contains organisms from both of the adjoining communities and besides there are organisms which are confined to the ecotone and can exploit the special conditions there.
Figure: Ecotone- where two community types come together, such as a forest and field, species in the zone between them include both forest and field species and some additional species that do not exist in either forest or Field
Some ecologists have introduced the continuum concept that means that there are no distinct communities with well defined boundaries but there is a gradual change in space and time along a gradient which may be of moisture, temperature, soil type, altitude or any combination thereof. There are no sharp borders or changes in species composition in areas, according to the continuum concept.