List of marine ecoregions

The following is a list of marine ecoregions, as defined by the WWF and The Nature Conservancy

The WWF/Nature Conservancy scheme groups the individual ecoregions into 12 marine realms, which represent the broad latitudinal divisions of polar, temperate, and tropical seas, with subdivisions based on ocean basins. The marine realms are subdivided into 62 marine provinces, which include one or more of the 232 marine ecoregions.

The WWF/Nature Conservancy scheme currently encompasses only coastal and continental shelf areas; ecoregions of the deep oceans have not yet been delineated.

Arctic realm

(no provinces identified)

Temperate Northern Atlantic

Northern European Seas


  • South European Atlantic Shelf
  • Saharan Upwelling
  • Azores Canaries Madeira

Mediterranean Sea

Cold Temperate Northwest Atlantic

Warm Temperate Northwest Atlantic

  • Carolinian
  • Northern Gulf of Mexico

Black Sea

Temperate Northern Pacific

Cold Temperate Northwest Pacific

Warm Temperate Northwest Pacific

Cold Temperate Northeast Pacific

  • Aleutian Islands
  • Gulf of Alaska
  • North American Pacific Fjordland
  • Puget Trough/Georgia Basin
  • Oregon, Washington, Vancouver Coast and Shelf
  • Northern California

Warm Temperate Northeast Pacific

Tropical Atlantic

Tropical Northwestern Atlantic

North Brazil Shelf

  • Guianian
  • Amazonia

Tropical Southwestern Atlantic

St. Helena and Ascension Islands

  • St. Helena and Ascension Islands

West African Transition

Gulf of Guinea

  • Gulf of Guinea West
  • Gulf of Guinea Upwelling
  • Gulf of Guinea Central
  • Gulf of Guinea Islands
  • Gulf of Guinea South
  • Angolan

Western Indo-Pacific

Red Sea and Gulf of Aden


Western Indian Ocean

  • Northern Monsoon Current Coast
  • East African Coral Coast
  • Seychelles
  • Cargados Carajos/Tromelin Island
  • Mascarene Islands
  • Southeast Madagascar
  • Western and Northern Madagascar
  • Bight of Sofala/Swamp Coast
  • Delagoa

West and South Indian Shelf

  • Western India
  • South India and Sri Lanka

Central Indian Ocean Islands

Bay of Bengal

  • Eastern India
  • Northern Bay of Bengal

Andaman Sea

Central Indo-Pacific

South China Sea

Sunda Shelf

Java Transitional

  • Southern Java
  • Cocos-Keeling/Christmas Island

South Kuroshio

  • South Kuroshio

Tropical Northwestern Pacific

Western Coral Triangle

Eastern Coral Triangle

Sahul Shelf

Northeast Australian Shelf

  • Torres Strait and Northern Great Barrier Reef
  • Central and Southern Great Barrier Reef

Northwest Australian Shelf

Tropical Southwestern Pacific

Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands

  • Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands

Eastern Indo-Pacific


Marshall, Gilbert, and Ellice Islands

Central Polynesia

Southeast Polynesia


Easter Island

Tropical Eastern Pacific

Tropical East Pacific


  • Northern Galapagos Islands
  • Eastern Galapagos Islands
  • Western Galapagos Islands

Temperate South America

Warm Temperate Southeastern Pacific

Juan Fernandez and Desventuradas

  • Juan Fernandez and Desventuradas

Warm Temperate Southwestern Atlantic


Tristan Gough

  • Tristan Gough

Temperate Southern Africa


  • Namib
  • Namaqua


Amsterdam-St Paul

  • Amsterdam-St Paul

Temperate Australasia

Northern New Zealand

Southern New Zealand

East Central Australian Shelf

  • Tweed-Moreton
  • Manning-Hawkesbury

Southeast Australian Shelf

  • Cape Howe
  • Bassian
  • Western Bassian

Western Central Australian Shelf

  • Shark Bay
  • Houtman

Southern Ocean

Subantarctic Islands

Scotia Sea

Continental High Antarctic

Subantarctic New Zealand

See also


  • Spalding, Mark D., Helen E. Fox, Gerald R. Allen, Nick Davidson et al. "Marine Ecoregions of the World: A Bioregionalization of Coastal and Shelf Areas". Bioscience Vol. 57 No. 7, July/August 2007, pp. 573–583.

External links


An ecoregion (ecological region) is an ecologically and geographically defined area that is smaller than a bioregion, which in turn is smaller than an ecozone. All three of these are either less or greater than an ecosystem. Ecoregions cover relatively large areas of land or water, and contain characteristic, geographically distinct assemblages of natural communities and species. The biodiversity of flora, fauna and ecosystems that characterise an ecoregion tends to be distinct from that of other ecoregions. In theory, biodiversity or conservation ecoregions are relatively large areas of land or water where the probability of encountering different species and communities at any given point remains relatively constant, within an acceptable range of variation (largely undefined at this point).

Three caveats are appropriate for all bio-geographic mapping approaches. Firstly, no single bio-geographic framework is optimal for all taxa. Ecoregions reflect the best compromise for as many taxa as possible. Secondly, ecoregion boundaries rarely form abrupt edges; rather, ecotones and mosaic habitats bound them. Thirdly, most ecoregions contain habitats that differ from their assigned biome. Biogeographic provinces may originate due to various barriers. Some physical (plate tectonics, topographic highs), some climatic (latitudinal variation, seasonal range) and some ocean chemical related (salinity, oxygen levels).

List of ecoregions (WWF)

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) identifies terrestrial, marine, freshwater, and ecoregions:

Global 200

List of terrestrial ecoregions (WWF) 867 terrestrial ecoregions.

List of marine ecoregions (WWF), 232 marine ecoregions of the coastal and continental shelf areas.

List of freshwater ecoregions (WWF), 426 freshwater ecoregions.

List of terrestrial ecoregions (WWF)

This is a list of terrestrial ecoregions as compiled by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The WWF identifies terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecoregions.

The terrestrial scheme divides the Earth's land surface into 8 terrestrial ecozones, containing 867 smaller ecoregions. Each ecoregion is classified into one of 14 major habitat types, or biomes.

Additional ecoregions for Antarctic Realm are currently being incorporated (based on Terauds et al. 2012).

Antarctic Realm - Tundra Biome:

1 North-east Antarctic Peninsula;

2 South Orkney Islands;

3 North-west Antarctic Peninsula;

4 Central south Antarctic Peninsula;

5 Enderby Land;

6 Dronning Maud Land;

7 East Antarctica;

8 North Victoria Land;

9 South Victoria Land;

10 Transantarctic Mountains;

11 Ellsworth Mountains;

12 Marie Byrd Land;

13 Adelie Land;

14 Ellsworth Land;

15 South Antarctic Peninsula.

Terauds, A, SL Chown, F Morgan, HJ Peat, DJ Watts, H Keys, P Convey, DM Bergstrom. 2012. Conservation biogeography of the Antarctic. Diversity and Distributions 1–16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2012.00925.x

Lists of ecoregions

Wikipedia has articles relating to two separate ecoregion classification systems:

Ecoregions defined by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation and partner agencies in Canada, Mexico, and the United States:

List of ecoregions in North America (CEC)

List of ecoregions in the United States (EPA)

Ecoregions of the world defined by the conservation group World Wildlife Fund:

Global 200 ecoregions (WWF), 238 single or combined ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as priorities for conservation.

List of terrestrial ecoregions (WWF) 867 terrestrial ecoregions.

List of marine ecoregions (WWF), 232 marine ecoregions of the coastal and continental shelf areas.

List of freshwater ecoregions (WWF), 426 freshwater ecoregions.

Lists of ecoregions by country

Marine biology

Marine biology is the scientific study of marine life, organisms in the sea. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather than on taxonomy.

A large proportion of all life on Earth lives in the ocean. The exact size of this large proportion is unknown, since many ocean species are still to be discovered. The ocean is a complex three-dimensional world covering approximately 71% of the Earth's surface. The habitats studied in marine biology include everything from the tiny layers of surface water in which organisms and abiotic items may be trapped in surface tension between the ocean and atmosphere, to the depths of the oceanic trenches, sometimes 10,000 meters or more beneath the surface of the ocean. Specific habitats include coral reefs, kelp forests, seagrass meadows, the surrounds of seamounts and thermal vents, tidepools, muddy, sandy and rocky bottoms, and the open ocean (pelagic) zone, where solid objects are rare and the surface of the water is the only visible boundary. The organisms studied range from microscopic phytoplankton and zooplankton to huge cetaceans (whales) 25–32 meters (82–105 feet) in length. Marine ecology is the study of how marine organisms interact with each other and the environment.

Marine life is a vast resource, providing food, medicine, and raw materials, in addition to helping to support recreation and tourism all over the world. At a fundamental level, marine life helps determine the very nature of our planet. Marine organisms contribute significantly to the oxygen cycle, and are involved in the regulation of the Earth's climate. Shorelines are in part shaped and protected by marine life, and some marine organisms even help create new land.Many species are economically important to humans, including both finfish and shellfish. It is also becoming understood that the well-being of marine organisms and other organisms are linked in fundamental ways. The human body of knowledge regarding the relationship between life in the sea and important cycles is rapidly growing, with new discoveries being made nearly every day. These cycles include those of matter (such as the carbon cycle) and of air (such as Earth's respiration, and movement of energy through ecosystems including the ocean). Large areas beneath the ocean surface still remain effectively unexplored.

Marine ecoregions

Marine ecoregions are ecoregions (ecological regions) of the oceans and seas identified and defined based on biogeographic characteristics.

Outline of oceanography

The following outline is provided as an overview of and introduction to Oceanography.

Aquatic ecosystems
Food webs
Example webs
Ecology: Modelling ecosystems: Other components

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