Ecotype

(1) A population of plants that has become genetically differentiated in response to the conditions of a particular habitat. The plants may vary in growth habit, maturity, and other characteristics such as pubescence and flower color. Sometimes referred to as a geographical race. (2) A transition area of vegetation between two communities, having characteristics of both kinds of neighboring vegetation and characteristics of its own. Width varies depending on site and climatic factors. Transition zone between two vegetation types or vegetation-type regions. (3) A transition line or strip of vegetation between two communities, having characteristics of both kinds of neighboring vegetation and characteristics of its own. (4) A locally adapted population within a species which has certain genetically determined characteristics; interbreeding between ecotypes in not restricted. (5) A variety or strain within a given species that maintains its distinct identity by adaptation to a specific environment. (6) A locally adapted population of a species which has a distinctive limit of tolerance to environmental factors. (7) A variant type within an ecospecies. [Source: USDA National Plant Materials Manual]

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