Regionalizations are just that–schemes for dividing the Earth into regions.  Regions can be entirely anthropogenic (e.g., political boundaries) or based on dominant plant life form (ecoregions/biomes), physiography, and/or climate.  Here I have collected a non-exhaustive series of regionalizations I’ve found useful in my work.


Regionalization - World - Freshwater Ecoregions of the World - Abell et al 2008 - THUMB Freshwater Ecoregions of the World (FEOW)

  • Based on: Biogeography of freshwater vertebrates and drainage basins
  • Scope: Worldwide excluding Antarctica (terrestrial freshwater)
  • Resolution: 426 strata
  • Citation: Abell et al 2008 Freshwater ecoregions of the world: A new map of biogeographic units for freshwater biodiversity conservation (article page)


regionalization_world_gens_ver3Global Environmental Stratification (GEnS)

  • Based on: Climate (specifically, WORLDCLIM)
  • Scope: Worldwide excluding Antarctica (terrestrial)
  • Resolution: 125 strata in 18 zones
  • Citation: Metzger, M.J., Bunce, R.G.H., Jongman, R.H.G., Sayre, R., Trabucco, A., and Zomer, R.  2013.  A high-resolution bioclimate map of the world: A unifying framework for global biodiversity research and monitoring.  Global Ecology and Biogeography 22:630-638. (article page)


regionalization-world-tnc-terrestrial-ecoregions-2009The Nature Conservancy Terrestrial Ecoregions

  • Based on: WWF Ecoregions (outside US) and USDA Ecoregions (inside US)
  • Scope: Worldwide (terrestrial)


regionalization-world-wwf-terrestrial-ecoregionsWorld Wildlife Fund Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World (TEOW)

  • Based on: Species richness, endemicity, representative vertebrate fauna
  • Resolution: 26 habitat types among 7 realms
  • Scope: Worldwide (terrestrial)