Tropical freshwater ecotones: their formation, functions and use
Tropical water-terrestrial ecotones play important roles in regulating the flow of materials from and to land and water ecosystems. Ecotones exist where active interactions between two or more adjacent ecosystems occur with the appearance of processes that do not exist in either of the adjacent ecosystems.They occur naturally depending on the hydrological and geomorphological structure of the location. External and internal processes can influence the origin and persistence of ecotones. Ecotones regulate the landscape mosaic, affect energy flow between adjacent systems and intervene in landscape connectivity. The literature on geological and climatic origins of wetlands and open waters, internal influences on their creation and destruction and, finally, their use by society is reviewed.