List of ecoregions in Illinois Information

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Illinois ecoregion map prepared by the USEPA

The list of ecoregions in Illinois are lists of terrestrial ecoregions (see also, ecosystem) of the United States' State of Illinois, as defined separately by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA), and by the World Wildlife Fund. Illinois' ecology is in a land area of 56,400 square miles (146,000 km2); the state is 385 miles (620 km) long and 218 miles (351 km) wide and is located between latitude: 36.9540° to 42.4951° N, and longitude: 87.3840° to 91.4244° W, [1] with primarily a humid continental climate.


The EPA ecoregion classification system has four levels, but only Levels I, III, and IV are shown on this list. Level I divides North America into 15 broad ecoregions (or biomes). Illinois is almost entirely within the Eastern Temperate Forest environment Level I region, although very small sections in its extreme west are in the Great Plains, Level I region. Level IV ecoregions (denoted by numbers and letters) are a further subdivision of Level III ecoregions (denoted by numbers alone). [2] [3] In general, Illinois transitions from the forests, to savannah, to tall grass prairie, and is now largely used for agriculture or urbanized, although in its far south are the forested highlands of the Shawnee Hills and along its major rivers varying topography and biome occurs. Its larger ecoregion areas are 'corn belt' plains, known for rich, thick loess (in its north, center and east, particularly 54a) and the 'rivers and hills' region, which also has large till plains in Illinois' south (72j) and west (72i). [4]

Great Plains

Eastern Temperate Forest

These forests stretch from eastern Texas and northern Florida to the Adirondacks and Wisconsin. For a general description of these forests, refer to Temperate Deciduous Forest. The standard reference is The Deciduous Forest of Eastern North America. [5]

World Wildlife Fund

Ecozone Biome Ecoregion State Location
Nearctic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Central U.S. hardwood forests Southern Illinois
Nearctic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Mississippi lowland forests Far Southern Illinois
Nearctic Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Upper Midwest forest-savanna transition Far Northern Illinois
Nearctic Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands Central forest-grasslands transition Northern and Central Illinois

See also


  1. ^ About Illinois Data and Statistics, retrieved 2013-02-10
  2. ^ "Ecological Regions of North America: Toward a Common Perspective". Commission for Environmental Cooperation. 1997. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  3. ^ Plant Maps Interactive - Illinois Ecoregions (based on EPA data), retrieved 2013-02-10
  4. ^ "Ecoregion Maps and GIS Resources". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 2013-02-07.
  5. ^ Braun, E. L. 1950. The Deciduous Forest of Eastern North America. New York: Hafner.

Further reading

  • Ricketts, Taylor H; Eric Dinerstein; David M. Olson; Colby J. Loucks; et al. (1999). Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: a Conservation Assessment. Island Press; Washington, DC

External links