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What are the ecosystems of Ecuador

Do you know the biodiversity of Ecuador? Ecuador is a rich and very diverse country in terms of its ecosystems and is divided into four regions: the insular region, the littoral region, the inter-Andean region and the Amazon region. Among these regions you can find different types of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, but … how many ecosystems are there in Ecuador?

If you want to know what the ecosystems of Ecuador are , be sure to read this interesting AgroCorrn article in which the flora and fauna of Ecuador will also be discussed.

You may also be interested in: What are the natural regions of Ecuador
  1. List of ecosystems of Ecuador
  2. Terrestrial ecosystems of Ecuador
  3. Aquatic ecosystems of Ecuador
  4. Ecosystems of Ecuador in danger

List of ecosystems of Ecuador

What are the Ecuadorian natural ecosystems? To answer, first it is necessary to detail that there are 4 natural regions and that some ecosystems are only in one of these and others are in several or in all regions. A) Yes,. Among the regions that make up Ecuador, the insular region, the littoral region, the inter-Andean region and the Amazon region, a great diversity of ecosystems is identified. This is the list of ecosystems in Ecuador according to whether they are terrestrial or aquatic.

Terrestrial ecosystems of Ecuador

  • We stopped.
  • Dry Scrub of the Coast.
  • Deciduous Forest of the Coast.
  • Chocó tropical humid forest.
  • Western Piemontano Forest.
  • Western Montane Forest.
  • Interandean scrub.
  • Eastern Montane Forest.
  • Eastern Piemontano Forest.
  • Amazonian Tropical Humid Forest.

Aquatic ecosystems of Ecuador

  • Islands and islets.
  • Reefs
  • Alluvial banks.
  • Soft bottom continental shelves.
  • Hard bottom continental shelves.
  • Continental slopes.
  • Underwater cannons.
  • Abyssal plains.
  • Underwater mountain ranges.
  • Ocean trenches.

Next, more information about each of the aforementioned ecosystems will be shown.

Terrestrial ecosystems of Ecuador

These are the terrestrial ecosystems of Ecuador and their characteristics :

Interandean scrub

It presents a rather low rainfall due to its location between the Eastern and Western Cordillera, and is at an elevation of 1400 to 3000 meters. Its vegetation has been replaced by grasslands, crops and forests of exotic trees, although originally the shrubs dominated. Also in the areas where the valleys are dry, the vegetation present is thorny. Here you can learn more about the scrublands: what they are, types and fauna .

We stopped

The páramos of Ecuador present in the provinces of Cotopaxi, Chimborazo, Cañar, Bolivar, Tungurahua, Pichincha and Imbabura, are characterized by being Andean mountain ecosystems in which small forests of cold climate predominate, shrubs, rose forests, wetlands and grasslands , the latter occupying almost 70% of the entire páramos territory of Ecuador. In addition, they have a very diverse fauna, dominating the hummingbird. It is located at an elevation between 3,000 and 3,600 meters.

Dry scrub of the Coast

Its area is located on the coastline in central Ecuador. Characterized by very dry and warm conditions. In the drier areas, thorny plants and cacti predominate. Also in these ecosystems some native plants have disappeared due to the planting of herbs to feed livestock.

Deciduous forest of the Coast

These forests have been heavily impacted by anthropic activities, mainly by agriculture and livestock. The conditions in this area are dry, the trees present are less than 20 meters high, there is a dense undergrowth and herbaceous plants abound. It is between 50 and 300 m elevation.

Chocó tropical humid forest

It is characterized by humid and warm conditions, in addition to its flora it presents a great diversity of tree species, with a closed canopy made up of trees that could measure up to 30 m and its understory is mainly made up of plants belonging to the Araceae family. and ferns. Its impact by human activities is the highest in all of Ecuador, and its elevation ranges between 0 and 300 m.

Western Piemontano Forest

The species of trees and palms of the Burseraceae, Fabaceae and Mimosaceae families dominate, and it has a canopy that exceeds 30 meters, in addition the trees are covered by orchids , ferns, bromeliads and mosses. In this ecosystem there is an abundant endemism and it extends through the provinces of Pichincha, Esmeralas, Carchi and Imbabura, at an elevation that ranges between 300 and 1300 m. It is characterized by hot and humid climatic conditions.

Western Montane Forest

It has a canopy approximately 25 meters high and a great variety of epiphytic plants , such as ferns, mosses , bromeliads and orchids. Its climate is temperate, and in its intermediate elevation zones, in the afternoons, the forests are enveloped by a fog, and they receive low cloud precipitation. The elevation of this ecosystem is from 1300 to 3400 m.

Eastern Montane Forest

It is in the Andes area between 1300 and 3600 meters, it is an evergreen forest with a great diversity of trees covered by epiphytic plants, such as ferns, bromeliads , orchids, and moss.

Eastern Piemontano Forest

It is an evergreen forest with a canopy that reaches up to 30 m, it also has a sub-canopy and a very dense undergrowth. The trees that develop in this forest are Andean species and those from the lowlands of the Amazon, and are distributed between 600 and 1300 m of elevation. The precipitations of this ecosystem are abundant.

Amazon rainforest

It has the highest rainfall in all of Ecuador with an average of 3349 mm per year and its elevation reaches 600 m. Its soils are well drained and it has a great diversity of trees that form a canopy between 10 and 30 meters high, with trees that can sometimes reach 40 m. Here you can learn more about tropical forests: characteristics, flora and fauna .

Aquatic ecosystems of Ecuador

These are the aquatic ecosystems of Ecuador and their characteristics :

Islands and islets

The Galapagos Islands form the archipelago that is located 972 km off the coast of Ecuador. It is an archipelago known for its large number of endemic species and has a great biodiversity of fauna and flora. The studies of Charles Darwin with which the theory of evolution arose were carried out on these islands. In this other article you can discover information about the Flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands .


There are different types of reefs; barrier, rocky, coral … in Ecuador there are mainly rocky reefs. The rocky reefs are primitive corals, the Galapagos reefs are the best known.

Alluvial banks

They are dark soils with poor filtration and fluvial origin, in which a large number of species are concentrated, in this area you can find the blue horse mackerel or the Galápagos Smooth.

Soft and hard bottom continental shelves

The Ecuador Platform is 29,100 square kilometers and is characterized by having a hard rock bottom and a soft sand bottom. There is also the Gulf of Guayaquil with 12,000 kilometers and the lace of Santa Elena or cado de San Lorenzo. This ecosystem is threatened by illegal overfishing, which is threatening species with extinction, decline, and displacement. The trawl nets used for fishing destroy the seabed.

Continental slopes

They are found from 200 meters to 2000-3000 meters deep along the entire coast. It is characterized by being an irregular slope with canyons and ridges, as a result of volcanic eruptions. Endemic species of fish can be found on the Galapagos Islands at about 2,500 meters deep, such as the black calafate, the sandfish or the pejeperro.

Underwater cannons

It can be said that they are underwater valleys that channel all the organic matter from the surface, they are areas rich in nutrients with a very diverse fauna. Some of the canyons of Ecuador are Santa Elena, Esmeraldas and Guayaquil.

Abyssal plains

It is an ecosystem that is located between 3000 and 5000 m deep, in a dark area that does not exceed 4 degrees Celsius. In addition, it is an area with higher pressure, since the more you lower the pressure increases. In this ecosystem there are abyssal fish species, well adapted to these more extreme conditions such as lack of light, low temperature and higher pressure, that is why the number of species that can be found decreases. In this link you will see more information about the Abyssal Plains: what they are and characteristics .

Underwater ridges

We found the Carnegie mountain range which is the result of the movement of the Nazca plate, where an underwater chain of volcanoes was formed. This area is affected by convection currents, so there is a great variety of environments in them. Some of the species that can be found in this ecosystem are the stingray fish, northern sea lions, seahorses, and penguins.

Ocean trenches

It is one of the strangest marine ecosystems in Ecuador. It is an ecosystem where temperatures are very low between 0 and 2 ºC. In them there is marine life such as echinoderms , worms, sea ​​sponges and jellyfish or cnidarians .

Ecosystems of Ecuador in danger

These are the main ecosystems of Ecuador in danger :

  • Interandean scrub.
  • Deciduous Forest of the Coast.
  • Chocó tropical humid forest.
  • Dry Scrub of the Coast.
  • Reefs
  • Soft and hard bottom continental shelves.

After learning all this about the ecosystems of Ecuador, we encourage you to know the Natural Resources of Ecuador .

If you want to read more articles similar to What are the ecosystems of Ecuador , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .

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Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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