As the source providing units for several goods and services required for human survival (e.g. food, fuel, fiber, water provision and purification, etc.) ecosystems must be sustainably managed. This will require a globally comprehensive and detailed understanding of the distribution of ecosystems on Earth. While there have been several attempts to partition the planet into large ecologically meaningful areas (ecoregions), a high spatial resolution map of Earth's terrestrial ecosystems at the on-the-ground occurrences (patch) level has heretofore been lacking. A new, high resolution (250 m) map of data-derived World Terrestrial Ecosystems is characterized, and its utility for assessing policy-mandated ecosystem conservation targets is described.
Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems, Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, 2020,