Any type of landscape is based on three main components:

  • Abiotic components
  • Biotic components
  • Anthropic components

The combination and interaction of these, the prevalence or absence of any of the three, constitute and define the landscape we observe.

Abiotic components

The relief “frame” where the other two components are sustained thrive and interact.

Despite being a “stable” element, it can be modified by constructive forces (internal forces that generate mountains, folds …) and destructive forces are those climatic elements that interact with the relief such as temperature, wind, water…

Serve as an example the action of water, dynamic element of the landscape erodes, transports and deposits material, dilutes elements of the rock, the action of ice, waves …

The availability of water conditions the plant and animal communities that populate the environment.

The atmospheric conditions not only modify the relief and living beings, but it can also influence their perception.

Biotic elements

Obviously, the first living beings that the observer perceives are the plant groups (mountain pastures, an oak grove, a riverbank forest …), and how they appear distributed in the landscape (in large masses, dotted, in concrete areas…)

Fauna can modify the landscape or be an element to consider, but it will only be important for perception when the environment is not understood without it, an example of this is the large African savannas with huge herds of herbivores …

Anthropic components

Human activity, no doubt has transformed and continues to transform the landscape. And few places, however natural they seem, are far from the influence of human beings.

Agriculture is an activity that has modified large areas of the territory, cutting down forests to generate fields of crops or grass or reforesting with monocultures of forest species of commercial interest, land consolidation, and the technification of agriculture.

Areas with their own and distinctive landscapes of agricultural activity appear, such as grasslands of mountain areas, lavender fields of French Provence, Asian rice fields, orchard areas of the Spanish east, the sea of ​​plastics of Almeria…

Other human activities to take into account are the urbanization of the environment, public works (reservoirs that flood valleys for example), industrial activity (the region of the Médulas by Roman mining).

With all of them, you can alter the landscape in an intense way and/or be observed differently and from different points (roads) and by a greater number of people.

Mention the tourism that “sells” enjoy certain landscapes that despite generating a resource for the area, can overexploit it by damaging it…(uncontrolled urbanization in coastal areas)…

As I mentioned these three basic elements, in their interrelation and their evolution over time they make up the landscape as we understand it. And his knowledge allows to maintain, correct and improve it.

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Robert Griffin

Blog dedicated to gardening and landscaping where we will give tips on the design, maintenance, plant diseases, tips, and tricks…


March 2023