What are the Factors that Influence the Landscape?

The landscape is a complex and ever-changing environment, and there are many factors that can influence its composition and condition. From the type of land you have in your backyard to your budget, there are a variety of elements that can shape the landscape. It is important to understand the composition and condition of your soil, as this will determine which plants you can have and which ones to avoid. The main sets of factors that influence the choice of plant material are related to the characteristics, both botanical and physical, of the plant material and the context in which it will be used.

Physical and botanical characteristics include nomenclature, origin, family, natural habitat, growth and shape, physical characteristics such as bark, texture, foliage, propagation and maintenance, and use in landscape design. The physical and chemical properties of the available soil are also important considerations. These may or may not be susceptible to change; therefore, they would significantly affect the choice of plant material. Physical properties include consideration of light (e.g., sandy) and heavy (e.g., clay) soils, and their structure.

Chemical properties refer to the presence or absence of nutrients and salts; soil alkalinity or acidity; and water requirement derived from moisture and rainfall data from the plants' natural habitat. The water table of the area where the planting is to be done has a crucial influence on plant design, as well as a financial implication to reduce maintenance if properly planted. The success of a designed landscape depends on the growth of vegetation over an extended period of time; therefore, landscape maintenance is also a component of the design. In addition to these factors, there are other elements that can influence the landscape such as windbreaks and protective belts in arid and semi-arid areas which help conserve soil and reduce erosion caused by wind. Parks with trees have a lower SO2 level than city streets, while complete dust interception can be achieved with a 30 m tree belt.

Even a single row of trees can reduce airborne particles by approximately 25%. When planting a flower bed or vegetable garden, it is important to understand what plants need to grow. There are four main factors that can affect the growth of your plants: water, light, nutrients and temperature. The USDA Plant Resilience Map is a great tool for discovering which plants, trees and shrubs will thrive in your climate.

The drainage, richness, texture, and pH level of your garden soil determine what types of plants will thrive there and what type of irrigation systems you'll need to install. If landscape factors drive distribution, several additional non-mutually exclusive explanations are possible. In addition, there was also evidence that the influence of landscape connectivity depended on the quality of local habitat, suggesting important cross-scale interactions. If movement and colonization are influenced by landscape structure, matrix structure indices such as effective habitat area, landscape habitat quality, two matrix structure indices, and habitat configuration can explain distribution. The relative effect magnitudes of local and landscape factors depend on the processes and measurement procedure considered. To evaluate the combined effects of local and landscape factors, it is important to consider all possible additive and interactive combinations of compatible landscape models. The width influences the overall microclimate but above a certain minimum width it does not affect further reduction in wind speed.

Consequently, all of the landscape attributes considered have significant effects on occupancy even after controlling for local factors. When habitat quality is measured indirectly based on habitat structure, landscape factors have greater effects. Landscape habitat quantity, effective habitat area (quality-weighted quantity), matrix structure, and habitat configuration all have significant effects on distribution that sometimes depend on local factors. In conclusion, there are many factors that can influence the composition and condition of a landscape. From physical properties such as soil type to chemical properties such as pH level; from windbreaks to parks with trees; from water requirements to USDA Plant Resilience Maps; from matrix structure indices to effective habitat area - all these elements play an important role in determining how successful a designed landscape will be.

Kara Mareno
Kara Mareno

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