The land unit — A fundamental concept in landscape ecology, and its applications
- Isaak S. Zonneveld
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
The land unit, as an expression of landscape as a system, is a fundamental concept in landscape ecology. It is an ecologically homogeneous tract of land at the scale at issue. It provides a basis for studying topologic as well as chorologic landscape ecology relationships. A land unit survey aims at mapping such land units. This is done by simultaneously using characteristics of the most obvious (mappable) land attributes: land-form, soil and vegetation (including human alteration of these three). The land unit is the basis of the map legend but may be expressed via these three land attributes. The more dynamic land attributes, such as certain animal populations and water fluxes, are less suitable as diagnostic criteria, but often link units by characteristic information/energy fluxes.
The land unit survey is related to a further development of the widely accepted physiographic soil survey see Edelman (1950). Important aspects include: by means of a systems approach, the various land data can be integrated more appropriately; geomorphology, vegetation and soil science support each other during all stages (photo-interpretation, field survey, data processing, final classification); the time and costs are considerably less compared with the execution of separate surveys; the result is directly suitable as a basis for land evaluation; the results can be expressed in separate soil, vegetation, land use and landform maps, or even single value maps.
A land unit survey is therefore: a method for efficient survey of land attributes, such as soils, vegetation, landform, expressed in either separate or combined maps; a means of stimulating integration among separate land attribute sciences; an efficient basis for land evaluation. For multidisciplinary projects with applied ecologic aims (e.g., land management), it is therefore the most appropriate survey approach.
Within the land unit approach there is considerable freedom in the way in which the various land attribute data are ‘integrated’. It is essential, however, that: during the photo-interpretation stage, the contributions of the various specialists are brought together to prepare a preliminary (land unit) photo-interpretation map; the fieldwork data are collected at exactly the same sample point, preferably by a team of specialists in which soil, vegetation and geomorphology are represented; the final map is prepared in close cooperation of all contributing disciplines, based on photo-interpretation and field data; the final map approach may vary from one fully-integrated land unit map to various monothematic maps.
- Andrade, A., Valenzuela, C.R. and de Vos tNC, J.H. 1988. tAn ILWIS application for land use planning in Llanos Orientales Colombia. ITC Journal 1988-1, pp. 109–115.
- Banning, J.H., Leys, H.N., Zonneveld, I.S. (1973) Vegetation, Habitat and Site Class in Dutch Conifer Forest. Bodemk Stud g, Sti-Bo-Ka, Wageningen, The Netherlands
- Christian, C.S. and Stewart, G.A. 1964. Methodology of integrated surveys. Proc. Unesco conf. on principles and methods of integrated aerial surveys of natural resources for potential development, Toulouse 1964. WS/0384.15/NS. 146 pp.
- Edelman, C.H. (1950) Soils of The Netherlands. NV Noordh. Uitg. My, Amsterdam
- Etter-Rottisberger, A. 1985. A landscape ecological approach for grazing development (a case study in the Colombran Llanos). Unpubl. MSc. Thesis, ITC Enschede. 127 pp.
- Forman, R.T.T., Godron, M. (1986) Landscape Ecology. John Wiley & Sons, New York
- Gils, H.M. van 1989. Map legends. ITC Journal, in press.
- Goosen, D.J. (1967) Aerial Photo-Interpretation in Soil Survey. FAO, Rome
- Hielkema, J., Howard, J.A., Tucker, C.J. and van Ingenschenau, H.A. 1986. The FAO/NASA/NLR ARTEMIS system: an integrated concept for environmental monitoring by satellite in support of food/feed security and desert locust surveillance. Proc. 20th Symp. on Remote Sensing of Environment, Kenya, pp. 147–160.
- Holdridge, L.R. (1959) Ecological indication of the need for a new approach to tropical land use. Econ. Botany 13: pp. 271-280
- Hommel, P.W.R.M. (1987) Landscape Ecology of Udjung Kulon (West Java). Priv. Publ., Wageningen
- Projet de développement rural integré de la Région Kaärta, Rep. du Mali. Phase de reconnaissance du Volet VIII, Cartographie. ITC, Enschede
- Kalkhoven, J.T.R. and van der Werff, S. 1988. Mapping the potential natural vegetation. In Küchler and Zonneveld, 1988. Chap. 26, pp. 375–387.
- Küchler, A.W., Zonneveld, I.S. eds. (1988) Handbook of Vegetation Science. Kluwer Academic Publ., Dordrecht
- Kwakernaak, C. (1986) Informatie als begrip in de landschapsecologie. Landschap 3: pp. 182-189
- Leeuwen, C.G. (1981) From ecosystem to ecodevice. Perspectives in Landscape Ecology. Pudoc, Wageningen, pp. 29-36
- Merriam, G. Landscape ecology: the ecology of heterogeneous systems. In: Moss, M. eds. (1988) Landscape Ecology and Managemet. Polysc Publ. Inc., Montreal, pp. 35-43
- Meijerink, A.M.J., Valenzuela, C.R. and Stewart, A. (eds.) 1988. ILWIS: The Integrated Land and Watershed Management Information System. ITC Publ. No. 7, Enschede. 115 pp.
- Naveh, Z., Liebermann, A.S. (1984) Landscape Ecology: Theory and Application. Springer-Verlag, New York
- Neef, E. (1967) Die Theoretischen Grundlagen der Landschafflehre. Haach, Gotha/Leipzig
- Opdam, P. (1984) Delineating ecotopes as holistic landscape units. Some methodological problems. Ann. Rep. RIN. Leersum, The Netherlands, pp. 77-88
- Phipps, M. (1981) Information theory and landscape analysis. Perspectives in Landscape Ecology. Pudoc, Wageningen, pp. 67-64
- Pleijsier, L.K. Variability in soil data. In: Bouma, J., Bregt, A.K. eds. (1989) Land Qualities in Space and Time, Proc. ISSS Symp.. Pudoc, Wageningen, pp. 89-100
- Prigogin, I., Strengers, I. (1985) Orde uit Chaos. Uitg. Bert Bakker, Amsterdam
- Smuts, J.C. (1926) Holism and Evolution. MacMillan, London
- Stan Rowe, J. The study of terrain ecosystems. In: Moss, M. eds. (1988) Landscape Ecology and Management. Polysc Publ. Inc., Montreal, pp. 35-43
- Methoden der begrippen in de Landschapsecology. Neth. Soc. for Landscape Ecology. Landschap 3: pp. 172-181
- Thie, J., Ironside, G. eds. (1976) Ecological (Biophysical) Land Classification in Canada. Lands Directorate, Environment Canada, Ottawa
- Troll, C. (1950) Die geografische Landschaft und ihre Forschung. Springer Verlag, Berlin
- Tüxen, R. (1951) Die heutige potentielle natürliche Vegetation als Gegenstand der Vegetations Kartierung. Angew. Pflanzensoziologie Vol. 13: pp. 5-12
- Wirdum, G. (1981) Design for a land ecological survey of native protection. Perspectives in Landscape Ecology. Pudoc, Wageningen, pp. 245-251
- Zee, D., Huizing, H. Automated cartography and electronic information system. In: Küchler, A.W., Zonneveld, I.S. eds. (1988) Handbook of Vegetation Science. Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, pp. 163-190
- Zonneveld, I.S. (1979) Land Evaluation and Land(scape) Science. ITC, Enschede
- Zonneveld, I.S. (1986) A systematic approach to the evaluation of rangeland inventory data. Rangelands, a Resource under Siege. Australian Acada. of Science, Canberra, pp. 515-516
- Zonneveld, I.S. and Surasana, E. 1988. Ecosystem inventory/vegetation survey (Komering basin, Sumatra), ITC Journal 1988-1, pp. 67–75.
- Zonneveld, I.S. The ITC approach of mapping natural and semi-natural vegetation. In: Küchler, A.W., Zonneveld, I.S. eds. (1988) Handbook of Vegetation Science. Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, pp. 401-427
- Zonneveld, I.S. Environmental indication. In: Küchler, A.W., Zonneveld, I.S. eds. (1988) Handbook of Vegetation Science. Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, pp. 491-499
- The land unit — A fundamental concept in landscape ecology, and its applications
Volume 3, Issue 2 , pp 67-86
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Kluwer Academic Publishers
- Additional Links
- landscape survey
- land unit concept
- land unit mapping
- land unit systems
- landscape classification
- Author Affiliations
- 1. ITC, P.O. Box 6, 7500, Enschede, AA, The Netherlands