Friday, December 12, 2008

Landscape - Horticultural Ecosystems III

This is the third in a series on horticultural ecosystems, a sustainable way of looking at landscapes and landscaping. Slides are from a presentation that I give on the subject.

As a landscape site is developed, you must assess those natural forces that will work upon the landscape. How will biotic factors (living things) act upon the landscape, how have site modifications affected the ability of plants and other organisms to live and thrive, how has water and the hydrologic characteristics of the landscape been affected, how have exposures to wind and sun been altered?

An extremely exposed site prior to landscaping. Plants will be affected by wind and full sun conditions. Water may runoff or may be lost to excessive evaporation. Soil disturbance and compaction will affect rooting conditions.

Clearing woods for a parking area. Surrounding vegetation is severely impacted by increased exposures and root damage.

Making a road through a formerly wooded area. Land disturbance has increased exposures, affected soil conditions, opened up the potential for erosion, and altered the existing ecosystem. You must assess the effects of all these actions before considering how to install the new horticultural ecosystem with landscaping

I will continue on this topic in future postings.

Gordon Johnson, Extension Horticulture Agent, UD, Kent County

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