Location or position is the collective term for the environmental conditions that an organism act. The term is mainly used in crop science and vegetation ecology, while in animal ecology one speaks of habitat . While the habitat describes the environmental conditions of an individual species, the term location is related to both specific species and entire communities. The exploration of the site is also referred to as site research and site ecology, its local recording as site mapping .
The location in this sense describes the ecological terrain situation, while the place where an organism was found describes the specific point at which a certain individual of a plant or animal species was found. A synonym for location is physiosystem . Another synonym for exclusively terrestrial locations is geosystem .
When describing the location (or habitat ), a distinction is often made between abiotic and biotic location factors (or environmental factors ). In vegetation ecology, for example, these are combined into factor complexes.
- The climate factor complex considers solar radiation, radiation, amount of precipitation , snow cover, humidity , temperature, wind conditions, soil as heat storage, etc. a. - in mountain climates one speaks of extrazonal vegetation
- Relief factor complex : slope inclination , slope direction, small relief, valley design, mass elevation, etc. a.
- Soil factor complex : Soil parent rock, soil type, water content, humus type and amount, structure, lime content, pH, nutrient content , salinity, soil flow , groundwater level, etc. v. a. - in extreme conditions that deviate from the "normal" environment, one speaks of azonal vegetation
- Complex of factors mechanical influences: lightning strike , wind pressure , snow , sandblower
- Factor complex Biotic Influences considers soil organisms , vegetable competitors, shading by other plants, replenishment of organic matter by plant litter , wild animals, domestic animals, cattle bites , symbionts , pests , human actions and the like. a.
The importance of the individual location factors is very different. As a rule, abiotic factors (drought, cold, wind) dominate at extreme locations, while biotic factors (competition for light and roots, feeding, etc.) often have a limiting effect on so-called medium-sized locations.
In agriculture and forestry, the term is viewed from the point of view of economic use, with the abiotic location factors coming to the fore.
- Climate: Precipitation (altitude and distribution), temperature ( climatic water balance ), duration of the vegetation period , wind brakes, cold air hazard, risk of late frost, radiation shielding, reduced drying with the consequence of a higher risk of infection by fungi
- Relief: risk of soil erosion , lateral water inflow and outflow
- Soil: natural nutrient supply , water storage , waterlogging , groundwater connection , rooting, heat storage
The factors that characterize a particular location determine, for example, which tree species can grow well on it and which have poor conditions there. Each tree species is assigned its own location requirements.
In forest planning practice, site mapping is an essential planning work. Site mapping records the growth conditions of a forest site with regard to climate, water and nutrient supply as well as hazards such as B. by wind throw . Based on this, the site mapping recommends suitable forest coverings with tree species or their mixtures that have the best ecological and economic prospects for success at the given site.
In agriculture there is the term agro-ecological special location . This refers to those locations that are just about suitable for normal agricultural use because they are either too steep, too dry, too damp or too rocky.
- Collective of authors ("Working group site mapping" in the "Working group for forest management "): Forest site survey. Terms, definitions, classifications, labels, explanations. 6th edition. IHW-Verlag, Eching near Munich 2003, ISBN 3-930167-55-7 .
- Collective of authors ("Working group site mapping" in the "Working group for forest management "): Forest site survey. Terms, definitions, classifications, labels, explanations. 7th edition. IHW-Verlag, Eching near Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-930167-80-7 .
- Video: Location mapping according to Heinz Ellenberg - An ecological landscape analysis and assessment . Institute for Scientific Film (IWF) 1995, made available by the Technical Information Library (TIB), doi : 10.3203 / IWF / C-1945 .