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Biota and Topography

  • By: Dov Corenblit & Johannes Steiger
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Biota and topography have always played an integral role in geographic approaches and studies. Biota (modern Latin, from Greek biote, “life”)—that is, living organisms of a particular region, habitat or geological period and in extension their influence on the physical environment—is explicitly taken into account in biogeography. Biogeography is a subdiscipline of geography that studies the spatial distributions of living organisms and the underlying causes for these differentiations. More recently, biota have been considered major agents contributing to the definition of the Earth's surface topography by the geographic subdiscipline of biogeomorphology. Biogeomorphology is an emergent subdiscipline at the interface between ecology and geomorphology; it promotes the development of new interdisciplinary concepts and models better adapted to the study of topography as an outcome of complex ...

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