Habitat diversity: landscapes and ecosystems
LANDSCAPE DIVERSITY: Humanity's imprint on nature
Landscapes are made up of sets of natural and cultural elements which have been shaped by human's imprint. In western and central Europe there is almost no virgin landscape left. By developing agriculture human beings have generated coppice forests. Certain landscapes are totally artificial, for example, the Minsmere nature reserve in England and, to a certain extent, the Poitou marshland and the Landes forest in France.
The concept of landscape diversity takes account of the relationships between landscapes:
their territorial organisation, dynamics and inter-relationships as seen by individuals and societies through different local, regional and national cultures.
ECOSYSTEM DIVERSITY: environments in constant evolution
An ecosystem is made up of a community of organisms, their environment and the interactions between them. Ecosystems are formed on very different scales, ranging from microsites to the biosphere. A forest constitutes an ecosystem, as does a dead tree-trunk, a river, a pond, a mountain, a sea and even the entire planet.
An ecosystem is a dynamic unit in which the composition, structure and roles of the different elements with-in it are constantly evolving with time.