NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS AS TOOLS FOR TEACHING LANDSCAPE DESIGN

in HortScience
Author: W. Gary Smith1
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  • 1 Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Delaware, 150-D Townsend Hall, Newark, DE 19717

Native plant ecosystems, such as meadows and forests, demonstrate how plant communities are physically organized in response to a variety of natural factors and environmental processes. By visiting native ecosystems and diagramming the spatial patterns of naturally evolving plant communities, landscape design students quickly gain confidence about the variety of spaces they can create with plants. In addition, they develop an understanding that the physical organization of plants can have ecological meaning, deeper than simple utility, function, or decoration.

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