LANDSCAPE PLANNING: A POINT OF VIEW

R. Marx
The relationship between vegetation and environment is discussed, as well as the ornamental value of plants.

One of the factors that has shaped my life is constant curiosity. This curiosity gives daily emphasis to the interest in life, and induces me to perceive the deficiencies of our knowledge about Nature.

Approximately 1.5 million species have been described. However, it is suspected that there are a total 3 to 50 million. These data reveal our ignorance and they are astonishing for two reasons. First, the cumulative knowledge about the biodiversity so close to us is really poor. Second, and even more intense, is that we disagree about how many species still need to be described and there is a discrepancy of opinions on an order of 94-fold in relation to the quantity of known species.

In all field excursions that have been done, and there were many, we have always found new species, considering only the ones related to our principal interest, I mean, the species we are able to use in landscape planning. But, beyond those, several times, the pleasure of discovery enlarges this circle. We find ourselves surprised when we are looking for new micro-orchids, Veloziaceae, bromeliads and other genera of plants by the influence of our botanist friends who always come with us on such excursions. For example, I have 150 species of Veloziaceae in my farm, meanwhile only three species can be found in the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden.

Through color, shape, shape, texture, rhythm and the relationship of these plant elements within their environments, we realize the richness that surrounds us.

Analogies explain reactions to similar environments in different places. For better understanding, we may take the case of the Cactaceae in the American deserts, which are similar to the Euphorbiaceae from equivalent African regions. To keep the precious leaf humidity, those plants transformed leaves into spines and their stems had to be able do photosynthesize. It is what we call habit convergence. However, there are cases, in truth the majority of them, that the explanation is not so evident. In my opinion, there is a great mystery in the adaptation of vegetal forms in relation to the habitat components.

In what limits do the functions determine the shapes?

In what limits are the reciprocal ways true?

We know that the oxygen that we breath and that protects us against the UV solar radiation is the sub-product of the metabolism of plants that survived in the oceans before the continents were colonized by other life forms.

Marx, R. (1994). LANDSCAPE PLANNING: A POINT OF VIEW. Acta Hortic. 360, 243-244
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.360.32
https://doi.org/10.17660/ActaHortic.1994.360.32
ecology, ornamental plants, genetic resources

Acta Horticulturae