In the past decades many ecologists have used ecosystem and landscape synonymously. It is time to make a clear differentiation between these two mental representations of reality.
Ecosystem is a term that can be applied to all (spaceless) mechanisms that operate in nature, and can be considered the functional framework.
Functions and relationships, flow of energy and material, food chains are some of the distinctive processes connected with the ecosystem concept.
The landscape framework couples functioning with the space in which such functioning operates. As a consequence, the landscape framework is inclusive of the ecosystem framework. Often in literature a landscape is considered a system of ecosystems, but this is not completely correct. The ecosystem framework pertains to a different descriptive domain of the landscape domain.
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