The Landscape as a Semiotic Interface between Organisms and Resources

Biosemiotics 1 (1):75-83 (2008)
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Despite an impressive number of investigations and indirect evidence, the mechanisms that link patterns and processes across the landscape remain a debated point. A new definition of landscape as a semiotic interface between resources and organisms opens up a new perspective to a better understanding of such mechanisms. If the landscape is considered a source of signals converted by animal cognition into signs, it follows that spatial configurations, extension, shape and contagion are not only landscape patterns but categories of identifiable signals. The eco-field hypothesis, by which cognitive templates are used to identify spatial configurations as carriers of meaning according to an active function, are combined with the sign theory to create an eco-semiotic model of landscape representation. Signs from landscape change in efficacy according to mechanisms of degradation, and metric sign categories have to be considered. An interdisciplinary coalescence is expected by using the theoretical approach in different fields of conservation and resource management and planning



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