Altitudinal Landscape Complexes of the Central Russian Forest–Steppe

  • Anatoly S. Gorbunov
  • Vladimir B. Mikhno
  • Olga P. Bykovskaya
  • Valery N. Bevz
Part of the Landscape Series book series (LAEC, volume 26)


The chapter considers vertical differentiation of plain landscapes, which is the universal feature of geosystem sequence, determined by the relief morphometry, mainly absolute and relative altitudes. Intrazonal nature of vertical differentiation is reflected in the structural organization of geosystems, the nature and intensity of the landscape-forming processes, and the specificity of the landscape pattern. We analyze vertical differentiation in terms of geocomponents (geology, topography, climatic and hydrological parameters, soils, and vegetation), landscape-forming processes (erosion, karst, suffosion, and landslides), various categories of geosystems (forest, steppe, meadow, marsh, and field), structure of types of landscapes, the stages of relief and landscape development, and the specificity of the landscape patterns. Based on this, the term “altitudinal landscape complex” is suggested as a special category, which defines a paradynamic system of landscapes interrelated by a general direction of the physico-geographical process. Wide range of elevations in the south of the East-European Plain determined the vertical differentiation of landscapes of different taxons (section, district, landtype association, landtype, and site). In turn, this provided the reason for establishing taxonomy of altitudinal landscape complexes, which includes four levels: step, variant, storey, and layer.


Vertical differentiation Plain landscapes Altitudinal landscape complex East-European Plain 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anatoly S. Gorbunov
    • 1
  • Vladimir B. Mikhno
    • 1
  • Olga P. Bykovskaya
    • 1
  • Valery N. Bevz
    • 1
  1. 1.Voronezh State UniversityVoronezhRussia

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