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Soil Science: January 1991

Landscapes and their soils often are studied and described by the clorpt equation of the state factor theory. It links properties of animals, plants, and soils to the factors climate (cl), organism (o), topography (r), parent material (p) and time (t) or age of an ecosystem. Humans are implicitly contained in the organism factor o, and this study attempts to conceptualize explicitly the role of humans as a state factor in ecosystem study.

After a brief exposition of state factors and their sequences, humans are symbolized by their inheritable attributes, their genotypes, oh, and their external phenotype expressions h. Humans possess culture, c, defined as “products of human work or thought.” When humans enter an emerging ecosystem they bring along a cultural inheritance, ci. Both oh and ci are treated as independent state factors, whereas h and culture elements c are considered being dependent on oh, ci, cl, o, r, p, t, … The concepts are probed for Pacific island cultures, for cultures of Indian hunting tribes of the Great Plains, for midwestern rural trends, and for soil cultivation and plant growth experiments.

Golden Gate Park in San Francisco comprises three consecutive chronosequences differing in the human state factor.

© Williams & Wilkins 1991. All Rights Reserved.