In geography, natural complexes or landscapes (geosystems) include parts of the planet’s surface that are characterized by approximately homogeneous conditions, such as climate, topography, soil, flora, fauna and water balance.
As a rule, they differ either in a vertical or horizontal direction, and depending on this, they are divided into zonal or azonal. And the main reason for their diversity is the bright heterogeneity of the geographical shell.
Zonal complexes and their diversity
Such natural complexes are primarily associated with the horizontal division of the Earth. And the largest of the representatives of such natural formations is a geographical complex without fail with a uniform and consistent position. And the formation of such complexes is directly related, first of all, to the climatic manifestations of the territory.
You need to understand that the nature of geographical zones changes significantly from the equator to the pole, and within each of them, their own weather conditions, temperature features, soil and water properties (both underground and surface) are formed.
Habitually, nine geographical zones are distinguished, ranging from the arctic, subarctic, and ending with the equatorial and south equatorial.
In addition to the geographical zone, the next largest type of zonal complexes are natural zones. They are usually divided by the amount and frequency of precipitation, which, as a rule, depends on the altitude and proximity to the ocean.
The division of natural zones into several types is widespread, ranging from taiga, tundra and ending with deserts and savannahs.
What are the zonal natural complexes called?
The components that make up any natural complex are characterized by a close relationship that develops historically and a change in at least one of its components can have catastrophic consequences for other components.
The largest, planetary natural complex is the geographic envelope. It is subdivided into less significant complexes under the influence of several reasons:
Such reasons make it possible to divide the complexes into zonal and azonal.
One of the most significant zonal complexes, geographers call geographical zones that exactly coincide with climatic zones (tropics, subtropics, etc.).d.), and, in turn, they are divided into natural zones, divided depending on the amount of heat received.
Zonal factors of natural complexes
The geographical envelope is distinguished by a “mosaic” structure, consisting of separate natural landscapes.
The natural complex is just a part of the surface, which is united by the same natural conditions: fauna, flora, climate, relief, soil and water.
And the fundamental role here, of course, is played by climatic conditions, because it is the climate that significantly affects other components of the complex. And most often, the natural zones that are part of the complex are usually named according to the nature of the vegetation, it is it that reflects other features of the complex and has a significant impact on the formation of soils and fauna of the territory.
It is the climate that determines all other components, and it changes evenly when moving from the equator to the poles. Such a change is due to the latitudinal location, which follows climate changes. And such a logical change in zones is usually called latitudinal zonality.
At the same time, it should be understood that climate change is associated not only with latitudinal changes, but also with changes in altitude. For example, closer to the tops of the mountains, the temperature regime changes significantly, and up to 2 thousand meters, the amount of precipitation may increase. At the same time, such changes in the balance of moisture and heat are the cause of change also of the soil-lowering coating. This becomes the cause of highlighting highaltitude, when at different heights you can find a wide variety of natural zones.
The components of any natural complexes are customary to include standard points:
These components are in close interaction, and each of them creates the conditions for the entire complex as a whole. So, rivers affect the climate, and, therefore, on the appearance of flora, and, therefore, on the animal world.
The zonal type of soil
Geographers distinguish the following zonal types of soils depending on their formation from the north in the southern direction:
Examples of zonal complexes
On the territory of our country, you can find almost all natural zones that are characteristic of the arctic and temperate zones: taiga, tundra, forest-tundra, forests, forest-steppes, steppes, semi-deserts and even desert territories.
The length of the territory of our state in the direction from north to south and the presence of significant plains allows us to clearly structure the natural zonality, which is especially pronounced on the territory of the plains East European and West Siberian.
We practically do not think about the need to systematize all the natural diversity that surrounds us, but thanks to the division of landscapes into natural areas, natural complexes, we can understand the environment in which we live.