Synopsis top ↑
This volume contains the unfinished text of a first draft written by
my husband, Heinrich Rohdenburg, before his sudden death. He intended
that it should become a text on “Geomorphology and Landscape Ecology”
(cf Introductory Chapter). In this first part he attempted to outline
speculations, hypothesis and models which were to be expanded,
exemplified and compared with the field evidence later in the
text. Regrettably, he did not have time to develop the text further,
to add examples, figures, photographs or to improve on the first
draft. Nevertheless, I want to make this section available to his
professional colleagues in this form, with all the shortcomings to be
expected in a first draft. For this, I ask for their understanding. I
hope that the hypotheses and speculations found therein will provide a
stimulus to other researchers, and provide a fresh attack on the
neglected larger spatial scales and longer time scales of
In order to preserve the authenticity of the book the style has not been changed and the English version has remained as faithful as possible to the German text. This book was intended to become not only a presentation of the overall conceptual structure of Heiner’s thinking concerning geomorphological process systems, in a form that would be more comprehensible than his “Einführung in die Klimagenetische Geomorphologie”, published in 1971; it was also intended as a basis for “geoecological” approaches. As a result of the insights gained in field work that he had subsequently undertaken, the text contains interpretations and model concepts that differ from those presented in his earlier book.
The introductory chapter discusses the present importance of geomorphology in landscape ecology. In the text that follows the process is shown to generate particular landforms. The landform itself serves only as an “indicator value for the analysis of the three-dimensional structure of the landscape”. As stated in the introduction, one of the main concerns of the book is to “encourage synthesis by a discussion of the “intellectual tools” and by reference to relevant but often neglected facts. Examples are used as a basis for deduction even though a complete analysis is not yet possible”.
Only the first part of the book the “intellectual tools” had been completed (Chapters 1-10). Of the second part, in which these intellectual tools were to be used for the interpretation of process patterns, only the discussion of one example, “The wet-dry tropics” (Chapter 11) had been started.
The readers of this book will now have the opportunity to discuss, debate, challenge and adopt the “tools” offered in the context of their own work.