Landscape machine
Charles Darwin presented the concepts of interrelation and interdependence, and  the idea of equilibrium, when he discusses the relationships arising from competition and the struggle for survival.  In the long run the forces are 'so nicely balanced that the face of nature remains for a long time uniform, though assuredly the merest trifle would give the victory to one organic being over another'.
Intricacy of relationships is another dominant theme, and Darwin remarks that 'plants and animals, remote in the scale of nature, are bound together by a web of complex relations'. 
The dependency of an organic being on another, as of a parasite on its prey, lies generally between beings remote in the scale of nature...the structure of every organic being is related, in the most essential yet often hidden manner, to that of all the other organic beings with which it comes into competition for food or residence, or from which it has to escape, or on which it preys...
And we are greatly ignorant about the 'mutual relations of all organic beings...', partly because of the complexity of the relationships, which are harder to establish than are those governing non-organic objects:
"Throw up a handful of feathers, and all fall to the ground according to definite laws; but how simple is the problem where each shall fall compared to that of action and reaction of the innumerable plants and animals which have determined, in the course of centuries, the proportional numbers and kinds of trees now growing on the old Indian ruins".
Darwin's ideas were developed into Haeckel's new science of 'ecology' - a term used in 1869 -.'and that they culminated in Tansley's idea of the ecosystem. Darwin's particular contribution to the development of the idea of a 'web of life' was that he included man in it - the obvious implications of his evolutionary theory were that man had a common origin with the rest of nature. From about 1910,  the term 'human ecology' was used for the study of man and environment together - not in the sense of suggesting that man was determined by his environment, but in implying that he was not apart from nature; that he had a place in the web of life or the 'economy of nature'. 
Geography as 'people in place' saw the region and later the state as a living organism - another application of the organic analogy that runs through from medieval perceptions of nature to 18th-century neo-classical notions of senescence, to the 20th-century ecocentric revival of 'Gaia'.
Place is an organic ecosystem possessed 'properties of organisation of constituent components into a functionally related, mutually independent complex.  In spite of continuous flows of energy and matter place maintains apparent equilibrium, and possesses properties as a whole which are more than the sum of the parts. Here is a reference to such intangibles as regional or national flavour and landscape character.
The characteristics of a systems approach to the natural environment stresses that each part of the natural environment is related to each other part. The five subsystems - weather/climate; water; landforms; soils; living things, are parts of a larger system, whose overall characteristics amount to more than just the sum of the characteristics of the parts. To these five subsystems we need to add the notional frameworks of history and other value structures.  Rather than seeking to break the 'landscape machine' into its component parts, we should seek to study how the parts work together.
The importance of the solace of landscape is only gradually being recognised as of primary signficance, over and above other elements in the built environment.  Michael Spens