||The cardinal direction toward
which a slope faces. The
aspect is important in hilly or mountainous terrain and affects site
quality and species
composition; Also called orientation.
(e.g. North-facing ,
south-facing , etc.)
The aspect is the orientation to which a sloping land mostly faces in
relation to the compass direction (or to other factors like
winds etc.) that is, if you were
standing on a hillside and looking down the slope, the direction you
were facing would be the aspect of the slope. A hillside facing east has
an eastern aspect.
The aspect influences the vegetation
growing on shore sites in several important ways. It determines the
amount and duration of sun
exposure, temperature, and
the severity and type of environmental
stresses, especially wind, that
represents a potential health threat to
living organisms. Sun exposure has a profound affect on
species. In the hills, the
difference between north and south
facing slopes can be astounding.
- A south-facing slope have the most sun exposure is generally
hotter and dryer than a north-facing and has warm soil temperatures.
- A steep east-facing slope have progressively less exposure. will
receive full sun in the morning during summer but be in shade by
afternoon. And has cool soil temperatures
- A slope oriented towards the west will be exposed to the sun
throughout the afternoon and evening during long summer days.
- North-facing slopes are generally colder.
The influence of aspect is complicated by topographic features such
as canyons and stream courses, causing complex local
microclimates that can support
radically different plant communities
within a small geographical area.