The Huldufólk hypothesis

Gaia is the ancient Greek personification of the earth who James Lovelock took as the namesake for the hypothesis that the entire earth system acts as if it were a single organism. I would like to propose a related hypothesis, named not for the Earth but for the Icelandic personification of the local landscape.

Catchment-scale landscapes are integrated systems that act in analogous ways to organisms.

One of the criticisms of the Gaia hypothesis has been that there is no population of competing planets to provide the material for natural selection to work on. While Gaia may float alone in an endless sea of black, the same cannot be said for landscape elements which always exist surrounded by other evolving bits of landscape.

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