The factors concerned with topography or physical features of an area are called topographic factors. Topographic factors include height, direction of slope, steepness of the slope. The topographic factors are also called indirect factors as they influence the growth and development of organisms by bringing variations in climatic factors. Some of the effects of topographic factors are as follow;
Height or altitude
The various effects of height or altitude on plants and animals can be seen from sea level to the high hills and mountains. An increase in the height or altitude results decreases in temperature, high wind, velocity, low atmospheric pressure, high humidity and rainfall.
Direction of slope
North and South faces of hill possess different types of flora and fauna because they differ in their humidity, rainfall, light intensity, light duration and temperature regimes. It is because the two faces of the hill receive different amounts of solar radiations and wind action. Out of these two faces, the sunward direction possesses good vegetation whereas the poor vegetation on the opposite direction due to moist conditions. Similarly, the centre and edge of a pond possess different depths of water and different wave action. Therefore, different parts of the same area may possess different species of organisms.
Steepness of the slope
The steepness of the slope allows the rapid water current, water deficit, the quick erosion of the top soil and thus the poor vegetation occurs. On the other hand, the plains and valleys are rich in vegetation due to the slow movement of surface water and due to the better accumulation of water in the soil.