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ANTHROPOGENIC ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE Anthropogenic means created by human activity Only built environments are truly anthropogenic, but many (some would argue most) terrestrial habitats, and increasingly marine ones as well, are strongly modified by human activity over time, and these frequently labeled anthropogenic (Balée 2006; Denevan 1992) Many different forms of anthropogenic environmental change, but in pre-industrial societies the most obvious ones include regular burning (of grasslands or forest understory), forest clearing, irrigation, terracing, and fertilizing Anthropogenic effects can be intentional (e.g., clearing a patch of forest to plant a garden) or unintentional (e.g., digging up edible plants aerates the soil, increasing future growth) From an ecological point of view, such anthropogenic impacts are just another form of
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Unformatted text preview: disturbance The pervasiveness of anthropogenic habitat modification is such that humans (even pre-industrial ones) can be considered "ecosystem engineers" that have had a dominant role in shaping many environments for thousands of years Anthropogenic disturbances are often the result of attempts to maintain or increase productivity of key ecological resources (i.e., a form of resource management) Peacock & Turner (2000:139) argue that this occurs at several scales: – Population management = enhance local populations of a resource species – Community management = create or maintain diversity of resource-rich locales or habitats – Landscape management = multi-habitat (large-scale)...
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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