Field Guide - Human Impacts

Worm Classifications | Sampling Methods | Habitats | Human Impacts | Forest Floor Litter

Human impacts are human-made objects or human-caused events that change, disturb or even destroy ecosystems. Human impacts put pressure on ecosystems and can have a major impact on the species living there.  Some of the more common types of human impacts that occur in Alberta are listed below.

  • Roads: Whether they are standard asphalt roads, gravel roads or simple country roads, roads are built to allow vehicles to travel on them and are a human impact on ecosystems.
  • Paths: Paths are tracks that have been made to allow people to walk on them.  Paths are sometimes cleared and sometimes occur when people walk over the same area over time.
  • Buildings: Any type of building, whether it is a skyscraper or a shed, can be a human impact.
  • Fishing: Fishing can disturb wildlife in aquatic ecosystems and can also be a reason why worms are introduced to an ecosystem.
  • Grazing: Having ranches and farms means that sometimes herbivores (plant-eaters) are forced to eat grass in areas where they wouldn’t normally.
  • Crops: Planting crops is another form of human impact.
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Alberta Highway
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alberta_Highway_33_photograph.jpg