Human Impacts - Research Article from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 7 pages of information about Human Impacts.
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The Coming of Agriculture

Until the development of agriculture, the human species did not affect the biosphere any more significantly than other highly efficient predators. While small nomadic groups could, and did, deplete local game populations, and could, and did, drive some species to the edge of extinction through over-hunting, human impacts were for the most part small, local, and short-lived.

A Kansas wheat field being harvested. The ancient grasslands of the Midwest with the food chains they sustained have been replaced by agriculture A Kansas wheat field being harvested. The ancient grasslands of the Midwest with the food chains they sustained have been replaced by agriculture

Agriculture changed all that. By cultivating and harvesting grains, humans set in motion a series of changes with deep effects on both the natural world and their own culture that have continued, and intensified, to this day. First and most profoundly, grains gave humans a source of surplus food that allowed population growth. While a surplus of meat would rot, a surplus of grain...

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This section contains 2,063 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Human Impacts Encyclopedia Article
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Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences
Human Impacts from Macmillan Science Library: Plant Sciences. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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