Zoogeomorphology in the Anthropocene

Authors: David R. Butler*, Texas State University
Topics: Geomorphology, Anthropocene, Biogeography
Keywords: zoogeomorphology, Anthropocene, geomorphology, biogeomorphology, biogeography
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Jackson, Marriott, 5th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The Anthropocene embodies the concept of human impacts on the natural environment, but disagreements exist as to when to identify its inception/starting date. In this presentationI illustrate that regardless of the proposed starting date of the Anthropocene, important zoogeomorphic impacts were initiated at each point in time. Humans have profoundly altered geomorphic pathways through extinctions and the near-extirpation of native populations of animal species that strongly influenced hydrology and removal of surface sediment, and through the introduction of populations of animals that bring to bear a suite of different geomorphic effects on environmental systems. Domestication of animals brought its own suite of zoogeomorphic implications. Introductions of exotic species, and the spread of feral species, often led to dramatic new geomorphic landscapes because of the absence of natural controls on population expansion. In the mountains of the western U.S.A. and elsewhere, the geomorphic actions of animals are being impacted by human-induced climate change. Climate change in some cases affects the spatial pattern and range of species, whereas in others it may lead to the extirpation of species with zoogeomorphic impacts.

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