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The Human Footprint in the West: A Large-scale Analysis of Anthropogenic Impacts

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Leu, M., Hanser, S.E., and Knick, S.T., 2008, The human footprint in the West: A large-scale analysis of anthropogenic impacts: Ecological Applications, v. 18, no. 5, p. 1119-1139,


Humans have dramatically altered wildlands in the western United States over the past 100 years by using these lands and the resources they provide. Anthropogenic changes to the landscape, such as urban expansion and development of rural areas, influence the number and kinds of plants and wildlife that remain. In addition, western ecosystems are also affected by roads, powerlines, and other networks and land uses necessary to maintain human populations. The cumulative impacts of human presence and actions on a landscape are called the “human footprint.” These impacts may affect plants and wildlife by increasing the number of synanthropic (species that benefit from human activities) bird and mammal predators and facilitating their movements [...]

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