Ben Stone is a graduate student in my lab, working on a project in Penstemon. For his project, he examined the impact humans have on nature.
By Benjamin Stone
|A wetland area near Minerva, Ohio. Wetlands are incredibly important ecosystems because they clean water, restore aquifers, and are habitats for a large diversity of flora and fauna.|
When we think of nature, we normally envision something like a pristine forested habitat, or a tropical coral reef in crystal-clear waters. These types of places certainly do exist (although they are becoming increasingly rare), but the unfortunate truth is that it is nearly impossible to find a natural system that has been left unblemished by mankind. Sometimes these blemishes are small, like a plastic bottle cap or the tag from a cotton shirt, and sometimes they are far from subtle. One of the most obvious and destructive practices of humans is the construction of roads and other amenities through natural environments.