Defining Naturalness And Its Impact On The Environment

1780 Words Sep 15th, 2016 8 Pages
IV. Defining Naturalness Another potential, but overall less effective, goal for conservation is naturalness, which is also defined differently across the literature. Crumpacker (1998) describes three components of naturalness, two of which the author argues are quantifiable. The first part of naturalness is the degree to which the system would change if humans were removed (Crumpacker 1998). The next two components of naturalness are the amount of cultural energy that is required to maintain the currently existing system and the number of native species that currently live in the system in comparison to the abundance of species that lived in the area prior to European settlement (Crumpacker 1998). Anderson (1991) describes naturalness as a continuum between complete naturalness, which would be an ecosystem virtually unaffected by humans, and complete unnaturalness, which would be an environment that is completely influenced by humans, such as a city. This scale of naturalness is established by assessing the extent to which ecosystems have been modified by humans and how much a damaged ecosystem would recover if humans were removed (Anderson 1991).
Ridder (2007) also addresses two interpretations of naturalness that are similar to the definitions proposed by Anderson (1991). One interpretation by Ridder (2007) is that naturalness refers to processes that do not involve human intervention, which is similar to the “spontaneous condition of nature” that would exist in the…
Open Document