Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Mark D. Whitaker
Erosion can refer to either the effects of human and natural processes or the human-natural interactive processes, the latter serving here as the focus in discussing soil erosion and biodiversity loss, particularly as a result of surface water runoffs in both urban and rural environments. When humans disrupt soil creation processes, habitat fragmentation, habitat destruction, and general ecological unraveling begin in the soil gradient's plant and animal life specific to it. Worldwide, the majority of biologists blame anthropogenic (resulting from human influence) soil erosion and biodiversity loss for the current sixth major mass extinction event in the history of planet Earth. This is the first anthropogenic mass extinction event, and it is far more rapid than any of the “Big Five” in past geologic times. In different soil gradients, a specific slow, organic and inorganic physical process of natural soil creation occurs that involves beneficial erosion. This process jockeys increasingly ...