Chapter 3: Socio-economic processes transforming the genetic stock and altering ecosystems
Homo sapiens has become the major source of global environmental changes as a result of growing populations of humans, increasing economic production and greater man-made capital accumulation, as well as new techniques of production associated with the expansion of knowledge. While environmental changes due to natural phenomena still occur independently of human action, they pale in significance compared to the impact of humans on the natural environment. Such impact arises as a direct result of human actions (for example, the removal of natural vegetation to grow crops) and indirectly (as in the case of global warming and climate change caused by increased greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activity). Particularly, since the beginning of agriculture in the Holocene era, humans have increasingly changed the global genetic stock and altered ecosystems. Genetic material has been selected and developed by human beings in order to increase the economic value of the genetic stock. Natural ecosystems have been transformed to enhance their economic productivity from a human point of view.
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