Platt National Park
Environment and Ecology
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Chapter 6:

We sincerely hope that you have enjoyed this introduction to Platt National Park. Although very small, the park, as you now know, is rich in both natural and cultural history.

Although there are many things to see and do while visiting the park, it is our wish that you and your family will begin to look upon the park with an ecological perspective. The park is much more than a plot of land with interesting vegetation and landforms, and it has a greater function than merely serving as a habitat for unique animal associations. The park as a whole can be considered analogous to a living organism. In such an organism, with all its integral organs functioning to ensure survival, if only one important component is perturbed or destroyed, the entire organism suffers. Similarly, in a complex ecosystem, such as that represented in Platt National Park, if any one element of the system is significantly altered, the entire system may suffer.

It is for this reason that Platt National Park should be considered a natural ecological laboratory where the interdependency of the system components is maintained for the visitor to observe, the scientist to study, and everyone to appreciate. It is a laboratory where natural and cultural perturbations of the system can be observed and analyzed. From such laboratories will come knowledge that may be required for proper management of ecosystems in a world that is undergoing rapid transition. After all, how are we to know and understand the full impact of man's actions on the environment unless we have these natural areas to use as a standard?


Platt National Park: Environment and Ecology
©1975, University of Oklahama Press
barker-jameson/chap6.htm — 09-Mar-2009

Copyright © 1975 University of Oklahoma Press, Publishing Division at the University. Material from this edition may not be reproduced in any manner without the written consent of the University of Oklahoma Press.