Environmental Factors

A woody plant with small green leaves sits above the sandy desert soil with its roots exposed.
The roots of a blackbrush exposed by soil erosion

NPS/Neal Herbert

 

Although Arches may appear harsh and unchanging, the desert ecosystem is continually evolving. Weather, climatic shifts, and geologic processes continue to shape this environment as they have for millennia.

More recently, human-caused factors such as air, noise, and water pollution; land disturbance; and introduced nonnative species have had a much greater impact on natural resources world-wide. Arches' naturally dark night skies are also impacted by electric lights in nearby communities.

The undeveloped landscape of Arches provides an ideal place to study how various environmental factors affect desert ecosystems, and predict what changes might be expected in the future.

 

Environmental Factors Articles

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    Last updated: March 11, 2022

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