Grand Teton National Park Disturbed Lands

Events often take place that alter the balance of an ecosystem and affect the species within. Areas can become altered, or "disturbed," through a natural or human-caused occurrence. Natural disturbances range from earthquakes to fires to floods to volcanoes that may occur periodically in a region. Human-caused disturbances include road construction, agriculture, and urban/suburban development. Disturbed lands may be barren, void of plant and animal life, following an incident. Some native species of plants thrive after a disruption of the natural balance.

The first returnees to a burned area, for instance, are grasses that take advantage of increased sunlight, decreased shade, increased nutrients in the soil, and lower acidity levels in the soil. After a disturbance, the topsoil is susceptible to erosion in the form of landslides after rainfall. Often a disturbed area is threatened by the generation of invasive, non-native, or exotic plant and animal species. This is evident along roadsides in Grand Teton National Park that contain fields of Canada thistle, Houndstongue, Yellow Toadflax (Butter and Eggs), and mullein. These new species do not have natural environmental controls (e.g. predators) and can easily out-compete native species. Eventually disturbed land may become dominated by non-native species.

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Featured Park
Rising above a scene rich with extraordinary wildlife, pristine lakes, and alpine terrain, the Teton Range stands monument to the people who fought to protect it. These are mountains of the imagination. Mountains that led to the creation of Grand Teton National Park where you can explore over two hundred miles of trails, float the Snake River or enjoy the serenity of this remarkable place.
Featured Wildlife
The pika is a close relative of the rabbits and hares, with two upper incisors on each side of the jaw, one behind the other. Being rock-gray in color, pikas are seldom seen until their shrill, metallic call reveals their presence.