08 December 2011

Anthrome (Anthropogenic Biome)

Definition:  Anthromes (anthropogenic biomes) are the global ecological patterns created by humans.  Anthromes characterize the globally significant ecological patterns created by human populations and their use of land over the long term.  Like the classic biomes that differentiate tropical rainforests, grasslands, tundra and other climate-driven ecological patterns across the terrestrial biosphere, anthropogenic biomes differentiate the human-driven ecological patterns across the terrestrial biosphere, including urban areas, villages and croplands.

Example:  Urban areas, villages, and croplands are examples of anthromes.

Why Important:  Anthromes offer a new way forward for ecology and earth science by recognizing and characterizing the vast global extent and ecological richness of human interactions with ecosystems across the terrestrial biosphere, going beyond a single dimension of human impact or disturbance.

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Contributed by: BES Co-PI Erle Ellis

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