Anthromes   The Global Ecological Patterns Created by Humans


Plant Biodiversity in Anthromes


We live the Anthropocene

Human systems have transformed most of the terrestrial biosphere into anthromes.

How have humans transformed plant biodiversity?

 

Ellis et al. (2012)
All is not Loss: Plant Biodiversity in the Anthropocene
Major Results
  • This study presents the first spatially explicit integrated assessment of the
        anthropogenic global patterns of vascular plant species richness created
        by the sustained actions of human populations and their use of land at
        regional landscape scale.

 

  • What we don't know about the global patterns of plant
        biodiversity exceeds what we do know:
    model predictions were
        needed to map both native and anthropogenic plant species richness
        at regional landscape scales.

 

  • Model predictions indicate that human systems have caused
        a net increase in plant species richness across more than two
        thirds of the terrestrial biosphere, mostly by facilitating exotic
        species invasions. 

 

  • Exotic species increases are generally associated with and usually
        exceed native losses
    . Together these may represent a general process of
        anthropogenic ecological succession, leading to the widespread emergence of
        novel ecosystems.

 

  • Global stewardship of biodiversity will require fundamental advances in global
        scientific understanding of how native species can be conserved within the novel
        plant communities created and sustained by human systems across most of the
        terrestrial biosphere in the Anthropocene.

Spatial & Statistical Data

Anthropogenic global patterns of plant species richness, species loss, invasions, crops and ornamental species, anthromes, and terrestrial biomes

Maps & Google Earth
Anthropogenic global patterns of plant species richness, species loss, invasions, crops and ornamental species, anthromes,
and terrestrial biomes

Cite: Ellis, E. C., E. C. Antill, and H. Kreft. 2012. All is not loss: plant biodiversity in the Anthropocene. PLoS ONE 7:e30535.  [download] [Online Appendices] [blog post: All is not loss: Plant Biodiversity in the Anthropocene]

 Media Coverage

Andrew Revkin Dot Earth Blog (New York Times) How Humans Spread Both Ecological Disruption and Diversity. January 19, 2012.

 

A collaboration of 

Erle Ellis, Erica Antill

Geography & Environmental Systems, UMBC

       &

Holger Kreft   

Biodiversity, Macroecology & Conservation Biogeography, University of Göttingen