Biomes: Old-school?

A biome has traditionally been defined (broadly and loosely, of course) as an area that has similar plant and animal communities and geologic and climatic structures.  In recent years, the term ecosystem has come to be virtually interchangeable. But Erle Ellis of the University of Maryland at Baltimore County believes that doing ecology by defining biomes is antiquated.  In this video by The Discovery Channel, he proposes instead the use of “anthromes” that include definitions of areas that have, as he says, “already been transformed by human activity.” Instead of the traditional biome map with no representation of urban areas, Ellis thinks maps that show “mixed” systems that include natural and human influences are more appropriate.  Check out the video (and be patient through the ad) by clicking on the photo below, and see what you think.

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Author: Christine Buckley

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