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Toward a Global Classification of Coastal Anthromes

Environmental Dynamics Lab, Geography & Environment Unit, University of Southampton, Highfield, Southampton, SO17 1BJ, UK
Academic Editors: Erle C. Ellis, Kees Klein Goldewijk, Navin Ramankutty and Laura Martin
Received: 8 December 2016 / Revised: 24 January 2017 / Accepted: 2 February 2017 / Published: 10 February 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Anthropogenic Biomes)
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Given incontrovertible evidence that humans are the most powerful agents of environmental change on the planet, research has begun to acknowledge and integrate human presence and activity into updated descriptions of the world’s biomes as “anthromes”. Thus far, a classification system for anthromes is limited to the terrestrial biosphere. Here, I present a case for the consideration and validity of coastal anthromes. Every coastal environment on Earth is subject to direct and indirect human modification and disturbance. Despite the legacy, ubiquity, and pervasiveness of human interactions with coastal ecosystems, coastal anthromes still lack formal definition. Following the original argument and framework for terrestrial anthromes, I outline a set of coastal anthrome classifications that dovetail with terrestrial and marine counterparts. Recognising coastal environments as complex and increasingly vulnerable anthropogenic systems is a fundamental step toward understanding their modern dynamics—and, by extension, realising opportunities for and limits to their resilience. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal development; fisheries; land-use change; social–ecological systems; coupled human–natural systems; anthropocene coastal development; fisheries; land-use change; social–ecological systems; coupled human–natural systems; anthropocene

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Lazarus, E.D. Toward a Global Classification of Coastal Anthromes. Land 2017, 6, 13.

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