Conservation opportunities across the world's anthromes

Martin, Laura J., Quinn, John E., Ellis, Erle C., Shaw, M. Rebecca, Dorning, Monica A., Hallett, Lauren M., Heller, Nicole E., Hobbs, Richard J., Kraft, Clifford E., Law, Elizabeth, Michel, Nicole L., Perring, Michael P., Shirey, Patrick D. and Wiederholt, Ruscena (2014) Conservation opportunities across the world's anthromes. Diversity and Distributions, 20 7: 745-755. doi:10.1111/ddi.12220

Author Martin, Laura J.
Quinn, John E.
Ellis, Erle C.
Shaw, M. Rebecca
Dorning, Monica A.
Hallett, Lauren M.
Heller, Nicole E.
Hobbs, Richard J.
Kraft, Clifford E.
Law, Elizabeth
Michel, Nicole L.
Perring, Michael P.
Shirey, Patrick D.
Wiederholt, Ruscena
Title Conservation opportunities across the world's anthromes
Journal name Diversity and Distributions   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-4642
Publication date 2014-07-01
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/ddi.12220
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 20
Issue 7
Start page 745
End page 755
Total pages 11
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Biologists increasingly recognize the roles of humans in ecosystems. Subsequently, many have argued that biodiversity conservation must be extended to environments that humans have shaped directly. Yet popular biogeographical frameworks such as biomes do not incorporate human land use, limiting their relevance to future conservation planning. ‘Anthromes’ map global ecological patterns created by sustained direct human interactions with ecosystems. In this paper, we set to understand how current conservation efforts are distributed across anthromes.


We analysed the global distribution of IUCN protected areas and biodiversity hotspots by anthrome. We related this information to density of native plant species and density of previous ecological studies. Potential conservation opportunities in anthromes were then identified through global analysis and two case studies.

Protected areas and biodiversity hotspots are not distributed equally across anthromes. Less populated anthromes contain a greater proportion of protected areas. The fewest hotspots are found within densely settled anthromes and wildlands, which occur at the two extremes of human population density. Opportunities for representative protection, prioritization, study and inclusion of native species were not congruent.

Main conclusions
Researchers and practitioners can use the anthromes framework to analyse the distribution of conservation practices at the global and regional scale. Like biomes, anthromes could also be used to set future conservation priorities. Conservation goals in areas directly shaped by humans need not be less ambitious than those in ‘natural areas’.
Keyword Anthropocene
Human-environment interaction
Land cover change
Protected area
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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