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Title: The Anthropocene biosphere
Authors: Williams, Mark
Zalasiewicz, Jan
Haff, P. K.
Schwagerl, C.
Barnosky, A. D.
Ellis, E. C.
First Published: 18-Jun-2015
Publisher: Sage Publications
Citation: The Anthropocene Review, June 18, 2015 2053019615591020
Abstract: The geological record preserves evidence for two fundamental stages in the evolution of Earth’s biosphere, a microbial stage from ~3.5 to 0.65 Ga, and a metazoan stage evident by circa 650 Ma. We suggest that the modern biosphere differs significantly from these previous stages and shows early signs of a new, third stage of biosphere evolution characterised by: (1) global homogenization of flora and fauna; (2) a single species (Homo sapiens) commandeering 25 to 40% of net primary production and also mining fossil net primary production (fossil fuels) to break through the photosynthetic energy barrier; (3) human-directed evolution of other species; and (4) increasing interaction of the biosphere with the technosphere (the global emergent system that includes humans, technological artefacts, and associated social and technological networks). These unique features of today’s biosphere may herald a new era in the planet’s history that could persist for hundreds of millions of years.
DOI Link: 10.1177/2053019615591020
ISSN: 2053-0196
eISSN: 2053-020X
Version: Post-print
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Archived with reference to SHERPA/RoMEO and publisher website.
Description: The file associated with this record had been removed while changes are made to some components of the terminology in the paper.
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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