Anthroposphere, A New Physical Dimension of the Ecosystem

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Ji-Dong Gu


Ecosystem is having a new physical dimension as evidenced by the increasing contribution from man-made plastics synthesized and consumed by our society. Anthroposphere, a brand new constituent, shall be added into the existing lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere as a whole for the ecosystem. This new class of anthropogenically-produced materials is xenobiotic and has its own physical form persistent and building up in the ecosystem. Its occurrence in different ecosystems will increase continuously over time. Its hazards and potentially effects in different ecosystems shall be evaluated with a new framework to advance a better understanding of its long-term impact and the mechanisms involved in the changing world. The impacts from these plastics shall be much more than its non-degradability and the potential hazards as observed and a better understanding based on pure science is required. A new opportunity is ahead of us for a collective and immediate action to assess the new dimension of the anthroposphere in the ecosystems to advance the new knowledge on this research subject.


Anthroposphere; anthropocene; ecotoxicology; ecosystems; plastic; microplastic

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