Human ecosystem

RELATED TERMS: Anthropocene; Ecology

Systems as small as a household or as large as a nation state may be discussed as a human ecosystem. Human ecosystems interact in a complex web of human and ecological relationships, connecting human ecosystems to the biosphere. Human ecosystems have so thoroughly pervaded the biosphere that they are considered the major factor in a new geological era: the Anthropocene.

The human ecosystem concept draws from disciplines such as ecology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, political science, cybernetics and psychology in seeking to understand the complex system of relationships in which humans interact. These relationships exist within nested hierarchies of context with which individuals and human aggregates interact with differentially. Most analysis of human ecosystems focuses on particular contexts of relationship, such as biological, individual, socio-cultural or the environmental.