Cultivated & Developed


T7 Intensive land-use systems

Intensive land-use systems

biome is comprised these Ecosystem Functional Groups (EFG): Annual croplands, Sown pastures and fields, Plantations, Urban and industrial ecosystems, Derived semi-natural pastures and oldfields. Intensive land-use systems include major anthropogenic enterprises of cropping, pastoralism, plantation farming, and urbanisation. Human intervention is a dominating influence on this biome, also known as the ‘anthrome’. Maintenance of these systems is contingent on continuing human interventions, including alterations to the physical structure of vegetation and substrates (e.g. clearing, earthworks and drainage), the supplementation of resources (e.g. with irrigation and fertilisers) and the introduction and control of biota. These interventions maintain disequilibrium community structure and composition, low endemism and low functional and taxonomic diversity. Target biota are genetically manipulated (by selective breeding or molecular engineering) to promote rapid growth rates, efficient resource capture, enhanced resource allocation to production tissues, and tolerance to harsh environmental conditions, predators and diseases. Non-target biota include widely dispersed, cosmopolitan opportunists with short lifecycles. Many intensive land use systems are maintained as artificial mosaics of contrasting patch types at scales of metres to hundreds of metres. Typically, but not exclusively, they are associated with temperate or subtropical climates and the natural availability of freshwater and nutrients from fertile soils on flat to undulating terrain accessible by machinery. The antecedent ecosystems that they replaced include forests, shrublands, grasslands and palustrine wetlands (biomes T1−T4 and TF1). On global and regional scales, intensive land- use systems are engaged in climate feedback processes via alterations to the water cycle and the release of greenhouse gases from vegetation, soils, livestock and fossil fuels. On local scales, temperatures may be modified by human-built structures (i.e. heat-island effects) or may be artificially controlled.


Cultivated Area and Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure biomes

Cultivated Area biome is comprised of Cropland (arable land), Pastures, Orchards/agro-forestry, Plantations, Rice paddies, Aquaculture, Small landscape elements, Other (cultivated areas).

Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure biome is comprised of Urban Parks & Forests, Lawns, sports fields, golf courses, Urban lakes, ponds, wetlands, Street Trees & Shrubs, Other (urban green-blue).


Not defined as a land cover / ecosystem type. Used in context of Urban Green Open Space and Rural Green Open Space.

ESRI Land Cover

Crops: Human planted/plotted cereals, grasses, and crops not at tree height; examples: corn, wheat, soy, fallow plots of structured land.

Built Area: Human made structures; major road and rail networks; large homogenous impervious surfaces including parking structures, office buildings and residential housing; examples: houses, dense villages / towns / cities, paved roads, asphalt.

Bare Ground and Rangeland can also be found in this category.



Developed, Open Space - areas with a mixture of some constructed materials, but mostly vegetation in the form of lawn grasses. Impervious surfaces account for less than 20% of total cover. These areas most commonly include large-lot single-family housing units, parks, golf courses, and vegetation planted in developed settings for recreation, erosion control, or aesthetic purposes.

Developed, Low Intensity - areas with a mixture of constructed materials and vegetation. Impervious surfaces account for 20% to 49% percent of total cover.

These areas most commonly include single-family housing units.

Developed, Medium Intensity -areas with a mixture of constructed materials and vegetation. Impervious surfaces account for 50% to 79% of the total cover. These areas most commonly include single-family housing units.

Developed High Intensity -highly developed areas where people reside or work in high numbers. Examples include apartment complexes, row houses and commercial/industrial. Impervious surfaces account for 80% to 100% of the total cover.


Pasture/Hay -areas of grasses, legumes, or grass-legume mixtures planted for livestock grazing or the production of seed or hay crops, typically on a perennial cycle. Pasture/hay vegetation accounts for greater than 20% of total vegetation.

Cultivated Crops - areas used for the production of annual crops, such as corn, soybeans, vegetables, tobacco, and cotton, and also perennial woody crops such as orchards and vineyards. Crop vegetation accounts for greater than 20% of total vegetation. This class also includes all land being actively tilled.

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