Need a new habitat tag

what would be a good, short and “classy” Graeco-Latin name for a plant that flourishes especially near man-made objects, especially metal?
Syntechnical? Synartific? Technofilic?

What metal? Siderophilic and ferrophilic could work if it’s iron.

1 Like

Iron would be too specific. Let’s just say manufactured objects, like frames, tools, fixtures, pipework, lattices, struts, abandoned cars, rails, aluminum cans, chair legs, benches, fences, chains, gates, copper wiring, etc.

Anthrophilic or synanthropic, perhaps. Unless you want to specifically refer to the post-industrial time frame.

How would “Technophilic” look in a tag only I would need to use for own research, would it confuse a computer system or researchers?

Metallophile? Anthrometallophile? Metallophilic is sort of a misnomer because it’s a chemistry term but in a biological context it might be fine.

I think you are explicitly free to use any tag you like, it doesn’t have to conform to anybody’s nomenclature but your own.


Having the humans in there would probably be necessary, as there are organisms that thrive in all sorts of metallic environments independent of humans. After looking it up I really like synanthrope, but of course it’s bobasil’s call.

1 Like

there is an instance of a plant flourishing near human-frequented venues like walkways, playgrounds, and an instance of it near technical/metal objects, rarely visited by humans.

Wouldn’t these objects be absent though without the involvement of humans, regardless of where the humans currently are?

edit to add: I’m just spitballing, it sounds like for your purpose technophilic may work just fine.


Throughly enjoying this discussion, more of a philosophic conversation than anything(?). I agree ultimately it’s your call, bobasil. Technophilic generally refers to technology. I too, like synanthrope. If you wanted to it more specific you could modify it to metallosynanthrope or something. No results for it on google so you could be coined with coming up with a new word :sweat_smile:

1 Like

i have hundreds of observations which are synanthropic, and as many “technofilic”
I might want to start tagging them accordingly, because I have shown a certain tendency of a several plants to a scientist. This tagging would eat into my time budget which is already taken up by updating the Annotations of other naturalists’ observations which are also relevant to my research.

would be spelt with a ph

@bobasil I think that synanthropic is better in most instances. Strictly speaking it refers to things that tend to be found around humans and their structures. Pathologists talk about anthropophilic organisms that preferentially parasitize, infect or live on humans. The term is sometimes applied to things like rats but it is an inexact comparison. Rats can live without humans but they do well when humans are around, which is not the same thing.

Accepting the term for the sake of argument, things which thrive in certain types of human modified environments (which is what the techno prefix refers to) would be technotolerant, not technophilic; they do well because they tolerate the modified habitat and thereby gain a competitive advantage. A technophilic organism would be one that exists exclusively or very nearly exclusively in modified habitat involving technology.

Technology and human artifacts are part of what Richard Dawkins described as the extended phenotype of humans; they are extensions of us, just as dams are part of the extended phenotype of beavers. In ecological and evolutionary terms they are part of what determines our fitness and it really doesn’t make ecological sense to treat them as something separate from Homo sapiens.

On the other hand, there are different microhabitats around humans and there is undoubtedly merit in thinking about them. Call it what you will. As a learning exercise it would be useful to think hard about the functional ecology of the organisms as a way of defining the borders of your habitat.


Is there a known reason for the metal association (eg, chemical basis), or is that still under investigation? If so a more specific term might be found, otherwise this one or metallosynathropic would be a pretty good choice.

metallosynanthropic is good. I went with technophilic, which encompasses plastic piping, condensate drip tubing, etc.


thank you all for helping me brainstorm the definitions.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.