This article categorizes four kinds of adverse effects to human health caused by ecosystem change: direct, mediated, modulated, and systems failure. The effects are categorized on their scale, complexity, and lag-time. Some but not all of these can be classified as resulting from reduced ecosystem services. The articles also explores the impacts that different socioeconomic–ecologic scenarios are likely to have on human health and how changes to human health may, in turn, influence the unfolding of four different plausible future scenarios. We provide examples to show that our categorization is a useful taxonomy for understanding the complex relationships between ecosystems and human well-being and for predicting how future ecosystem changes may affect human health.
Ecosystem Service State Failure Ecosystem Change Provision Ecosystem Service Sacred Grove
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We thank the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment for providing many opportunities to discuss the main ideas expressed in this article with colleagues. We also thank Professor D. Crawford–Brown and two anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions.
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