Linking ecosystem services and human health: the Eco-Health Relationship Browser

Abstract

Objectives

Ecosystems provide multiple services, many of which are linked to positive health outcomes. Review objectives were to identify the set of literature related to this research topic, and to design an interactive, web-based tool highlighting the weight of evidence, thus making the information more accessible.

Methods

A systematic review was conducted to create the Eco-Health Relationship Browser (http://www.epa.gov/research/healthscience/browser/introduction.html). The search was conducted in four stages utilizing Google Scholar, PubMed and Science Direct, targeted journals, and targeted keywords; search results were limited to peer-reviewed journal articles published in English from 1 January 1990 to 31 December 2012.

Results

The review identified 344 relevant articles; a subset of 169 articles was included in the Browser. Articles retrieved during the search focused on the buffering and health-promotional aspects of ecosystem services. Landscape and Urban Planning, Urban Forestry and Urban Greening, and Health and Place yielded the most articles relevant to this search.

Conclusions

Results from the systematic review were used to populate the Browser, which organizes the diverse literature and allows users to visualize the numerous connections between ecosystem services and human health.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by US EPA Contracts EP-10-D-000808, EP-11-D-000186, and EP-11-D-000529; and Cooperative Agreement Number X3-83388101 between the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Association of the Schools of Public Health. The findings and conclusions of this publication do not necessarily represent the official views of EPA or ASPH. We would like to recognize the contribution of several individuals who reviewed the Browser during the beta-testing stage of development.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

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Correspondence to Laura E. Jackson or Kathleen F. Bush.

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This article is part of the special issue: "Environment and Health Reviews".

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Jackson, L.E., Daniel, J., McCorkle, B. et al. Linking ecosystem services and human health: the Eco-Health Relationship Browser. Int J Public Health 58, 747–755 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00038-013-0482-1

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Keywords

  • Human health
  • Ecosystem services
  • Green space
  • Systematic review
  • Urban ecosystem
  • Well-being