The Human Environment Interface: Applying Ecosystem Concepts to Health

  • Nicholas D. PrestonEmail author
  • Peter Daszak
  • Rita R. Colwell
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 365)


One Health approaches have tended to focus on closer collaboration among veterinarians and medical professionals, but remain unclear about how ecological approaches could be applied or how they might benefit public health and disease control. In this chapter, we review ecological concepts, and discuss their relevance to health, with an emphasis on emerging infectious diseases (EIDs). Despite the fact that most EIDs originate in wildlife, few studies account for the population, community, or ecosystem ecology of the host, reservoir, or vector. The dimensions of ecological approaches to public health that we propose in this chapter are, in essence, networks of population dynamics, community structure, and ecosystem matrices incorporating concepts of complexity, resilience, and biogeochemical processes.


Wildlife Population Nipah Virus Disease Emergence Ecosystem Ecology Moose Population 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Alexa Frank (EcoHealth Alliance) and Norma Brinkley (University of Maryland) for invaluable assistance in the preparation of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas D. Preston
    • 1
    Email author
  • Peter Daszak
    • 1
  • Rita R. Colwell
    • 2
  1. 1.EcoHealth AllianceNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandMDUSA

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