The study of the interrelationships between living organisms and the living and non-living components and processes in an environment Biome:
Advanced Search Abstract To explore potential links between ecosystems and human health, we set out three ways of seeing or frames: Each frame provides a basis for making connections but also poses certain challenges: We discuss actions which build on the strengths of the different frames to deal with the challenges: Health promotion practitioners and policy makers can flexibly use the frames in arguing for the betterment of both ecosystems and humans.
Such exhortations are driven by an awareness of planetary changes such as stratospheric ozone depletion and global warming with the potential to exert powerful effects upon human life as we know it Last, ; McMichael, Yet there is not just one way to demonstrate its relevance.
There are a diversity of perspectives. How then can the links between the health of humans and ecosystems best be seen or framed to influence policy?
Are there consequences for the use of different frames to link humans and ecosystem? The purpose of this paper is to examine three frames which link ecosystems and humans and comment on their significance for health promotion and public health practice.
Second, ecosystems can be posed as a fundamental condition for human well-being through concepts such as sustainability or broader determinants of health perspectives. Finally, ecosystems may be valued by humans similar to other life-domains and social purposes such as equity and social justice.
As a metaphor i. Framing the links between humans and ecosystems in any one of these ways poses challenges which must be faced. Methodological difficulties arise in demonstrating an environmental burden of illness in situations of low level exposure.
Differential emphasis on one frame may have repercussions for strategic alliances and policies aimed at promoting the public's health. We urge greater awareness of the strengths and limitations of each frame. We conclude by suggesting ways of building on all three to promote the well-being of both ecosystems and humans.
The readily ascertainable human health impacts of exposures are currently most apparent in areas of the former Soviet Union. Although not documented with the precision customarily expected among Western health scientists, numerous health service, municipal and press reports in the s cited gross exceedances of air pollution standards with widespread effects on respiratory health, particularly among children Feshbach and Friendly, Massive reductions in available water along with increased water and soil contamination in entire ecological regions such as the Aral Sea have been implicated in excessive morbidity and rising infant mortality Glazovsky, In the low level exposure situations more common in western Europe, Australia and North America, documenting environmental burden of illness is more challenging.
For sites contaminated with toxic chemicals, the wide variety of exposures and the multifactorial causes of human illness make the usual epidemiological tools exceedingly difficult to apply Frank et al.
Techniques beyond those adopted in classical epidemiology are required. Sophisticated statistical modelling based on large populations has been used to demonstrate the impacts of current levels of ambient air pollution to respiratory health outcomes Burnett et al.
A synthesis report out of a State of the [Great] Lakes Ecosystem Conference, includes an extensive discussion of contaminant exposure trends, the use of biomarkers of exposure and biological effect, and an array of adverse health effects which have been linked in a broad variety of ways to exposures in the Great Lakes Basin e.
Risk assessment is one method that has been developed to estimate burden of illness in such situations. The United States Environmental Protection Agency's Great Lakes Basin Risk Characterization Study US EPA, used environmental data on loadings to various media, contaminant levels in those media and dose—response relationships from toxicological studies as inputs to risk assessments.
For example, it calculated the likely excess cancer risk due to ingestion of fish contaminated by persistent organochlorines PCBs and DDT. Similarly, for the Mediterranean basin, estimates have been made of the number of cases of gastrointestinal infections attributed to microbiological pollution of bathing water Bertollini et al.Biology and physics are moving away from a “reductionist” view of function, in which the activity of a living cell or an ecosystem, for example, is explained by being reduced to its parts, rather than including the relationship between .
Global Warming The relationship between humans and the state of the ecosystem is not only dependent upon how many people there are, but also upon what they do. When there were few people, the dominant factors controlling ecosystem state were the natural ones that have operated for millions.
Competition between species at the same trophic level of an ecosystem, who have common predators, increases drastically if the frequency of the common predator in the community is decreased by a large margin.
The magnitude of competition therefore depends on many factors in the same ecosystem. Another important human characteristic that mediates the relationship between wellbeing and ecosystem services is that of preferences.
We tend not to think of preferences in relation to poverty, as lack of choice characterizes poverty (Narayan et al., , . INTRODUCTION.
Over the last decade, health promotion practitioners have increasingly been asked to think about the relationships between humans and the environment in terms of ecosystems (CPHA, ; Brown, ) and to adopt an ‘ecological’ approach to health promotion (Kickbusch, ) with the environment an integral part of human development (Hancock, a).
Ecosystem Research An ecosystem is a community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of their environment (things like air, water, and soil), interacting as a system.
In the video, the Everglades ecosystem was used to show how energy and matter flow from one organism to another.