Health impacts of biodiversity and ecosystem services  back to the theme

Take part in scoping

Member: Eszter Kelemen

Date: 06.12.2016



The most recent Call for Requests of EKLIPSE was closed on the 30th of September, with 18 requests received altogether. Two of the incoming requests focused on the relation between health and biodiversity.

The importance of biodiversity for human health is manifold, for example in the contexts of food security, dietary health, livelihood sustainability, medical research, regulation and control of infectious diseases, and in the prevalence of allergies. It also has social, cultural and spiritual importance within communities, and could play a strong role in adaptation to climate change or to reduce disaster risks and support relief and recovery efforts.

Review papers (e.g. Bowler et al. 2010, Lee and Maheswaran 2011, Gascon et al. 2015) found some evidence that contact with nature has positive effect on well-being and health, including both physical and mental health effects. Some results also indicate that a very poor environment can have negative effects on health. However, some systematic reviews also warn that empirical studies analyzing the links between biodiversity and health sometimes have a poor research design, and therefore finding causal relationships is difficult.

The range of benefits and risks which biodiversity provides to our health is still not well understood. In order to identify knowledge gaps where advancing research would have the biggest added value, we would like to invite you to contribute your experience and knowledge to this discussion topic.

Please share with us your personal experience and impression about where major knowledge gaps are present, and feel free to provide us recent research results that offer sound evidence about the health impact of biodiversity.

Your ideas, suggestions and references will be used to refine the incoming requests focusing on health.

The EKLIPSE Secretariat


Keywords: Biodiversity (incl. observation), Human well-being, Public health
Last edited: 06.12.2016 09:25 (GMT) - by Eszter Kelemen

Date: 07.12.2016 16:25 (GMT)

Here a recent paper on health impacts of alien species in Europe:

Member: Petr Petrik

Date: 24.01.2017 12:28 (GMT)

I like the conclusion on focusing research on more taxa and on the initial phase of their invasion. The question is based on trade-off between cost-efficiency and real danger of the species and should be stressed e.g. in Weed Risk Assessment.

Last edited: 24.01.2017 12:29 (GMT) - by Petr Petrik

Date: 07.12.2016 16:28 (GMT)

On related topics, we also recently published a systematic map protocol: and a systematic review protocol: ; the systematic map and teh systematic review are close to be finished...!

Last edited: 07.12.2016 16:30 (GMT) - by Stefan Schindler

Member: Eszter Kelemen

Date: 19.01.2017 10:52 (GMT)

Thank you Stefan!

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