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Eco-health Relationship Browser

Images of ecosystems and their benefits


The Eco-Health Relationship Browser illustrates scientific evidence for linkages between human health and ecosystem services—benefits supplied by Nature. This interactive tool provides information about several of our nation's major ecosystems, the services they provide, and how those services, or their degradation and loss, may affect people.

Ecosystems such as wetlands and forests provide a wide variety of goods and services, many of which we use every day. However, some of these services, such as air filtration, are not obvious and therefore it may be hard to understand the impact they have on our daily lives. Scientific studies have documented many tangible and intangible services and health benefits that are provided by our surrounding ecosystems. This tool is designed so that users can easily explore the services ecosystems provide and how those services affect human health and well-being.

The research summarized in this tool represents a broad selection of recent evidence; it is not exhaustive. In addition, many of the cited studies do not prove cause-and-effect relationships, but highlight statistically significant, plausible associations in space and time. For some topics, causality is unknown and may be speculative. Inconclusive findings have been noted; such studies, as well as issues of causality, can be explored through the online bibliography. Documentation of the literature review and inclusion criteria for this tool appears in the International Journal of Public Health, July, 2013 (DOI 10.1007/s00038-013-0482-1) . For more information, contact Laura Jackson at jackson.laura@epa.gov.

How to Use the Browser

This brief introduction video will introduce you to the Eco-Health Browser and walk you through the Browser's components and navigation. Click on the image below to open the video in a new window.

If you are unable to watch the video, read through this section to get an introduction to the Browser.

This tool has the following components:

  • 4 ecosystems
  • 6 ecosystem services and
  • multiple health outcomes

The box on the right-hand side of the screen will always describe the item in the center circle. If you wish to learn about the linkage between two items, hover over the "+" symbol and a pop-up box will appear that describes the relationship.

To navigate the browser, you have two options: simply click on the item you are interested in or select the item from the drop down menu.

Screenshot of Browser

Click here to start exploring the Eco-Health Relationship Browser!

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