Human And Ecosystem Health

A human population and its environment are interlinked in an intricate series of feedback loops and discharges. The extent of these is still being discovered and unraveled. The health of the human population is utterly dependent on the health of its ecosystem. A dysfunctional ecosystem can cause harm to its human population. Likewise, the health of an ecosystem is completely dependent on the healthy functioning of it human population. And a false narrative of man’s relationship to his environment can result in the destruction its ecosystem.

The healing of human illnesses can be accelerated by a close relationship to nature. To provide sources on this, we have included here references to research results on health and the environment, both psychological and physiological.

Biodiversity and Human Health

Bernstein, Aaron S.
  2014   Biological Diversity and Public Health. Annual Review of Public Health 35:153-167.
Chivian, Eric, and Aaron Bernstein, eds.
  2008   Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Costanza, Robert, Bryan G. Norton, and Benjamin D. Haskell
  1992   Ecosystem Health: New Goals for Environmental Management. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Grifo, Francesca, Joshua Rosenthal, and Thomas Lovejoy
  1997   Biodiversity and Human Health. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Sala, Osvaldo E., Laura A. Meyerson and Camille Parmesan, eds.
  2009   Biodiversity Change and Human Health: From Ecosystem Services to Spread of Disease. Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment, 69. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.

Ecosystem Health and Human Health

Hartig, Terry, Richard Mitchell, Sjerp de Vries, and Howard Frumkin
  2014   Nature and Health. Annual Review of Public Health 35:207-228.
Rapport, D.J., R. Costanza, and A.J. McMichael
  1998   Assessing Ecosystem Health. Trends in Ecology and Evolution Vol. 13:10. Pp. 397-402.
Russell, Roly, Anne D. Guerry, Patricia Balvanera, Rachelle K. Gould, Xavier Basurto, Kai M.A. Chan, Sarah Klain, Jordan Levine, and Jordan Tam
  2013   Humans and Nature: How Knowing and Experiencing Nature Affect Well-Being. Annual Review of Environmental Resources 38:473-502.
Naeem, Shahid, Daniel E. Bunker, Andy Hector, Michel Loreau and Charles Perrings, eds.
  2009   Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning & Human Wellbeing: An Ecological and Economic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Nowak, David J., Satoshi Hirabayashi, Allison Bodine, and Eric Greenfield
  2014   Tree and Forest Effects on Air Quality and Human Health in the United States. Environmental Pollution 193:119-129.
World Health Organization
  2005   Ecosystems and Human Well-being Health Synthesis. World Health Organization.

Nature’s Contribution to Mental Health

Bateson, Gregory
  1979   Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity. NY: Dutton.
Bateson, Gregory
  1972   Steps to an Ecology of Mind: Collected Essays in Anthropology, Psychiatry, Evolution and Epistemology. San Francisco: Chandler.
Albrecht G, Sartore GM, Connor L, Higginbotham N, Freeman S, Kelly B, Stain H, Tonna A, Pollard G.
  2007   Solastalgia: The Distress Caused by Environmental Change. Australas Psychiatry 15 (Supplement 1): S95-8.
American Psychological Association Task Force on the Interface Between Psychology and Global Climate Change
  2009   Psychology and global climate change: Addressing a multi-faceted phenomenon and set of challenges. Retrieved from:
Berman, Marc G., John Jonides, and Stephen Kaplan
  2008   The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting with Nature. Psychological Science 19(12): 1207 - 1212.
Buzzell, Linda and Craig Chalquist, eds.
  2009   Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books.
Clay, Rebecca A.
  2001   Green is Good for you. American Psychological Association 32(4).
Dallimer, Martin, Katherine N. Irvine, Andrew M. J. Skinner, Zoe G. Davies, James R. Rouquette, Lorraine L. Maltby, Philip H. Warren, Paul R. Armsworth, and Kevin J. Gaston
  2012   Biodiversity and the Feel-Good Factor: Understanding Associations between Self-Reported Human Well-Being and Species Richness. BioScience 62:47-55.
Evans, G.W. & Wachs, T.D., eds.
  2010   Chaos and its Influence on Children’s Development: An Ecological Perspective. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Gardner, Amanda
  2009   Being Near Nature Improves Physical, Mental Health. Retrieved from:
Hartig, Terry A.
  2004   Restorative Environments. In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Spielberger, C. et al., eds. San Diego: Academic Press.
Hartig, T., Böök, A., Garvill, J., Olsson, T. and Gärling, T.
  1996   Environmental influences on psychological restoration. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 37:378-393.
Hartig, T., Korpela, K., Evans, G.W. and Gärling, T.
  1997   A measure of restorative quality in environments. Scandinavian Housing & Planning Research 14:175-194.
Hartig, T., Mang, M., and Evans, G.W.
  1991   Restorative Effects of Natural Environment Experience. Environment and Behavior 23: 3-26.
Jabr, Ferris
  2010   Can a Stroll in the Park Replace the Psychiatrist’s Couch? A new generation of psychologists and therapists focus on the relationship between nature and mental health. Retrieved from:
Kahn, Peter H., Jr. and Patricia H. Hasbach
  2012   Ecopsychology: Science, Totems, and the Technological Species. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Kuo & Taylor
  2004   A Potential Treatment for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: Evidence from a National Study. American Journal of Public Health.
Lichtenfeld, Stephanie, Andrew J. Elliot, Markus A. Maier and Reinhard Pekrun
  2012   Fertile Green: Green Facilitates Creative Performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 38(6): 784-797.
Pilotti, Maura, Eric Klein, Devon Golem, Eric Piepenbrink, and Katie Kaplan
  2014   Is Viewing a Nature Video After Work Restorative? Effects on Blood Pressure, Task Performance, and Long-Term Memory. Environment and Behavior. Retrieved from:
Rook, Graham A.
  2013   Regulation of the Immune System by Biodiversity from the Natural Environment: An Ecosystem Service Essential to Health. PNAS 110(46): 18360-18367.
Rutko, Ebony A. and Judy Gillespie
  2013   Where’s the Wilderness in Wilderness Therapy? Journal of Experiential Education 36(3):218 - 232.
Stromberg, Joseph
  2014   Moving to An Area with More Green Space Can Improve Your Mental Health for Years: a new study finds that the mental benefits of greenery are immediate and long-lasting. Retrieved from:
Taylor, Kuo & Sullivan
  2001   Coping with ADD: The Surprising Connection to Green Play Settings. Environment and Behavior.
Taylor, Kuo & Sullivan
  2011   Could Exposure to Everyday Green Spaces Help Treat ADHD? Evidence from Children’s Play Setting. Applied Psychology Health and Well Being.
Ulrich, R.S., Lundèn, O., and J. L. Eltinge
  1993   Effects of Exposure to Nature and Abstract Pictures on Patients Recovering from Heart Surgery. Paper presented at the Thirty-Third Meetings of the Society for Psychophysiological Research, Rottach-Egern, Germany.
Ulrich, R. S., Simons, R. F., Losito, B. D., Fiorito, E. and M. A. Miles
  1991   Stress Recovery During Exposure to Natural and Urban Environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology 11:201-230.
  2009   At Home with Nature: Effects of “Greenness” on Children’s Cognitive Functioning. Environmental Behavior.
Wilson, E.O.
  1984   Biophillia. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Zelenski, John M. And Elizabeth K. Nisbet
  2014   Happiness and Feeling Connected: The Distinct Role of Nature Relatedness. Environment and Behavior 46(1):3-23.