Ecosystem Health (Ecosys Health)

Publisher: International Society for Ecosystem Health, Wiley

Journal description

As the official journal of ISEH, Ecosystem Health is dedicated to fostering a transdisciplinary ecosystem health perspective for dealing with critical human health and environmental issues. The aim of the Society and its Journal is to: establish the goal of healthy ecosystems as essential for the future of humanity; examine the influence of ecosystem health upon human population health; demonstrate how good practice can help prevent degradation and promote healing of the earth's ecosystems.

Current impact factor: 0.00

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 0.00
Cited half-life 0.00
Immediacy index 0.00
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 0.00
Website Ecosystem Health website
Other titles Ecosystem health (Online), Ecosystem health
ISSN 1526-0992
OCLC 41986210
Material type Document, Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 12 months embargo for scientific, technical and medicine titles
    • 2 years embargo for humanities and social science titles
  • Conditions
    • Some journals have separate policies, please check with each journal directly
    • On author's personal website, institutional repositories, arXiv, AgEcon, PhilPapers, PubMed Central, RePEc or Social Science Research Network
    • Author's pre-print may not be updated with Publisher's Version/PDF
    • Author's pre-print must acknowledge acceptance for publication
    • On a non-profit server
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with set statement (see policy)
    • As OnlineOpen is not available, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC authors, may self-archive after 6 months
    • As OnlineOpen is not available, AHRC and ESRC authors, may self-archive after 12 month
    • Reviewed 18/03/14
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Wiley'
  • Classification

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the logical interrelations between four properties that may be useful in understanding different aspects of sustainability and making it a more operational and useful concept. These properties are system stability, continuation, longevity, and health (integrity). The principal findings are as follows: (1) Stability is necessary but not sufficient for sustainability, continuation, longevity, and health. (2) Continuation is (a) sufficient but not necessary for sustainability, stability, and health and (b) both sufficient and necessary for longevity. (3) Longevity is (a) sufficient and necessary for sustainability and continuation and (b) sufficient but not necessary for stability and health. (4) Health is (a) necessary but not sufficient for sustainability, continuation, and longevity and (b) sufficient but not necessary for stability. (5) Sustainability itself is (a) sufficient but not necessary for stability and health; (b) necessary but not sufficient for continuation; and (c) both sufficient and necessary for longevity. These logical interrelations indicate that sustainability is not a simple concept but is related to others, some of which may provide useful measures for different applications. It seems important to explore formally the many dimensions of sustainability to build a precise concept for scientific use. The four attributes investigated here do not exhaust the possibilities.
    Ecosystem Health 09/2009; 3(3):136 - 142. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.eh9723.x

  • Ecosystem Health 09/2009; 3(3):154 - 161. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.eh9725.x
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    ABSTRACT: The need to transcend disciplinary boundaries in the teaching of environmental studies has become increasingly obvious. It has been particularly recognized that the relationship between environmental factors and human health needs to be taught much more broadly at universities. An international collaborative effort was begun to develop a course to teach core knowledge in environmental health to health professionals as well as others from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds. The course utilizes interactive learning methods and takes a holistic approach to the subject matter, linking the macro socioeconomic issues with the physical, chemical, biological, mechanical, and psychological hazards, as well as with the human health effects. It also aims to build skills in risk assessment, management, and communication. Several meetings (with representatives from the World Health Organization, the United National Environment Programme, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation, and the Council of Rectors of European Universities), a survey completed by 120 universities, a 3-day workshop (with teachers from across the globe), and three 2-week train-the-trainer courses (one in the Baltic, one in the Danube region, and one in South Africa) led to the conclusion that interdisciplinary, interactive teaching materials were highly desired, feasible to develop through international collaboration, and conducive to conveying the basic principles and methodologies needed to address environmental health problems.
    Ecosystem Health 09/2009; 3(3):143 - 153. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.eh9724.x

  • Ecosystem Health 09/2009; 3(3):129 - 132. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.eh9721.x

  • Ecosystem Health 09/2008; 4(3):147-151. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00086.x

  • Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(3):145 - 146. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00085.x
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    ABSTRACT: The incessant quest for economic growth has dominated human energies for centuries. However, the costs in terms of social and ecological disruption have seldom been taken into account. In consequence, the Earth’s ecosystems have been increasingly disabled. The root problem lies in archaic economic thinking that is completely divorced from natural process. This thinking entrains the notions of unlimited substitution for scarce resources, growth without limits, and the myth that nature’s services are in never-ending supply. If there is to be a viable future for humankind, this thinking must give way to the realization that the economic process has steadily undermined one of the most critical societal goals, namely, that of preserving the health and integrity of the earth’s ecosystems. If we are to find our way, economic development must be tempered by ecological and social realities.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(2):94 - 106. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00712.pp.x

  • Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(1):3 - 10. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00702.pp.x
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    ABSTRACT: Pollution from persistent toxic substances, interpreted as downward causation from the Biosphere, was the primary factor causing the integration of human and ecosystem health in the Great Lakes Basin. Institutional measures that set the political stage for integration were the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreements of 1972 and 1978 (the latter with an accent on an ecosystem approach and persistent toxic substances). Fish and wildlife biologists played a crucial role as “eco-catalysts” in alerting the public and the International Joint Commission (IJC) to reproductive and developmental health problems associated with persistent toxic substances in fish, reptiles, birds, mammals, and—by implication—humans. The rationale for the recommendation to sunset industrial chlorine stemmed from the IJC’s conclusion that persistent toxic substances, including many organochlorines, are harmful to humans and the Biosphere. It is conjectured that the focus on chlorinated chemicals arose from the fact that more than half of the 373 persistent toxic substances identified in the Great Lakes Basin Ecosystem were organochlorines; the uncontrollability of many organochlorines in the production phase, in long-range transport in air and water, in chemical transformations in the environment, and in bioaccumulation in food chains; and the need for a strategic spearhead to break the dysfunctional, after-the-fact, one-by-one approach to regulating persistent toxic substances. Generic controls are necessary whenever public health or property is threatened by environmental conversion from harmless to harmful forms (as in the case of phosphorus, lead, mercury, and PCBs). Attention is drawn to the rarity of organochlorines in vertebrates and their general use in defense also to the bypassing of lower halogens in favor of iodine (as thyroxine) in regulating basal metabolism in vertebrates. The sunsetting of industrial chlorine is considered essential to the protection of human and biospheric health; however, because of the current requirement for proof of harm, chemical by chemical, the process is likely to take decades.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(4):211 - 219. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00056.pp.x

  • Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(1):1 - 2. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00064.x
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    ABSTRACT: Most ecosystems require periodic disturbances to maintain their integrity, and human modification of natural disturbance regimes (e.g. fire frequency) often leads to deleterious changes. Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa P. & C. Lawson) forests in the western United States are selected as examples. They were maintained in an open, park-like condition because of frequent low-intensity disturbances: fires and/or pest outbreaks. Fires enhanced grass cover, helped to reduce the buildup of organic matter, eliminated weak trees, and controlled pests. Euro-American settlement changed this balance by allowing heavy livestock grazing, which caused damage to the grass cover and contributed to soil erosion and depletion of the nutrient pool. Later, the policy of fire suppression promoted the establishment of a greater density of ponderosa pine and understory thickets at the expense of the grasses and caused excessive accumulation of coarse organic matter. Productivity of the forest subsequently declined and the thickets stagnated. Today, even unlogged ponderosa pine forests exhibit profound signs of stress: slow production and growth, decreased rate of nutrient cycling, simplified vertical and horizontal structure, and increased extent of disease. Some ecosystem services, such as the provision of soil and water quality, high biodiversity, and aesthetic value, are impaired.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(3):171 - 184. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00732.pp.x

  • Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(2):130 - 133. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00080.x
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    ABSTRACT: Subsistence hunting for Cree of the western James Bay region of northern Ontario, Canada, is a way of life. In this study, it is shown that ∼15% of the radiographic charts examined had evidence of pellets contained in the gastrointestinal system, intraluminally, and/or in the appendix. It is assumed that the consumption of wildgame with lead shot embedded in the tissue was the source of the pellets. Because the presence of lead shot in the human gastrointestinal tract appears to increase the body burden of lead and considerable evidence is available on the occurrence of lead poisoning in waterfowl due to the ingestion of lead pellets,it is suggested that the use of lead shot should be discontinued nationwide in Canada. Although bismuth/tin shot has been growing in appeal because of several recent waterfowl studies demonstrating its nontoxic nature, caution is advised because of the uncertainty about the toxicity of bismuth in humans, especially when consumed as whole pellets or fragments in wildmeats. We maintain that the nontoxic alternative of choice at this time is steel shot.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(1):54 - 61. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00706.pp.x
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    ABSTRACT: This article describes the development of a framework for selecting a core set of indicators suitable for an integrated ecosystem health assessment of a governed landscape. Integrated assessments are those that consider a combination of biophysical, socioeconomic, and human health considerations. Highly governed landscapes are cultural landscapes that are strictly controlled by humans to the extent that they would revert to an entirely different form were it not for continued human intervention. One example of such a landscape, which serves as the setting for this investigation, is the former wetlands of the northeastern Italian coastal zone, which have been subject to widespread land reclamation and coastal development over the past century. The science of ecosystem health has been chosen as the frame of reference because “health” is not judged by the degree of “naturalness” but instead on the ability of the ecosystem to maintain and renew itself. The framework consists of first reviewing literature and methods related to ecological and environmental monitoring, state-of-the-environment reporting, landscape ecology, and sustainability. This is followed by the definition of indicator guidelines that are designed to assist in the evaluation and selection of potential indicators. A core set of indicators are then presented based on a conceptual framework devised for this purpose. Indicators are classed as abiotic, biotic, and cultural, and selected according to the ecological districts comprising the study area. The ultimate goal is their application to an ecological monitoring and assessment program within a governed landscape such as the northeastern Italian coastal zone. Given such a commitment, the normal process of core indicator refinement can then proceed, based on such actions as further consultations with interested stakeholders and evaluation of methodological and practical constraints to their actual application.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(1):33 - 51. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00069.x
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    ABSTRACT: The influences of human-caused changes in a natural ecosystem of Southern Brazil on mosquitoes of the family Culicidae, which may be vectors of diseases, were investigated. Particular attention was given to the effects of deforestation and human settlements with artificial irrigation. The work assumes a preserved environment as representative of the natural ecosystem before human intervention. Another collection site, 50 kilometers from the primitive forest, that presented the same fauna and flora of the former some 50 years ago was chosen as the modified environment. The results clearly showed that some species, such as the Kerteszia subgenus, do not survive these changes, whereas others have found such conditions favorable and have proliferated.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(1):9 - 19. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00067.x
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    ABSTRACT: Existing definitions of agroecosystem health do not address one of the most important issues, namely, how tradeoffs should be made among different components of an agroecosystem. To resolve this issue, it is important to be clear on which perspective is being taken in any health assessment. An internal perspective would focus on the health of the biophysical components of the agroecosystem, whereas an external perspective would focus on human communities. This article proposes a three-stage, transdisciplinary approach to agroecosystem health, called a Framework for Agroecosystem Health Tradeoffs, which uses internal and external perspectives at different stages. In the first stage, the type of ecosystem and the time and spatial scale of concern are identified. Once this is established, required levels of biophysical indicators are set and monitored to ensure that basic internal needs for agroecosystem survival are met. In determining levels of biophysical indicators, “positivistic” scientific analysis would be required as well as normative judgments by society on acceptable levels of risk. The third stage involves determining the potential for making tradeoffs in the agroecosystem that would be beneficial to society without affecting the required levels of biophysical indicators specified in the second stage. Economic analysis and community consultation would be used to determine which agroecosystem components or services are valued most by society so that decisions on tradeoffs could be made. Although there remain practical problems in implementing this approach, the notion of setting minimum constraints which human activity cannot violate and making the best tradeoffs possible after these constraints are met provides a useful framework to begin putting agroecosystem health into practice.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(2):82 - 93. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00711.pp.x
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We now live under a comprehensive international trading system which affects what we eat, wear, buy, and produce. As of January 1995, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade 1947 (GATT 1947) was replaced by the World Trade Organization Agreement (WTOA) which sets out rules affecting practically all trade in goods and services worldwide.The implications for trade in agricultural goods are enormous. Today, not only are rules concerning trade in goods generally applicable to trade in agricultural goods, but new rules specific to trade in such products are set out in the WTOA’s Agreement on Agriculture. The WTOA promises to limit national agricultural policies which impede international trade in agricultural products. The new WTOA rules should increase efficiency of and decrease friction arising in trade in agricultural products. These developments represent truly positive economic and political outcomes.But what will be the environmental effects of changes in trade flows facilitated by WTOA rules and institutions? How will the new rules affect ecosystem health? The truth is that the worlds of trade law and ecosystem health are light-years apart. Advocates for free trade and those for the environment often distrust each other and think that the interests of one can be advanced only through the sacrifice by the other. The first part of this article traces some of the reasons for the evolution of this seemingly zero-sum game. The second section of the article examines the historical development and current treatment of environmental measures under the WTOA.The agricultural sector is then highlighted as a microcosm of how the new WTOA rules will produce environmental effects which positively, although perhaps unintentionally, affect agroecosystems. The article concludes with speculation as to whether it is not now time to reorient the acrimonious trade/environment debate to one which is less adversarial and more focused on achieving ecosystem health while continuing to improve international market access and trade relations.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 4(2):92 - 108. DOI:10.1046/j.1526-0992.1998.00077.x
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    ABSTRACT: After surveying the two main paradigms for ecological risk assessment, this commentary discusses two mistakes often associated with the paradigm based on ecosystem health. These are the beard fallacy and the pragmatist fallacy. The argument is that if you really learn from experience with quantitative (human health) risk assessment, you can avoid importing similar fallacies into ecological risk assessment. The commentary suggests strategies for avoiding each of these fallacies and thus for improving analyses of ecosystem health.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(2):73 - 81. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00710.pp.x
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    ABSTRACT: The sensitivities of three indicators of ecosystem health were evaluated at several sites in the Jornada Basin of the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico. The size of bare patches, proportion of total grass cover contributed by long-lived perennial grasses, and soil stability are interdependent indicators of ecosystem functions related to the retention and use of water and nutrients. Sensitivity tests were chosen using data collected along disturbance gradients and then tested using independent, ungrazed exclosures and adjacent grazed pastures. The mean size of bare soil patches was sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance. When bare soil patch data were transformed using natural logarithms, the skewness of the frequency distribution weighted by mean bare patch size could be used to indicate early disturbance to the ecosystem. The proportion of total vegetation that was long lived also was sensitive to anthropogenic disturbance and appears to be a good indicator of ecosystem degradation. The slake test for soil surface stability was extremely sensitive to disturbance and may serve as an early-warning indicator of soil degradation for the coarse-textured soils that were evaluated.
    Ecosystem Health 06/2008; 3(1):44 - 53. DOI:10.1111/j.1526-0992.1997.00705.pp.x