Shelter, clothing, and fuel: Often overlooked links between soils, ecosystem services, and human health

There are clear connections between ecosystem services and human health, as well as between soils and human health

Eric C. Brevik; Lily Pereg; Paulo Pereira; Joshua J. Steffan; Lynn C. Burgess; Csongor I. Gedeon

2018

Scholarcy highlights

  • There are clear connections between ecosystem services and human health, as well as between soils and human health
  • Viewing the relationship between soils and human health through the ES lens reveals that soil ES such as the provisioning of shelter, clothing, and fuel have been overlooked in the soil and human health literature
  • Shelter is important to human health because it provides protection against inclement weather, temperature extremes, and other potential threats
  • Fuel allows us to warm shelters, providing refuge from cold temperatures, and cook food, which reduces disease
  • The materials supplied by soils in support of these functions are often done so in a more environmentally responsible way than is the case with many modern building and clothing materials or with fossil fuels
  • It is important to realize that sustainable management practices are critical in order to achieve environmentally responsible production of these products
  • Future studies need to investigate the links between these overlooked soil ecosystem services and human health

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