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Trends Ecol Evol. 1998 Oct 1;13(10):397-402.

Assessing ecosystem health.

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Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, Canada N1G 2W1; Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario, Canada N6A 5B7.


Evaluating ecosystem health in relation to the ecological, economic and human health spheres requires integrating human values with biophysical processes, an integration that has been explicitly avoided by conventional science. The field is advancing with the articulation of the linkages between human activity, regional and global environmental change, reduction in ecological services and the consequences for human health, economic opportunity and human communities. Increasing our understanding of these interactions will involve more active collaboration between the ecological, social and health sciences. In this, ecologists will have substantive and catalytic roles.

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