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Ecosystem Health Services and Healthy living to Face Climate Changes

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Climate Change".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2023) | Viewed by 11637

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre for the Research and Technology in Agro-Environmental and Biological Sciences (CITAB), Department of Sport Sciences, Exercise and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Quinta de Prados, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: ecological biomechanics; healthy lifestyles; ecosystem’s health services
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Sports Science, Exercise and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: prescription of exercise on postmenopausal women; benefits of exposure to the natural environment on physical activity and health in adults and the elderly; body composition and health in adults and the elderly
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Faculty of Arts, Design and Media, Birmingham City University, Birmingham B4 7BD, UK
Interests: exploring current issues and challenges faced by landscapes and the built environment, to create resilient environments, healthy urban landscapes and long-term visions for areas identified for future housing and employment, together with strategies relating to important matters such as climate change, food urbanism and public health and wellbeing; user-based perceptions, experiences and interactions with the environment; exploring the choreographies of landscape experience through which individuals negotiate wellbeing; in-depth nature of person–place interactions and the role of places in the production of loops of “positive states of being”, “enhanced spatial awareness” and specific identities of self
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Research Centre in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, GERON Research Community; Department of Sport Science, Exercise and Health, University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD), 5000-801 Vila Real, Portugal
Interests: human exercise physiology; exercise and health; acute and chronic effects of exercise

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Guest Editor
Department of Sport Science / UBI@Motion Lab - Biomechanics Laboratory of the Human Movement / Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development (CIDESD)/ Universidade da Beira Interior, Bairro Nossa Senhora da Conceicão, 6200-323 Covilhã Portugal
Interests: ecological biomechanics; biomechanics of the lower limb

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The convergence between the epidemiological evidence that noncommunicable diseases are a major cause of mortality and the holistic health paradigm based on sustainable and healthy lifestyles has been the driving force for the development of a research field focused on the health benefits of human interactions with ecosystems. This research field is an important contribution for the development of socially pleasant and economically comfortable politics to efficiently face climate change, always based on the importance of human interactions with the natural environment to promote healthy lifestyles via different channels of human experience, as a response to the need to preserve the ecosystems and enhance sustainable development of local populations. Therefore, this Special Issue seeks novel scientific papers on the health benefits of human interactions with the ecosystem that, when properly chosen, can lead to improvements on climate change adaptation and mitigation. Especially, but not exclusively, papers on conceptual and methodological advances and on the improvement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research paradigms are welcome.

Dr. Ronaldo E. C. D. Gabriel
Prof. Dr. Maria Helena Rodrigues Moreira
Dr. Sandra Costa
Prof. Dr. Catarina Isabel Neto Gavião Abrantes
Dr. Aurélio M. Faria
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2500 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • active environment
  • climate emergency
  • diversity in nature
  • ecosystem services
  • green and blue exercise
  • green and blue space quality
  • healthy lifestyles
  • outdoor recreation
  • sensorial connections with nature

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 458 KiB  
Article
Connectedness to Nature Does Not Explain the Variation in Physical Activity and Body Composition in Adults and Older People
by Andreia Teixeira, Ronaldo Gabriel, José Martinho, Graça Pinto, Luís Quaresma, Aurélio Faria, Irene Oliveira and Helena Moreira
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11951; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211951 - 14 Nov 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2062
Abstract
Connectedness to nature (CN) is a significant predictor of pro-environmental behaviours, human health and well-being. However, research on how this connection to the natural world might promote a more active lifestyle and improve body mass composition according to gender is lacking. This study [...] Read more.
Connectedness to nature (CN) is a significant predictor of pro-environmental behaviours, human health and well-being. However, research on how this connection to the natural world might promote a more active lifestyle and improve body mass composition according to gender is lacking. This study investigated the influence of CN on physical activity (PA) and body composition in adults and older people. We recruited a sample of 219 individuals (77 men and 142 women), and a self-administered questionnaire was used to measure CN and obtain demographic data. Body composition was assessed by bioimpedance, and PA was assessed by accelerometry. Correlations and stepwise multiple regressions were used in data analysis. CN’s association with other variables was more pronounced in women than in men, and we only identified significant associations with steps/day and body composition. However, this variable would not be included in the regression models that we developed. Adiposity levels and muscle status were significant predictors of PA in women. In both genders, age, percentage of fat mass and fat-free mass were selected as regressors in the models developed for visceral fat area and muscle condition (R2 Adjusted ≥ 0.908). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Health Services and Healthy living to Face Climate Changes)
28 pages, 6787 KiB  
Article
Cooling Island Effect of Blue-Green Corridors: Quantitative Comparison of Morphological Impacts
by Yunfang Jiang, Jing Huang, Tiemao Shi and Xiaolin Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 11917; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182211917 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 2684
Abstract
The patterns of green corridors in urban riverfront districts provide different synergistic cooling effects of blue-green space in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to quantify the spatial morphological impact of green corridors in riverfront block-scale area on the cooling effect. [...] Read more.
The patterns of green corridors in urban riverfront districts provide different synergistic cooling effects of blue-green space in urban areas. The purpose of this study is to quantify the spatial morphological impact of green corridors in riverfront block-scale area on the cooling effect. Three representative patterns (radiate, grid and dendritic) were selected in the study. The comprehensive influences analysis between multi-dimensional factors of spatial structure and morphology of green corridors and Ta (air temperature) distribution are processed by Envi-met4.4.5 simulation data and statistical analysis methods, such as regression tree model (BRT), were combined. The results showed that the D (distance from riverbank) has the greatest impact on the cooling effect of each belt green space. The D in the range of 600–750 m was affected by the cooling effect of blue-green space; The orientation with parallel to (southeast–northwest) or roughly the same as the prevailing wind direction (north–south) green corridors had relatively better cooling effect. When the width of green corridor was 20–25 m, the ME (marginal effect) of cooling was the largest; at 30–35 m (corridor width), the overall ME of cooling was the best; When the dPC (decreased probability connectivity, here the index was adapted to describe the connectivity degree) of green corridors was in the range of 0.5–1.5, the cooling effect of green corridor could be significantly improved. When dPC is 1.5, its marginal effect on temperature reached the maximum. The study provided a quantitative correlation technology for the morphological influence of blue-green space on the distribution of UCI (urban cooling island), which can guide the spatial layout control of green corridors in the planning and design of urban riverfront district. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Health Services and Healthy living to Face Climate Changes)
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15 pages, 2502 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Human Activities on Ecosystem Service Value in Arid and Semi-Arid Ecological Regions of China
by Xin Fan, Haoran Yu, Damien Sinonmatohou Tiando, Yuejing Rong, Wenxu Luo, Chan Eme, Shengya Ou, Jiangfeng Li and Zhe Liang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(21), 11121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182111121 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2949
Abstract
The quantitative and spatial–temporal variations in the characteristics of ecosystem value can be helpful to improve environmental protection and climate adaptation measures and adjust the balance between economic development and the ecological environment. The arid and semi-arid regions of China are undergoing the [...] Read more.
The quantitative and spatial–temporal variations in the characteristics of ecosystem value can be helpful to improve environmental protection and climate adaptation measures and adjust the balance between economic development and the ecological environment. The arid and semi-arid regions of China are undergoing the effects of climate change across the entire northern hemisphere. Their ecological environments are fragile and in conflict with anthropogenic activities, which significantly altered more ecosystems services in these regions. Therefore, estimating the effects of anthropogenic activities on ecosystem services is important for formulating ecological policy and regional environmental mitigation plans of these regions. This study employed the model of ecosystem service value (ESV) assessment and the bivariate spatial autocorrelation method to reveal the spatiotemporal variations in the characteristics of ecosystem value in the arid and semi-arid ecological regions of China and its interaction with human activities. Results showed that (1) the total value of ES of the study area increased from USD 487,807 billion in 2000 to USD 67,831,150 billion 2020; (2) the ES value provided by forest land first increased by 5.60% from 2000 to 2020; (3) the ESV provided by grassland showed an overall decline over the 20 years. Food and raw material production showed the lowest ES value, and climate regulation and soil conservation decreased from 2000 to 2020; (4) the index of human footprint patches decreased from 45.80% in 2000 to 17.63% in 2020, while the high and very high human footprint index areas increased significantly, mainly due to the rapid urbanization and improvement of railway networks in these areas. Spatially, the regions with high human footprint were mostly dispersed in the northeastern of China such as Shanxi and Gansu, whereas the regions with a low human footprint remained mainly located in the central and southwestern parts of China; (5) significant spatial dependencies between changes in ESV and the human footprint index were recorded. Our study could provide a scientific basis for ecosystem functions regulation and land development security in arid and semi-arid ecological regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Health Services and Healthy living to Face Climate Changes)
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19 pages, 6438 KiB  
Article
Green Infrastructure Offset the Negative Ecological Effects of Urbanization and Storing Water in the Three Gorges Reservoir Area, China
by Qipeng Liao, Zhe Wang and Chunbo Huang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(21), 8077; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17218077 - 2 Nov 2020
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Land use planning usually increases the uncertainties of the ecosystem structures and functions because various human demands usually bring both positive and negative ecological effects. It is critical for estimating various land use changes and their ecological effects, but the previous studies have [...] Read more.
Land use planning usually increases the uncertainties of the ecosystem structures and functions because various human demands usually bring both positive and negative ecological effects. It is critical for estimating various land use changes and their ecological effects, but the previous studies have failed to decouple the respective and the combined effects of different land use changes on ecosystem services. Net primary productivity (NPP) could be used to indicate many ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and storage. Here, we employed a light use efficiency model to estimate the spatial and temporal dynamics of NPP in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) area from 2000 to 2015, and designed four scenarios to analyze the relative roles of afforestation, urbanization and storing water on NPP dynamics. Our results documented that terrestrial NPP of the TGR area increased from 547.40 gC•m−2 to 629.96 gC•m−2, and carbon sequestration capacities were 31.66 TgC (1Tg = 1012g) and 36.79 TgC in 2000 and 2015, respectively. Climate change and land use change both could contribute to carbon sequestration with 4.08 TgC and 1.05 TgC. Among these land use changes, only afforestation could sequester carbon with 2.04 TgC, while urbanization-induced and impoundment-induced emissions were 0.12 TgC and 0.32 TgC, respectively, and other land use changes also could release 0.55 TgC of carbon. This finding suggested that although positive and negative environmental effects happened simultaneously over the past decades, green infrastructure could effectively offset the carbon emissions from urbanization and storing water in the TGR area, which provides some fundamental supports for further ecological restoration and contributes to empowering land use policies towards carbon sequestration and storage at the regional scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecosystem Health Services and Healthy living to Face Climate Changes)
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