Special Feature: Oceans and Human Health in a Changing Environment
Collection launched: 08 Jul 2016
Erin K. Lipp, The University of Georgia
The cycle of oceans and human health: how human impacts on coastal and marine systems affect health
Humans have long relied on the oceans as a source of food, commerce, and even climate modulation but increasing population pressures on coastal resources compounded by changes in climate are impacting that relationship. On large scales, human or climate-related alterations to hydrological patterns can influence the introduction of contaminants. Changes happening at the smallest scales can have disproportionate effects on the balance of ocean and human health, including changes in ocean chemistry, microbial communities, pathogen prevalence, and virulence and toxicity of harmful microorganisms. How these changes impact marine ecosystems is an area of active research, but how these ecosystem changes will in turn affect human health is an emerging field.
Additional articles under review