Ecosystem Health

Effects of the COVID-19 public health crisis related to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by zoonotic SARS-CoV-2, has important links to biodiversity loss and ecosystem health. These links range from anthropogenic activities driving zoonotic disease emergence and extend to the pandemic affecting biodiversity conservation, environmental policy, ecosystem services, and multiple conservation facets. Crucially, such effects can exacerbate the initial drivers, resulting in feedback loops that are likely to promote future zoonotic disease outbreaks.
Cities are wrestling with the practical challenges of transitioning urban water services to become water sensitive; capable of enhancing liveability, sustainability, resilience and productivity in the face of climate change, rapid urbanisation, degraded ecosystems and ageing infrastructure. Indicators can be valuable for guiding actions for improvement, but there is not yet an established index that measures the full suite of attributes that constitute water sensitive performance.
Humans, through agricultural fertilizer application, inject more reactive nitrogen (Nr) to terrestrial ecosystems than do natural sources. Ammonia volatilization is a major pathway of agricultural Nr loss. Using a process-based dynamic model, Shen et al. show that ammonia volatilization from agricultural land in the US will increase by up to 81% by the end of this century due to climate change alone, posing threats to food security, air quality, and ecosystem health, but mitigation strategies are available.