Biological Diversity and Wellbeing Linked (12-02-20)

Methorst and colleagues investigated links between nearby species biodiversity and human wellbeing. The researchers report that they “examine[d] the relationship between species diversity and human well-being at the continental scale, while controlling for other known drivers of well-being. We related socio-economic data from more than 26,000 European citizens across 26 countries with macroecological data on species diversity and nature characteristics for Europe. Human well-being was measured as self-reported life-satisfaction and species diversity as the species richness of several taxonomic groups (e.g. birds, mammals and trees). . . . bird species richness is positively associated with life-satisfaction across Europe. We found a relatively strong relationship, indicating that the effect of bird species richness on life-satisfaction may be of similar magnitude to that of income. . . . this study argues that management actions for the protection of birds and the landscapes that support them would benefit humans.”

Joel Methorst, Katrin Rehdanz, Thomas Mueller, Bernd Hansjurgens, Aletta Bonn, and Katrin Bohning-Gaese.  “The Importance of Species Diversity for Human Well-Being in Europe.”  Ecological Economics, in press, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106917