University of Oulu

Janne Alahuhta, Helena Tukiainen, Maija Toivanen, Terhi Ala-Hulkko, Vahid Farrahi, Jan Hjort, Tiina M Ikäheimo, Tiina Lankila, Tuija Maliniemi, Soile Puhakka, Henriikka Salminen, Marjo Seppänen, Raija Korpelainen, Ding Ding, Acknowledging geodiversity in safeguarding biodiversity and human health, The Lancet Planetary Health, Volume 6, Issue 12, 2022, Pages e987-e992, ISSN 2542-5196,

Acknowledging geodiversity in safeguarding biodiversity and human health

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Author: Alahuhta, Janne1; Tukiainen, Helena1; Toivanen, Maija1;
Organizations: 1Geography Research Unit, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Kerttu Saalasti Institute, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
4Research Unit of Population Health, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Community Medicine, University of Tromsø, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø, Norway
6Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation, Oulu, Finland
7Department of Biological Sciences, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
8Center for Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
9Medical Research Centre, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
10Sydney School of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
11The Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
12The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-12-14


Our existence on Earth is founded on a vital nature, which supports human physical and mental health. However, nature is often depicted only through biodiversity, whereas geodiversity—the diversity of non-living nature—has so far been neglected. Geodiversity consists of assemblages, structures, and systems of geological, geomorphological, soil, and hydrological components that fundamentally underlie biodiversity. Biodiversity can support overall human health only with the foundation of geodiversity. Landscape characteristics, such as varying topography or bodies of water, promote aesthetic and sensory experiences and are also a product of geodiversity. In this Personal View, we introduce the concept of geodiversity as a driver for planetary health, describe its functions and services, and outline the intricate relationships between geodiversity, biodiversity, and human health. We also propose an agenda for acknowledging the importance of geodiversity in health-related research and decision making. Geodiversity is an emerging topic with untapped potential for ensuring ecosystem functionality and good living conditions for people in a time of changing environments.

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Series: The Lancet. Planetary health
ISSN: 2542-5196
ISSN-E: 2542-5196
ISSN-L: 2542-5196
Volume: 6
Issue: 12
Pages: e987 - e992
DOI: 10.1016/s2542-5196(22)00259-5
Type of Publication: A2 Review article in a scientific journal
Field of Science: 1172 Environmental sciences
1171 Geosciences
1181 Ecology, evolutionary biology
3141 Health care science
119 Other natural sciences
Funding: This manuscript was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant 322652 to JA, HT, and TM; grant 326291 to VF; and grant 315519 to JH). JA, TA, JH, and HS acknowledge support from the Kvantum Institute of the University of Oulu. JA acknowledges financial support from Biodiverse Anthropocenes Research Program for publication costs. MT was supported by the Maj and Tor Nessling Foundation. This work was supported in part by the Ministry of Education and Culture in Finland (grant number OKM/20/626/2022).
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 322652
Detailed Information: 322652 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
315519 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Copyright information: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an Open Access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.