Harnessing soil biodiversity to promote human health in cities

Xin Sun, Craig Liddicoat, Alexei Tiunov, Bin Wang, Yiyue Zhang, Changyi Lu, Zhipeng Li, Stefan Scheu, Martin F. Breed, Stefan Geisen, Yong-Guan Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
70 Downloads (Pure)


Biodiversity is widely linked to human health, however, connections between human health and soil biodiversity in urban environments remain poorly understood. Here, we stress that reductions in urban soil biodiversity elevate risks to human health, but soil biodiversity can improve human health through pathways including suppressing pathogens, remediating soil, shaping a beneficial human microbiome and promoting immune fitness. We argue that targeted enhancement of urban soil biodiversity could support human health, in both outdoor and indoor settings. The potential of enhanced urban soil biodiversity to benefit human health reflects an important yet understudied field of fundamental and applied research.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Number of pages8
JournalNPJ Urban Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2023


  • Biodiversity
  • Urban ecology
  • Soils


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