November 30, 2021
Trees are Good for Human Health in One Small Unexpected Way -
This 2021 Study showed that distinct layers of bacteria form in the air, with different species and quantities of microbes occurring at different heights. At the average head-height of a standing adult, there were fewer but also different kinds of bacteria compared with those in the air lower down at the head height of a child or sitting adult.
Exposure to lots of different types of microbial life, particularly in childhood, is generally considered to be a good thing, because it allows our immune systems to build up a strong army of cells that protect us from pathogens.
The greater number of microbial species we detected closer to the ground could be vital in ensuring children develop robust immunity later in life.
Trees appear to filter the microbial communities in a given airspace, reducing the risk of exposure to microbes that cause disease. Because trees also seem to increase microbial diversity in the air, allowing more of them to grow in urban areas could provide an important health benefit by enhancing our immune systems.
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