Quantifying the Contribution of Organisms to the Provision of Ecosystem services

Gary Luck, Richard Harrington, Paula Harrison, Claire Kremen, Pam Berry, Rob Bugter, Terence Dawson, Francesco de Bello, Sandra Díaz, Christian K Feld, John R Haslett, Daniel Hering, Areti Kontogianni, Sandra Lavorel, Mark Rounsevell, Michael J Samways, Leonard Sandin, Josef Settele, Martin T Sykes, Sybille Van Den HoveMarie Vandewalle, Martin Zobel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

262 Citations (Scopus)
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Research on ecosystem services has grown rapidly over the last decade. Two conceptual frameworks have been published to guide ecological assessments of organisms that deliver services ' the concepts of service-providing units (SPUs) and ecosystem service providers(ESPs). Here, we unite these frameworks as the SPU-ESP continuum to offer a coherent conceptual approach for synthesising the latest developments in ecosystem service research and directing future studies at all levels of organisation. In particular, we show how the service provider concept can be applied at the population, functional group and community level. We strongly emphasise the need to identify and quantify the organisms and their characteristics (e.g.,functional traits) that provide services, and to assess service provision relative to the demands of human beneficiaries. Key examples from the literature are used to illustrate the new approach and highlight gaps in knowledge particularly in relation to the impact of species interactions and ecosystem dynamics on service provision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-235
Number of pages13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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