Valuing dragonflies as service providers
Valuing the services provided by ecosystems and their components is emerging as a new, practical tool for conservation of biodiversity. One such framework for quantifying those components of biodiversity and their attributes, which are important for the diversity of ecosystem services, is the Service Providing Unit (SPU). This framework provides a conceptual link between ecosystem services and the role of populations of different species in providing these services. Dragonflies provide several ecosystem services to humanity at the population level. Their role as SPUs encompasses most of the 28 ecosystem services, directly or indirectly, as recognized by the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, in the categories of provisioning, cultural, supporting, and regulating services. Service provision by dragonflies can be quantified, for example, in pest control and riparian restoration. As the SPU concept, as a value metric, has considerable currency with dragonflies, there is merit in investigating its application to other invertebrate taxa and ecosystems.
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