Service providing units (SPU)

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Service providing units (SPU)

A Service Providing Unit (SPU) is the smallest unit (such as a population or a community) at the desired scale that directly provides Ecosystem Services (ES) (Luck et al. 2003). Examples are invertebrate natural enemies reducing insect pest populations (Frank et al. 2008; Tschumi et al. 2015).


Examples of service providing units

-Beneficial earwig, Forficula auricularia (L.) consuming fly eggs. Video: Harpinder Sandhu, with permission.

Different predators and parasitoids attacking aphids


Luck G, Daily G, Ehrlich P, 2003. Population diversity and ecosystem services. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18:331–336.

Frank S, Wratten S, Sandhu H, Shrewsbury P, 2007. Video analysis to determine how habitat strata affect predator diversity and predation of Epiphyas postvittana (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) in a vineyard. Biological Control 41:230-236.

Tschumi M, Albrecht M, Entling M, Jacot K, 2015. High effectiveness of tailored flower strips in reducing pests and crop plant damage. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 282: 20151369.

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