Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Curr Biol. 2015 May 18;25(10):R431-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.041.

The importance and benefits of species.

Author information

1
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC 20005, USA.
2
International Union for Conservation of Nature, 1196 Gland, Switzerland.
3
Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas (CIB), Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
4
Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
5
International Rhino Foundation, Fort Worth, TX 76102, USA.
6
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Washington, DC 20005, USA. Electronic address: john.lamoreux@nfwf.org.
7
Tropical Conservation Institute, Florida International University, Miami, FL 33199, USA.
8
Conservation International, Arlington, VA 22202, USA.
9
Zoo Outreach Organization, Coimbatore, 641 035 Tamil Nadu, India.
10
American Bird Conservancy/Alliance for Zero Extinction, Washington, DC 20009, USA.
11
Chelonian Research Foundation, Lunenburg, MA 01462, USA.
12
IUCN/SSC Re-introduction Specialist Group, Abu Dhabi, UAE.
13
Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation, Campbell, CA 95008, USA.

Abstract

Humans depend on biodiversity in myriad ways, yet species are being rapidly lost due to human activities. The ecosystem services approach to conservation tries to establish the value that society derives from the natural world such that the true cost of proposed development actions becomes apparent to decision makers. Species are an integral component of ecosystems, and the value they provide in terms of services should be a standard part of ecosystem assessments. However, assessing the value of species is difficult and will always remain incomplete. Some of the most difficult species' benefits to assess are those that accrue unexpectedly or are wholly unanticipated. In this review, we consider recent examples from a wide variety of species and a diverse set of ecosystem services that illustrate this point and support the application of the precautionary principle to decisions affecting the natural world.

PMID:
25989087
DOI:
10.1016/j.cub.2015.03.041
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center