UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps

Brock, R; Cini, A; Sumner, S; (2021) Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps. Biological Reviews , 96 (4) pp. 1645-1675. 10.1111/brv.12719. Green open access

[thumbnail of Cini_Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps_VoR.pdf]
Preview
Text
Cini_Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps_VoR.pdf - Published Version

Download (13MB) | Preview

Abstract

The aculeate wasps are one of the most diverse and speciose insect taxa; they are omnipresent across ecosystems and exhibit diverse co-evolutionary and exploitative associations with other organisms. There is widespread conjecture that aculeate wasps are likely to perform essential ecological and economic services of importance to the health, well-being and nutritional needs of our planet. However, the scope and nature of the ecosystem services they provide are not well understood relative to other insect groups (e.g. bees, butterflies, beetles); an appreciation of their value is further tarnished by their public reputation as pointless pests. Here, we conduct the first comprehensive review of how aculeate wasps contribute to the four main areas of ecosystem services: regulatory, provisioning, supporting and cultural services. Uniting data from a large but previously disconnected literature on solitary and social aculeate wasps, we provide a synthesis on how these insects perform important ecosystem services as parasites, predators, biological indicators, pollinators, decomposers and seed dispersers; and their additional services as a sustainable alternative to meat for human consumption, and medicinal potential as sources of research leads for anti-microbials and cancer treatments. We highlight how aculeate wasps offer substantial, but largely overlooked, economic benefits through their roles in natural pest management and biological control programs. Accordingly, we provide data-driven arguments for reasons to consider the ecosystem service value of aculeate wasps on a par with other ‘useful’ insects (e.g. bees). Finally, we provide a research roadmap identifying the key areas of research required to capitalise better on the services provided by these important insects.

Type: Article
Title: Ecosystem services provided by aculeate wasps
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/brv.12719
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/brv.12719
Language: English
Additional information: © 2021 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: stinging wasps, economic value, biological control, predation, pollination
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125273
Downloads since deposit
83Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item