Mapping species distributions

A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording

René van der Wal*, Helen Anderson, Anne-Marie Robinson, Nirwan Sharma, Chris Mellish, Stuart Roberts, Ben Darvill, Advaith Siddharthan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To assess the ability of traditional biological recording schemes and lay citizen science approaches to gather data on species distributions and changes therein, we examined bumblebee records from the UK’s national repository (National Biodiversity Network) and from BeeWatch. The two recording approaches revealed similar relative abundances of bumblebee species but different geographical distributions. For the widespread common carder (Bombus pascuorum), traditional recording scheme data were patchy, both spatially and temporally, reflecting active record centre rather than species distribution. Lay citizen science records displayed more extensive geographic coverage, reflecting human population density, thus offering better opportunities to account for recording effort. For the rapidly spreading tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), both recording approaches revealed similar distributions due to a dedicated mapping project which overcame the patchy nature of naturalist records. We recommend, where possible, complementing skilled naturalist recording with lay citizen science programmes to obtain a nation-wide capability, and stress the need for timely uploading of data to the national repository.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)584-600
Number of pages17
JournalAmbio
Volume44
Issue numberSuppl. 4
Early online date27 Oct 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

Fingerprint

Geographical distribution
Data recording
Biodiversity
recording
citizen
science
repository
geographical distribution
relative abundance
population density
biodiversity
distribution
comparison
coverage
ability

Keywords

  • BeeWatch
  • Biological recording
  • Bumblebees
  • Citizen science
  • National Biodiversity Network
  • Species distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Chemistry

Cite this

Mapping species distributions : A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording. / van der Wal, René; Anderson, Helen ; Robinson, Anne-Marie; Sharma, Nirwan; Mellish, Chris; Roberts, Stuart; Darvill, Ben; Siddharthan, Advaith.

In: Ambio, Vol. 44, No. Suppl. 4, 01.11.2015, p. 584-600.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{495b39a7d6884288ad5cad1d3d239f75,
title = "Mapping species distributions: A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording",
abstract = "To assess the ability of traditional biological recording schemes and lay citizen science approaches to gather data on species distributions and changes therein, we examined bumblebee records from the UK’s national repository (National Biodiversity Network) and from BeeWatch. The two recording approaches revealed similar relative abundances of bumblebee species but different geographical distributions. For the widespread common carder (Bombus pascuorum), traditional recording scheme data were patchy, both spatially and temporally, reflecting active record centre rather than species distribution. Lay citizen science records displayed more extensive geographic coverage, reflecting human population density, thus offering better opportunities to account for recording effort. For the rapidly spreading tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), both recording approaches revealed similar distributions due to a dedicated mapping project which overcame the patchy nature of naturalist records. We recommend, where possible, complementing skilled naturalist recording with lay citizen science programmes to obtain a nation-wide capability, and stress the need for timely uploading of data to the national repository.",
keywords = "BeeWatch, Biological recording, Bumblebees, Citizen science, National Biodiversity Network, Species distribution",
author = "{van der Wal}, Ren{\'e} and Helen Anderson and Anne-Marie Robinson and Nirwan Sharma and Chris Mellish and Stuart Roberts and Ben Darvill and Advaith Siddharthan",
note = "Acknowledgements We are grateful to Elaine O’Mahony, Imogen Pearce, Richard Comont, Anthony McCluskey and other BBCT staff for the many hours of BeeWatch species identification and for all people who submitted sightings to BeeWatch, OPAL, BWARS and the various local recording schemes and societies. We thank the NBN for allowing us to download the bumblebee records without strings attached, and the Essex, Greater London, Cumbria and Sussex based recording centres for providing records upon request. Finally, we are indebted to Tom August and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable critique on an earlier version of this work.",
year = "2015",
month = "11",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1007/s13280-015-0709-x",
language = "English",
volume = "44",
pages = "584--600",
journal = "Ambio",
issn = "0044-7447",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "Suppl. 4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mapping species distributions

T2 - A comparison of skilled naturalist and lay citizen science recording

AU - van der Wal, René

AU - Anderson, Helen

AU - Robinson, Anne-Marie

AU - Sharma, Nirwan

AU - Mellish, Chris

AU - Roberts, Stuart

AU - Darvill, Ben

AU - Siddharthan, Advaith

N1 - Acknowledgements We are grateful to Elaine O’Mahony, Imogen Pearce, Richard Comont, Anthony McCluskey and other BBCT staff for the many hours of BeeWatch species identification and for all people who submitted sightings to BeeWatch, OPAL, BWARS and the various local recording schemes and societies. We thank the NBN for allowing us to download the bumblebee records without strings attached, and the Essex, Greater London, Cumbria and Sussex based recording centres for providing records upon request. Finally, we are indebted to Tom August and two anonymous reviewers for their valuable critique on an earlier version of this work.

PY - 2015/11/1

Y1 - 2015/11/1

N2 - To assess the ability of traditional biological recording schemes and lay citizen science approaches to gather data on species distributions and changes therein, we examined bumblebee records from the UK’s national repository (National Biodiversity Network) and from BeeWatch. The two recording approaches revealed similar relative abundances of bumblebee species but different geographical distributions. For the widespread common carder (Bombus pascuorum), traditional recording scheme data were patchy, both spatially and temporally, reflecting active record centre rather than species distribution. Lay citizen science records displayed more extensive geographic coverage, reflecting human population density, thus offering better opportunities to account for recording effort. For the rapidly spreading tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), both recording approaches revealed similar distributions due to a dedicated mapping project which overcame the patchy nature of naturalist records. We recommend, where possible, complementing skilled naturalist recording with lay citizen science programmes to obtain a nation-wide capability, and stress the need for timely uploading of data to the national repository.

AB - To assess the ability of traditional biological recording schemes and lay citizen science approaches to gather data on species distributions and changes therein, we examined bumblebee records from the UK’s national repository (National Biodiversity Network) and from BeeWatch. The two recording approaches revealed similar relative abundances of bumblebee species but different geographical distributions. For the widespread common carder (Bombus pascuorum), traditional recording scheme data were patchy, both spatially and temporally, reflecting active record centre rather than species distribution. Lay citizen science records displayed more extensive geographic coverage, reflecting human population density, thus offering better opportunities to account for recording effort. For the rapidly spreading tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum), both recording approaches revealed similar distributions due to a dedicated mapping project which overcame the patchy nature of naturalist records. We recommend, where possible, complementing skilled naturalist recording with lay citizen science programmes to obtain a nation-wide capability, and stress the need for timely uploading of data to the national repository.

KW - BeeWatch

KW - Biological recording

KW - Bumblebees

KW - Citizen science

KW - National Biodiversity Network

KW - Species distribution

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84945307753&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1007/s13280-015-0709-x

DO - 10.1007/s13280-015-0709-x

M3 - Article

VL - 44

SP - 584

EP - 600

JO - Ambio

JF - Ambio

SN - 0044-7447

IS - Suppl. 4

ER -