Friday, March 15, 2013

Marine Diversity Study Proves Value of Citizen Science

Citizen science surveys compare well with traditional scientific methods when it comes to monitoring species biodiversity -- according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Research published today in the journal Methods in Ecology and Evolution shows that methods to record marine diversity used by amateurs returned results consistent with techniques favoured by peer-reviewed science.

The findings give weight to the growing phenomenon of citizen science, which sees data crowd-sourced from an army of avid twitchers, divers, walkers and other wildlife enthusiasts.

The field study compared methods used by 'citizen' SCUBA divers with those used by professional scientists, to measure the variety of fish species in three Caribbean sites.

...While the traditional scientific survey revealed sightings of 106 different types of fish, the volunteer technique detected greater marine diversity with a total of 137 in the same waters.

Science Daily -
12 Mar 2013

Journal Reference
Ben G. Holt et al. Comparing diversity data collected using a protocol designed for volunteers with results from a professional alternative. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2013; DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12031

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