Citizen science is a vital partnership for invasive alien species management and research

Michael J.O. Pocock, Tim Adriaens, Sandro Bertolino, Rene Eschen, Franz Essl, Philip E. Hulme, Jonathan M. Jeschke, Helen E. Roy, Heliana Teixeira, Maarten de Groot

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review

Abstract

Invasive alien species (IAS) adversely impact biodiversity, ecosystem functions and socio-economics. Citizen science can be an effective tool for IAS surveillance, management and research, providing large datasets over wide spatial extents and long time periods, with public participants generating knowledge that supports action. We demonstrate how citizen science has contributed knowledge across the biological invasion process, especially for early detection and distribution mapping. However, we recommend that citizen science could be used more for assessing impacts and evaluating the success of IAS management. Citizen science does have limitations and we explore solutions to two key challenges: ensuring data accuracy and dealing with uneven spatial coverage of potential recorders (which limits the dataset’s ‘fit for purpose’). Greater co-development of citizen science with public stakeholders will help us better realise its potential across the biological invasion process and across ecosystems globally while meeting the needs of participants, local communities, scientists and decision-makers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108623
Number of pages1
ISSN2589-0042
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3-Dec-2023

Thematic List 2020

  • Invasive species

Thematic list

  • Invasive species (nature management)

EWI Biomedical sciences

  • B003-ecology

Cite this