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Forests 2018, 9(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9010031

Citizen Science as a Tool in Biological Recording—A Case Study of Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle

Institute of Agriculture and Tourism, Karla Huguesa 8, 52440 Poreč, Croatia
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Received: 24 November 2017 / Revised: 21 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Economics and Human Dimensions)
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Abstract

Non-native invasive species frequently appear in urban and non-urban ecosystems and may become a threat to biodiversity. Some of these newcomers are introduced accidentally, and others are introduced through a sequence of events caused by conscious human decisions. Involving the general public in biodiversity preservation activities could prevent the negative consequences of these actions. Accurate and reliable data collecting is the first step in invasive species management, and citizen science can be a useful tool to collect data and engage the public in science. We present a case study of biological recording of tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle) using a participatory citizen model. The first goal in this case study was to develop a cheap, widely accessible, and effective inventory method, and to test it by mapping tree of heaven in Croatia. A total of 90.61 km of roads and trails was mapped; 20 single plants and 19 multi-plant clusters (mapped as polygons) were detected. The total infested area was 2610 m2. The second goal was to educate citizens and raise awareness of this invasive species. The developed tool and suggested approach aided in improving invasive risk management in accordance with citizen science principles and can be applied to other species or areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: biological recording; citizen science; invasive species; mapping; mobile tools biological recording; citizen science; invasive species; mapping; mobile tools
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Sladonja, B.; Poljuha, D. Citizen Science as a Tool in Biological Recording—A Case Study of Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle. Forests 2018, 9, 31.

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