- Autores: Capinha C, Ceia-Hasse A, Marques TA, Pereira HM, Tiago P
- Ano de Publicação: 2017
- Journal: Scientific Reports
- Link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-13130-8
Opportunistic citizen science databases are becoming an important way of gathering information on species distributions. These data are temporally and spatially dispersed and could have limitations regarding biases in the distribution of the observations in space and/or time.
The authors tested the influence of landscape variables in the distribution of citizen science observations for eight taxonomic groups. In addition, collected data through a Portuguese citizen science database (biodiversity4all.org). They also used a zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model the distribution of observations as a function of a set of variables representing the landscape features plausibly influencing the spatial distribution of the records. Results suggest that the density of paths is the most important variable, having a statistically significant positive relationship with number of observations for seven of the eight taxa considered. Wetland coverage was also identified as having a significant, positive relationship, for birds, amphibians and reptiles, and mammals.
The results highlight that the distribution of species observations, in citizen science projects, is spatially biased. Higher frequency of observations is driven largely by accessibility and by the presence of water bodies. The authors conclude that efforts are required to increase the spatial evenness of sampling effort from volunteers.