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A unique role for citizen science in ecological restoration: a case study in streams

Author:
Edwards, Patrick M., Shaloum, Gail, Bedell, Daniel
Source:
Restoration ecology 2018 v.26 no.1 pp. 29-35
ISSN:
1061-2971
Subject:
case studies, citizen participation, ecological restoration, macroinvertebrates, monitoring, scientists, streams
Abstract:
Citizen science has the potential to generate valuable biologic data for use in restoration monitoring, while also providing a unique opportunity for public participation in local restoration projects. In this article, we describe and evaluate a citizen science program designed to monitor the effect of stream restoration construction disturbance on the macroinvertebrate community. We present the results of a 7‐year stream restoration study conducted by citizen scientists utilizing a Before‐After‐Control‐Impact (BACI) design. Trait‐based macroinvertebrate data showed a strong response to restoration construction disturbance and return to pre‐restoration conditions within 2 years. The findings of this study suggest that citizen science can generate meaningful BACI‐oriented data about ecological restoration; however, until more research is conducted, citizen data should only be used to augment professional data intended to demonstrate restoration success.
Agid:
5884797