A Unique Role for Citizen Science in Ecological Restoration: A Case Study in Streams
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.
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Edwards, P. M., Shaloum, G., & Bedell, D. (2017). A unique role for citizen science in ecological restoration: a case study in streams. Restoration Ecology.