How many non native tree species can be found in the Alpine region - Is the number increasing? Who observes sightings of pest insects and signs of diseases in forests, occurrences that can threaten tree populations and local biodiversity - Only foresters, scientists and experts?
To project the future of plants and animal wildlife is one of the subjects of nature sciences. To gather this kind of data via observing, counting, collecting, comparing and interpreting is part of scientific everyday life. But there are only so many experts strolling through nature every week, still there is so much of nature's inventory to be observed regularly.
That's when Citizen Science comes into play!
We as scientists invite the public to help us to gather sightings and observations of all lifeforms. To understand the power of the tool of "Citizen Science", we talked to four of the leading experts. Scientists who already look back on successful projects that would not have been able to conduct without the help of the public:
- Helen Roy from the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Great Britain,
- Maarten de Groot from the Slovenian Forestry Institute
- Dmitrj Shepaschenko and Andrey Krasovskiy from IIASA, the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis near Vienna, Austria
- Leader of the ALPTREES project is Katharina Lapin from the federal research and training center for forests BFW, in Vienna Austria