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Using citizen-reported data to predict distributions of two non-native insect species in Sweden

Ahlbäck Widenfalk, Lina and Ahrné, Karin and Berggren, Åsa (2014). Using citizen-reported data to predict distributions of two non-native insect species in Sweden. Ecosphere. 5 :12
[Research article]

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/ES14-00212.1


Information on exotic species' current and potential distribution is vital for decisions on management. Species distribution models can predict where colorizations are likely; however, the collection of species' distribution data over large areas in order to parameterize the models is costly. Therefore, modelling methods that are able to use low-cost information such as citizen-reported data are potentially very useful. In this study, we used the species habitat modelling program Maxent to predict the potential geographical distribution of two non-native insect species in Sweden, the butterfly Araschnia levana and the shield bug Graphosoma lineatum. For this we used citizen-reported presence-only open-access data in combination with climate and land cover data from national databases. Our models showed that presence of A. levana was best predicted by winter temperature and habitats related to open grasslands. For G. lineatum, summer temperature and open green areas, in both urban and rural areas were the best predictors for species presence. These models show that large areas of non-colonized potential habitats exist within Sweden. For A. levana these yet-to-be-colonized habitats are mainly in the south, while for G. lineatum these habitats occur in the south and along the Baltic Sea coast. Comparisons of temporal patterns in species reporting for A. levana and G. lineatum to similar insects with known stable populations revealed large 'willingness to report' effects that could potentially bias range expansion rates. Once corrected for, current distribution expansion rates were estimated as 1.9 km/yr and 1.07 km/yr respectively. The study shows the use of public reports in conservation science as a way of gathering species information over large areas. This increases the data sources available for researchers to predict the distribution of species and have the additional value of the involvement of the public in conservation efforts.

Authors/Creators:Ahlbäck Widenfalk, Lina and Ahrné, Karin and Berggren, Åsa
Title:Using citizen-reported data to predict distributions of two non-native insect species in Sweden
Series Name/Journal:Ecosphere
Year of publishing :2014
Number of Pages:16
Publisher:Ecological Society of America
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:L Animal production > L20 Animal ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 106 Biological Sciences (Medical to be 3 and Agricultural to be 4) > Ecology
Agrovoc terms:nymphalidae, citizen participation, introduced species, monitoring, sweden
Keywords:araschnia levana, citizen science data, distribution model, exotic species, Graphosoma lineatum, grid occupancy, surveillance, sweden
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000347219000007
ID Code:12003
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Swedish Species Information Centre
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:24 Mar 2015 14:19
Metadata Last Modified:09 Sep 2020 14:17

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