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Rapidly mapping fire effects on biodiversity at a large-scale using citizen science

Author(s): Casey Kirchhoff, Corey T. Callaghan, David A. Keith, Dony Indiarto, Guy Taseski, Mark K. J. Ooi, Tom D. Le Breton, Thomas Mesaglio, Richard T. Kingsford, William K. Cornwell
Year Published: 2021

The unprecedented scale of the 2019-2020 eastern Australian bushfires exemplifies the challenges that scientists and conservation biologists face monitoring the effects on biodiversity in the aftermath of large-scale environmental disturbances. After a large-scale disturbance, conservation policy and management actions need to be both timely and informed by data. By working with the public, often widely spread out over such disturbed areas, citizen science offers a unique opportunity to collect data on biodiversity responses at the appropriate scale. We detail a citizen science project, hosted through iNaturalist, launched shortly after the 2019-2020 bushfire season in eastern Australia. It rapidly (1) provided accurate data on fire severity, relevant to future recovery; and (2) delivered data on a wide range (mosses to mammals) of biodiversity responses at a scale that matched the geographic extent of these fires.

Citation: Kirchhoff, Casey; Callaghan, Corey T.; Keith, David A.; Indiarto, Dony; Taseski, Guy; Ooi, Mark K.J.; Le Breton, Tom D.; Mesaglio, Thomas; Kingsford, Richard T.; Cornwell, William K. 2021. Rapidly mapping fire effects on biodiversity at a large-scale using citizen science. Science of The Total Environment 755(Part 2):142348. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2020.142348
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Fire Effects, Fire Regime, Fire Intensity / Burn Severity, Fuels, Fuels Inventory & Monitoring, Post-fire Management
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 22754
FRAMES RCS number: 62894
Record updated: Mar 9, 2021