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Using citizen science to survey the invertebrate communities on reclaimed collieries

Rich, Kevin (2011) Using citizen science to survey the invertebrate communities on reclaimed collieries. MSc by research thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

Public participation in scientific research, or ‘citizen science’, is becoming more widely used, as the benefits of this research model are realised. This study recruited and trained volunteers to survey invertebrates using a modified citizen science model. Participants were recruited from deprived communities local to two ex-collieries in West Yorkshire, UK. The sites had been reclaimed as Country Parks approximately 16 years prior to this study. Participatory mapping or ‘PGIS’ as it is commonly known, was undertaken with the local residents to discover the life history of the sites.It was found that the two sites are unusual in having a mixture of naturally re-vegetated and technically reclaimed habitats within each site. Survey design focused on finding differences between the invertebrate communities observed in habitats of either reclamation method. Participants successfully undertook a number of butterfly, bumblebee and grasshopper surveys. A multi-taxa invertebrate survey was carried out to assess the quality of invertebrate assemblage and determine the conservation value of the sites. The results suggest that bumblebee community structure is significantly different, depending on the reclamation method used. Bumblebees did respond strongly to reclamation type, in particular Bombus lapidarius and Bombus pascuorum. As a group, butterflies did not respond to reclamation method, however some differences were found at the species level. Proposed factors responsible for the observed differences were the presence of flowers used for forage and the soil structure in the naturally regenerated habitat.Eleven habitat specific invertebrate assemblages were generated from the invertebrates records generated by this study, and from historical records. A number of locally uncommon species were discovered. It is concluded that when reclaiming brownfield land,it is desirable to retain an area of naturally regenerated habitat to maintain landscape biodiversity.

Item Type: Thesis (MSc by research)
Keywords: Citizen Science; Participatory Mapping; Brownfield; Invertebrate; Bumblebee; Butterfly
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Mr Kevin Rich
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2011 13:46
Last Modified: 08 Aug 2013 08:47
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1939

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