Study shows value of public vigilance in tree disease monitoring

"Citizen scientists" can accurately and efficiently report disease outbreaks in native trees, according to scientists from Forest Research and Rothamsted Research.

Image: Forestry Commission
Image: Forestry Commission

Presenting evidence at the British Ecological Society annual meeting in Edinburgh last month, the researchers said that data submitted by public volunteers on Acute Oak Decline (AOD) across England and Wales "showed clear similarities" to a similar scientific survey.

These "citizen scientists" followed online instructions, and some even had training from Forest Research professionals on how to identify disease symptoms and to take swab samples for experts to verify.

According to study author Dr Nathan Brown: "This research provided a unique opportunity not only to map the known extent of AOD in the UK but to compare the results from historical and current records submitted by citizen scientists to that of data from a systematic and scientifically robust survey."

He added: "This approach can provide an efficient early warning system for pests and diseases, and our findings suggest volunteer detections can also be used to define the distribution of affected woodland."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

IoG Saltex 2017 - Kit showcase

Mowers, turf care, battery equipment, seeds, arboriculture kit and weed control will all see a wide range of new releases at Saltex, Sally Drury reports.

Get set for Saltex 2017

Get set for Saltex 2017

This year's Saltex show at the NEC in Birmingham offers something for everyone, says Sally Drury.

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Horticulture education update - staying on course

Raised levels of investment in horticulture education and increased student take-up is welcome news for the industry, says Rachel Anderson.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

IOG Saltex

Get set for IoG Saltex 2017 with our comprehensive show guide and exhibitor info.

Jeremy Barrell On...

Jeremy Barrell

Tree consultant Jeremy Barrell reflects on the big issues in arboriculture.

Products & Kit Resources