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Citizen science data valuable for researchers

The Redmap Team, 12 Apr 2017.

A recent study published by researchers in Western Australia, including some of the Redmap WA team, has used citizen science data to look at the prolonged effects of a marine heat wave that hit the coast of WA in 2010/11.

Common dart, one of the species where Redmap data was used by WA researchers (Image: Anna Sasson)

The study looks at how prolonged elevated sea surface temperatures has facilitated the arrival, persistence and reproduction of warmer-water species further south along the WA coastline. The researchers found that the prolonged higher temperatuers allowed rabbitfish (Siganus sp.) to establish a breeding population before sea surface temperatures returned to more 'normal' levels where recruitment of this species then failed. This study also highlights the importance of citizen science observations, including those from Redmap, in determining shifts in species distributions due to climate change. For more information, you can access the research article HERE.

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