Page 1: Recording impacts of invasive species through citizen science: A pilot study
Globally and in Britain, invasive non-native species continue to increase and are one of the main drivers of biodiversity decline. To facilitate management and policy responses, evidence of their impacts is crucial for risk assessment, prevention measures and resource allocation.
The aim of this project is to test if citizen science could be successfully used for recording the impacts of invasive plants. Anyone in England, Scotland or Wales can participate in this project.
If you are interested in participating, we will ask you to try our pilot sampling protocols to record impacts of invasive plants selected as case studies for this project. The sampling protocols are both available in a paper format to take into the field or as an online version using the free EpiCollect smartphone app.
Here you can register to participate so we can send you the information you need to conduct your sampling. You can also sign up to be invited to a number of field events in Wales we will be organising. Please read the participant information sheet below and if you want to proceed, tick the consent box. In the following pages we will first ask you a few questions about your perception of invasive species, and then ask about your familiarity with our six case study species. We will then ask information about yourself (e.g. age group, rural or urban living location) before you can leave your email address. The whole process should take less than 10 minutes. You will then receive information and sampling sheets as well as the link to the sampling protocol for the EpiCollect app survey.
Thank you for taking the time to participate in this project. Your help is very much appreciated and your contribution will play a crucial role in collecting valuable data on invasive alien species and their impact on our environment.
Participant information statement
The research project is being conducted by Dr Oluwadunsin Adekola and Dr Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz at Coventry University in collaboration with the North Wales Wildlife Trust and funded by the Natural Environmental Research Council. Your participation in the project and this survey is entirely voluntary, and you can opt out at any stage by closing and exiting the browser. If you are happy to take part, we ask you to please answer the following questions relating to your previous experience of invasive species. We will then contact you again at the end of the project to ask about your feedback to the project. This will help us to evaluate the feasibility of the approach, how it could be improved and potentially be expanded to further species in the future.
Your answers will be treated confidentially and the information you provide will be kept anonymous in any research outputs/publications. We will use your email address to send you information on how to participate in the project, when and where we organise events in Wales, and how to access the EpiCollect survey. We will ask you to choose a username to use in the sampling protocols and EpiCollect survey. We are keeping your name and contact details until the end of the project to contact you again to ask you to provide feedback on your experience of participation and the sampling protocols in a second survey and to send updates on the project, if you wish to. This first survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete and the second survey will take no longer than 15 minutes. We may also contact you by email in case we need to clarify your field survey results.
Your data will be processed in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. All information collected about you will be kept strictly confidential. Unless they are fully anonymised in our records, your data will be referred to by a unique participant number rather than by name unless we have your prior and explicit written permission to attribute them to you by name. All electronic data will be stored on the password protected OneDrive (Coventry University and North Wales Wildlife Trust). All paper records will be stored in a locked filing cabinet at in Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience office at Ryton or at the North Wales Wildlife Trust office in Bangor (temporarily if needed). Your consent information will be kept separately from your responses. Data will only be viewed by the research team at Coventry University and the North Wales Wildlife Trust. All personal data (your name and email) will be deleted by the end of the project (December 2023).
You are free to withdraw your questionnaire responses from the project data set at any time until the data are fully anonymised in our records on the 31st of December 2023. You should note that your anonymised data may be used in the production of formal research outputs (e.g. journal articles, conference papers, theses and reports) prior to this date and so you are advised to contact the lead researcher at the earliest opportunity should you wish to withdraw from the study (contact details are provided below). You do not need to provide a reason for withdrawing. A decision to withdraw, or not to take part, will not affect you in any way.
Coventry University is a Data Controller for the information you provide. You have the right to access information held about you. Your right of access can be exercised in accordance with the UK General Data Protection Regulation and the Data Protection Act 2018. You also have other rights including rights of correction, erasure, objection, and data portability. For more details, including the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, please visit www.ico.org.uk Questions, comments and requests about your personal data can also be sent to the University Data Protection Officer via email@example.com.
The research was granted ethical approval by Coventry University’s Research Ethics Committee [Project reference P149176].
For further information, or if you have any queries, please contact the lead researcher Dr Katharina Dehnen-Schmutz (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you have any concerns that cannot be resolved through the lead researcher, please contact email@example.com.
I have read and understood the above information. I confirm that I am aged 18 or over. I agree to take part in this survey.
The project is funded by: