Wednesday, 13 October 2010

September Review for F1000

The paper we chose to review this month was a little different in that it demonstrates a method of surveying for pest-resistant specimens involving 'citizen science'.  The article is straightforward, clearly showing that there can be significant benefits to involving volunteers in biosecurity-related surveys where time is of the essence. In Australia, an example of where such an approach has been used is in surveys for fire ants in Queensland - read more about that here.

Using Citizen Science Programs to Identify Host Resistance in Pest-Invaded Forests.  
Ingwell LL, Preisser EL, Conservation Biology, article first published online: 23 AUG 2010 (Early View)
DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2010.01567.x

Our Review:
Mark Lonsdale: Faculty of 1000 Biology, 12 Oct 2010
Copyright F1000

This paper gives a clear demonstration of the advantages of involving large numbers of volunteers in a survey for trees resistant to a pest. It highlights the possibility that the human population could be an important part of a resilient biosecurity system if sensitised to biosecurity risks.