iNaturalist observer bias

The crayfishes Procambarus clarkii and Fallicambarus fodiens are approximately equally abundant in Texas, yet currently there are fifty times more clarkii observations (257 vs. 5).

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=18&quality_grade=any&taxon_id=51221

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=18&quality_grade=any&taxon_id=100848

The difference is that clarkii inhabits areas such as ponds, lakes and streams where they are likely to be seen by humans, whereas fodiens occurs more in ditches and field, and spends most of their time hidden in burrows.

Posted on August 18, 2017 03:28 PM by dan_johnson dan_johnson

Comments

Ah yes, the good ol' 'trail bias' of observations... If you look at observations from parks, you can almost make out the walking trails! In the herbarium, there was the 'road bias' -- plants closer to roads would be collected more simply because they were accessible (and public!). Wish there was a remedy for this, but alas, I suppose bias exists everywhere we do! :)

Posted by sambiology about 6 years ago

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