I would like to introduce a proposed method of rapidly surveying vegetation using iNaturalist and citizen science. Here is a quick rundown of the method:
Firstly, a number of sites within a given vegetation type is selected randomly (~20). In each of these sites, the first ten plants observed are recorded and a picture is taken. This generates a list of dominant species in the area, as well as a proxy for abundance (the number of times a species pops up in the ‘ten’ species of each site list.) The pictures of each plant can be uploaded to iNaturalist, with a site tag and GPS location, where it can be identified.
The assumed advantages of this simple method is that it takes far less time than conventional, quadrat/cover abundance estimation sampling, it also can be done by ‘parabotanists’, and it can be conducted across vastly different vegetation types. This may only give the very basic elements of a community but may be appropriate for vegetation mapping.
I would like to know what the forum thinks of this, how feasible could it be to sample in this manner, how appropriate would it be to use iNaturalist for this, and what possible drawbacks might occur.
Also, If anybody knows of a similiar method that has been used elsewhere, please let me know as well.