Best practice for long term observations of an individual plant

I’ve got a few select plant individuals that I return to seasonally. I’m concerned that if I photograph the same individual, multiple times a year, the resulting observation “pile” may skew data collected on the site. Anyone go about this differently?

The consensus is that you shouldn’t worry about your effect on the data overall. If you want to observe the same plant every day for a year, it’s not going to hurt anything. iNat observations are so inherently biased that no one is (or at least should be) using it for any purposes that your behavior could interfere with. You can only be contributing.


Thanks for the reply!

As above, and I’ll add that probably the most interesting use of iNat data would be gauging what observers find to be interesting!

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welcome to the forum. this may also be relevant:

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Есть такое направление в биологии - фенология. Так что можете быть спокойны, ваши данные то же имеют научную ценность.
There is such a direction in biology - phenology. So you can rest assured that your data also has scientific value.


I like the “Same specimen over time” observation field for keeping track of multiple observations of the same individual. You can add that field with the iNat observation ID (the number of the website address) of the first observation, to all of the observations of that individual.

On any of these observations on the iNat website, you can click on the field and choose “Observations with this field and value” and iNat will take you to a page showing all of these observations (eg


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