Daru, Barnabas H. and Jordan Rodriguez (2023 May 1st)
Mass production of unvouchered records fails to represent global biodiversity patterns.
Nature Ecology and Evolution 7 816–831.
Publisher official publication page (abstract available, full text paywalled): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-023-02047-3
Full text freely available from the primary author’s lab web page: https://darulab.org/docs/46_Daru_Rodriguez_2023_NatEcolEvol.pdf
• Jordan Rodriguez from the Department of Biology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Oregon, Eugene, USA.
Abstract, quotation: "
The ever-increasing human footprint even in very remote places on Earth has inspired efforts to document biodiversity vigorously in case organisms go extinct.
However, the data commonly gathered come from either primary voucher specimens in a natural history collection or from direct field observations that are not traceable to tangible material in a museum or herbarium.
Although both datasets are crucial for assessing how anthropogenic drivers affect biodiversity, they have widespread coverage gaps and biases that may render them inefficient in representing patterns of biodiversity.
Using a large global dataset of around 1.9 billion occurrence records of terrestrial plants, butterflies, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals, we quantify coverage and biases of expected biodiversity patterns by voucher and observation records.
We show that the mass production of observation records does not lead to higher coverage of expected biodiversity patterns but is disproportionately biased toward certain regions, clades, functional traits and time periods.
Such coverage patterns are driven by the ease of accessibility to air and ground transportation, level of security and extent of human modification at each sampling site.
Conversely, voucher records are vastly infrequent in occurrence data but in the few places where they are sampled, showed relative congruence with expected biodiversity patterns for all dimensions.
The differences in coverage and bias by voucher and observation records have important implications on the utility of these records for research in ecology, evolution and conservation research.
I read this whole scholarly article when it was first published 1st May (2023).
First hand I notice the evidence for the same general points made in this article of serious problematic biases, in various online systems including this .
Within my professional work in 1994 I carefully and closely read this internationally published, high quality scholarly article reference :
• Margules Chris R. and Mike P. Austin (1994)
Biological models for monitoring species decline: the construction and use of data bases.
Philosphical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B34469: 75
Many more scholarly articles in this topic area I professionally read at this time too, and continue scholarly reading this topic ever since (when time).
• Chris Margules : https://scholar.google.com.au/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=cr-margules+bias+databases&btnG=
• Mike P. Austin – then CSIRO : https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?hl=en&user=NqOdAxwAAAAJ&view_op=list_works