Rivers and ephemeral streams are the world’s dominant river ecosystems, but monitoring and management often focus on year-round rivers. Writing on BioScienceAmélie Truchy of the French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment (INRAE) and colleagues describe the problem, as well as a potential solution: citizen science.
The authors discuss results from a new app, DRYRivERS, which allows scientific and non-scientific users alike to record data on ephemeral streams and flowing streams. The data is then made available to various experts. Over a one-year period, the authors recorded “3,600 observations from more than 1,900 rivers reaching 19 countries and four continents.”
Such data are important for managers and ecologists, say the authors, because the current “monitoring methods, methods, and tools designed for perennial rivers, rarely show on the spread of intermittent rivers and ephemeral streams or their hydrological characteristics and biological communities.”
The authors share three case studies, which highlight the potential of DRYRivERS and similar apps to inform river regulation, help map ephemeral watercourses, and help model hydrological states—such as to dry up rivers in the face of climate change. In addition to helping managers and researchers, say the authors, the benefits of community monitoring can be extended among citizen scientists, themselves.
Such efforts “are an excellent way to raise people’s awareness” and help them reconnect with rivers and streams “by emphasizing the importance of water resources and any consequential restrictions that authorities may implement in response to more frequent or more dramatic drying.”
In the longer term, Truchy and colleagues anticipate even greater benefits from consolidating traditional ecological and citizen science data in the form of a universal watershed map with multiple applications. They envision that this resource will eventually become “the cornerstone of future, coordinated water management strategies that are not limited to specific types of rivers or constrained by administrative boundaries.”
Amélie Truchy et al, Citizen scientists help advance the science and management of tributary rivers and ephemeral streams, BioScience (2023). DOI: 10.1093/biosci/biad045. academic.oup.com/bioscience/ar … .1093/biosci/biad045
Provided by the American Institute of Biological Sciences
Citation: App allows scientists and nonscientist users to record data on ephemeral streams and intermittent rivers (2023, July 19) retrieved on July 19, 2023 from https://phys.org/news/2023-07- app-scientist-nonscientist-users-ephemeral .html
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