Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
National Academy of Sciences
Climate change is causing the timing of key behaviors (i.e., phenology) to shift differently across trophic levels and among some interacting organisms (e.g., plants and pollinators, predators and prey), suggesting that interactions among species are being disrupted (1, 2). Studying the phenology of interactions, however, is difficult, which has limited researchers’ ability to zero in on changes in specific interactions or on the consequences of mismatches. In PNAS, Hassall et al. (3) use a combination of citizen science techniques to investigate the effects of climate change on dozens of specific interactions. They focus on a Batesian mimicry complex involving stinging bees and wasps, stingless syrphid flies (also known as hoverflies) that mimic their appearance, and avian predators. The methods used by Hassall et al. (3) continue an upsurge of innovations in climate change ecology research, in which the role of citizen science is expanding to provide new approaches to complex challenges.
Miller-Rushing, Abraham J., Gallinat, Amanda S., and Primack, Richard B. "Creative Citizen Science Illuminates Complex Ecological Responses to Climate Change." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 116, no. 3, 2019, pp. 720-722. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1820266116