Mapping species richness using opportunistic samples: a case study on ground-floor bryophyte species richness in the Belgian province of Limburg

Thomas Neyens, Peter Diggle, Christel Faes, Natalie Beenaerts, Tom Artois & Emanuele Giorgi
In species richness studies, citizen-science surveys where participants make individual decisions regarding sampling strategies provide a cost-effective approach to collect a large amount of data. However, it is unclear to what extent the bias inherent to opportunistically collected samples may invalidate our inferences. Here, we compare spatial predictions of forest ground-floor bryophyte species richness in Limburg (Belgium), based on crowd- and expert-sourced data, where the latter are collected by adhering to a rigorous geographical randomisation...
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These counts follow the COUNTER Code of Practice, meaning that Internet robots and repeats within a certain time frame are excluded.
What does this mean?