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Citizen science and global biodiversity
Citizen science and global biodiversity

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3 Finding out basic information

As a starting point in my quest I visited iSpot, posted my observation and decided to focus on what I could find out about it from iSpot’s species dictionary.

My first point of reference was iSpot’s ‘Taxonomy’ tab for Urtica dioica, which gave me the plant’s scientific classification. It also showed me the family to which the stinging nettle belongs and how it is related to other species. Here’s a link to the species’ Taxonomy page. [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]

iSpot website
Figure 1 iSpot taxonomy of the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

My next step was to look at the ‘Observations’ tab, which led me to a number of other reported observations of the same species across the country made by other users of iSpot (Figure 2). I could see where and when their observations had been posted and other relevant information such as a picture, who posted it and how many people agree with the identification.

Species dictionary observations on iSpot website
Figure 2 Species dictionary observations

My third stop within iSpot was the ‘Interactions’ tab, which showed me the kinds of creatures that eat or visit nettles (Figure 3).