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Where is the Recording Scheme going?

 
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Roger K.A. Morris



Joined: 06 Nov 2005
Posts: 1652

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:52 am    Post subject: Where is the Recording Scheme going? Reply with quote

In an earlier loop the question was asked "where is all this going?" . I hope the following helps to explain what the Recording Scheme is about.

The Recording Scheme originally aimed simply to produce dot maps to depict the distribution of hoverflies. This was way back in time when biological recording simply aimed to capture overall extent of distribution. Things have moved on since then:

Data assembled by recording schemes plays an important part in conservation policy and practice. For example, Stuart and I are currently revising the national statuses of hoverflies for JNCC - this work is wholly based on the hoverfly recording scheme database and is supplemented by a number of autecological studies.

Distribution maps can be used to evaluate changes in distribution - as can be seen from various papers on Volucella that we have produced e.g.:

Morris, R.K.A. & Ball, S.G. 2004 The changing distribution of Volucella inanis (L., 1758) (Diptera: Syrphidae). British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 16: 221-228

Morris, R.K.A. & Ball, S.G. 2004 Sixty Years of Volucella zonaria (Poda, 1761) (Diptera: Syrphidae) in Britain. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 17: 217-227

The data can be used to investigate the implications of climate change for hoverflies (other than distribution) and we have done quite a bit on phenological change that has yet to be published (apart from posters at conferences).

And so I hear you saying "so what?" - well at least in part, the data have been used to update Alan Stubbs' British Hoverflies and the website has provided a more immediate form of feedback to recorders - many of whom like to see what sort of contribution they have made. Today we try to get new data up onto the website within ten days of receipt - whereas previously there was a long wait between atlases. Oh, and just in case you are wondering - we are aiming at the production of a new atlas in 2010 - so the more data the better - especially from Scotland and the Welsh borders.

This lot is not bad for a wholly voluntary project run and funded without public funds.
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