STUDY OF DISTRIBUTION AND SEASONAL VARIATION OF EXOTIC PLANT SPECIES IN DOWNSTREAM TAMAGAWA RIPARIAN AREAS USING A MOBILE APPLICATION AND CITIZEN SCIENCEYoung-Sik Ham and Hiromi Kobori
Exotic plant species are highly fertile in riparian areas and are biologically invasive. In recent years, there has been an increasing need to understand the effect of invasive exotic plant species on the water cycle and biodiversity. It is important for citizens to understand the ecological disturbances caused by invasive exotic plant species, so that they can cooperate and contribute in restoration ecology and conservation biology. However, at present, there are few opportunities for citizens and younger generations to understand the invasive exotic plant species distributed in riparian areas. Since 2017, we have developed and conducted a citizen science program based on information and communication technology (smart phone, mobile application, and operations dashboard for ArcGIS) in the riparian areas of the downstream Tamagawa River and Nogawa River in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Two specific invasive alien species, five alien species under consideration because of ecological disturbance, and three naturalized species were found distributed in the study area, with some annual and seasonal variation. We believe that wide-area and continued citizen science programs can be developed and practiced with the use of mobile applications. The utilization of citizen science data will contribute to the restoration and conservation of aquatic environment and biodiversity.