Aggregated occurrence records of the invasive alien striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius Pall.) in the former USSR

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Background Open access to occurrence records of the most dangerous invasive species in a standardised format have important potential applications for ecological research and management, including the assessment of invasion risks, formulation of preventative and management plans in the context of global climate and land use changes in the short and long perspective. The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius Pallas, 1771) is a common species in the temperate latitudes of the Palaearctic. Due to land use and global climate changes, several waves of expansion of the range of this species have been observed or inferred. By intrusion into new regions, the striped field mouse has become an alien species there. Apodemus agrarius causes significant harm to agriculture and is one of the most important pests of grain crops. In tree nurseries, A. agrarius destroys seeds of valuable tree species and gnaws at the bark of saplings of broadleaf species and berry bushes. It is one of the most epidemiologically important rodents, involved in the circulation of the causative agents of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and many other zoonotic infections. The foregoing allows us to classify the striped field mouse as a dangerous invasive alien species in the expanding part of the range. A lot of data accumulated for this species are of interest from both ecological and applied points of view. The accumulation and aggregation of data on the occurrence records ofA. agrarius is relevant for the study of ecology, biogeography and construction of the spatial distribution and ecological niche models in the context of global climate change. We have created a dataset of 1603 occurrence records of this species, collected from 1936 to December 2020 by various zoologists, previously published or original. These records relate to a significant part of the striped field mouse’s range in Russia (1264 records) and neighbouring countries (339 records). The dataset shows the position of the northern and central parts of A. agrarius range, the disjunction of the range in Transbaikalia and isolated populations in the north of the range. The data were obtained in different formats from literature, indicating different degrees of accuracy of geographic coordinates and with several variations of the species’ name. In the process of aggregating and fixing errors, we created a set of georeferenced occurrence records, adopted a controlled vocabulary, removed duplicates and standardised the format of records using unified data structure. We examined the dataset for inconsistencies with the taxonomic position of A. agrarius and removed the incorrect records. This paper presents the resulting dataset of A. agrarius occurrence records in the territory of Russia and neighbouring countries in a standardised format. New information This is a validated and comprehensive dataset of occurrence records of A. agrarius, including both our own observations and records from literature. This dataset is available for extension by other researchers using a standard format in accordance with Darwin Core standards. In different countries, there are a lot of occurrence records for the striped field mouse, but the overwhelming part of them is presented in separate literary sources, stored in the form of maps and in zoological collections. Prior to this project, such information was not available to a wide range of researchers and did not allow the use of these spatial data for further processing by modern methods of analysis, based on geographic information systems (GIS technologies). The created dataset combines species occurrence records of many Soviet zoologists who studied the distribution of the striped field mouse over a significant part of its recent range, in Russia and neighbouring countries (within the former US S R). The final set of records was created by combining the species occurrence records using a uniform data structure, checking geographic coordinates and removing duplicate and erroneous records. The dataset expands the available information on the spatial and temporal distribution of the dangerous invasive species in Russia and neighbouring countries of the former US S R (E stonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).

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Biodiversity Data Journal

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