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      Fleroff goes digital: georeferenced records from "Flora des Gouvernements Wladimir" (Fleroff, 1902)

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      Biodiversity Data Journal
      Pensoft Publishers

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          Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) has uneven data coverage across taxonomic, spatial and temporal dimensions. Temporal imbalances in the data coverage are particularly dramatic. Thus, 188.3M GBIF records were made in 2020, more than the whole lot of the currently available pre-1986 electronic data. This underscores the importance of reliable and precise biodiversity spatial data collected in early times. Biological collections certainly play a key role in our knowledge of biodiversity in the past. However, digitisation of historical literature is underway, being a modern trend in biodiversity data mining. The grid dataset for the flora of Vladimir Oblast, Russia, includes many historical records borrowed from the "Flora des Gouvernements Wladimir" by Alexander F. Fleroff (also known as Flerov or Flerow). Intensive study of Fleroff's collections and field surveys exactly in the same localities where he worked, showed that the quality of his data is superb. Species lists collected across hundreds of localities form a unique source of reliable information on the floristic diversity of Vladimir Oblast and adjacent areas for the period from 1894 to 1901. Since the grid dataset holds generalised data, we made precise georeferencing of Fleroff's literature records and published them in the form of a GBIF-mediated dataset.

          New information

          A dataset, based on "Flora des Gouvernements Wladimir. I. Pflanzengeographische Beschreibung des Gouvernements Wladimir" by Fleroff (1902), includes 8,889 records of 654 taxa (mainly species) from 366 localities. The majority of records originate from Vladimir Oblast (4,611 records of 534 taxa from 195 localities) and Yaroslavl Oblast (2,013 records of 409 taxa from 66 localities), but also from Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (942 records), Ivanovo Oblast (667 records) and Moscow Oblast (656 records). The leading second-level administrative units by the number of records are Pereslavsky District (2,013 records), Aleksandrovsky District (1,318 records) and Sergievo-Posadsky District (599 records). Georeferencing was carried out, based on the expert knowledge of the area, analysis of modern satellite images and old topographic maps. For 2,460 records, the georeferencing accuracy is 1,000 m or less (28%), whereas for 6,070 records it is 2,000 m or less (68%). The mean accuracy of records of the entire dataset is 2,447 m. That accuracy is unattainable for most herbarium collections of the late 19 th century. Some localities of rare plants discovered by Fleroff and included into the dataset were completely lost in the 20 th century due to either peat mining or development of urban areas.

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          Most cited references20

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          iNaturalist Research-grade Observations

          Observations from iNaturalist.org, an online social network of people sharing biodiversity information to help each other learn about nature. iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society. Observations included in this archive met the following requirements: * Published under one of the following licenses or waivers: 1) http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/, 2) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/, 3) http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ * Achieved one of following iNaturalist quality grades: Research * Created on or before 2020-09-10 18:00:26 -0700 You can view observations meeting these requirements at https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?created_d2=2020-09-10+18%3A00%3A26+-0700&license=CC0%2CCC-BY%2CCC-BY-NC&quality_grade=research
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            Moscow University Herbarium (MW)

            Moscow University Herbarium (MW) is the second largest herbarium in Russia after the Komarov Institute. Being available at https://plant.depo.msu.ru/, it is almost completely imaged either at 300 dpi for regular collections or at 600 dpi for type specimens. The herbarium is focused on the flora of temperate Eurasia with an emphasis on the flora of Russia. As of 1 November 2018, physical collections of MW Herbarium include 1,044,571 specimens (incl. 4.8K type specimens) representing 37,200 species and subspecies of vascular plants and 2,223 species and subspecies of bryophytes. Currently, MW holds the 63rd place in the world's ranking (Thiers, 2019). Moscow University Herbarium preserve some important historical collections by G.F. Hoffmann, J.F. Ehrhart, C.B. Trinius, J.R. and J.G.A. Forsters, and their correspondents. The Moscow University Herbarium added a millionth specimen to the collections in June 2016. An average annual growth of the collections is ca. 15,000 specimens, with an exceptional 22,013 specimens added to the herbarium in 2016. In 2017, we added 19,416 new accessions. Since 2005, major accessions originated from Eastern Europe, Siberia and Russian Far East, the Caucasus, and South Asia (vascular plants); Taimyr, Russian Far East, and North Caucasus (bryophytes). The Moscow University Herbarium has gained budget for the digitisation of the collections within the Program of the National Depository Bank of Live Systems (Moscow Digital Herbarium Initiative), and ca. 970,000 specimens were scanned since May 2015. All records are published at https://plant.depo.msu.ru/, including JPG images and metadata required for indexing. The number of georeferenced specimens with fully captured labels is constantly growing. Brief metadata (collector's name and collection date) were added for 83% specimens in July 2018 to enable easy grouping of specimens prior to label capturing and georeferencing. As of September 2019, labels of 325,635 specimens are fully captured and 425,618 specimens are precisely georeferenced. 4,939 occurrences from Yakutia were georeferenced in March 2019 by the support of RFBR project 'Sravnitel'nyj analiz zakonomernostej raznoobraziya drevesnyh i travyanistyh vidov kontinental'noj Azii' (# 19-54-53014). 5,140 occurrences from Mongolia were georeferenced in December 2020 by the support of RFBR project 'Sravnitel'nyj analiz zakonomernostej raznoobraziya drevesnyh i travyanistyh vidov kontinental'noj Azii' (# 19-54-53014). 68,166 occurrences were georeferenced from March, 1 2019 to September, 24 2019 by the support of FinBIF project 'Supporting the regular georeferencing of European Russia holdings in the Moscow Digital Herbarium' (Russia2019_14, see details at https://www.gbif.org/project/2dfnq4VJQxHVSoPZWykiCb/supporting-the-regular-georeferencing-of-european-russia-holdings-in-the-moscow-digital-herbarium). They include newly georeferenced records from Eastern European plain, western slope of the Urals and Northern Caucasus. Moscow Digital Herbarium (MW and MHA herbaria online) is the largest Russian biodiversity database. It is fully available in GBIF. It is the primary source for the "Distribution Atlas of the Russian Flora" to be outworked in the Moscow University in due time. Moscow Digital Herbarium holds several regional portals like "Flora of Moscow" (https://moscow.depo.msu.ru/) for further stimulation of the digitisation efforts across Russian herbaria.
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              "Flora of Russia" on iNaturalist: a dataset

              Abstract Background The "Flora of Russia" project on iNaturalist brought together professional scientists and amateur naturalists from all over the country. Over 10,000 people were involved in the data collection. New information Within 20 months, the participants accumulated 750,143 photo observations of 6,857 species of the Russian flora. This constitutes the largest dataset of open spatial data on the country’s biodiversity and a leading source of data on the current state of the national flora. About 87% of all project data, i.e. 652,285 observations, are available under free licences (CC0, CC-BY, CC-BY-NC) and can be freely used in scientific, educational and environmental activities.

                Author and article information

                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                20 October 2021
                : 9
                : e75299
                [1 ] M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia M.V. Lomonosov Moscow State University Moscow Russia
                [2 ] Unaffiliated, Tyumen, Russia Unaffiliated Tyumen Russia
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Alexey P. Seregin ( botanik.seregin@ 123456gmail.com ).

                Academic editor: Alexander Sennikov

                Author information
                75299 18005
                Alexey P. Seregin, Yurii M. Basov

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                : 15 September 2021
                : 18 October 2021
                Page count
                Figures: 11, Tables: 2, References: 20
                Funded by: Russian Science Foundation 501100006769 http://doi.org/10.13039/501100006769
                Data Paper (Biosciences)
                Data Management
                Biodiversity & Conservation


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