The Global Alien Species First Record Database represents a compilation of first records of alien species across taxonomic groups and regions.
A first record denotes the year of first observation of an alien species in a region. Note that this often differs from the date of first introduction. The database covers all regions (mostly countries and some islands) globally with particularly intense sampling in Europe, North America and Australasia. First records were gathered from various data sources including online databases, scientific publications, reports and personal collections by a team of >45 researchers. A full list of data sources, an analysis of global and continental trends and more details about the data can be found in our open access publication: Seebens et al. (2017) No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide. Nature Communications 8, 14435.
Note that species names and first records may deviate from the original information, which was necessary to harmonise data files. Original information is provided in the most recent files.
Note that first records are sampled unevenly in space and time and across taxonomic groups, and thus first records are affected by sampling biases. From our experience, analyses on a continental or global scale are rather robust, while analyses on national levels should be interpreted carefully. For national analyses, we strongly recommend to consult the original data sources to check sampling methods, quality etc individually.
The first record database will be irregularly updated and the most recent version is indicated by the version number.
Here, we provide several files:
(1) The annual number of first records per taxonomic group and continent in an excel file, which represents the aggregated data used for most of the analyses in our paper (Seebens et al. Nat Comm).
(2) The R code for the implementation of the invasion model used in the paper.
(3) A more detailed data set with the first records of individual species in a region. This data set represents only a subset (~77%) of the full database as some data were not publicly accessible. This data set will be irregularly updated and may differ from the data set used in our paper. All data are free of use for non-commercial purposes with proper citation of Seebens et al. (2017) Nat Comm 8, 14435.
(4) A substantially updated version of the First Record Database (vs 1.2) used in our second publication: Seebens et al. (2018) Global rise in emerging alien species results from increased accessibility of new source pools. PNAS 115(10), E2264-E2273.