Duarte, G., Moreira, M., Branco, P., da Costa, L., Ferreira, M.T. & Segurado, P. (2018) One Millennium of historical freshwater fish occurrence data for Portuguese rivers and streams.Scientific Data, 5(180163), 1-8. DOI:10.1038/sdata.2018.163 (IF2018 5,929; Q1 Multidisciplinary Sciences)
The insights that historical evidence of human presence and man-made documents provide are unique. For example, using historical data may be critical to adequately understand the ecological requirements of species. However, historical information about freshwater species distribution remains largely a knowledge gap. In this Data Descriptor, we present the Portuguese Historical Fish Database (PHish–DB), a compilation of 2214 records (557 at the basin scale, 184 at the sub-basin scale and 1473 at the segment scale) resulting from a survey of 194 historical documents. The database was developed using a three-scale approach that maximises the inclusion of information by allowing different degrees of spatial acuity. PHish database contains records of 25 taxonomical groups and covers a time span of one millennium, from the 11th until the 20th century. This database has already proven useful for two scientific studies, and PHish further use will contribute to correctly assess the full range of conditions tolerated by species, by establishing adequate benchmark conditions, and/or to improve existing knowledge of the species distribution limits.