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Data Brief. 2019 Mar 19;23:103842. doi: 10.1016/j.dib.2019.103842. eCollection 2019 Apr.

A global database on non-volant small mammal composition in natural and human-modified habitats.

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Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia, Departamento de Ecologia, Prédio 43422, Instituto de Biociências, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Av. Bento Gonçalves 9500, Bairro Agronomia, CEP: 91501-970, Post-Office Box: 15007, Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
Swiss Federal Research Institute, WSL- Zürcherstrasse 111, CH-8903, Birmensdorf, Switzerland.


Non-volant small mammals, which include small-bodied representatives from several mammal orders, have been used as a model group to test the effects of habitat conversion and edge creation on biodiversity. Small mammals occupy a large variety of habitat types and vegetation strata, and have varied lifestyles and diets. They include species with slow-to fast-life history (the Etruscan shrew Suncus etruscus and European Hare Lepus europaeus, respectively) and with very specialized to very generalist habits and diets (the Atlantic bamboo rat Kannabateomys amblyonyx and house mouse Mus musculus, respectively). There are no databases with global coverage focusing on small mammal composition in natural and human-modified habitats and that include neglected natural habitats (e.g. grasslands and savannas). Here, peer-reviewed articles were searched in the primary literature to synthesize almost half century (1973-2017) of research on small mammal composition in natural forests, grasslands and their natural edges, and in five types of human-modified habitats (human-induced forest edges, human-induced grassland edges, crop fields, clear-cuts and tree plantations). The complete database includes information from 199 peer-reviewed articles. Presence data were obtained for 534 species (including 30 unidentified) in 551 sites distributed in 45 countries, 92 ecoregions, 10 biomes and six realms. Measurements of sampling effort and number of species records (number of individuals, captures) per habitat were also obtained, from which researchers can calculate a measure of abundance standardized by the sampling effort. The database will be useful for researchers interested in local-to broad-scale patterns of alpha- and beta-diversity in natural and human-modified habitats.


Didelphimorphia; Edge effect; Eulipotyphla; Fragmentation; Non-volant small mammal sampling; Rodentia

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