Tracking the invasion of Sosnowsky's hogweed in the Komi Republic

Employing car-mounted video cameras to record and describe invasive plant distributions

GBIF-mediated data resources used : 10,894 species occurrences
Sosnowsky's hogweed
Heracleum sosnowskyi by Hugo.arg via Wikimedia Commons licensed under CC-BY-SA-3.0.

The autonomous Komi Republic located in the north-east of the Russian Plain constitutes an important biogeographic boundary between the European and Asian continents. Sosnowsky's hogweed (Heracleum sosnowskyi) was introduced as a forage crop in the second half of the 20th century, but now all populations in the region are invasive.

This data paper represents a study of the distribution of H. sosnowskyi in the Komi Republic recorded from moving vehicles mounted with video cameras synched with GPS trackers. Traveling at speeds of up to 90 km/h, the study vehicles collected data within a radius of 300 km around Syktyvkar, capital of Komi.

The reseachers broke the recorded video feeds into frames and sorted the images based on H. sosnowskyi occurrences. The final dataset contains 10,894 occurrence records, all of which are available through

Using the recorded occurrences combined with bioclimatic variables, the researchers modeled the potential distribution of the weed, and determined the northern range boundary to 67.2°.

Chadin I, Dalke I, Zakhozhiy I, Malyshev R, Madi E, Kuzivanova O, Kirillov D and Elsakov V (2017) Distribution of the invasive plant species Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden. in the Komi Republic (Russia). PhytoKeys. Pensoft Publishers 77: 71–80. Available at: