Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Folk, R. A., Stubbs, R. L., Mort, M. E., Cellinese, N., Allen, J. M., Soltis, P. S., … Guralnick, R. P. (2019). Rates of niche and phenotype evolution lag behind diversification in a temperate radiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(22), 10874–10882. doi:10.1073/pnas.1817999116 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817999116

Environmental change can create opportunities for increased rates of lineage diversification, but continued species accumulation has been hypothesized to lead to slowdowns via competitive exclusion and niche partitioning. Such density-dependent models imply tight linkages between diversification and…

Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Conrad, O., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., König, C., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2019). Why tree lines are lower on islands-Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12897 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12897

Aim: To determine the global position of tree line isotherms, compare it with observed local tree limits on islands and mainlands, and disentangle the potential drivers of a difference between tree line and local tree limit. Location: Global. Time period: 1979–2013. Major taxa studied: Trees. Method…

Chevalier, M. (2019). Enabling possibilities to quantify past climate from fossil assemblages at a global scale. Global and Planetary Change, 175, 27–35. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.01.016 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.01.016

The field of quantitative palaeoclimatology has made significant progress in the past decades. However, this progress has been spatially heterogeneous and strong discrepancies – both in terms of quality and density – exist between Europe and North America and the rest of the world. The need to balan…

Gagnon, E., Ringelberg, J. J., Bruneau, A., Lewis, G. P., & Hughes, C. E. (2018). Global Succulent Biome phylogenetic conservatism across the pantropical Caesalpinia Group (Leguminosae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.15633 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15633

The extent to which phylogenetic biome conservatism versus biome shifting determine global patterns of biodiversity remains poorly understood. To address this question, we investigate the biogeography and trajectories of biome and growth form evolution across the Caesalpinia Group (Leguminosae), a c…

Park, D. S., & Razafindratsima, O. H. (2018). Anthropogenic threats can have cascading homogenizing effects on the phylogenetic and functional diversity of tropical ecosystems. Ecography, 42(1), 148–161. doi:10.1111/ecog.03825 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.03825

Determining the mechanisms that underlie species distributions and assemblages is necessary to effectively preserve biodiversity. This cannot be accomplished by examining a single taxonomic group, as communities comprise a plethora of interactions across species and trophic levels. Here, we examine …

VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA, J.-A., NEILL, D. A., SHALISKO, V., ARROYO, F., & MERINO-SANTI, R. E. (2018). Magnolia mercedesiarum (subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae): a new Andean species from northern Ecuador, with insights into its potential distribution. Phytotaxa, 348(4), 254. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2

Magnolia mercedesiarum, a new species from the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador, is described and illustrated, and a key to Ecuadorian Magnolia (subsect. Talauma) is provided. This species differs from M. vargasiana in having broadly elliptic leaves that have an obtuse base vs. suborb…

Reichgelt, T., West, C. K., & Greenwood, D. R. (2018). The relation between global palm distribution and climate. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2

Fossil palms provide qualitative evidence of (sub-) tropical conditions and frost-free winters in the geological past, including modern cold climate regions (e.g., boreal, or polar climates). The freeze intolerance of palms varies across different organs and life stages, with seedlings in particular…

Grossenbacher, D. L., Brandvain, Y., Auld, J. R., Burd, M., Cheptou, P.-O., Conner, J. K., … Goldberg, E. E. (2017). Self-compatibility is over-represented on islands. New Phytologist, 215(1), 469–478. doi:10.1111/nph.14534 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14534

Because establishing a new population often depends critically on finding mates, individuals capable of uniparental reproduction may have a colonization advantage. Accordingly, there should be an over-representation of colonizing species in which individuals can reproduce without a mate, particularl…

Antonelli, A., Hettling, H., Condamine, F. L., Vos, K., Nilsson, R. H., Sanderson, M. J., … Vos, R. A. (2016). Toward a Self-Updating Platform for Estimating Rates of Speciation and Migration, Ages, and Relationships of Taxa. Systematic Biology, syw066. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw066 https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw066

Rapidly growing biological data –including molecular sequences and fossils– hold an unprecedented potential to reveal how evolutionary processes generate and maintain biodiversity. However, researchers often have to develop their own idiosyncratic workflows to integrate and analyse these data for re…