Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Marconi, L., & Armengot, L. (2020). Complex agroforestry systems against biotic homogenization: The case of plants in the herbaceous stratum of cocoa production systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 287, 106664. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664

In addition to their potential against deforestation and climate change, agroforestry systems may have a relevant role in biodiversity conservation. In this sense, not only species richness per se, but also community composition, including the distribution range of the species, should be considered.…

Nevado, B., Wong, E. L. Y., Osborne, O. G., & Filatov, D. A. (2019). Adaptive Evolution Is Common in Rapid Evolutionary Radiations. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.059 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2019.07.059

One of the most long-standing and important mysteries in evolutionary biology is why biological diversity is so unevenly distributed across space and taxonomic lineages. Nowhere is this disparity more evident than in the multitude of rapid evolutionary radiations found on oceanic islands and mountai…

Schubert, M., Marcussen, T., Meseguer, A. S., & Fjellheim, S. (2019). The grass subfamily Pooideae: Cretaceous–Palaeocene origin and climate‐driven Cenozoic diversification. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12923 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12923

Aim: Frost is among the most dramatic stresses a plant can experience, and complex physiological adaptations are needed to endure long periods of sub‐zero temperatures. Owing to the need to evolve these complex adaptations, transitioning from tropical to temperate climates is regarded as difficult. …

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…

Gomes, S. I. F., van Bodegom, P. M., Merckx, V. S. F. T., & Soudzilovskaia, N. A. (2019). Global distribution patterns of mycoheterotrophy. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12920 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12920

Aim: Mycoheterotrophy is a mode of life where plants cheat the mycorrhizal symbiosis, receiving carbon via their fungal partners. Despite being widespread, mycoheterotrophic plants are locally rare, hampering the understanding of their global environmental drivers. Here, we explore global environmen…

Gamisch, A., & Comes, H. P. (2019). Clade-age-dependent diversification under high species turnover shapes species richness disparities among tropical rainforest lineages of Bulbophyllum (Orchidaceae). BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12862-019-1416-1 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-019-1416-1

Background: Tropical rainforests (TRFs) harbour almost half of the world’s vascular plant species diversity while covering only about 6–7% of land. However, why species richness varies amongst the Earth’s major TRF regions remains poorly understood. Here we investigate the evolutionary processes sha…

Margaroni, S., Petersen, K. B., Gleadow, R., & Burd, M. (2019). The role of spore size in the global pattern of co-occurrence among Selaginella species. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.13532 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13532

Aim: Separation of regeneration niches may promote coexistence among closely related plant species, but there is little evidence that regeneration traits affect species ranges at broad geographical scales. We address patterns of co‐occurrence within the genus Selaginella, an ancient lineage of free‐…

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…

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…

Wan, J.-Z., Wang, C.-J., & Yu, F.-H. (2019). Large-scale environmental niche variation between clonal and non-clonal plant species: Roles of clonal growth organs and ecoregions. Science of The Total Environment, 652, 1071–1076. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.280 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.10.280

Clonal plant species can produce genetically identical and potentially independent offspring, and dominate a variety of habitats. The divergent evolutionary mechanisms between clonal and non-clonal plants are interesting areas of ecological research. A number of studies have shown that the environme…

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 …

Xie, S.-P., Zhang, S.-H., Chen, T.-Y., Zhang, X.-C., Zeng, X., & Yu, Y. (2018). Late Miocene occurrence of monogeneric family Oleandraceae from southwest China and its implications on evolution of eupolypods I. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 256, 13–19. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.05.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.05.002

Yunnan in SW China is a world renowned hotspot for diverse species of vascular plants such as ferns. However, fossil records of the Cenozoic ferns there are insufficient to clarify their phylogeny and historical biogeography from a geological perspective. Among these derived ferns, the monogeneric f…

Wan, J.-Z., & Wang, C.-J. (2018). Expansion risk of invasive plants in regions of high plant diversity: A global assessment using 36 species. Ecological Informatics, 46, 8–18. doi:10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.04.004 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2018.04.004

Invasive plant species (IPS) have a high potential for expanding within biodiversity hotspots and threatening global plant diversity. Hence, it is urgent to assess the expansion risk of IPS in regions of high plant diversity and their potentially negative effects throughout the world. We used the wo…

Petersen, K. B., & Burd, M. (2018). The adaptive value of heterospory: Evidence from Selaginella . Evolution, 72(5), 1080–1091. doi:10.1111/evo.13484 https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13484

Heterospory was a pivotal evolutionary innovation for land plants, but it has never been clear why it evolved. We used the geographic distributions of 114 species of the heterosporous lycophyte Selaginella to explore the functional ecology of microspore and megaspore size, traits that would be corre…

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…

Vetaas, O. R., Grytnes, J.-A., Bhatta, K. P., & Hawkins, B. A. (2018). An intercontinental comparison of niche conservatism along a temperature gradient. Journal of Biogeography, 45(5), 1104–1113. doi:10.1111/jbi.13185 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13185

Aims: Phylogenetic niche conservatism (PNC) predicts that closely related species will have similar distributions along major environmental gradients, e.g. temperature. We test this theory by comparing the central tendencies of temperature for selected woody genera, and investigating whether these g…

Jurd, D., & Pole, M. (2017). Miocene “fin-winged” fruits and Pliocene drift fruits – the first record of Combretaceae (Terminalia) from New Zealand. Geobios, 50(5-6), 423–429. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002

Two types of fossil Terminalia (Combretaceae) fruits are described from warmer periods in New Zealand’s past. One is represented by large ‘fin-winged’ fruit (samara) from the Early Miocene Manuherikia Group sediments of Bannockburn and the Nevis Valley. The form and size of the fruits are entirely u…

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…

Keppel, G., Gillespie, T. W., Ormerod, P., & Fricker, G. A. (2016). Habitat diversity predicts orchid diversity in the tropical south-west Pacific. Journal of Biogeography, 43(12), 2332–2342. doi:10.1111/jbi.12805 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.12805

Aim To determine if habitat diversity, as estimated by climatic and topographic variables, can predict patterns of orchid diversity on different islands and archipelagos with similar explanatory power to biogeographical variables, such as area, isolation and age of an island. Location Sixty-three is…