Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Menegotto, A., Rangel, T. F., Schrader, J., Weigelt, P., & Kreft, H. (2019). A global test of the subsidized island biogeography hypothesis. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13032 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13032

Aim: The decreasing capacity of area to predict species richness on small islands (the small‐island effect; SIE) seems to be one of the few exceptions of the species–area relationship. While most studies have focused on how to detect the SIE, the underlying ecological factors determining this patter…

Zanin, M., & Neves, B. dos S. (2019). Current felid (Carnivora: Felidae) distribution, spatial bias, and occurrence predictability: testing the reliability of a global dataset for macroecological studies. Acta Oecologica, 101, 103488. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2019.103488 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2019.103488

The lack of information about species distribution, also known as Wallacean shortfall, targets most species, even charismatic animals like felids, limiting the performance of scientific study and conservation planning. The knowledge about species distribution (specifically occurrence data) is also a…

Smith, J. A., Benson, A. L., Chen, Y., Yamada, S. A., & Mims, M. C. (2020). The power, potential, and pitfalls of open access biodiversity data in range size assessments: Lessons from the fishes. Ecological Indicators, 110, 105896. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105896 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2019.105896

Geographic rarity is a driver of a species’ intrinsic risk of extinction. It encompasses multiple key components including range size, which is one of the most commonly measured estimates of geographic rarity. Range size estimates are often used to prioritize conservation efforts when there are mult…

Ewers‐Saucedo, C., & Pappalardo, P. (2019). Testing adaptive hypotheses on the evolution of larval life history in acorn and stalked barnacles. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5645 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5645

Despite strong selective pressure to optimize larval life history in marine environments, there is a wide diversity with regard to developmental mode, size, and time larvae spend in the plankton. In the present study, we assessed if adaptive hypotheses explain the distribution of the larval life his…

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.…

Weterings, R., Barbetti, M., & Buckley, H. L. (2019). Hypothesis: Do invasive house geckos exacerbate dengue fever epidemics? Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-019-02066-x https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02066-x

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that has undergone a marked rise in incidence since the 1950s, throughout the world’s tropical regions. Here, we present a hypothesis that this rise in incidence may have been exacerbated by the invasion of house geckos, due to their role in the mosquito vect…

Battini, N., Farías, N., Giachetti, C., Schwindt, E., & Bortolus, A. (2019). Staying ahead of invaders: using species distribution modeling to predict alien species’ potential niche shifts. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 612, 127–140. doi:10.3354/meps12878 https://doi.org/10.3354/meps12878

Early detection and rapid response are essential to prevent invasive species from thriving in marine environments following their introduction. Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to predict the potential distribution of invasive species, providing excellent tools for the design of st…

Saeedi, H., & Costello, M. (2019). A world dataset on the geographic distributions of Solenidae razor clams (Mollusca: Bivalvia). Biodiversity Data Journal, 7. doi:10.3897/bdj.7.e31375 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.7.e31375

Background: Using this dataset, we examined the global geographical distributions of Solenidae species in relation to their endemicity, species richness and latitudinal ranges and then predicted their distributions under future climate change using species distribution modelling techniques (Saeedi e…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Li, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2019). Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology, 29(3), 499–505.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [1]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and p…

Sullivan, J., Smith, M. L., Espíndola, A., Ruffley, M., Rankin, A., Tank, D., & Carstens, B. (2019). Integrating life history traits into predictive phylogeography. Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/mec.15029 https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15029

Predictive phylogeography seeks to aggregate genetic, environmental and taxonomic data from multiple species in order to make predictions about unsampled taxa using machine‐learning techniques such as Random Forests. To date, organismal trait data have infrequently been incorporated into predictive …

Mothes, C. C., Stroud, J. T., Clements, S. L., & Searcy, C. A. (2019). Evaluating ecological niche model accuracy in predicting biotic invasions using South Florida’s exotic lizard community. Journal of Biogeography, 46(2), 432–441. doi:10.1111/jbi.13511 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13511

Aim: Predicting environmentally suitable areas for non‐native species is an important step in managing biotic invasions, and ecological niche models are commonly used to accomplish this task. Depending on these models to enact appropriate management plans assumes their accuracy, but most niche model…

Gams, W., Stielow, B., Gräfenhan, T., & Schroers, H.-J. (2019). The ascomycete genus Niesslia and associated monocillium-like anamorphs. Mycological Progress. doi:10.1007/s11557-018-1459-5 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11557-018-1459-5

The species of Niesslia including anamorphs formerly known as Monocillium form a distinct group in the Hypocreales and can be delimited by several unique morphological characters. Niesslia species inhabit decaying plant substrates, such as leaf litter or bark of diverse plants, especially coniferous…

Umstead, H., & Diggs., J. T. (2018). Shorter Note. American Fern Journal, 108(4), 176–179. doi:10.1640/0002-8444-108.4.176 https://doi.org/10.1640/0002-8444-108.4.176

An Ornamental Plant Found Spreading Aggressively: Potential Invasiveness of Dryopteris erythrosora (Dryopteridaceae) in North America.—Dryopteris erythrosora (D.C. Eaton) Kunze (Dryopteridaceae) is a fern native to Japan, Korea, and China (Hoshizaki and Wilson, American Fern Journal 89:1–98. 1999). …

Ureta, C., Cuervo-Robayo, Á. P., Calixto-Pérez, E., González-Salazar, C., … Fuentes-Conde, E. (2018). A first approach to evaluate the vulnerability of islands’ vertebrates to climate change in Mexico. Atmósfera, 31(3), 251–254. doi:10.20937/atm.2018.31.03.03 https://doi.org/10.20937/ATM.2018.31.03.03

Mexican islands are one of the most diverse territories in the world and consequently their conservation should be a national and international priority. Three main threats to islands’ diversity have been detected: invasive species, land use change and climate change. Most studies have been focused …

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 …

Antonelli, A., Zizka, A., Carvalho, F. A., Scharn, R., Bacon, C. D., Silvestro, D., & Condamine, F. L. (2018). Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(23), 6034–6039. doi:10.1073/pnas.1713819115 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

Zhang, X., & Vincent, A. C. J. (2018). Predicting distributions, habitat preferences and associated conservation implications for a genus of rare fishes, seahorses (Hippocampus spp.). Diversity and Distributions, 24(7), 1005–1017. doi:10.1111/ddi.12741 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12741

Aim: To identify useful sources of species data and appropriate habitat variables for species distribution modelling on rare species, with seahorses as an example, deriving ecological knowledge and spatially explicit maps to advance global seahorse conservation. Location: The shallow seas. Methods: …

Schirpke, U., Meisch, C., & Tappeiner, U. (2018). Symbolic species as a cultural ecosystem service in the European Alps: insights and open issues. Landscape Ecology, 33(5), 711–730. doi:10.1007/s10980-018-0628-x https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-018-0628-x

Purpose: Symbolic plants and animals are recognised as a cultural ecosystem service (CES), which is still underrepresented in ecosystem services assessments. Thus, this study aims at identifying and mapping important symbolic species in the European Alps, which are of cultural significance to large …

Alvarez, B., Frings, P. J., Clymans, W., Fontorbe, G., & Conley, D. J. (2017). Assessing the Potential of Sponges (Porifera) as Indicators of Ocean Dissolved Si Concentrations. Frontiers in Marine Science, 4. doi:10.3389/fmars.2017.00373 https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2017.00373

We explore the distribution of sponges along dissolved silica (dSi) concentration gradients to test whether sponge assemblages are related to dSi and to assess the validity of fossil sponges as a palaeoecological tool for inferring dSi concentrations of the past oceans. We extracted sponge records f…

Guedes, T. B., Sawaya, R. J., Zizka, A., Laffan, S., Faurby, S., Pyron, R. A., … Antonelli, A. (2017). Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27(1), 14–21. doi:10.1111/geb.12679 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12679

Motivation: We generated a novel database of Neotropical snakes (one of the world’s richest herpetofauna) combining the most comprehensive, manually compiled distribution dataset with publicly available data. We assess, for the first time, the diversity patterns for all Neotropical snakes as well as…

DeVaney, S. C. (2016). Species Distribution Modeling of Deep Pelagic Eels. Integrative and Comparative Biology, 56(4), 524–530. doi:10.1093/icb/icw032 https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/icw032

The ocean’s midwaters (the mesopelagic and bathypelagic zones) make up the largest living space on the planet, but are undersampled and relatively poorly understood. The true distribution of many midwater species, let alone the abiotic factors most important in determining that distribution, is not …