Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Armani, M., Charles-Dominique, T., E. Barton, K., & W. Tomlinson, K. (2019). Developmental constraints and resource environment shape early emergence and investment in spines in saplings. Annals of Botany. doi:10.1093/aob/mcz152 https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcz152

Background and Aims: Herbivory by large mammals imposes a critical recruitment bottleneck on plants in many systems. Spines defend plants against large herbivores and how early they emerge in saplings may be one of the strongest predictors of sapling survival in herbivore-rich environments. Yet litt…

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…

In this work we have retrieved and analysed data for 2319 occurrences of rust fungi from 246 Pucciniales taxa in Portugal based on 115 publications and our own surveys, totalizing 683 rust taxon-host taxon unique combinations. This list was updated according to current taxonomic framework and georef…

Han, T., Zheng, Q., Onstein, R. E., Rojas‐Andrés, B. M., Hauenschild, F., Muellner‐Riehl, A. N., & Xing, Y. (2019). Polyploidy promotes species diversification of Allium through ecological shifts. New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16098 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16098

Despite the role of polyploidy in multiple evolutionary processes, its impact on plant diversification remains controversial. An increased polyploid frequency may facilitate speciation through shifts in ecology, morphology, or both. Here we used Allium to evaluate (1) the relationship between intras…

Li, Y., Wen, J., Ren, Y., & Zhang, J. (2019). From seven to three: Integrative species delimitation supports major reduction in species number in Rhodiola section Trifida (Crassulaceae) on the Qinghai‐Tibetan Plateau. TAXON, 68(2), 268–279. doi:10.1002/tax.12052 https://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12052

An essential component of biodiversity research and conservation is to accurately delimit species. Traditional morphology‐based taxonomy has faced great challenges in complex taxa. In the last few years, the focus of species delimitations has shifted from defining species using different species con…

Fletcher, T. L., Warden, L., Sinninghe Damsté, J. S., Brown, K. J., Rybczynski, N., Gosse, J. C., & Ballantyne, A. P. (2019). Evidence for fire in the Pliocene Arctic in response to amplified temperature. Climate of the Past, 15(3), 1063–1081. doi:10.5194/cp-15-1063-2019 https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1063-2019

The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intr…

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…

He, X., Burgess, K. S., Yang, X.-F., Ahrends, A., Gao, L.-M., & Li, D.-Z. (2019). Upward elevation and northwest range shifts for alpine Meconopsis species in the Himalaya-Hengduan Mountains region. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5034 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5034

Climate change may impact the distribution of species by shifting their ranges to higher elevations or higher latitudes. The impacts on alpine plant species may be particularly profound due to a potential lack of availability of future suitable habitat. To identify how alpine species have responded …

Wan, J.-Z., Zhang, Z.-X., & Wang, C.-J. (2019). Effects of ecoregional vulnerability on habitat suitability of invasive alien plants: an assessment using 13 species on a global scale. Environmental Earth Sciences, 78(5). doi:10.1007/s12665-019-8186-3 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12665-019-8186-3

The development of new hypotheses can promote the explanation of mechanisms on plant invasion across different scales. We tested the hypothesis that ecoregional vulnerability can affect habitat suitability of invasive alien plants (IAPs) in non-native ranges. We used 13 IAPs, distributed around the …

Mohapatra, J., Singh, C. P., Hamid, M., Verma, A., Semwal, S. C., Gajmer, B., … Pandya, H. A. (2019). Modelling Betula utilis distribution in response to climate-warming scenarios in Hindu-Kush Himalaya using random forest. Biodiversity and Conservation. doi:10.1007/s10531-019-01731-w https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-019-01731-w

Globally, the increase in the climatic variability has led to adverse effects on the treeline species in the high-elevation mountain landscapes. Identifying the geographical space that supports the treeline species survival over time is essential for conservation biogeography. Increase in the global…

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…

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…

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…

Guo, J.-L., Cao, W.-J., Li, Z.-M., Zhang, Y.-H., & Volis, S. (2018). Conservation implications of population genetic structure in a threatened orchid Cypripedium tibeticum. Plant Diversity. doi:10.1016/j.pld.2018.12.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2018.12.002

Cypripedium tibeticum is a threatened orchid which efficient conservation requires knowledge of its extent and structure of genetic variation. Using two chloroplast DNA fragments (rps16 and trnL-F), we analyzed 157 individuals from 9 populations representing the species range in China. Seven haploty…

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…

Sheppard, C. S., & Schurr, F. M. (2018). Biotic resistance or introduction bias? Immigrant plant performance decreases with residence times over millennia. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12844 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12844

Aim: Invasions are dynamic processes. Invasive spread causes the geographical range size of alien species to increase with residence time. However, with time native competitors and antagonists can adapt to invaders. This build‐up of biotic resistance may eventually limit the invader’s performance an…

Milla, R., Bastida, J. M., Turcotte, M. M., Jones, G., Violle, C., Osborne, C. P., … Byun, C. (2018). Phylogenetic patterns and phenotypic profiles of the species of plants and mammals farmed for food. Nature Ecology & Evolution, 2(11), 1808–1817. doi:10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4

The origins of agriculture were key events in human history, during which people came to depend for their food on small numbers of animal and plant species. However, the biological traits determining which species were domesticated for food provision, and which were not, are unclear. Here, we invest…

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…

Li, Q., Liu, Y. (Christopher), Jin, J., & Quan, C. (2018). Late Oligocene Fissistigma (Annonaceae) leaves from Guangxi, low-latitude China and its paleoecological implications. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology, 259, 39–47. doi:10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.09.005 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.09.005

Fissistigma nanningense sp. nov. (Annonaceae) is described based on well-preserved mummified leaves from the Oligocene Yongning Formation of Nanning, Guangxi, southern China. They are characterized by retuse apex, a swollen petiole, eucamptodromous to simple brochidodromous secondary veins, percurre…

Joffard, N., Massol, F., Grenié, M., Montgelard, C., & Schatz, B. (2018). Effect of pollination strategy, phylogeny and distribution on pollination niches of Euro‐Mediterranean orchids. Journal of Ecology, 107(1), 478–490. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13013 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13013

1.Pollination niches are important components of ecological niches and have played a major role in the diversification of Angiosperms. In this study, we focused on Euro‐Mediterranean orchids, which use diverse pollination strategies and interact with various functional groups of insects. In these or…

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…

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…