Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Rotenberry, J. T., & Balasubramaniam, P. (2020). Connecting species’ geographical distributions to environmental variables: range maps versus observed points of occurrence. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04871 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04871

Connecting the geographical occurrence of a species with underlying environmental variables is fundamental for many analyses of life history evolution and for modeling species distributions for both basic and practical ends. However, raw distributional information comes principally in two forms: poi…

Prieto-Torres, D. A., Lira-Noriega, A., & Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. (2020). Climate change promotes species loss and uneven modification of richness patterns in the avifauna associated to Neotropical seasonally dry forests. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.pecon.2020.01.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2020.01.002

We assessed the effects of global climate change as a driver of spatio-temporal biodiversity patterns in bird assemblages associated to Neotropical seasonally dry forests (NSDF). For this, we estimated the geographic distribution of 719 bird species under current and future climate (2050 and 2070) p…

Zink, R. M., Botero-Cañola, S., Martinez, H., & Herzberg, K. M. (2020). Niche modeling reveals life history shifts in birds at La Brea over the last twenty millennia. PLOS ONE, 15(1), e0227361. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0227361 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227361

A species presence at a particular site can change over time, resulting in temporally dynamic species pools. Ecological niche models provide estimates of species presence at different time intervals. The avifauna of La Brea includes approximately 120 species dating to approximately 15,000 years ago.…

Ocampo, M. C. E., Castillo Santiago, M. Á., Ochoa-Gaona, S., Enríquez, P. L., & Sibelet, N. (2019). Assessment of Habitat Quality and Landscape Connectivity for Forest-Dependent Cracids in the Sierra Madre del Sur Mesoamerican Biological Corridor, México. Tropical Conservation Science, 12, 194008291987882. doi:10.1177/1940082919878827 https://doi.org/10.1177/1940082919878827

Assessing landscape connectivity allows us to identify critical areas that impede or facilitate the movement of organisms and their genes and to plan their conservation and management. In this article, we assessed landscape connectivity and ecological condition of the habitat patches of a highly bio…

Saupe, E. E., Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D. J., Sagoo, N., Pham, K. V., & Field, D. J. (2019). Climatic shifts drove major contractions in avian latitudinal distributions throughout the Cenozoic. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(26), 12895–12900. doi:10.1073/pnas.1903866116 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1903866116

Many higher level avian clades are restricted to Earth’s lower latitudes, leading to historical biogeographic reconstructions favoring a Gondwanan origin of crown birds and numerous deep subclades. However, several such “tropical-restricted” clades (TRCs) are represented by stem-lineage fossils well…

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 …

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…