Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Ritter, C. D., Faurby, S., Bennett, D. J., Naka, L. N., ter Steege, H., Zizka, A., … Antonelli, A. (2019). The pitfalls of biodiversity proxies: Differences in richness patterns of birds, trees and understudied diversity across Amazonia. Scientific Reports, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-019-55490-3 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-55490-3

Most knowledge on biodiversity derives from the study of charismatic macro-organisms, such as birds and trees. However, the diversity of micro-organisms constitutes the majority of all life forms on Earth. Here, we ask if the patterns of richness inferred for macro-organisms are similar for micro-or…

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.…

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…

Pietras, Marcin and Marta Kolanowska. 2019. Predicted potential occurrence of the North American false truffle Rhizopogon salebrosus in Europe. Fungal Ecology, 39:225-230, doi:10.1016/j.funeco.2018.12.002. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funeco.2018.12.002

Rhizopogon salebrosus is an ectomycorrhizal fungus native to North America and known in Europe. In this study we illustrate the worldwide biogeography of R. salebrosus based on sporocarp and ectomycorrhiza records. MaxEnt modelling was used to assess the distribution of the potential niche of R. salebrosus in Europe, based on climatic variables and the preferences of its ectomycorrhizal partner. At the beginning, R. salebrosus was only recorded in the mountainous regions (Alps and Elbe Mountains). In 2014 this fungus was recorded for the first time in Northern Poland and this is the first record of R. salebrosus in a lowland area. In Europe the most suitable habitats are in the western part of the Iberian Peninsula, British Isles, western edge of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Alps, Balkan and Carpathian Mountains and the Anatolian Peninsula. Considering climatic conditions the most important factor limiting the occurrence of R. salebrosus (with a 31.4% contribution) is precipitation in the coldest quarter. On the other hand, areas where the ectomycorrhizal partners of R. salebrosus occur, should be also considered as potential regions for its expansion in Europe.

Rotllan-Puig, X., & Traveset, A. (2019). Determining the Minimal Background Area for Species Distribution Models: MinBAR Package. doi:10.1101/571182 https://doi.org/10.1101/571182

One of the crucial choices when modelling species distributions using pseudo-absences approaches is the delineation of the background area to fit the model. We hypothesise that there is a minimum background area around the centre of the species distribution that characterizes well enough the range o…

Schubert, M., Groenvold, L., Sandve, S. R., Hvidsten, T. R., & Fjellheim, S. (2019). Evolution of cold acclimation and its role in niche transition in the temperate grass subfamily Pooideae. Plant Physiology, pp.01448.2018. doi:10.1104/pp.18.01448 https://doi.org/10.1104/pp.18.01448

The grass subfamily Pooideae dominates the grass floras in cold temperate regions, and has evolved complex physiological adaptations to cope with extreme environmental conditions like frost, winter and seasonality. One such adaptation is cold acclimation, wherein plants increase their frost toleranc…

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…

Phillips, J., Whitehouse, K., & Maxted, N. (2019). An in situ approach to the conservation of temperate cereal crop wild relatives in the Mediterranean Basin and Asian centre of diversity. Plant Genetic Resources: Characterization and Utilization, 1–11. doi:10.1017/s1479262118000588 https://doi.org/10.1017/S1479262118000588

Cereal crops are one of the most widely consumed and most valuable crops for humankind. The species have been domesticated for over 10,000 years and as such have lost much of the genetic diversity that is present within their wild relatives. Future breeding efforts will require the use of genetic di…

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…