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…

Muñoz Mazón, M., Klanderud, K., Finegan, B., Veintimilla, D., Bermeo, D., Murrieta, E., … Sheil, D. (2019). Disturbance and the elevation ranges of woody plant species in the mountains of Costa Rica. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5870 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5870

Aim: To understand how disturbance—here defined as a transient reduction in competition—can shape plant distributions along elevation gradients. Theory suggests that disturbance may increase elevation ranges, especially at the lower range limits, through reduced competitive exclusion. Nevertheless, …

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…

Henareh Khalyani, A., Gould, W. A., Falkowski, M. J., Muscarella, R., Uriarte, M., & Yousef, F. (2019). Climate change increases potential plant species richness on Puerto Rican uplands. Climatic Change. doi:10.1007/s10584-019-02491-w https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-019-02491-w

Modeling climate change effects on species and communities is critical especially in isolated islands. We analyzed the potential effects of climate change on 200 plant species in Puerto Rico under two emission scenarios and in four periods over the twenty-first century. Our approach was based on ens…

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…

Grattarola, F., Botto, G., da Rosa, I., Gobel, N., González, E., González, J., … Pincheira-Donoso, D. (2019). Biodiversidata: An Open-Access Biodiversity Database for Uruguay. Biodiversity Data Journal, 7. doi:10.3897/bdj.7.e36226 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.7.e36226

The continental and marine territories of Uruguay are characterised by a rich convergence of multiple biogeographic ecoregions of the Neotropics, making this country a peculiar biodiversity spot. However, despite the biological significance of Uruguay for the South American subcontinent, the distrib…

Heringer, G., Bueno, M. L., Meira-Neto, J. A. A., Matos, F. A. R., & Neri, A. V. (2019). Can Acacia mangium and Acacia auriculiformis hinder restoration efforts in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest under current and future climate conditions? Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-019-02024-7 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02024-7

Climate change and biological invasions are two of the most cited factors that may affect species diversity in the coming decades. Here we used five climate scenarios to investigate the potential distribution of two invasive tree species, Acacia mangium and A. auriculiformis, in the Atlantic Forest …

Humphrey, L., Fraser, G., & Martin, G. (2019). The Economic Implications of Robinia pseudoacacia L. (black locust) on Agricultural Production in South Africa. Agrekon, 1–13. doi:10.1080/03031853.2019.1580591 https://doi.org/10.1080/03031853.2019.1580591

Robinia pseudoacacia L. (black locust) is an invasive deciduous, broad-leaved tree that has the potential to be widely distributed across South Africa. It has invaded all nine South African provinces. The potential economic impact of R. pseudoacacia on agricultural production stems from the tree’s a…

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 …

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…

Goncalves, A. L., García, M. V., Heuertz, M., & González-Martínez, S. C. (2019). Demographic history and spatial genetic structure in a remnant population of the subtropical tree Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil (Griseb.) Altschul (Fabaceae). Annals of Forest Science, 76(1). doi:10.1007/s13595-019-0797-z https://doi.org/10.1007/s13595-019-0797-z

Key message: A remnant population of Anadenanthera colubrina var. cebil in Northern Argentina showed a mixed mating system, high genetic diversity, and moderate spatial genetic structure, which was stronger in saplings than in adults. Demographic history analyses revealed an ancient population expan…

Milheiras, S. G., & Mace, G. M. (2019). Assessing ecosystem service provision in a tropical region with high forest cover: Spatial overlap and the impact of land use change in Amapá, Brazil. Ecological Indicators, 99, 12–18. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.12.013 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.12.013

Ecosystem service (ES) assessments have flourished globally in recent years and are now frequently used by policymakers and environmental managers. However, data scarce regions continue to be less well studied, limiting the comprehensiveness of the approach and its potential benefits. Here we aim to…

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…

Peterson, A. T., Asase, A., Canhos, D., de Souza, S., & Wieczorek, J. (2018). Data Leakage and Loss in Biodiversity Informatics. Biodiversity Data Journal, 6. doi:10.3897/bdj.6.e26826 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.6.e26826

The field of biodiversity informatics is in a massive, “grow-out” phase of creating and enabling large-scale biodiversity data resources. Because perhaps 90% of existing biodiversity data nonetheless remains unavailable for science and policy applications, the question arises as to how these existin…

Crespo-Mendes, N., Laurent, A., & Hauschild, M. Z. (2018). Effect factors of terrestrial acidification in Brazil for use in Life Cycle Impact Assessment. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment. doi:10.1007/s11367-018-1560-7 https://doi.org/10.1007/s11367-018-1560-7

Purpose:In Life Cycle Impact Assessment, atmospheric fate factors, soil exposure factors, and effect factors are combined to characterize potential impacts of acidifying substances in terrestrial environments. Due to the low availability of global data sets, effect factors (EFs) have been reported a…

Wan, J.-Z., Zhang, Z.-X., & Wang, C.-J. (2018). Identifying potential distributions of 10 invasive alien trees: implications for conservation management of protected areas. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 190(12). doi:10.1007/s10661-018-7104-6 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-7104-6

Tree invasion has the potential to negatively affect biodiversity and ecosystems, with invasive alien trees (IATs) expanding widely in protected areas (PAs) across different habitats. Thus, the effectiveness of PAs might be reduced. Investigation of the distributions of IAT is urgently required to i…

Crespo-Mendes, N., Laurent, A., Bruun, H. H., & Hauschild, M. Z. (2019). Relationships between plant species richness and soil pH at the level of biome and ecoregion in Brazil. Ecological Indicators, 98, 266–275. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.11.004 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2018.11.004

Soil pH has been used to indicate how changes in soil acidity can influence species loss. The correlation between soil pH and plant species richness has mainly been studied in North America and Europe, while there is a lack of studies exploring Tropical floras. Here, our aim was therefore to investi…

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…

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…

Guevara, L., & Sánchez-Cordero, V. (2018). New records of a critically endangered shrew from Mexican cloud forests (Soricidae, Cryptotis nelsoni) and prospects for future field research. Biodiversity Data Journal, 6. doi:10.3897/bdj.6.e26667 https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.6.e26667

The Nelson´s small-eared shrew, Cryptotisnelsoni (Merriam, 1895), is a critically endangered species, endemic to cloud forests in Los Tuxtlas, a mountain range along the Gulf of Mexico coast. This species is only known from the type locality and its surroundings. Here we present new records that ext…

Moreira, T. C. L., Amato-Lourenço, L. F., da Silva, G. T., Saldiva de André, C. D., de André, P. A., Barrozo, L. V., … Locosselli, G. M. (2018). The Use of Tree Barks to Monitor Traffic Related Air Pollution: A Case Study in São Paulo–Brazil. Frontiers in Environmental Science, 6. doi:10.3389/fenvs.2018.00072 https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2018.00072

The analysis of chemical elements in the barks of trees is an alternative procedure to access spatial heterogeneity of traffic related air pollution. However, the role of tree species in the characterization of the variability of airborne pollution is poorly known. We present an observational study …

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 …

VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA, J.-A., NEILL, D. A., SHALISKO, V., ARROYO, F., & MERINO-SANTI, R. E. (2018). Magnolia mercedesiarum (subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae): a new Andean species from northern Ecuador, with insights into its potential distribution. Phytotaxa, 348(4), 254. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2

Magnolia mercedesiarum, a new species from the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador, is described and illustrated, and a key to Ecuadorian Magnolia (subsect. Talauma) is provided. This species differs from M. vargasiana in having broadly elliptic leaves that have an obtuse base vs. suborb…

Schley, R. J., de la Estrella, M., Pérez-Escobar, O. A., Bruneau, A., Barraclough, T., Forest, F., & Klitgård, B. (2018). Is Amazonia a “museum” for Neotropical trees? The evolution of the Brownea clade (Detarioideae, Leguminosae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 126, 279–292. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.029 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2018.04.029

The flora of the Neotropics is unmatched in its diversity, however the mechanisms by which diversity has accumulated are debated and largely unclear. The Brownea clade (Leguminosae) is a characteristic component of the Neotropical flora, and the species within it are diverse in their floral morpholo…

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…

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…

Manchego, C. E., Hildebrandt, P., Cueva, J., Espinosa, C. I., Stimm, B., & Günter, S. (2017). Climate change versus deforestation: Implications for tree species distribution in the dry forests of southern Ecuador. PLOS ONE, 12(12), e0190092. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0190092 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0190092

Seasonally dry forests in the neotropics are heavily threatened by a combination of human disturbances and climate change; however, the severity of these threats is seldom contrasted. This study aims to quantify and compare the effects of deforestation and climate change on the natural spatial range…

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…