Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Holzmeyer, L., Hartig, A.-K., Franke, K., Brandt, W., Muellner-Riehl, A. N., Wessjohann, L. A., & Schnitzler, J. (2020). Evaluation of plant sources for antiinfective lead compound discovery by correlating phylogenetic, spatial, and bioactivity data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201915277. doi:10.1073/pnas.1915277117 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1915277117

Antibiotic resistance and viral diseases are rising around the world and are becoming major threats to global health, food security, and development. One measure that has been suggested to mitigate this crisis is the development of new antibiotics. Here, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of the …

Reginato, M., Vasconcelos, T. N. C., Kriebel, R., & Simões, A. O. (2020). Is dispersal mode a driver of diversification and geographical distribution in the tropical plant family Melastomataceae? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 148, 106815. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106815 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106815

Species of plants with different life history strategies may differ in their seed dispersal mechanisms, impacting their distribution and diversification patterns. Shorter or longer distance dispersal is favored by different dispersal modes, facilitating (or constraining) population isolation, which …

Klages, J. P., Salzmann, U., Bickert, T., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Gohl, K., … Dziadek, R. (2020). Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth. Nature, 580(7801), 81–86. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5

The mid-Cretaceous period was one of the warmest intervals of the past 140 million years1,2,3,4,5, driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of around 1,000 parts per million by volume6. In the near absence of proximal geological records from south of the Antarctic Circle, it is disputed whether p…

Ringelberg, J. J., Zimmermann, N. E., Weeks, A., Lavin, M., & Hughes, C. E. (2020). Biomes as evolutionary arenas: Convergence and conservatism in the trans‐continental succulent biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13089 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13089

Aim: Historically, biomes have been defined based on their structurally and functionally similar vegetation, but there is debate about whether these similarities are superficial, and about how biomes are defined and mapped. We propose that combined assessment of evolutionary convergence of plant fun…

Carrasco, J., Price, V., Tulloch, V., & Mills, M. (2020). Selecting priority areas for the conservation of endemic trees species and their ecosystems in Madagascar considering both conservation value and vulnerability to human pressure. Biodiversity and Conservation. doi:10.1007/s10531-020-01947-1 https://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-020-01947-1

Madagascar is one of the most biodiverse countries in Africa, due to its level of endemism and species diversity. However, the pressure of human activities threatens the last patches of natural vegetation in the country and conservation decisions are undertaken with limited data availability. In thi…

Asase, A., Sainge, M. N., Radji, R. A., Ugbogu, O. A., & Peterson, A. T. (2020). A new model for efficient, need‐driven progress in generating primary biodiversity information resources. Applications in Plant Sciences, 8(1). doi:10.1002/aps3.11318 https://doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11318

Premise: The field of biodiversity informatics has developed rapidly in recent years, with broad availability of large‐scale information resources. However, online biodiversity information is biased spatially as a result of slow and uneven capture and digitization of existing data resources. The Wes…

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…

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 …

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…