Science Enabled by Specimen Data

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…

Stropp, J., Umbelino, B., Correia, R. A., Campos-Silva, J. V., Ladle, R. J., & Malhado, A. C. M. (2020). The ghosts of forests past and future: deforestation and botanical sampling in the Brazilian Amazon. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.05026 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05026

The remarkable biodiversity of the Brazilian Amazon is poorly documented and threatened by deforestation. When undocumented areas become deforested, in addition to losing the fauna and flora, we lose the opportunity to know which unique species had occupied a habitat. Here we quantify such knowledge…

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…

De Siracusa, P. C., Gadelha, L. M. R., & Ziviani, A. (2020). New perspectives on analysing data from biological collections based on social network analytics. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-60134-y https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-60134-y

Biological collections have been historically regarded as fundamental sources of scientific information on biodiversity. They are commonly associated with a variety of biases, which must be characterized and mitigated before data can be consumed. In this work, we are motivated by taxonomic and colle…

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…

Zizka, A., Azevedo, J., Leme, E., Neves, B., Costa, A. F., Caceres, D., & Zizka, G. (2019). Biogeography and conservation status of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae). Diversity and Distributions. doi:10.1111/ddi.13004 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13004

Aim: To provide distribution information and preliminary conservation assessments for all species of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae), one of the most diverse and ecologically important plant groups of the American tropics—a global biodiversity hotspot. Furthermore, we aim to analyse patterns of …

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.…

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…

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…

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…