Science Enabled by Specimen Data

De Jesús Hernández-Hernández, M., Cruz, J. A., & Castañeda-Posadas, C. (2020). Paleoclimatic and vegetation reconstruction of the miocene southern Mexico using fossil flowers. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 104, 102827. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102827 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102827

Concern about the course of the current environmental problems has raised interest in investigating the different scenarios that have taken place in our planet throughout time. To that end, different methodologies have been employed in order to determine the different variables that compose the envi…

Bellot, S., Bayton, R. P., Couvreur, T. L. P., Dodsworth, S., Eiserhardt, W. L., Guignard, M. S., … Baker, W. J. (2020). On the origin of giant seeds: the macroevolution of the double coconut ( Lodoicea maldivica ) and its relatives (Borasseae, Arecaceae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16750 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16750

Seed size shapes plant evolution and ecosystems, and may be driven by plant size and architecture, dispersers, habitat and insularity. How these factors influence the evolution of giant seeds is unclear, as are the rate of evolution and the biogeographical consequences of giant seeds. We generated D…

De Lima, V. V. F., Scariot, A., & Sevilha, A. C. (2020). Predicting the distribution of Syagrus coronata palm: challenges for the conservation of an important resource in northeastern Brazil. Flora, 151607. doi:10.1016/j.flora.2020.151607 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.flora.2020.151607

The palm Syagrus coronata plays an important ecological role in the caatinga ecosystems and is a source of income and livelihood for rural communities in semiarid northeastern Brazil. Despite its ecological and socioeconomic importance, little is known about the environmental factors determining its…

Bohora Schlickmann, M., da Silva, A. C., de Oliveira, L. M., Oliveira Matteucci, D., Domingos Machado, F., Cuchi, T., … Higuchi, P. (2020). Specific leaf area is a potential indicator of tree species sensitive to future climate change in the mixed Subtropical Forests of southern Brazil. Ecological Indicators, 116, 106477. doi:10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106477 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2020.106477

Global warming represents one of the most important threats to biodiversity. Because the functional traits of plants influence the performance of individuals under different environmental conditions, we aimed to describe the functional traits of the most frequent tree species found in the Brazilian …

Goodwin, Z. A., Muñoz-Rodríguez, P., Harris, D. J., Wells, T., Wood, J. R. I., Filer, D., & Scotland, R. W. (2020). How long does it take to discover a species? Systematics and Biodiversity, 1–10. doi:10.1080/14772000.2020.1751339 https://doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2020.1751339

The description of a new species is a key step in cataloguing the World’s flora. However, this is only a preliminary stage in a long process of understanding what that species represents. We investigated how long the species discovery process takes by focusing on three key stages: 1, the collection …

Mungi, N. A., Qureshi, Q., & Jhala, Y. V. (2020). Expanding niche and degrading forests: Key to the successful global invasion of Lantana camara (sensu lato). Global Ecology and Conservation, 23, e01080. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01080 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01080

Estimating the distribution of invasive species and understanding the ecological reasons for their success is crucial for their management. Moreover, their ability to invade biogeographically distinct regions in short timespans poses interesting ecological questions. Lantana camara (sensu lato) is o…

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…

Eckert, S., Hamad, A., Kilawe, C. J., Linders, T. E. W., Ng, W., Mbaabu, P. R., … Schaffner, U. (2020). Niche change analysis as a tool to inform management of two invasive species in Eastern Africa. Ecosphere, 11(2). doi:10.1002/ecs2.2987 https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2987

Significant progress has been made in providing guidelines and recommendations for assessing the ecological niche, stage of invasion, and probability of invasive alien plant species (IAPS) potential distribution in space and time. We followed these recommendations by developing and comparing ordinat…

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…