Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Brightly, W. H., Hartley, S. E., Osborne, C. P., Simpson, K. J., & Strömberg, C. A. E. (2020). High silicon concentrations in grasses are linked to environmental conditions and not associated with C 4 photosynthesis. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.15343 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15343

The uptake and deposition of silicon (Si) as silica phytoliths is common among land plants and is associated with a variety of functions. Among these, herbivore defense has received significant attention, particularly with regards to grasses and grasslands. Grasses are well known for their high sili…

Chevalier, M., Chase, B. M., Quick, L. J., Dupont, L. M., & Johnson, T. C. (2020). Temperature change in subtropical southeastern Africa during the past 790,000 yr. Geology. doi:10.1130/g47841.1 https://doi.org/10.1130/G47841.1

Across the glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene (~700 k.y.), temperature variability at low latitudes is often considered to have been negligible compared to changes in precipitation. However, a paucity of quantified temperature records makes this difficult to reliably assess. In this…

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…

Cardador, L., & Blackburn, T. M. (2020). A global assessment of human influence on niche shifts and risk predictions of bird invasions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13166 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13166

Aim: Estimating the strength of niche conservatism is key for predictions of invasion risk. Most studies consider only the climatic niche, but other factors, such as human disturbance, also shape niches. Whether occupation of human habitats in the alien range depends on the native tolerances of spec…

Li, K., Wang, J., Qiao, L., Zheng, R., Ma, Y., Chen, Y., … Liu, H. (2020). Diversity of Reproductive Phenology Among Subtropical Grasses Is Constrained by Evolution and Climatic Niche. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 8. doi:10.3389/fevo.2020.00181 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2020.00181

Reproductive phenology is sensitive to climatic changes and is associated with species functional types, distribution ranges, and their corresponding climatic niches. Phylogenetic niche conservatism in reproductive phenology also constrains its diversity and the distribution of species. Therefore, w…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Wang, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2020). Animal invaders threaten protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications, 11(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. However, alien species invasion is an increasing threat to biodiversity, and the extent to which protected areas worldwide are resistant to incursions of alien species remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate establishment by 8…

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 …

Peyre, G., Lenoir, J., Karger, D. N., Gomez, M., Gonzalez, A., Broennimann, O., & Guisan, A. (2020). The fate of páramo plant assemblages in the sky islands of the northern Andes. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi:10.1111/jvs.12898 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12898

Aims: Assessing climate change impacts on biodiversity is a main scientific challenge, especially in the tropics, therefore, we predicted the future of plant species and communities on the unique páramo sky islands. We implemented the Spatially Explicit Species Assemblage Modelling framework, by i) …

Rotenberry, J. T., & Balasubramaniam, P. (2020). Connecting species’ geographical distributions to environmental variables: range maps versus observed points of occurrence. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04871 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04871

Connecting the geographical occurrence of a species with underlying environmental variables is fundamental for many analyses of life history evolution and for modeling species distributions for both basic and practical ends. However, raw distributional information comes principally in two forms: poi…

Li, M., He, J., Zhao, Z., Lyu, R., Yao, M., Cheng, J., & Xie, L. (2020). Predictive modelling of the distribution of Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. under climate change reveals a range expansion during the Last Glacial Maximum. PeerJ, 8, e8729. doi:10.7717/peerj.8729 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8729

Background The knowledge of distributional dynamics of living organisms is a prerequisite for protecting biodiversity and for the sustainable use of biotic resources. Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. is a small group of shrubby, yellow-flowered species distributed mainly in arid and semi-arid areas…