Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Rahman, W., J. Magos Brehm, and N. Maxted. 2023. The impact of climate change on the future distribution of priority crop wild relatives in Indonesia and implications for conservation planning. Journal for Nature Conservation 73: 126368. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2023.126368

The analysis of climate change impact is essential to include in conservation planning of crop wild relatives (CWR) to provide the guideline for adequate long-term protection under unpredictable future environmental conditions. These resources play an important role in sustaining the future of food security, but the evidence shows that they are threatened by climate change. The current analyses show that five taxa were predicted to have contraction of more than 30 % of their current ranges: Artocarpus sepicanus (based on RCP 4.5 in both no dispersal and unlimited dispersal scenario and RCP 8.5 in no dispersal scenario by 2050), Ficus oleifolia (RCP 4.5 5 in both no dispersal and unlimited dispersal scenario by 2080), Cocos nucifera and Dioscorea alata (RCP 8.5 in both no dispersal and unlimited dispersal scenario by 2050), and Ficus chartacea (RCP 8.5 in both no dispersal and unlimited dispersal scenario by 2050 and 2080). It shows that the climate change impact is species-specific. Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and dispersal scenarios influence the prediction models, and the actual future distribution range of species falls in between those scenarios. Climate refugia, holdout populations, and non-analogue community assemblages were identified based on the Protected Areas (PAs) network. PAs capacity is considered an important element in implementing a conservation strategy for the priority CWR. In areas where PAs are isolated and have less possibility to build corridors to connect each other, such as in Java, unlimited dispersal scenarios are unlikely to be achieved and assisted dispersal is suggested. The holdout populations should be the priority target for the ex situ collection. Therefore, by considering the climate refugia, PAs capacity and holdout populations, the goal of keeping high genetic variations for the long-term conservation of CWR in Indonesia can be achieved.

Nuñez Landa, M. de L., J. C. Montero Castro, T. C. Monterrubio-Rico, S. I. Lara-Cabrera, and D. A. Prieto-Torres. 2023. Predicting co-distribution patterns of parrots and woody plants under global changes: The case of the Lilac-crowned Amazon and Neotropical dry forests. Journal for Nature Conservation 71: 126323. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126323

Global climate and land-use changes are the most significant causes of the current habitat loss and biodiversity crisis. Although there is information measuring these global changes, we lack a full understanding of how they impact community assemblies and species interactions across ecosystems. Herein, we assessed the potential distribution of eight key woody plant species associated with the habitat of the endangered Lilac-crowned Amazon (Amazon finschi) under global changes scenarios (2050′s and 2070′s), to answer the following questions: (1) how do predicted climate and land-use changes impact these species’ individual distributions and co-distribution patterns?; and (2) how effective is the existing Protected Area network for safeguarding the parrot species, the plant species, and their biological interactions? Our projections were consistent identifying the species that are most vulnerable to climate change. The distribution ranges of most of the species tended to decrease under future climates. These effects were strongly exacerbated when incorporating land-use changes into models. Even within existing protected areas, >50 % of the species’ remaining distribution and sites with the highest plant richness were predicted to be lost in the future under these combined scenarios. Currently, both individual species ranges and sites of highest richness of plants, shelter a high proportion (ca. 40 %) of the Lilac-crowned Amazon distribution. However, this spatial congruence could be reduced in the future, potentially disrupting the ecological associations among these taxa. We provide novel evidence for decision-makers to enhance conservation efforts to attain the long-term protection of this endangered Mexican endemic parrot and its habitat.

Xue, T., S. R. Gadagkar, T. P. Albright, X. Yang, J. Li, C. Xia, J. Wu, and S. Yu. 2021. Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation 32: e01885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

Widhelm, T. J., F. Grewe, J. Huang, K. Ramanauskas, R. Mason‐Gamer, and H. T. Lumbsch. 2020. Using RADseq to understand the circum‐Antarctic distribution of a lichenized fungus, Pseudocyphellaria glabra. Journal of Biogeography 48: 78–90. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13983

Aim: The Southern Ocean landmasses have intrigued biologists for centuries because they share many taxonomic groups. Such disjunct taxa can provide insight into evolutionary processes that connect populations or drive divergence. The lichenized fungus Pseudocyphellaria glabra, for example, has a dis…