Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Baumbach, L., D. L. Warren, R. Yousefpour, and M. Hanewinkel. 2021. Climate change may induce connectivity loss and mountaintop extinction in Central American forests. Communications Biology 4. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02359-9

The tropical forests of Central America serve a pivotal role as biodiversity hotspots and provide ecosystem services securing human livelihood. However, climate change is expected to affect the species composition of forest ecosystems, lead to forest type transitions and trigger irrecoverable losses…

Deanna, R., P. Wilf, and M. A. Gandolfo. 2020. New physaloid fruit‐fossil species from early Eocene South America. American Journal of Botany 107: 1749–1762. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1565

Premise: Solanaceae is a scientifically and economically important angiosperm family with a minimal fossil record and an intriguing early evolutionary history. Here, we report a newly discovered fossil lantern fruit with a suite of features characteristic of Physalideae within Solanaceae. The fossil…

Rozefelds, A. C., G. Stull, P. Hayes, and D. R. Greenwood. 2020. The fossil record of Icacinaceae in Australia supports long-standing Palaeo-Antarctic rainforest connections in southern high latitudes. Historical Biology 33: 2854–2864. https://doi.org/10.1080/08912963.2020.1832089

Fossil fruits of Icacinaceae are recorded from two Cenozoic sites in Australia, at Launceston in northern Tasmania and the Poole Creek palaeochannel in northern South Australia, representing the first report of fossil Icacinaceae from Australia. The Launceston material includes two endocarps with br…

Myrans, H., M. V. Diaz, C. K. Khoury, D. Carver, R. J. Henry, and R. Gleadow. 2020. Modelled distributions and conservation priorities of wild sorghums ( Sorghum Moench). Diversity and Distributions 26: 1727–1740. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13166

Aim: To fill knowledge gaps regarding the distributions, ecogeographic niches and conservation status of sorghum's wild relatives (Sorghum Moench). Location: The study covered the potential native ranges of wild Sorghum taxa worldwide, including Australia, New Guinea, Asia, Africa and Central Ameri…

Brightly, W. H., S. E. Hartley, C. P. Osborne, K. J. Simpson, and C. A. E. Strömberg. 2020. High silicon concentrations in grasses are linked to environmental conditions and not associated with C 4 photosynthesis. Global Change Biology 26: 7128–7143. 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…

De Simone, W., M. Iannella, P. D’Alessandro, and M. Biondi. 2020. Assessing influence in biofuel production and ecosystem services when environmental changes affect plant–pest relationships. GCB Bioenergy 12: 864–877. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcbb.12727

Climate change is currently affecting both biodiversity and human activities; land use change and greenhouse gas emissions are the main drivers. Many agricultural services are affected by the change, which in turn reflects on the basic provisioning services, which supply food, fibre and biofuels. Bi…

Agwu, O. P., A. Bakayokoa, S. O. Jimoh, K. Dimobe, and S. Porembski. 2020. Impact of climate on ecology and suitable habitat of Garcinia kola heckel in Nigeria. Trees, Forests and People 1: 100006. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tfp.2020.100006

Garcinia kola is an indigenous multipurpose tree species, with significant cultural value and medical benefits, commonly found in the tropical rain forest zone of West and Central Africa. The species has been reported to be over-used and are now classified as vulnerable species close to commercial e…

Jahanshiri, E., N. M. Mohd Nizar, T. A. S. Tengku Mohd Suhairi, P. J. Gregory, A. S. Mohamed, E. M. Wimalasiri, and S. N. Azam-Ali. 2020. A Land Evaluation Framework for Agricultural Diversification. Sustainability 12: 3110. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083110

Shortlisting ecologically adaptable plant species can be a starting point for agricultural diversification projects. We propose a rapid assessment framework based on an ecological model that can accelerate the evaluation of options for sustainable crop diversification. To test the new model, expert-…

Goodwin, Z. A., P. Muñoz-Rodríguez, D. J. Harris, T. Wells, J. R. I. Wood, D. Filer, and R. W. Scotland. 2020. How long does it take to discover a species? Systematics and Biodiversity 18: 784–793. 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., J. Lenoir, D. N. Karger, M. Gomez, A. Gonzalez, O. Broennimann, and A. Guisan. 2020. The fate of páramo plant assemblages in the sky islands of the northern Andes B. Jiménez‐Alfaro [ed.],. Journal of Vegetation Science 31: 967–980. 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) …