Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Vasconcelos, T., Boyko, J. D., & Beaulieu, J. M. (2021). Linking mode of seed dispersal and climatic niche evolution in flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14292 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14292

Aim: Due to the sessile nature of flowering plants, movements to new geographical areas occur mainly during seed dispersal. Frugivores tend to be efficient dispersers because animals move within the boundaries of their preferable niches, so seeds are more likely to be transported to environments tha…

Xue, T., Gadagkar, S. R., Albright, T. P., Yang, X., Li, J., Xia, C., … Yu, S. (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. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2021.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…

Wang, C.-J., & Wan, J.-Z. (2021). Functional trait perspective on suitable habitat distribution of invasive plant species at a global scale. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.002

Plant invasion has been proved to threaten biodiversity conservation and ecosystem maintenance at a global scale. It is a challenge to project suitable habitat distributions of invasive plant species (IPS) for invasion risk assessment at large spatial scales. Interaction outcomes between native and …

Allstädt, F. J., Koutsodendris, A., Appel, E., Rösler, W., Reichgelt, T., Kaboth-Bahr, S., … Pross, J. (2021). Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene climate dynamics in western North America based on a new pollen record from paleo-Lake Idaho. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. doi:10.1007/s12549-020-00460-1 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-020-00460-1

Marked by the expansion of ice sheets in the high latitudes, the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation across the Plio/Pleistocene transition at ~ 2.7 Ma represents a critical interval of late Neogene climate evolution. To date, the characteristics of climate change in North America duri…

Pelletier, T. A., Carstens, B. C., Tank, D. C., Sullivan, J., & Espíndola, A. (2018). Predicting plant conservation priorities on a global scale. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(51), 13027–13032. doi:10.1073/pnas.1804098115 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1804098115

The conservation status of most plant species is currently unknown, despite the fundamental role of plants in ecosystem health. To facilitate the costly process of conservation assessment, we developed a predictive protocol using a machine-learning approach to predict conservation status of over 150…

Lake, T. A., Briscoe Runquist, R. D., & Moeller, D. A. (2020). Predicting range expansion of invasive species: Pitfalls and best practices for obtaining biologically realistic projections. Diversity and Distributions, 26(12), 1767–1779. doi:10.1111/ddi.13161 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13161

Aim: Species distribution models (SDMs) are widely used to forecast potential range expansion of invasive species. However, invasive species occurrence datasets often have spatial biases that may violate key SDM assumptions. In this study, we examined alternative methods of spatial bias correction a…

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 …

Xue, L., Jia, L., Nam, G., Huang, Y., Zhang, S., Wang, Y., … Chen, Y. (2020). Involucre fossils of Carpinus, a northern temperate element, from the Miocene of China and the evolution of its species diversity in East Asia. Plant Diversity. doi:10.1016/j.pld.2020.01.001 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pld.2020.01.001

East Asia has long been recognized as a major center for temperate woody plants diversity. Although several theories have been proposed to explain how the diversity of these temperate elements accumulated in the region, the specific process remains unclear. Here we describe six species of Carpinus, …

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…