Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Vollering, J., Halvorsen, R., Auestad, I., & Rydgren, K. (2019). Bunching up the background betters bias in species distribution models. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04503 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04503

Sets of presence records used to model species’ distributions typically consist of observations collected opportunistically rather than systematically. As a result, sampling probability is geographically uneven, which may confound the model’s characterization of the species’ distribution. Modelers f…

Fletcher, T. L., Warden, L., Sinninghe Damsté, J. S., Brown, K. J., Rybczynski, N., Gosse, J. C., & Ballantyne, A. P. (2019). Evidence for fire in the Pliocene Arctic in response to amplified temperature. Climate of the Past, 15(3), 1063–1081. doi:10.5194/cp-15-1063-2019 https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-15-1063-2019

The mid-Pliocene is a valuable time interval for investigating equilibrium climate at current atmospheric CO2 concentrations because atmospheric CO2 concentrations are thought to have been comparable to the current day and yet the climate and distribution of ecosystems were quite different. One intr…

Schubert, M., Marcussen, T., Meseguer, A. S., & Fjellheim, S. (2019). The grass subfamily Pooideae: Cretaceous–Palaeocene origin and climate‐driven Cenozoic diversification. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12923 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12923

Aim: Frost is among the most dramatic stresses a plant can experience, and complex physiological adaptations are needed to endure long periods of sub‐zero temperatures. Owing to the need to evolve these complex adaptations, transitioning from tropical to temperate climates is regarded as difficult. …

Folk, R. A., Stubbs, R. L., Mort, M. E., Cellinese, N., Allen, J. M., Soltis, P. S., … Guralnick, R. P. (2019). Rates of niche and phenotype evolution lag behind diversification in a temperate radiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(22), 10874–10882. doi:10.1073/pnas.1817999116 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817999116

Environmental change can create opportunities for increased rates of lineage diversification, but continued species accumulation has been hypothesized to lead to slowdowns via competitive exclusion and niche partitioning. Such density-dependent models imply tight linkages between diversification and…

Gomes, S. I. F., van Bodegom, P. M., Merckx, V. S. F. T., & Soudzilovskaia, N. A. (2019). Global distribution patterns of mycoheterotrophy. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12920 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12920

Aim: Mycoheterotrophy is a mode of life where plants cheat the mycorrhizal symbiosis, receiving carbon via their fungal partners. Despite being widespread, mycoheterotrophic plants are locally rare, hampering the understanding of their global environmental drivers. Here, we explore global environmen…

Margaroni, S., Petersen, K. B., Gleadow, R., & Burd, M. (2019). The role of spore size in the global pattern of co-occurrence among Selaginella species. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.13532 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13532

Aim: Separation of regeneration niches may promote coexistence among closely related plant species, but there is little evidence that regeneration traits affect species ranges at broad geographical scales. We address patterns of co‐occurrence within the genus Selaginella, an ancient lineage of free‐…

Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Conrad, O., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., König, C., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2019). Why tree lines are lower on islands-Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12897 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12897

Aim: To determine the global position of tree line isotherms, compare it with observed local tree limits on islands and mainlands, and disentangle the potential drivers of a difference between tree line and local tree limit. Location: Global. Time period: 1979–2013. Major taxa studied: Trees. Method…

Sullivan, J., Smith, M. L., Espíndola, A., Ruffley, M., Rankin, A., Tank, D., & Carstens, B. (2019). Integrating life history traits into predictive phylogeography. Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/mec.15029 https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15029

Predictive phylogeography seeks to aggregate genetic, environmental and taxonomic data from multiple species in order to make predictions about unsampled taxa using machine‐learning techniques such as Random Forests. To date, organismal trait data have infrequently been incorporated into predictive …

Sheppard, C. S., & Schurr, F. M. (2018). Biotic resistance or introduction bias? Immigrant plant performance decreases with residence times over millennia. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12844 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12844

Aim: Invasions are dynamic processes. Invasive spread causes the geographical range size of alien species to increase with residence time. However, with time native competitors and antagonists can adapt to invaders. This build‐up of biotic resistance may eventually limit the invader’s performance an…

Inman, R., Franklin, J., Esque, T., & Nussear, K. (2018). Spatial sampling bias in the Neotoma paleoecological archives affects species paleo-distribution models. Quaternary Science Reviews, 198, 115–125. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.015 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.015

The ability to infer paleo-distributions with limited knowledge of absence makes species distribution modeling (SDM) a useful tool for exploring paleobiogeographic questions. Spatial sampling bias is a known issue when modeling extant species. Here we quantify the spatial sampling bias in a North Am…