Science Enabled by Specimen Data

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…

Bellot, S., Bayton, R. P., Couvreur, T. L. P., Dodsworth, S., Eiserhardt, W. L., Guignard, M. S., … Baker, W. J. (2020). On the origin of giant seeds: the macroevolution of the double coconut ( Lodoicea maldivica ) and its relatives (Borasseae, Arecaceae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16750 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16750

Seed size shapes plant evolution and ecosystems, and may be driven by plant size and architecture, dispersers, habitat and insularity. How these factors influence the evolution of giant seeds is unclear, as are the rate of evolution and the biogeographical consequences of giant seeds. We generated D…

Van Treuren, R., Hoekstra, R., Wehrens, R., & van Hintum, T. (2020). Effects of climate change on the distribution of crop wild relatives in the Netherlands in relation to conservation status and ecotope variation. Global Ecology and Conservation, 23, e01054. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01054 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01054

Crop wild relatives (CWR) are wild plant taxa that are genetically related to a cultivated species and are considered rich sources of useful traits for crop improvement. CWR are generally underrepresented in genebanks, while their survival in nature is not guaranteed. Inventories and risk analyses 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 …

Reginato, M., Vasconcelos, T. N. C., Kriebel, R., & Simões, A. O. (2020). Is dispersal mode a driver of diversification and geographical distribution in the tropical plant family Melastomataceae? Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 148, 106815. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106815 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106815

Species of plants with different life history strategies may differ in their seed dispersal mechanisms, impacting their distribution and diversification patterns. Shorter or longer distance dispersal is favored by different dispersal modes, facilitating (or constraining) population isolation, which …

Stropp, J., Umbelino, B., Correia, R. A., Campos-Silva, J. V., Ladle, R. J., & Malhado, A. C. M. (2020). The ghosts of forests past and future: deforestation and botanical sampling in the Brazilian Amazon. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.05026 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05026

The remarkable biodiversity of the Brazilian Amazon is poorly documented and threatened by deforestation. When undocumented areas become deforested, in addition to losing the fauna and flora, we lose the opportunity to know which unique species had occupied a habitat. Here we quantify such knowledge…

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…

Howard, C. C., & Cellinese, N. (2020). Tunicate bulb size variation in monocots explained by temperature and phenology. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5996 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5996

Plant bulbs are modified shoot systems comprised of short internodes with apical bud(s) surrounded by layers of leaf bases. Bulb diameters can vary greatly, with overall bulb size playing a role in flower formation and resource allocation. Despite the importance of bulb size to the overall fitness o…

Pirie, M. D., Kandziora, M., Nürk, N. M., Le Maitre, N. C., Mugrabi de Kuppler, A., Gehrke, B., … Bellstedt, D. U. (2019). Leaps and bounds: geographical and ecological distance constrained the colonisation of the Afrotemperate by Erica. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12862-019-1545-6 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-019-1545-6

Background: The coincidence of long distance dispersal (LDD) and biome shift is assumed to be the result of a multifaceted interplay between geographical distance and ecological suitability of source and sink areas. Here, we test the influence of these factors on the dispersal history of the floweri…

Chardon, N. I., Pironon, S., Peterson, M. L., & Doak, D. F. (2019). Incorporating intraspecific variation into species distribution models improves distribution predictions, but cannot predict species traits for a wide‐spread plant species. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04630 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04630

The most common approach to predicting how species ranges and ecological functions will shift with climate change is to construct correlative species distribution models (SDMs). These models use a species’ climatic distribution to determine currently suitable areas for the species and project its po…