Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Brightly, W. H., Hartley, S. E., Osborne, C. P., Simpson, K. J., & Strömberg, C. A. E. (2020). High silicon concentrations in grasses are linked to environmental conditions and not associated with C 4 photosynthesis. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.15343 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…

Chevalier, M., Chase, B. M., Quick, L. J., Dupont, L. M., & Johnson, T. C. (2020). Temperature change in subtropical southeastern Africa during the past 790,000 yr. Geology. doi:10.1130/g47841.1 https://doi.org/10.1130/G47841.1

Across the glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene (~700 k.y.), temperature variability at low latitudes is often considered to have been negligible compared to changes in precipitation. However, a paucity of quantified temperature records makes this difficult to reliably assess. In this…

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…

Huang, H., Morley, R., Licht, A., Dupont-Nivet, G., Grímsson, F., Zetter, R., … Hoorn, C. (2020). Eocene palms from central Myanmar in a South-East Asian and global perspective: evidence from the palynological record. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/boaa038 https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boaa038

In the Palaeogene, pollen assemblages at low and mid latitudes are characterized by abundant palm and palm-like (PPL) taxa. Although these taxa have been widely reported, their occurrence in the Palaeogene of Myanmar remains poorly documented. Here we report on the morphology of PPL pollen along a m…

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…

Holzmeyer, L., Hartig, A.-K., Franke, K., Brandt, W., Muellner-Riehl, A. N., Wessjohann, L. A., & Schnitzler, J. (2020). Evaluation of plant sources for antiinfective lead compound discovery by correlating phylogenetic, spatial, and bioactivity data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 201915277. doi:10.1073/pnas.1915277117 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1915277117

Antibiotic resistance and viral diseases are rising around the world and are becoming major threats to global health, food security, and development. One measure that has been suggested to mitigate this crisis is the development of new antibiotics. Here, we provide a comprehensive evaluation of the …

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 …

Li, M., He, J., Zhao, Z., Lyu, R., Yao, M., Cheng, J., & Xie, L. (2020). Predictive modelling of the distribution of Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. under climate change reveals a range expansion during the Last Glacial Maximum. PeerJ, 8, e8729. doi:10.7717/peerj.8729 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8729

Background The knowledge of distributional dynamics of living organisms is a prerequisite for protecting biodiversity and for the sustainable use of biotic resources. Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. is a small group of shrubby, yellow-flowered species distributed mainly in arid and semi-arid areas…

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…

Hawthorne, W. D., & Marshall, C. A. M. (2019). Rapid Botanic Survey, Bioquality and improving botanical inventory in the tropics by integrating across spatial scales. Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore, 71(suppl.2), 315–333. doi:10.26492/gbs71(suppl.2).2019-21 https://doi.org/10.26492/gbs71(suppl.2).2019-21

We review the Rapid Botanic Survey method (RBS), in the context of botanical recording to date. The concept of bioquality, a biodiversity value respecting global rarity, is summarised. Bioquality assessment involves the Star system for categorising species by global rarity; and a Genetic Heat Index …