Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Lim, J. Y., Huang, H., Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D. J., Baker, W. J., Morley, R. J., … Jordan, G. (2021). The Cenozoic history of palms: Global diversification, biogeography and the decline of megathermal forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13436 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13436

Aim: Megathermal rain forests and mangroves are much smaller in extent today than in the early Cenozoic, primarily owing to global cooling and drying trends since the Eocene–Oligocene transition (c. 34 Ma). The general reduction of these biomes is hypothesized to shape the diversity and biogeographi…

Beaulieu, W. T., Panaccione, D. G., Quach, Q. N., Smoot, K. L., & Clay, K. (2021). Diversification of ergot alkaloids and heritable fungal symbionts in morning glories. Communications Biology, 4(1). doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02870-z https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02870-z

Heritable microorganisms play critical roles in life cycles of many macro-organisms but their prevalence and functional roles are unknown for most plants. Bioactive ergot alkaloids produced by heritable Periglandula fungi occur in some morning glories (Convolvulaceae), similar to ergot alkaloids in …

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…

Zhang, M., Wei, R., Xiang, Q., Ebihara, A., & Zhang, X. (2021). Integrative taxonomy of the Selaginella helvetica group based on morphological, molecular and ecological data. TAXON. doi:10.1002/tax.12565 https://doi.org/10.1002/tax.12565

The Eurasian and Mediterranean Selaginella helvetica group is one of the taxonomically challenging groups in the cosmopolitan lycophyte genus Selaginella. Species of the S. helvetica group are all small plants with lax strobili composed of more or less isomorphic sporophylls (isosporophylls) that ar…

Iannella, M., D’Alessandro, P., De Simone, W., & Biondi, M. (2021). Habitat Specificity, Host Plants and Areas of Endemism for the Genera-Group Blepharida s.l. in the Afrotropical Region (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini). Insects, 12(4), 299. doi:10.3390/insects12040299 https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12040299

The genus Calotheca Heyden (Chrysomelidae) is mainly distributed in the eastern and southern parts of sub-Saharan Africa, with some extensions northward, while Blepharidina Bechyné occurs in the intertropical zone of Africa, with two subgenera, Blepharidina s. str. and Blepharidina(Afroblepharida) B…

Deanna, R., Wilf, P., & Gandolfo, M. A. (2020). New physaloid fruit‐fossil species from early Eocene South America. American Journal of Botany, 107(12), 1749–1762. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1565 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…

Iqbal, I., Shabbir, A., Shabbir, K., Barkworth, M., Bareen, F., & Khan, S. (2020). Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L. (Convolvulaceae): a new alien plant record for Pakistan. BioInvasions Records, 9(4), 702–711. doi:10.3391/bir.2020.9.4.04 https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2020.9.4.04

Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L., a member of the Convolvulaceae, is native to Mexico and South America but nowadays grows around the world in many tropical and subtropical regions. Its presence in Pakistan, where it has become naturalized, is reported here for the first time. It was first discovered i…

Rozefelds, A. C., Stull, G., Hayes, P., & Greenwood, D. R. (2020). The fossil record of Icacinaceae in Australia supports long-standing Palaeo-Antarctic rainforest connections in southern high latitudes. Historical Biology, 1–11. doi:10.1080/08912963.2020.1832089 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…

Cross, A. T., Krueger, T. A., Gonella, P. M., Robinson, A. S., & Fleischmann, A. S. (2020). Conservation of carnivorous plants in the age of extinction. Global Ecology and Conservation, e01272. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272

Carnivorous plants (CPs)—those possessing specific strategies to attract, capture and kill animal prey and obtain nutrition through the absorption of their biomass—are harbingers of anthropogenic degradation and destruction of ecosystems. CPs exhibit highly specialised and often very sensitive ecolo…

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…