Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Lewthwaite, J. M. M., & Mooers, A. Ø. (2021). Geographical homogenization but little net change in the local richness of Canadian butterflies. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13426 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13426

Aim: Recent studies have found that local-scale plots measured through time exhibit marked variation in the change in species richness. However, the overall effect often reveals no net change. Most studies to date have been agnostic about the identities of the species lost/gained and about the proce…

Schneider, K., Makowski, D., & van der Werf, W. (2021). Predicting hotspots for invasive species introduction in Europe. Environmental Research Letters. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac2f19 https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2f19

Plant pest invasions cost billions of Euros each year in Europe. Prediction of likely places of pest introduction could greatly help focus efforts on prevention and control and thus reduce societal costs of pest invasions. Here, we test whether generic data-driven risk maps of pest introduction, val…

Hemberger, J., Crossley, M. S., & Gratton, C. (2021). Historical decrease in agricultural landscape diversity is associated with shifts in bumble bee species occurrence. Ecology Letters. doi:10.1111/ele.13786 https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13786

Agricultural intensification is a key suspect among putative drivers of recent insect declines, but an explicit link between historical change in agricultural land cover and insect occurrence is lacking. Determining whether agriculture impacts beneficial insects (e.g. pollinators), is crucial to enh…

Ellestad, P., Forest, F., Serpe, M., Novak, S. J., & Buerki, S. (2021). Harnessing large-scale biodiversity data to infer the current distribution of Vanilla planifolia (Orchidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/boab005 https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boab005

Although vanilla is one of the most popular flavours in the world, there is still uncertainty concerning the native distribution of the species that produces it, Vanilla planifolia. To circumscribe the native geographical extent of this economically important species more precisely, we propose a new…

Orr, M. C., Hughes, A. C., Chesters, D., Pickering, J., Zhu, C.-D., & Ascher, J. S. (2020). Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Wang, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2020). Animal invaders threaten protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications, 11(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. However, alien species invasion is an increasing threat to biodiversity, and the extent to which protected areas worldwide are resistant to incursions of alien species remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate establishment by 8…

Ezray, B. D., Wham, D. C., Hill, C. E., & Hines, H. M. (2019). Unsupervised machine learning reveals mimicry complexes in bumblebees occur along a perceptual continuum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1910), 20191501. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1501 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1501

Müllerian mimicry theory states that frequency-dependent selection should favour geographical convergence of harmful species onto a shared colour pattern. As such, mimetic patterns are commonly circumscribed into discrete mimicry complexes, each containing a predominant phenotype. Outside a few exam…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Li, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2019). Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology, 29(3), 499–505.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [1]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and p…

Mothes, C. C., Stroud, J. T., Clements, S. L., & Searcy, C. A. (2019). Evaluating ecological niche model accuracy in predicting biotic invasions using South Florida’s exotic lizard community. Journal of Biogeography, 46(2), 432–441. doi:10.1111/jbi.13511 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13511

Aim: Predicting environmentally suitable areas for non‐native species is an important step in managing biotic invasions, and ecological niche models are commonly used to accomplish this task. Depending on these models to enact appropriate management plans assumes their accuracy, but most niche model…

Guevara, L., & Sánchez-Cordero, V. (2018). New records of a critically endangered shrew from Mexican cloud forests (Soricidae, Cryptotis nelsoni) and prospects for future field research. Biodiversity Data Journal, 6. doi:10.3897/bdj.6.e26667 https://doi.org/10.3897/BDJ.6.e26667

The Nelson´s small-eared shrew, Cryptotisnelsoni (Merriam, 1895), is a critically endangered species, endemic to cloud forests in Los Tuxtlas, a mountain range along the Gulf of Mexico coast. This species is only known from the type locality and its surroundings. Here we present new records that ext…