Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Malpica, A., L. Mendoza-Cuenca, and C. González. 2022. Color and morphological differentiation in the Sinaloa Wren (Thryophilus sinaloa) in the tropical dry forests of Mexico: The role of environment and geographic isolation M. Shawkey [ed.],. PLOS ONE 17: e0269860. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269860

The role and the degree to which environment and geographic isolation contribute to phenotypic diversity has been widely debated. Here, we studied phenotypic variation (morphology and plumage reflectance) in the Sinaloa Wren, an endemic bird distributed throughout the tropical dry forest (TDF) on the Mexican pacific slope where a pronounced variability in environmental conditions has been reported. In particular, we aimed: 1) to characterize phenotypic variation between subspecies; 2) to analyze the relationship between phenotypic and environmental variation in the context of classic ecogeographic rules, such as Bergmann’s, Allen’s, Gloger’s, and Bogert’s, and to quantify the relative roles of environment and geographic isolation and their interaction in shaping phenotypic variation; and 3) to test for niche conservatism between subspecies. Our data revealed significant differences among subspecies morphology and plumage reflectance. The environment explained a higher proportion of the morphological variation, while geography explained a smaller proportion. However, variation in plumage reflectance was mainly explained by the joint effect of geography and environment. Our data did not support for Bergmann´s and Allen´s rule. However, longer tails and wings were positively associated with higher elevations, larger tarsus and culmens were positively related to higher latitudes and to greater tree cover, respectively. Our data partially supported Gloger´s rule, where darker plumages were associated with more humid environments. The effects of temperature on plumage coloration were more consistent with Bogert´s rule. In addition, we found darker plumages related to higher levels of UV-B radiation. Finally, niche divergence was detected between T. s. cinereus and T. s. sinaloa vs. T. s. russeus. In a continuously distributed ecosystem such as the TDF on the pacific slope of Mexico, the environmental conditions and geographic isolation have played an important role in promoting phenotypic differentiation in the Sinaloa Wren.

Monroy-Gamboa, A. G. 2022. Differences between Northern and Southern Female Coyotes. Western North American Naturalist 82. https://doi.org/10.3398/064.082.0119

The coyote (Canis latrans) has a wide distribution range, spanning boreal forests from the north of the continent to tropical environments in Central America, showing great adaptation and plasticity. Bergmann's rule states that individuals inhabiting colder climates are larger than those in warmer climates. It is suggested that in carnivore species, litter size is influenced by allometric constraints such as maternal body size. The aim of this study is to analyze the relations using correlation between female coyote mass, latitude, and litter size. Using data compiled from the literature, I carried out statistical analyses to correlate female body size, litter size, and latitude for coyotes across their distribution range. The results indicated a soft significant correlation between female body size and latitude, confirming Bergmann's rule. However, no significant correlation was found between litter size and latitude or between litter size and female body size; litter size in coyotes remains roughly uniform across their distribution range.

Sarker, U., Y.-P. Lin, S. Oba, Y. Yoshioka, and K. Hoshikawa. 2022. Prospects and potentials of underutilized leafy Amaranths as vegetable use for health-promotion. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 182: 104–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2022.04.011

Climate change causes environmental variation worldwide, which is one of the most serious threats to global food security. In addition, more than 2 billion people in the world are reported to suffer from serious malnutrition, referred to as ‘hidden hunger.’ Dependence on only a few crops could lead to the loss of genetic diversity and high fragility of crop breeding in systems adapting to global scale climate change. The exploitation of underutilized species and genetic resources, referred to as orphan crops, could be a useful approach for resolving the issue of adaptability to environmental alteration, biodiversity preservation, and improvement of nutrient quality and quantity to ensure food security. Moreover, the use of these alternative crops will help to increase the human health benefits and the income of farmers in developing countries. In this review, we highlight the potential of orphan crops, especially amaranths, for use as vegetables and health-promoting nutritional components. This review highlights promising diversified sources of amaranth germplasms, their tolerance to abiotic stresses, and their nutritional, phytochemical, and antioxidant values for vegetable purposes. Betalains (betacyanins and betaxanthins), unique antioxidant components in amaranth vegetables, are also highlighted regarding their chemodiversity across amaranth germplasms and their stability and degradation. In addition, we discuss the physiological functions, antioxidant, antilipidemic, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities, as well as the biosynthesis pathway, molecular, biochemical, genetics, and genomic mechanisms of betalains in detail.

Fell, H. G., O. G. Osborne, M. D. Jones, S. Atkinson, S. Tarr, S. H. Keddie, and A. C. Algar. 2022. Biotic factors limit the invasion of the plague pathogen ( Yersinia pestis ) in novel geographical settings P. Kamath [ed.],. Global Ecology and Biogeography 31: 672–684. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13453

Aim: The distribution of Yersinia pestis, the pathogen that causes plague in humans, is reliant upon transmission between host species; however, the degree to which host species distributions dictate the distribution of Y. pestis, compared with limitations imposed by the environmental niche of Y. pe…

Freitas, C., F. T. Brum, C. Cássia-Silva, L. Maracahipes, M. B. Carlucci, R. G. Collevatti, and C. D. Bacon. 2021. Incongruent Spatial Distribution of Taxonomic, Phylogenetic, and Functional Diversity in Neotropical Cocosoid Palms. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2021.739468

Biodiversity can be quantified by taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. Current evidence points to a lack of congruence between the spatial distribution of these facets due to evolutionary and ecological constraints. A lack of congruence is especially evident between phylogenetic and ta…

Sharifian, S., E. Kamrani, and H. Saeedi. 2021. Insights toward the future potential distribution of mangrove crabs in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman. Journal of Zoological Systematics and Evolutionary Research 59: 1620–1631. https://doi.org/10.1111/jzs.12532

Mangroves are an ideal habitat for brachyuran crabs because of nutritional and shelter support. Using maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling technique, we projected the potential global distributions of 10 dominant species of mangrove crabs from the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman under future climate c…

Xue, T., S. R. Gadagkar, T. P. Albright, X. Yang, J. Li, C. Xia, J. Wu, and S. Yu. 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. 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…

López‐Delgado, J., and P. G. Meirmans. 2021. History or demography? Determining the drivers of genetic variation in North American plants. Molecular Ecology 31: 1951–1962. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.16230

Understanding the impact of historical and demographic processes on genetic variation is essential for devising conservation strategies and predicting responses to climate change. Recolonization after Pleistocene glaciations is expected to leave distinct genetic signatures, characterised by lower ge…

Prieto-Torres, D. A., L. E. Nuñez Rosas, D. Remolina Figueroa, and M. del C. Arizmendi. 2021. Most Mexican hummingbirds lose under climate and land-use change: Long-term conservation implications. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation 19: 487–499. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.001

Hummingbirds are one of the most threatened bird groups in the world. However, the extent to which global climate change (GCC) and habitat loss compromise their conservation status remains unclear. Herein, we proposed to: (1) assess how predicted GCC impacts the distribution of non-migrant hummingbi…

Ethier, J. P., A. Fayard, P. Soroye, D. Choi, M. J. Mazerolle, and V. L. Trudeau. 2021. Life history traits and reproductive ecology of North American chorus frogs of the genus Pseudacris (Hylidae). Frontiers in Zoology 18. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12983-021-00425-w

Amphibian biodiversity is declining globally, with over 40% of species being considered threatened to become extinct. Crucial to the success of conservation initiatives are a comprehensive understanding of life history and reproductive ecology of target species. Here we provide an overview of the Ps…