Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Li, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2019. Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology 29: 499-505.e4. 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…

Sullivan, J., M. L. Smith, A. Espíndola, M. Ruffley, A. Rankin, D. Tank, and B. Carstens. 2019. Integrating life history traits into predictive phylogeography. Molecular Ecology 28: 2062–2073. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15029

Predictive phylogeography seeks to aggregate genetic, environmental and taxonomic data from multiple species in order to make predictions about unsampled taxa using machine‐learning techniques such as Random Forests. To date, organismal trait data have infrequently been incorporated into predictive …

Mothes, C. C., J. T. Stroud, S. L. Clements, and C. A. Searcy. 2019. Evaluating ecological niche model accuracy in predicting biotic invasions using South Florida’s exotic lizard community. Journal of Biogeography 46: 432–441. 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…

Inman, R., J. Franklin, T. Esque, and K. Nussear. 2018. Spatial sampling bias in the Neotoma paleoecological archives affects species paleo-distribution models. Quaternary Science Reviews 198: 115–125. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.015

The ability to infer paleo-distributions with limited knowledge of absence makes species distribution modeling (SDM) a useful tool for exploring paleobiogeographic questions. Spatial sampling bias is a known issue when modeling extant species. Here we quantify the spatial sampling bias in a North Am…

Ureta, C., Á. P. Cuervo-Robayo, E. Calixto-Pérez, C. González-Salazar, E. Fuentes-Conde, et al. 2018. A first approach to evaluate the vulnerability of islands’ vertebrates to climate change in Mexico. Atmósfera 31: 251–254. https://doi.org/10.20937/ATM.2018.31.03.03

Mexican islands are one of the most diverse territories in the world and consequently their conservation should be a national and international priority. Three main threats to islands’ diversity have been detected: invasive species, land use change and climate change. Most studies have been focused …

Antonelli, A., A. Zizka, F. A. Carvalho, R. Scharn, C. D. Bacon, D. Silvestro, and F. L. Condamine. 2018. Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 6034–6039. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

Zhang, X., and A. C. J. Vincent. 2018. Predicting distributions, habitat preferences and associated conservation implications for a genus of rare fishes, seahorses (Hippocampusspp.) M. Beger [ed.],. Diversity and Distributions 24: 1005–1017. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.12741

Aim: To identify useful sources of species data and appropriate habitat variables for species distribution modelling on rare species, with seahorses as an example, deriving ecological knowledge and spatially explicit maps to advance global seahorse conservation. Location: The shallow seas. Methods: …

Guedes, T. B., R. J. Sawaya, A. Zizka, S. Laffan, S. Faurby, R. A. Pyron, R. S. Bérnils, et al. 2017. Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography 27: 14–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12679

Motivation: We generated a novel database of Neotropical snakes (one of the world’s richest herpetofauna) combining the most comprehensive, manually compiled distribution dataset with publicly available data. We assess, for the first time, the diversity patterns for all Neotropical snakes as well as…