Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Cámara-Leret, R., Raes, N., Roehrdanz, P., De Fretes, Y., Heatubun, C. D., Roeble, L., … Hannah, L. (2019). Climate change threatens New Guinea’s biocultural heritage. Science Advances, 5(11), eaaz1455. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aaz1455 https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz1455

New Guinea is the most biologically and linguistically diverse tropical island on Earth, yet the potential impacts of climate change on its biocultural heritage remain unknown. Analyzing 2353 endemic plant species distributions, we find that 63% of species are expected to have smaller geographic ran…

Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Conrad, O., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., König, C., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2019). Why tree lines are lower on islands-Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12897 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12897

Aim: To determine the global position of tree line isotherms, compare it with observed local tree limits on islands and mainlands, and disentangle the potential drivers of a difference between tree line and local tree limit. Location: Global. Time period: 1979–2013. Major taxa studied: Trees. Method…

Piel, W. H. (2018). The global latitudinal diversity gradient pattern in spiders. Journal of Biogeography, 45(8), 1896–1904. doi:10.1111/jbi.13387 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13387

Aim: The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the global latitudinal diversity gradient pattern in spiders is pear‐shaped, with maximum species diversity shifted south of the Equator, rather than egg‐shaped, centred on the equator, this study infers the gradient using two large datasets…

Grossenbacher, D. L., Brandvain, Y., Auld, J. R., Burd, M., Cheptou, P.-O., Conner, J. K., … Goldberg, E. E. (2017). Self-compatibility is over-represented on islands. New Phytologist, 215(1), 469–478. doi:10.1111/nph.14534 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14534

Because establishing a new population often depends critically on finding mates, individuals capable of uniparental reproduction may have a colonization advantage. Accordingly, there should be an over-representation of colonizing species in which individuals can reproduce without a mate, particularl…