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Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Song, H., X. Zhang, X. Wang, Y. Wang, S. Li, and Y. Xu. 2023. Not the expected poleward migration: Impact of climate change scenarios on the distribution of two endemic evergreen broad-leaved Quercus species in China. Science of The Total Environment: 164273.

One of the key strategies for species to respond to climate change is range shift. It is commonly believed that species will migrate towards the poles and higher elevations due to climate change. However, some species may also shift in opposite directions (i.e., equatorward) to adapt to changes in other climatic variables beyond climatic isotherms. In this study, we focused on two evergreen broad-leaved Quercus species endemic to China and used ensemble species distribution models to project their potential distribution shifts and extinction risk under two shared socioeconomic pathways of six general circulation models for the years 2050 and 2070. We also investigated the relative importance of each climatic variable in explaining range shifts of these two species. Our findings indicate a sharp reduction in the habitat suitability for both species. Q. baronii and Q. dolicholepis are projected to experience severe range contractions, losing over 30 % and 100 % of their suitable habitats under SSP585 in the 2070s, respectively. Under the assumption of universal migration in future climate scenarios, Q. baronii is expected to move towards the northwest (~105 km), southwest (~73 km), and high elevation (180–270 m). The range shifts of both species are driven by temperature and precipitation variables, not only annual mean temperature. Specifically, precipitation seasonality and temperature annual range were the most crucial environmental variables, causing the contraction and expansion of Q. baronii and contraction of Q. dolicholepis, respectively. Our results highlight the importance of considering additional climatic variables beyond the annual mean temperature to explain species range shifts in multiple directions.

Vieira, M., R. Zetter, F. Grímsson, and T. Denk. 2023. Niche evolution versus niche conservatism and habitat loss determine persistence and extirpation in late Neogene European Fagaceae. Quaternary Science Reviews 300: 107896.

An increasing body of palaeobotanical data demonstrates a series of Pliocene and Pleistocene extirpations and extinctions of plant lineages in western Eurasia, which are believed to have been determined by the climatic properties of their related East Asian and North American sister lineages. We investigated the diversity of a widespread northern hemispheric plant family, Fagaceae, during the Late Pliocene of Portugal. We found a high diversity of Fagaceae comprising extant and extinct lineages. Dispersed pollen of Castanopsis and Quercus sect. Cyclobalanopsis represent the youngest records of these Himalayan-Southeast Asian groups in western Eurasia. Likewise, fossil-species of Quercus sect. Lobatae and the North American clade of sect. Quercus are the youngest records of these modern New World groups in western Eurasia. For the extinct Trigonobalanopsis, the pollen record of Portugal is the youngest known of this genus. Climate data of modern representatives demonstrate that a deterministic model can explain only a part of the Pliocene and Pleistocene extirpations. Modern cold month mean temperatures of Castanopsis and Quercus sect. Cyclobalanopsis and their last occurrences in western Eurasia in the Pliocene fit with a deterministic model (niche conservatism). In contrast, survival or extirpation of groups with high cold tolerance appear to have been more complex. Here, niche evolution, abundance and diversity of a lineage during pre-Pleistocene times, and habitat availability/loss determined the fate of Fagaceae lineages in western Eurasia.

Bazzicalupo, A. L., J. Whitton, and M. L. Berbee. 2019. Over the hills, but how far away? Estimates of mushroom geographic range extents. Journal of Biogeography.

Aim: Geographic distributions of mushroom species remain poorly understood despite their importance for advancing our understanding of the habitat requirements, species interactions and ecosystem functions of this key group of organisms. Here, we estimate geographic range extents (maximum within‐spe…

Nevado, B., E. L. Y. Wong, O. G. Osborne, and D. A. Filatov. 2019. Adaptive Evolution Is Common in Rapid Evolutionary Radiations. Current Biology 29: 3081-3086.e5.

One of the most long-standing and important mysteries in evolutionary biology is why biological diversity is so unevenly distributed across space and taxonomic lineages. Nowhere is this disparity more evident than in the multitude of rapid evolutionary radiations found on oceanic islands and mountai…

Karger, D. N., M. Kessler, O. Conrad, P. Weigelt, H. Kreft, C. König, and N. E. Zimmermann. 2019. Why tree lines are lower on islands—Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer J. Grytnes [ed.],. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28: 839–850.

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…