Science Enabled by Specimen Data

VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA, J.-A., NEILL, D. A., SHALISKO, V., ARROYO, F., & MERINO-SANTI, R. E. (2018). Magnolia mercedesiarum (subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae): a new Andean species from northern Ecuador, with insights into its potential distribution. Phytotaxa, 348(4), 254. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2

Magnolia mercedesiarum, a new species from the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador, is described and illustrated, and a key to Ecuadorian Magnolia (subsect. Talauma) is provided. This species differs from M. vargasiana in having broadly elliptic leaves that have an obtuse base vs. suborb…

Marques-Souza, S., Prates, I., Fouquet, A., Camacho, A., Kok, P. J. R., Nunes, P. M. S., … Rodrigues, M. T. (2018). Reconquering the water: Evolution and systematics of South and Central American aquatic lizards (Gymnophthalmidae). Zoologica Scripta, 47(3), 255–265. doi:10.1111/zsc.12273 https://doi.org/10.1111/zsc.12273

The Cercosaurini tribe stands out from other Gymnophthalmidae lizards for including several species with morphological adaptations to aquatic lifestyle (“Crocodile‐Like Morphology” – CLM). Recent molecular phylogenies of Cercosaurini demonstrated the paraphyly of CLM species, implicitly suggesting t…

Yañez-Arenas, C., Díaz-Gamboa, L., Patrón-Rivero, C., López-Reyes, K., & Chiappa-Carrara, X. (2018). Estimating geographic patterns of ophidism risk in Ecuador. Neotropical Biodiversity, 4(1), 55–61. doi:10.1080/23766808.2018.1454762 https://doi.org/10.1080/23766808.2018.1454762

The species richness of venomous snakes in Ecuador (~39 species) is among the highest in the world. However, until now no information exists regarding geographic patterns of ophidism. In this study, we present a detailed spatial snakebite risk map which was built by stacking weighted ecological nich…

Reichgelt, T., West, C. K., & Greenwood, D. R. (2018). The relation between global palm distribution and climate. Scientific Reports, 8(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-23147-2

Fossil palms provide qualitative evidence of (sub-) tropical conditions and frost-free winters in the geological past, including modern cold climate regions (e.g., boreal, or polar climates). The freeze intolerance of palms varies across different organs and life stages, with seedlings in particular…

Guedes, T. B., Sawaya, R. J., Zizka, A., Laffan, S., Faurby, S., Pyron, R. A., … Antonelli, A. (2017). Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27(1), 14–21. doi:10.1111/geb.12679 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…

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…

Antonelli, A., Hettling, H., Condamine, F. L., Vos, K., Nilsson, R. H., Sanderson, M. J., … Vos, R. A. (2016). Toward a Self-Updating Platform for Estimating Rates of Speciation and Migration, Ages, and Relationships of Taxa. Systematic Biology, syw066. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw066 https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw066

Rapidly growing biological data –including molecular sequences and fossils– hold an unprecedented potential to reveal how evolutionary processes generate and maintain biodiversity. However, researchers often have to develop their own idiosyncratic workflows to integrate and analyse these data for re…