Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Chevalier, M., Chase, B. M., Quick, L. J., Dupont, L. M., & Johnson, T. C. (2020). Temperature change in subtropical southeastern Africa during the past 790,000 yr. Geology. doi:10.1130/g47841.1 https://doi.org/10.1130/G47841.1

Across the glacial-interglacial cycles of the late Pleistocene (~700 k.y.), temperature variability at low latitudes is often considered to have been negligible compared to changes in precipitation. However, a paucity of quantified temperature records makes this difficult to reliably assess. In this…

Klages, J. P., Salzmann, U., Bickert, T., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Gohl, K., … Dziadek, R. (2020). Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth. Nature, 580(7801), 81–86. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5

The mid-Cretaceous period was one of the warmest intervals of the past 140 million years1,2,3,4,5, driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of around 1,000 parts per million by volume6. In the near absence of proximal geological records from south of the Antarctic Circle, it is disputed whether p…

Hastings, R. A., Rutterford, L. A., Freer, J. J., Collins, R. A., Simpson, S. D., & Genner, M. J. (2020). Climate Change Drives Poleward Increases and Equatorward Declines in Marine Species. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.02.043 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.02.043

Marine environments have increased in temperature by an average of 1°C since pre-industrial (1850) times [1]. Given that species ranges are closely allied to physiological thermal tolerances in marine organisms [2], it may therefore be expected that ocean warming would lead to abundance increases at…

Afonin, A. N., Fedorova, Y. A., & Li, Y. S. (2019). Characterization of the Occurrence and Abundance of the Common Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) with Regard to Assessment of Its Expansion Potential in European Russia. Russian Journal of Biological Invasions, 10(3), 220–226. doi:10.1134/s2075111719030032 https://doi.org/10.1134/S2075111719030032

A field study of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) in European Russia provided information on the occurrence and abundance of the species and enabled a prediction of the possible boundaries of species naturalization. As a result, the understanding of the ecological limits of common ragweed…

Sheppard, C. S., & Schurr, F. M. (2018). Biotic resistance or introduction bias? Immigrant plant performance decreases with residence times over millennia. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12844 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12844

Aim: Invasions are dynamic processes. Invasive spread causes the geographical range size of alien species to increase with residence time. However, with time native competitors and antagonists can adapt to invaders. This build‐up of biotic resistance may eventually limit the invader’s performance an…

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