Science Enabled by Specimen Data

De Deus Vidal, J., le Roux, P. C., Johnson, S. D., te Beest, M., & Clark, V. R. (2021). Beyond the Tree-Line: The C3-C4 “Grass-Line” Can Track Global Change in the World’s Grassy Mountain Systems. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 9. doi:10.3389/fevo.2021.760118 https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2021.760118

von Humboldt’s tree-line concept has dominated mountain ecology for almost two hundred years, and is considered a key indicator for monitoring change in biome boundaries and biodiversity shifts under climate change. Even though the concept of life zones and elevation gradients are a globally observe…

Vasconcelos, T., Boyko, J. D., & Beaulieu, J. M. (2021). Linking mode of seed dispersal and climatic niche evolution in flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14292 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14292

Aim: Due to the sessile nature of flowering plants, movements to new geographical areas occur mainly during seed dispersal. Frugivores tend to be efficient dispersers because animals move within the boundaries of their preferable niches, so seeds are more likely to be transported to environments tha…

Cahen, D., Rickenback, J., & Utteridge, T. M. A. (2021). A revision of Ziziphus (Rhamnaceae) in Borneo. Kew Bulletin. doi:10.1007/s12225-021-09970-3 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12225-021-09970-3

The genus Ziziphus (Rhamnaceae) is revised for Borneo. 13 species are recognised using morphological evidence, including three new endemic species: Ziziphus cuspidata, Z. domatiata and Z. puberula. Borneo is therefore the island with the greatest known diversity of Ziziphus species. The area surroun…

Xue, T., Gadagkar, S. R., Albright, T. P., Yang, X., Li, J., Xia, C., … Yu, S. (2021). Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation, 32, e01885. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

Mazijk, R., Cramer, M. D., & Verboom, G. A. (2021). Environmental heterogeneity explains contrasting plant species richness between the South African Cape and southwestern Australia. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14118 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14118

Aim: Given the importance of environmental heterogeneity as a driver of species richness through its effects on species diversification and coexistence, we asked whether the dramatic difference in species richness per unit area between two similar Mediterranean‐type biodiversity hotspots is explaine…

Iannella, M., D’Alessandro, P., De Simone, W., & Biondi, M. (2021). Habitat Specificity, Host Plants and Areas of Endemism for the Genera-Group Blepharida s.l. in the Afrotropical Region (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae, Galerucinae, Alticini). Insects, 12(4), 299. doi:10.3390/insects12040299 https://doi.org/10.3390/insects12040299

The genus Calotheca Heyden (Chrysomelidae) is mainly distributed in the eastern and southern parts of sub-Saharan Africa, with some extensions northward, while Blepharidina Bechyné occurs in the intertropical zone of Africa, with two subgenera, Blepharidina s. str. and Blepharidina(Afroblepharida) B…

Tribble, C. M., Martínez‐Gómez, J., Howard, C. C., Males, J., Sosa, V., Sessa, E. B., … Specht, C. D. (2021). Get the shovel: morphological and evolutionary complexities of belowground organs in geophytes. American Journal of Botany. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1623 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1623

Herbaceous plants collectively known as geophytes, which regrow from belowground buds, are distributed around the globe and throughout the land plant tree of life. The geophytic habit is an evolutionarily and ecologically important growth form in plants, permitting novel life history strategies, ena…

Saldaña‐López, A., Vilà, M., Lloret, F., Manuel Herrera, J., & González‐Moreno, P. (2021). Assembly of species’ climatic niches of coastal communities does not shift after invasion. Journal of Vegetation Science, 32(2). doi:10.1111/jvs.12989 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12989

Question: Do invasions by invasive plant species with contrasting trait profiles (Arctotheca calendula, Carpobrotus spp., Conyza bonariensis, and Opuntia dillenii) change the climatic niche of coastal plant communities? Location: Atlantic coastal habitats in Huelva (Spain). Methods: We identifi…

Canavan, S., Richardson, D. M., Le Roux, J. J., Kelchner, S. A., & Wilson, J. R. U. (2021). The status of alien bamboos in South Africa. South African Journal of Botany, 138, 33–40. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2020.11.027 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2020.11.027

The growing interest in commercial cultivation of bamboos (Poaceae subfamily Bambusoideae) has led to the introduction of new alien species into South Africa. The rate at which bamboos are being planted in South Africa is a cause for concern because of the impacts of bamboo invasions in other parts …

Magri, D., Parra, I., Di Rita, F., Ni, J., Shichi, K., & Worth, J. R. P. (2020). Linking worldwide past and present conifer vulnerability. Quaternary Science Reviews, 250, 106640. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106640 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2020.106640

Inventories of species recently extinct or threatened with extinction may be found in global databases. However, despite the large number of published fossil based-studies, specific databases on the vulnerability of species in the past are not available. We compiled a worldwide database of published…