Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Lim, J. Y., Huang, H., Farnsworth, A., Lunt, D. J., Baker, W. J., Morley, R. J., … Jordan, G. (2021). The Cenozoic history of palms: Global diversification, biogeography and the decline of megathermal forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13436 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13436

Aim: Megathermal rain forests and mangroves are much smaller in extent today than in the early Cenozoic, primarily owing to global cooling and drying trends since the Eocene–Oligocene transition (c. 34 Ma). The general reduction of these biomes is hypothesized to shape the diversity and biogeographi…

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…

Christiansen, D. M., Iversen, L. L., Ehrlén, J., & Hylander, K. (2021). Changes in forest structure drive temperature preferences of boreal understorey plant communities. Journal of Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2745.13825 https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13825

The local climate in forest understories can deviate substantially from ambient conditions. Moreover, forest microclimates are often characterized by cyclic changes driven by management activities such as clear-cutting and subsequent planting. To understand how and why understorey plant communities …

Alban, D. M., Biersma, E. M., Kadereit, J. W., & Dillenberger, M. S. (2021). Colonization of the Southern Hemisphere by Sagina and Colobanthus (Caryophyllaceae). Plant Systematics and Evolution, 308(1). doi:10.1007/s00606-021-01793-w https://doi.org/10.1007/s00606-021-01793-w

Colobanthus (23 species) and Sagina (30–33 species) together are sister to Facchinia. Whereas Facchinia is distributed in western Eurasia, Colobanthus is almost exclusively distributed in the Southern Hemisphere, and Sagina is distributed in both hemispheres with the highest species diversity in wes…

Moshobane, M. C., Mudereri, B. T., Mukundamago, M., & Chitata, T. (2022). Predicting future distribution patterns of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. in South Africa in response to climate change. South African Journal of Botany, 146, 417–425. doi:10.1016/j.sajb.2021.11.031 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2021.11.031

Invasive alien species such as Bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypiifolia L.) pose immense threats to global food security, biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and provision of ecosystem services. The Bellyache bush has generally been naturalised in Africa but poses vast management challenges in the Afric…

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…

TREVIÑO-ZEVALLOS, I., GARCÍA-CUNCHILLOS, I., & LADO, C. (2021). New records of Myxomycetes (Amoebozoa) from the tropical Andes. Phytotaxa, 522(3), 231–239. doi:10.11646/phytotaxa.522.3.6 https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.522.3.6

The Myxomycetes comprise a remarkably diverse group of organisms within Amoebozoa, with over 1000 species currently recognized. These organisms, at the end of their life cycles produce fruiting bodies which are the basis for their systematics. Despite being a biodiversity hotspot, the tropical Andes…

Wang, C.-J., & Wan, J.-Z. (2021). Functional trait perspective on suitable habitat distribution of invasive plant species at a global scale. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2021.07.002

Plant invasion has been proved to threaten biodiversity conservation and ecosystem maintenance at a global scale. It is a challenge to project suitable habitat distributions of invasive plant species (IPS) for invasion risk assessment at large spatial scales. Interaction outcomes between native and …

Roberts, J., & Florentine, S. (2021). Biology, distribution and management of the invasive Jatropha gossypiifolia (Bellyache bush): A global review of current and future management challenges and research gaps. Weed Research. doi:10.1111/wre.12504 https://doi.org/10.1111/wre.12504

Jatropha gossypiifolia (Bellyache bush) is an evergreen, perennial, invasive woody shrub that globally threatens agricultural and native landscapes. The species is native to North and South America, but is currently found in over 52 countries; in many of these countries, it is listed as invasive, du…

Maciel, E. A., Oliveira-Filho, A. T., Sobral-Souza, T. S., Marimon, B. S., Cupertino-Eisenlohr, M. A., José-Silva, L., & Eisenlohr, P. V. (2021). Climate change forecasts suggest that the conservation area network in the Cerrado-Amazon transition zone needs to be expanded. Acta Oecologica, 112, 103764. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2021.103764 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actao.2021.103764

Climate change impacts are important in shaping large ecotones, such as the transition zone between the Cerrado and Amazon rainforest (CAT) biogeographical domains. The accelerating rate of conversion of native vegetation, the most important factor for biodiversity loss in the Anthropocene, compound…