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…

Grünig, M., Mazzi, D., Calanca, P., Karger, D. N., & Pellissier, L. (2020). Crop and forest pest metawebs shift towards increased linkage and suitability overlap under climate change. Communications Biology, 3(1). doi:10.1038/s42003-020-0962-9 https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-020-0962-9

Global changes pose both risks and opportunities to agriculture and forestry, and biological forecasts can inform future management strategies. Here, we investigate potential land-use opportunities arising from climate change for these sectors in Europe, and risks associated with the introduction an…

Goodwin, Z. A., Muñoz-Rodríguez, P., Harris, D. J., Wells, T., Wood, J. R. I., Filer, D., & Scotland, R. W. (2020). How long does it take to discover a species? Systematics and Biodiversity, 1–10. doi:10.1080/14772000.2020.1751339 https://doi.org/10.1080/14772000.2020.1751339

The description of a new species is a key step in cataloguing the World’s flora. However, this is only a preliminary stage in a long process of understanding what that species represents. We investigated how long the species discovery process takes by focusing on three key stages: 1, the collection …

Peyre, G., Lenoir, J., Karger, D. N., Gomez, M., Gonzalez, A., Broennimann, O., & Guisan, A. (2020). The fate of páramo plant assemblages in the sky islands of the northern Andes. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi:10.1111/jvs.12898 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12898

Aims: Assessing climate change impacts on biodiversity is a main scientific challenge, especially in the tropics, therefore, we predicted the future of plant species and communities on the unique páramo sky islands. We implemented the Spatially Explicit Species Assemblage Modelling framework, by i) …

Li, M., He, J., Zhao, Z., Lyu, R., Yao, M., Cheng, J., & Xie, L. (2020). Predictive modelling of the distribution of Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. under climate change reveals a range expansion during the Last Glacial Maximum. PeerJ, 8, e8729. doi:10.7717/peerj.8729 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8729

Background The knowledge of distributional dynamics of living organisms is a prerequisite for protecting biodiversity and for the sustainable use of biotic resources. Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. is a small group of shrubby, yellow-flowered species distributed mainly in arid and semi-arid areas…

Ringelberg, J. J., Zimmermann, N. E., Weeks, A., Lavin, M., & Hughes, C. E. (2020). Biomes as evolutionary arenas: Convergence and conservatism in the trans‐continental succulent biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13089 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13089

Aim: Historically, biomes have been defined based on their structurally and functionally similar vegetation, but there is debate about whether these similarities are superficial, and about how biomes are defined and mapped. We propose that combined assessment of evolutionary convergence of plant fun…

Marconi, L., & Armengot, L. (2020). Complex agroforestry systems against biotic homogenization: The case of plants in the herbaceous stratum of cocoa production systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 287, 106664. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664

In addition to their potential against deforestation and climate change, agroforestry systems may have a relevant role in biodiversity conservation. In this sense, not only species richness per se, but also community composition, including the distribution range of the species, should be considered.…

Vollering, J., Halvorsen, R., Auestad, I., & Rydgren, K. (2019). Bunching up the background betters bias in species distribution models. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04503 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04503

Sets of presence records used to model species’ distributions typically consist of observations collected opportunistically rather than systematically. As a result, sampling probability is geographically uneven, which may confound the model’s characterization of the species’ distribution. Modelers f…

Karger, D. N., Kessler, M., Conrad, O., Weigelt, P., Kreft, H., König, C., & Zimmermann, N. E. (2019). Why tree lines are lower on islands-Climatic and biogeographic effects hold the answer. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.12897 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12897

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…

Chevalier, M. (2019). Enabling possibilities to quantify past climate from fossil assemblages at a global scale. Global and Planetary Change, 175, 27–35. doi:10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.01.016 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloplacha.2019.01.016

The field of quantitative palaeoclimatology has made significant progress in the past decades. However, this progress has been spatially heterogeneous and strong discrepancies – both in terms of quality and density – exist between Europe and North America and the rest of the world. The need to balan…