Science Enabled by Specimen Data

De Jesús Hernández-Hernández, M., Cruz, J. A., & Castañeda-Posadas, C. (2020). Paleoclimatic and vegetation reconstruction of the miocene southern Mexico using fossil flowers. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 104, 102827. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102827 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102827

Concern about the course of the current environmental problems has raised interest in investigating the different scenarios that have taken place in our planet throughout time. To that end, different methodologies have been employed in order to determine the different variables that compose the envi…

Bellot, S., Bayton, R. P., Couvreur, T. L. P., Dodsworth, S., Eiserhardt, W. L., Guignard, M. S., … Baker, W. J. (2020). On the origin of giant seeds: the macroevolution of the double coconut ( Lodoicea maldivica ) and its relatives (Borasseae, Arecaceae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16750 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.16750

Seed size shapes plant evolution and ecosystems, and may be driven by plant size and architecture, dispersers, habitat and insularity. How these factors influence the evolution of giant seeds is unclear, as are the rate of evolution and the biogeographical consequences of giant seeds. We generated D…

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 …

Lavor, P., Pereira, M. A., Pinto, M. P., Versieux, L. M., & Calvente, A. (2020). Conservation, spatial distribution, and endemism of Pilosocereus cacti in xeric environments of the Neotropics. Journal for Nature Conservation, 125825. doi:10.1016/j.jnc.2020.125825 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2020.125825

Urgent strategies for the conservation of the Neotropical flora are needed in the face of accelerated habitat loss and a severe biodiversity crisis. To assess the conservation status and to propose protection programs for taxa under potential risk, such as the Cactaceae, a group strongly affected by…

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…

Khoury, C. K., Carver, D., Barchenger, D. W., Barboza, G. E., Zonneveld, M., Jarret, R., … Greene, S. L. (2019). Modelled distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers ( Capsicum L.). Diversity and Distributions. doi:10.1111/ddi.13008 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13008

Aim: To fill critical knowledge gaps with regard to the distributions and conservation status of the wild relatives of chile peppers (Capsicum L.). Location: The study covered the potential native ranges of currently recognized wild Capsicum taxa, throughout the Americas. Methods: We modelled the po…

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…

Lavor, P., Calvente, A., Versieux, L. M., & Sanmartin, I. (2018). Bayesian spatio‐temporal reconstruction reveals rapid diversification and Pleistocene range expansion in the widespread columnar cactus Pilosocereus. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.13481 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13481

Aim: Pilosocereus is one of the richest and most widespread genera of columnar cacti, extending from south‐west USA to southern Brazil. Most species occur in the seasonally dry tropical forest biome but can also be found in xeric microhabitats inside woody savannas (Cerrado) and moist forests (Brazi…

Gagnon, E., Ringelberg, J. J., Bruneau, A., Lewis, G. P., & Hughes, C. E. (2018). Global Succulent Biome phylogenetic conservatism across the pantropical Caesalpinia Group (Leguminosae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.15633 https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.15633

The extent to which phylogenetic biome conservatism versus biome shifting determine global patterns of biodiversity remains poorly understood. To address this question, we investigate the biogeography and trajectories of biome and growth form evolution across the Caesalpinia Group (Leguminosae), a c…

Jurd, D., & Pole, M. (2017). Miocene “fin-winged” fruits and Pliocene drift fruits – the first record of Combretaceae (Terminalia) from New Zealand. Geobios, 50(5-6), 423–429. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002

Two types of fossil Terminalia (Combretaceae) fruits are described from warmer periods in New Zealand’s past. One is represented by large ‘fin-winged’ fruit (samara) from the Early Miocene Manuherikia Group sediments of Bannockburn and the Nevis Valley. The form and size of the fruits are entirely u…