Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Lewthwaite, J. M. M., & Mooers, A. Ø. (2021). Geographical homogenization but little net change in the local richness of Canadian butterflies. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13426 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13426

Aim: Recent studies have found that local-scale plots measured through time exhibit marked variation in the change in species richness. However, the overall effect often reveals no net change. Most studies to date have been agnostic about the identities of the species lost/gained and about the proce…

Maresova, J., Suchackova Bartonova, A., Konvicka, M., Høye, T. T., Gilg, O., Kresse, J., … Faltynek Fric, Z. (2020). The story of endurance: Biogeography and the evolutionary history of four Holarctic butterflies with different habitat requirements. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14022 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14022

Aim: Biogeographical studies on the entire ranges of widely distributed species can change our perception of species’ range dynamics. We studied the effects of Pleistocene glacial cycles on current butterfly species distributions, aiming to uncover complex biogeographic patterns in the Holarctic, a …

Orr, M. C., Hughes, A. C., Chesters, D., Pickering, J., Zhu, C.-D., & Ascher, J. S. (2020). Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Fletcher, T. L., Csank, A. Z., & Ballantyne, A. P. (2019). Identifying bias in cold season temperature reconstructions by beetle mutual climatic range methods in the Pliocene Canadian High Arctic. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 514, 672–676. doi:10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.11.025 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2018.11.025

Well-preserved beetle elytra from the fossil and subfossil record are used by palaeoclimatologists to estimate past temperatures. Beetle-derived estimates of temperature across the Pliocene Arctic are consistently lower than those derived from other palaeoclimate proxies. Here we test if that patter…

Schafstall, N., Kuosmanen, N., Fettig, C. J., Knižek, M., & Clear, J. L. (2020). Late Glacial and Holocene records of tree-killing conifer bark beetles in Europe and North America: Implications for forest disturbance dynamics. The Holocene, 095968362090221. doi:10.1177/0959683620902214 https://doi.org/10.1177/0959683620902214

Outbreaks of conifer bark beetles in Europe and North America have increased in scale and severity in recent decades. In this study, we identify existing fossil records containing bark beetle remains from the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (~14,000 cal. yr BP) to present day using the online databa…

Daniel, J., Horrocks, J., & Umphrey, G. J. (2019). Efficient Modelling of Presence-Only Species Data via Local Background Sampling. Journal of Agricultural, Biological and Environmental Statistics. doi:10.1007/s13253-019-00380-4 https://doi.org/10.1007/s13253-019-00380-4

In species distribution modelling, records of species presence are often modelled as a realization of a spatial point process whose intensity is a function of environmental covariates. One way to fit a spatial point process model is to apply logistic regression to an artificial case–control sample c…

Ezray, B. D., Wham, D. C., Hill, C. E., & Hines, H. M. (2019). Unsupervised machine learning reveals mimicry complexes in bumblebees occur along a perceptual continuum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1910), 20191501. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1501 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1501

Müllerian mimicry theory states that frequency-dependent selection should favour geographical convergence of harmful species onto a shared colour pattern. As such, mimetic patterns are commonly circumscribed into discrete mimicry complexes, each containing a predominant phenotype. Outside a few exam…

Müller, A., Prosi, R., Praz, C., & Richter, H. (2019). Nesting in bark – the peculiar life history of the rare boreoalpine osmiine bee Osmia (Melanosmia) nigriventris (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Alpine Entomology, 3, 105–119. doi:10.3897/alpento.3.34409 https://doi.org/10.3897/alpento.3.34409

Osmia (Melanosmia) nigriventris (Zetterstedt) is a predominantly boreoalpine megachilid bee species, whose biology is poorly known due to its pronounced rarity all over Central Europe. The discovery of 19 nests in the Grisons and Valais (Switzerland) allowed for the investigation of its nesting biol…