Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Gagnon, E., J. J. Ringelberg, A. Bruneau, G. P. Lewis, and C. E. Hughes. 2019. Global Succulent Biome phylogenetic conservatism across the pantropical Caesalpinia Group (Leguminosae). New Phytologist 222: 1994–2008. 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…

Peterson, A. T., A. Asase, D. Canhos, S. de Souza, and J. Wieczorek. 2018. Data Leakage and Loss in Biodiversity Informatics. Biodiversity Data Journal 6. https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.6.e26826

The field of biodiversity informatics is in a massive, “grow-out” phase of creating and enabling large-scale biodiversity data resources. Because perhaps 90% of existing biodiversity data nonetheless remains unavailable for science and policy applications, the question arises as to how these existin…

Milla, R., J. M. Bastida, M. M. Turcotte, G. Jones, C. Violle, C. P. Osborne, J. Chacón-Labella, et al. 2018. Phylogenetic patterns and phenotypic profiles of the species of plants and mammals farmed for food. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1808–1817. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4

The origins of agriculture were key events in human history, during which people came to depend for their food on small numbers of animal and plant species. However, the biological traits determining which species were domesticated for food provision, and which were not, are unclear. Here, we invest…

Antonelli, A., A. Zizka, F. A. Carvalho, R. Scharn, C. D. Bacon, D. Silvestro, and F. L. Condamine. 2018. Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 6034–6039. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

VÁZQUEZ-GARCÍA, J.-A., D. A. NEILL, V. SHALISKO, F. ARROYO, and R. E. MERINO-SANTI. 2018. Magnolia mercedesiarum (subsect. Talauma, Magnoliaceae): a new Andean species from northern Ecuador, with insights into its potential distribution. Phytotaxa 348: 254. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.348.4.2

Magnolia mercedesiarum, a new species from the eastern slopes of the Andes in northern Ecuador, is described and illustrated, and a key to Ecuadorian Magnolia (subsect. Talauma) is provided. This species differs from M. vargasiana in having broadly elliptic leaves that have an obtuse base vs. suborb…

Roberts, W. R., and E. H. Roalson. 2018. Phylogenomic analyses reveal extensive gene flow within the magic flowers ( Achimenes ). American Journal of Botany 105: 726–740. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1058

Premise of the Study: The Neotropical Gesneriaceae is a lineage known for its colorful and diverse flowers, as well as an extensive history of intra‐ and intergeneric hybridization, particularly among Achimenes (the magic flowers) and other members of subtribe Gloxiniinae. Despite numerous studies s…

Petersen, K. B., and M. Burd. 2018. The adaptive value of heterospory: Evidence from Selaginella. Evolution 72: 1080–1091. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13484

Heterospory was a pivotal evolutionary innovation for land plants, but it has never been clear why it evolved. We used the geographic distributions of 114 species of the heterosporous lycophyte Selaginella to explore the functional ecology of microspore and megaspore size, traits that would be corre…

Grossenbacher, D. L., Y. Brandvain, J. R. Auld, M. Burd, P. Cheptou, J. K. Conner, A. G. Grant, et al. 2017. Self‐compatibility is over‐represented on islands. New Phytologist 215: 469–478. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.14534

Because establishing a new population often depends critically on finding mates, individuals capable of uniparental reproduction may have a colonization advantage. Accordingly, there should be an over-representation of colonizing species in which individuals can reproduce without a mate, particularl…