Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Williams, C. J. R., Lunt, D. J., Salzmann, U., Reichgelt, T., Inglis, G. N., Greenwood, D. R., Chan, W., Abe‐Ouchi, A., Donnadieu, Y., Hutchinson, D. K., Boer, A. M., Ladant, J., Morozova, P. A., Niezgodzki, I., Knorr, G., Steinig, S., Zhang, Z., Zhu, J., Huber, M., & Otto‐Bliesner, B. L. (2022). African hydroclimate during the early Eocene from the DeepMIP simulations. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology. Portico. https://doi.org/10.1029/2022pa004419 https://doi.org/10.1029/2022pa004419

The early Eocene (∼56‐48 million years ago) is characterised by high CO2 estimates (1200‐2500 ppmv) and elevated global temperatures (∼10 to 16°C higher than modern). However, the response of the hydrological cycle during the early Eocene is poorly constrained, especially in regions with sparse data coverage (e.g. Africa). Here we present a study of African hydroclimate during the early Eocene, as simulated by an ensemble of state‐of‐the‐art climate models in the Deep‐time Model Intercomparison Project (DeepMIP). A comparison between the DeepMIP pre‐industrial simulations and modern observations suggests that model biases are model‐ and geographically dependent, however these biases are reduced in the model ensemble mean. A comparison between the Eocene simulations and the pre‐industrial suggests that there is no obvious wetting or drying trend as the CO2 increases. The results suggest that changes to the land sea mask (relative to modern) in the models may be responsible for the simulated increases in precipitation to the north of Eocene Africa. There is an increase in precipitation over equatorial and West Africa and associated drying over northern Africa as CO2 rises. There are also important dynamical changes, with evidence that anticyclonic low‐level circulation is replaced by increased south‐westerly flow at high CO2 levels. Lastly, a model‐data comparison using newly‐compiled quantitative climate estimates from palaeobotanical proxy data suggests a marginally better fit with the reconstructions at lower levels of CO2.

Colli-Silva, M., Pirani, J. R., & Zizka, A. (2022). Ecological niche models and point distribution data reveal a differential coverage of the cacao relatives (Malvaceae) in South American protected areas. Ecological Informatics, 101668. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2022.101668 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2022.101668

For many regions, such as in South America, it is unclear how well the existent protected areas network (PAs) covers different taxonomic groups and if there is a coverage bias of PAs towards certain biomes or species. Publicly available occurrence data along with ecological niche models might help to overcome this gap and to quantify the coverage of taxa by PAs ensuring an unbiased distribution of conservation effort. Here, we use an occurrence database of 271 species from the cacao family (Malvaceae) to address how South American PAs cover species with different distribution, abundance, and threat status. Furthermore, we compared the performance of online databases, expert knowledge, and modelled species distributions in estimating species coverage in PAs. We found 79 species from our survey (29% of the total) lack any record inside South American PAs and that 20 out of 23 species potentially threatened with extinction are not covered by PAs. The area covered by South American PAs was low across biomes, except for Amazonia, which had a relative high PA coverage, but little information on species distribution within PA available. Also, raw geo-referenced occurrence data were underestimating the number of species in PAs, and projections from ecological niche models were more prone to overestimating the number of species represented within PAs. We discuss that the protection of South American flora in heterogeneous environments demand for specific strategies tailored to particular biomes, including making new collections inside PAs in less collected areas, and the delimitation of more areas for protection in more known areas. Also, by presenting biasing scenarios of collection effort in a representative plant group, our results can benefit policy makers in conserving different spots of tropical environments highly biodiverse.

Odorico, Nicosia, E., Datizua, C., Langa, C., Raiva, R., Souane, J., Nhalungo, S., Banze, A., Caetano, B., Nhauando, V., Ragú, H., Machunguene Jr., M., Caminho, J., Mutemba, L., Matusse, E., Osborne, J., Wursten, B., Burrows, J., Cianciullo, S., … Attorre, F. (2022). An updated checklist of Mozambique’s vascular plants. PhytoKeys, 189, 61–80. https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.189.75321 https://doi.org/10.3897/phytokeys.189.75321

An updated checklist of Mozambique’s vascular plants is presented. It was compiled referring to several information sources such as existing literature, relevant online databases and herbaria collections. The checklist includes 7,099 taxa (5,957 species, 605 subspecies, 537 varieties), belonging to …

Meller, P., Stellmes, M., Fidelis, A., & Finckh, M. (2022). Correlates of geoxyle diversity in Afrotropical grasslands. Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.14305 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14305

Aim: Tropical old-growth grasslands are increasingly acknowledged as biodiverse ecosystems, but they are understudied in many aspects. Geoxyle species are a key component in many of these ecosystems, their belowground storage organs and bud banks are functionally diverse and contribute to the grassl…

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…

Whitman, M., Beaman, R. S., Repin, R., Kitayama, K., Aiba, S., & Russo, S. E. (2021). Edaphic specialization and vegetation zones define elevational range‐sizes for Mt Kinabalu regional flora. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.05873 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05873

Identifying physical and ecological boundaries that limit where species can occur is important for predicting how those species will respond to global change. The island of Borneo encompasses a wide range of habitats that support some of the highest richness on Earth, making it an ideal location for…

Chu, X., Gugger, P. F., Li, L., Zhao, J., & Li, Q. (2021). Responses of an endemic species ( Roscoea humeana ) in the Hengduan Mountains to climate change. Diversity and Distributions. doi:10.1111/ddi.13397 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13397

Aim: Adaptation, migration and extinction of species is closely associated with climate changes and shape the distribution of biodiversity. The adaptive responses of species in the biodiversity hotspot, the Hengduan Mountains, to climate change remain poorly understood. Location: The Hengduan Mount…

Baumbach, L., Warren, D. L., Yousefpour, R., & Hanewinkel, M. (2021). Climate change may induce connectivity loss and mountaintop extinction in Central American forests. Communications Biology, 4(1). doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02359-9 https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02359-9

The tropical forests of Central America serve a pivotal role as biodiversity hotspots and provide ecosystem services securing human livelihood. However, climate change is expected to affect the species composition of forest ecosystems, lead to forest type transitions and trigger irrecoverable losses…

Roalson, E. H., & Roberts, W. R. (2016). Distinct Processes Drive Diversification in Different Clades of Gesneriaceae. Systematic Biology, 65(4), 662–684. doi:10.1093/sysbio/syw012 https://doi.org/10.1093/sysbio/syw012

Using a time-calibrated phylogenetic hypothesis including 768 Gesneriaceae species (out of ~~ 3300 species) and more than 29,000 aligned bases from 26 gene regions, we test Gesneriaceae for diversification rate shifts and the possible proximal drivers of these shifts: geographic distributions, growt…

Joyce, E., Thiele, K., Slik, F., & Crayn, D. (2020). Checklist of the vascular flora of the Sunda-Sahul Convergence Zone. Biodiversity Data Journal, 8. doi:10.3897/bdj.8.e51094 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.8.e51094

Background The Sunda-Sahul Convergence Zone, defined here as the area comprising Australia, New Guinea, and Southeast Asia (Indonesia to Myanmar), straddles the Sunda and Sahul continental shelves and is one of the most biogeographically famous and important regions in the world. Floristically, it i…