Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Dantas, V. L., and J. G. Pausas. 2022. The legacy of the extinct Neotropical megafauna on plants and biomes. Nature Communications 13. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27749-9

Large mammal herbivores are important drivers of plant evolution and vegetation patterns, but the extent to which plant trait and ecosystem geography currently reflect the historical distribution of extinct megafauna is unknown. We address this question for South and Central America (Neotropical bio…

Freitas, C., F. T. Brum, C. Cássia-Silva, L. Maracahipes, M. B. Carlucci, R. G. Collevatti, and C. D. Bacon. 2021. Incongruent Spatial Distribution of Taxonomic, Phylogenetic, and Functional Diversity in Neotropical Cocosoid Palms. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change 4. https://doi.org/10.3389/ffgc.2021.739468

Biodiversity can be quantified by taxonomic, phylogenetic, and functional diversity. Current evidence points to a lack of congruence between the spatial distribution of these facets due to evolutionary and ecological constraints. A lack of congruence is especially evident between phylogenetic and ta…

Xue, T., S. R. Gadagkar, T. P. Albright, X. Yang, J. Li, C. Xia, J. Wu, and S. Yu. 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. 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…

Baumbach, L., D. L. Warren, R. Yousefpour, and M. Hanewinkel. 2021. Climate change may induce connectivity loss and mountaintop extinction in Central American forests. Communications Biology 4. 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…

Zizka, A., F. Antunes Carvalho, A. Calvente, M. Rocio Baez-Lizarazo, A. Cabral, J. F. R. Coelho, M. Colli-Silva, et al. 2020. No one-size-fits-all solution to clean GBIF. PeerJ 8: e9916. https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9916

Species occurrence records provide the basis for many biodiversity studies. They derive from georeferenced specimens deposited in natural history collections and visual observations, such as those obtained through various mobile applications. Given the rapid increase in availability of such data, th…

de Jesús Hernández-Hernández, M., J. A. Cruz, and C. Castañeda-Posadas. 2020. Paleoclimatic and vegetation reconstruction of the miocene southern Mexico using fossil flowers. Journal of South American Earth Sciences 104: 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., R. P. Bayton, T. L. P. Couvreur, S. Dodsworth, W. L. Eiserhardt, M. S. Guignard, H. W. Pritchard, et al. 2020. On the origin of giant seeds: the macroevolution of the double coconut ( Lodoicea maldivica ) and its relatives (Borasseae, Arecaceae). New Phytologist 228: 1134–1148. 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., P. Muñoz-Rodríguez, D. J. Harris, T. Wells, J. R. I. Wood, D. Filer, and R. W. Scotland. 2020. How long does it take to discover a species? Systematics and Biodiversity 18: 784–793. 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 …

Asase, A., M. N. Sainge, R. A. Radji, O. A. Ugbogu, and A. T. Peterson. 2020. A new model for efficient, need‐driven progress in generating primary biodiversity information resources. Applications in Plant Sciences 8. https://doi.org/10.1002/aps3.11318

Premise: The field of biodiversity informatics has developed rapidly in recent years, with broad availability of large‐scale information resources. However, online biodiversity information is biased spatially as a result of slow and uneven capture and digitization of existing data resources. The Wes…

Zizka, A., J. Azevedo, E. Leme, B. Neves, A. F. Costa, D. Caceres, and G. Zizka. 2019. Biogeography and conservation status of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae) M. Carboni [ed.],. Diversity and Distributions 26: 183–195. https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13004

Aim: To provide distribution information and preliminary conservation assessments for all species of the pineapple family (Bromeliaceae), one of the most diverse and ecologically important plant groups of the American tropics—a global biodiversity hotspot. Furthermore, we aim to analyse patterns of …