Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Liu, W., D. A. S. Smith, G. Raina, R. Stanforth, I. Ng’Iru, P. Ireri, D. J. Martins, et al. 2022. Global biogeography of warning coloration in the butterfly Danaus chrysippus. Biology Letters 18. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2021.0639

Warning coloration provides a textbook example of natural selection, but the frequent observation of polymorphism in aposematic species presents an evolutionary puzzle. We investigated biogeography and polymorphism of warning patterns in the widespread butterfly Danaus chrysippus using records from citizen science ( n = 5467), museums ( n = 8864) and fieldwork ( n = 2586). We find that polymorphism in three traits controlled by known mendelian loci is extensive. Broad allele frequency clines, hundreds of kilometres wide, suggest a balance between long-range dispersal and predation of unfamiliar morphs. Mismatched clines for the white hindwing and forewing tip in East Africa are consistent with a previous finding that the black wingtip allele has spread recently in the region through hitchhiking with a heritable endosymbiont. Light/dark background coloration shows more extensive polymorphism. The darker genotype is more common in cooler regions, possibly reflecting a trade-off between thermoregulation and predator warning. Overall, our findings show how studying local adaptation at the global scale provides a more complete picture of the evolutionary forces involved.

Ramírez, F., V. Sbragaglia, K. Soacha, M. Coll, and J. Piera. 2022. Challenges for Marine Ecological Assessments: Completeness of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable Biodiversity Data in European Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2021.802235

The ongoing contemporary biodiversity crisis may result in much of ocean’s biodiversity to be lost or deeply modified without even being known. As the climate and anthropogenic-related impacts on marine systems accelerate, biodiversity knowledge integration is urgently required to evaluate and monit…

Qu, J., Y. Xu, Y. Cui, S. Wu, L. Wang, X. Liu, Z. Xing, et al. 2021. MODB: a comprehensive mitochondrial genome database for Mollusca. Database 2021. https://doi.org/10.1093/database/baab056

Mollusca is the largest marine phylum, comprising about 23% of all named marine organisms, Mollusca systematics are still in flux, and an increase in human activities has affected Molluscan reproduction and development, strongly impacting diversity and classification. Therefore, it is necessary to e…

Uludag, A., N. Aksoy, A. Yazlık, Z. F. Arslan, E. Yazmış, I. Uremis, T. A. Cossu, et al. 2017. Alien flora of Turkey: checklist, taxonomic composition and ecological attributes. NeoBiota 35: 61–85. https://doi.org/10.3897/neobiota.35.12460

The paper provides an updated checklist of the alien flora of Turkey with information on its structure. The alien flora of Turkey comprises 340 taxa, among which there are 321 angiosperms, 17 gymnosperms and two ferns. Of the total number of taxa, 228 (68%) are naturalized and 112 (32%) are casual. …