Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Ellestad, P., Forest, F., Serpe, M., Novak, S. J., & Buerki, S. (2021). Harnessing large-scale biodiversity data to infer the current distribution of Vanilla planifolia (Orchidaceae). Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/boab005 https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boab005

Although vanilla is one of the most popular flavours in the world, there is still uncertainty concerning the native distribution of the species that produces it, Vanilla planifolia. To circumscribe the native geographical extent of this economically important species more precisely, we propose a new…

Allstädt, F. J., Koutsodendris, A., Appel, E., Rösler, W., Reichgelt, T., Kaboth-Bahr, S., … Pross, J. (2021). Late Pliocene to early Pleistocene climate dynamics in western North America based on a new pollen record from paleo-Lake Idaho. Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments. doi:10.1007/s12549-020-00460-1 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12549-020-00460-1

Marked by the expansion of ice sheets in the high latitudes, the intensification of Northern Hemisphere glaciation across the Plio/Pleistocene transition at ~ 2.7 Ma represents a critical interval of late Neogene climate evolution. To date, the characteristics of climate change in North America duri…

Deanna, R., Wilf, P., & Gandolfo, M. A. (2020). New physaloid fruit‐fossil species from early Eocene South America. American Journal of Botany, 107(12), 1749–1762. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1565 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1565

Premise: Solanaceae is a scientifically and economically important angiosperm family with a minimal fossil record and an intriguing early evolutionary history. Here, we report a newly discovered fossil lantern fruit with a suite of features characteristic of Physalideae within Solanaceae. The fossil…

Ronquillo, C., Alves-Martins, F., Mazimpaka, V., Sobral-Souza, T., Vilela-Silva, B., G. Medina, N., & Hortal, J. (2020). Assessing spatial and temporal biases and gaps in the publicly available distributional information of Iberian mosses. Biodiversity Data Journal, 8. doi:10.3897/bdj.8.e53474 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.8.e53474

One of the most valuable initiatives on massive availability of biodiversity data is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, which is creating new opportunities to develop and test macroecological knowledge. However, the potential uses of these data are limited by the gaps and biases associate…

De Jesús Hernández-Hernández, M., Cruz, J. A., & Castañeda-Posadas, C. (2020). Paleoclimatic and vegetation reconstruction of the miocene southern Mexico using fossil flowers. Journal of South American Earth Sciences, 104, 102827. doi:10.1016/j.jsames.2020.102827 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…

Cardador, L., & Blackburn, T. M. (2020). A global assessment of human influence on niche shifts and risk predictions of bird invasions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13166 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13166

Aim: Estimating the strength of niche conservatism is key for predictions of invasion risk. Most studies consider only the climatic niche, but other factors, such as human disturbance, also shape niches. Whether occupation of human habitats in the alien range depends on the native tolerances of spec…

Bellot, S., Bayton, R. P., Couvreur, T. L. P., Dodsworth, S., Eiserhardt, W. L., Guignard, M. S., … Baker, W. J. (2020). On the origin of giant seeds: the macroevolution of the double coconut ( Lodoicea maldivica ) and its relatives (Borasseae, Arecaceae). New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16750 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., Muñoz-Rodríguez, P., Harris, D. J., Wells, T., Wood, J. R. I., Filer, D., & Scotland, R. W. (2020). How long does it take to discover a species? Systematics and Biodiversity, 1–10. doi:10.1080/14772000.2020.1751339 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 …

Ringelberg, J. J., Zimmermann, N. E., Weeks, A., Lavin, M., & Hughes, C. E. (2020). Biomes as evolutionary arenas: Convergence and conservatism in the trans‐continental succulent biome. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi:10.1111/geb.13089 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13089

Aim: Historically, biomes have been defined based on their structurally and functionally similar vegetation, but there is debate about whether these similarities are superficial, and about how biomes are defined and mapped. We propose that combined assessment of evolutionary convergence of plant fun…

Prieto-Torres, D. A., Lira-Noriega, A., & Navarro-Sigüenza, A. G. (2020). Climate change promotes species loss and uneven modification of richness patterns in the avifauna associated to Neotropical seasonally dry forests. Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation. doi:10.1016/j.pecon.2020.01.002 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pecon.2020.01.002

We assessed the effects of global climate change as a driver of spatio-temporal biodiversity patterns in bird assemblages associated to Neotropical seasonally dry forests (NSDF). For this, we estimated the geographic distribution of 719 bird species under current and future climate (2050 and 2070) p…