Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Iqbal, I., Shabbir, A., Shabbir, K., Barkworth, M., Bareen, F., & Khan, S. (2020). Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L. (Convolvulaceae): a new alien plant record for Pakistan. BioInvasions Records, 9(4), 702–711. doi:10.3391/bir.2020.9.4.04 https://doi.org/10.3391/bir.2020.9.4.04

Evolvulus nummularius (L.) L., a member of the Convolvulaceae, is native to Mexico and South America but nowadays grows around the world in many tropical and subtropical regions. Its presence in Pakistan, where it has become naturalized, is reported here for the first time. It was first discovered i…

Del Rio, C., Huang, J., Liu, P., Deng, W., Spicer, T. E. V., Wu, F., … Su, T. (2020). New Eocene fossil fruits and leaves of Menispermaceae from the central Tibetan Plateau and their biogeographic implications. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. doi:10.1111/jse.12701 https://doi.org/10.1111/jse.12701

Menispermaceae are a pantropical and temperate family with an extensive fossil record during the Paleogene, especially in North America and Europe, but with much less evidence from Asia. The latest fossil evidence indicates a succession of tropical to sub‐tropical flora on the central Tibetan Platea…

Larridon, I., Galán Díaz, J., Bauters, K., & Escudero, M. (2020). What drives diversification in a pantropical plant lineage with extraordinary capacity for long‐distance dispersal and colonization? Journal of Biogeography. doi:10.1111/jbi.13982 https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13982

Aim: Colonization of new areas may entail shifts in diversification rates linked to biogeographical movement (dispersification), which may involve niche evolution if species were not exapted to new environments. Scleria (Cyperaceae) includes c. 250 species and has a pantropical distribution suggesti…

Myrans, H., Diaz, M. V., Khoury, C. K., Carver, D., Henry, R. J., & Gleadow, R. (2020). Modelled distributions and conservation priorities of wild sorghums ( Sorghum Moench). Diversity and Distributions, 26(12), 1727–1740. doi:10.1111/ddi.13166 https://doi.org/10.1111/ddi.13166

Aim: To fill knowledge gaps regarding the distributions, ecogeographic niches and conservation status of sorghum's wild relatives (Sorghum Moench). Location: The study covered the potential native ranges of wild Sorghum taxa worldwide, including Australia, New Guinea, Asia, Africa and Central Ameri…

Brightly, W. H., Hartley, S. E., Osborne, C. P., Simpson, K. J., & Strömberg, C. A. E. (2020). High silicon concentrations in grasses are linked to environmental conditions and not associated with C 4 photosynthesis. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.15343 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15343

The uptake and deposition of silicon (Si) as silica phytoliths is common among land plants and is associated with a variety of functions. Among these, herbivore defense has received significant attention, particularly with regards to grasses and grasslands. Grasses are well known for their high sili…

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…

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…

Jahanshiri, E., Mohd Nizar, N. M., Tengku Mohd Suhairi, T. A. S., Gregory, P. J., Mohamed, A. S., Wimalasiri, E. M., & Azam-Ali, S. N. (2020). A Land Evaluation Framework for Agricultural Diversification. Sustainability, 12(8), 3110. doi:10.3390/su12083110 https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083110

Shortlisting ecologically adaptable plant species can be a starting point for agricultural diversification projects. We propose a rapid assessment framework based on an ecological model that can accelerate the evaluation of options for sustainable crop diversification. To test the new model, expert-…

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 …

Peyre, G., Lenoir, J., Karger, D. N., Gomez, M., Gonzalez, A., Broennimann, O., & Guisan, A. (2020). The fate of páramo plant assemblages in the sky islands of the northern Andes. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi:10.1111/jvs.12898 https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12898

Aims: Assessing climate change impacts on biodiversity is a main scientific challenge, especially in the tropics, therefore, we predicted the future of plant species and communities on the unique páramo sky islands. We implemented the Spatially Explicit Species Assemblage Modelling framework, by i) …