Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Orr, M. C., Hughes, A. C., Chesters, D., Pickering, J., Zhu, C.-D., & Ascher, J. S. (2020). Global Patterns and Drivers of Bee Distribution. Current Biology. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.10.053

Insects are the focus of many recent studies suggesting population declines, but even invaluable pollination service providers such as bees lack a modern distributional synthesis. Here, we combine a uniquely comprehensive checklist of bee species distributions and >5,800,000 public bee occurrence re…

Li, X., Li, B., Wang, G., Zhan, X., & Holyoak, M. (2020). Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX, 7, 101067. doi:10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Wang, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2020). Animal invaders threaten protected areas worldwide. Nature Communications, 11(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16719-2

Protected areas are the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. However, alien species invasion is an increasing threat to biodiversity, and the extent to which protected areas worldwide are resistant to incursions of alien species remains poorly understood. Here, we investigate establishment by 8…

Zigler, K., Niemiller, M., Stephen, C., Ayala, B., Milne, M., Gladstone, N., … Cressler, A. (2020). Biodiversity from caves and other sub-terranean habitats of Georgia, USA. Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, 82(2), 125–167. doi:10.4311/2019lsc0125 https://doi.org/10.4311/2019LSC0125

We provide an annotated checklist of species recorded from caves and other subterranean habitats in the state of Georgia, USA. We report 281 species (228 invertebrates and 53 vertebrates), including 51 troglobionts (cave-obligate species), from more than 150 sites (caves, springs, and wells). Endemi…

Pili, A. N., Tingley, R., Sy, E. Y., Diesmos, M. L. L., & Diesmos, A. C. (2020). Niche shifts and environmental non-equilibrium undermine the usefulness of ecological niche models for invasion risk assessments. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-64568-2 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-64568-2

Niche shifts and environmental non-equilibrium in invading alien species undermine niche-based predictions of alien species’ potential distributions and, consequently, their usefulness for invasion risk assessments. Here, we compared the realized climatic niches of four alien amphibian species (Hyla…

Klages, J. P., Salzmann, U., Bickert, T., Hillenbrand, C.-D., Gohl, K., … Dziadek, R. (2020). Temperate rainforests near the South Pole during peak Cretaceous warmth. Nature, 580(7801), 81–86. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5 https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2148-5

The mid-Cretaceous period was one of the warmest intervals of the past 140 million years1,2,3,4,5, driven by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels of around 1,000 parts per million by volume6. In the near absence of proximal geological records from south of the Antarctic Circle, it is disputed whether p…

Li, M., He, J., Zhao, Z., Lyu, R., Yao, M., Cheng, J., & Xie, L. (2020). Predictive modelling of the distribution of Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. under climate change reveals a range expansion during the Last Glacial Maximum. PeerJ, 8, e8729. doi:10.7717/peerj.8729 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.8729

Background The knowledge of distributional dynamics of living organisms is a prerequisite for protecting biodiversity and for the sustainable use of biotic resources. Clematis sect. Fruticella s. str. is a small group of shrubby, yellow-flowered species distributed mainly in arid and semi-arid areas…

Ezray, B. D., Wham, D. C., Hill, C. E., & Hines, H. M. (2019). Unsupervised machine learning reveals mimicry complexes in bumblebees occur along a perceptual continuum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 286(1910), 20191501. doi:10.1098/rspb.2019.1501 https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2019.1501

Müllerian mimicry theory states that frequency-dependent selection should favour geographical convergence of harmful species onto a shared colour pattern. As such, mimetic patterns are commonly circumscribed into discrete mimicry complexes, each containing a predominant phenotype. Outside a few exam…

Weterings, R., Barbetti, M., & Buckley, H. L. (2019). Hypothesis: Do invasive house geckos exacerbate dengue fever epidemics? Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-019-02066-x https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-019-02066-x

Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne disease that has undergone a marked rise in incidence since the 1950s, throughout the world’s tropical regions. Here, we present a hypothesis that this rise in incidence may have been exacerbated by the invasion of house geckos, due to their role in the mosquito vect…

Liu, X., Blackburn, T. M., Song, T., Li, X., Huang, C., & Li, Y. (2019). Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology, 29(3), 499–505.e4. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [1]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and p…