Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Howard, C. C., & Cellinese, N. (2020). Tunicate bulb size variation in monocots explained by temperature and phenology. Ecology and Evolution. doi:10.1002/ece3.5996 https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.5996

Plant bulbs are modified shoot systems comprised of short internodes with apical bud(s) surrounded by layers of leaf bases. Bulb diameters can vary greatly, with overall bulb size playing a role in flower formation and resource allocation. Despite the importance of bulb size to the overall fitness o…

Oyedeji Amusa, M. O., Van Wyk, B.-E., & Oskolski, A. (2020). Wood anatomy of South African Meliaceae: evolutionary and ecological implications. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. doi:10.1093/botlinnean/boaa010 https://doi.org/10.1093/botlinnean/boaa010

Wood structure in seven South African species of Ekebergia, Nymania, Trichilia and Turraea (Meliaceae) was studied and compared with data for other genera of the subfamily Melioideae to elucidate phylogenetic relationships and pathways of trait evolution in this group and to clarify the ecological s…

Avila, C., Angulo-Preckler, C., Martín-Martín, R. P., Figuerola, B., Griffiths, H. J., & Waller, C. L. (2020). Invasive marine species discovered on non–native kelp rafts in the warmest Antarctic island. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-58561-y https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-58561-y

Antarctic shallow coastal marine communities were long thought to be isolated from their nearest neighbours by hundreds of kilometres of deep ocean and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The discovery of non–native kelp washed up on Antarctic beaches led us to question the permeability of these barr…

McCulloch, G. A., Mauda, E. V., Chari, L. D., Martin, G. D., Gurdasani, K., Morin, L., … Raghu, S. (2020). Genetic diversity and morphological variation in African boxthorn (Lycium ferocissimum) – characterising the target weed for biological control. Biological Control, 104206. doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2020.104206 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocontrol.2020.104206

Lycium ferocissimum (African boxthorn) is one of the most troublesome weeds in Australia. Biological control may have potential to manage this weed, but taxonomic uncertainty needs to be addressed first to facilitate searches for potential agents. We sampled putative L. ferocissimum (i.e. tentativel…

Asase, A., Sainge, M. N., Radji, R. A., Ugbogu, O. A., & Peterson, A. T. (2020). A new model for efficient, need‐driven progress in generating primary biodiversity information resources. Applications in Plant Sciences, 8(1). doi:10.1002/aps3.11318 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…

Pirie, M. D., Kandziora, M., Nürk, N. M., Le Maitre, N. C., Mugrabi de Kuppler, A., Gehrke, B., … Bellstedt, D. U. (2019). Leaps and bounds: geographical and ecological distance constrained the colonisation of the Afrotemperate by Erica. BMC Evolutionary Biology, 19(1). doi:10.1186/s12862-019-1545-6 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12862-019-1545-6

Background: The coincidence of long distance dispersal (LDD) and biome shift is assumed to be the result of a multifaceted interplay between geographical distance and ecological suitability of source and sink areas. Here, we test the influence of these factors on the dispersal history of the floweri…

Kass, J. M., Anderson, R. P., Espinosa‐Lucas, A., Juárez‐Jaimes, V., Martínez‐Salas, E., Botello, F., … Sánchez‐Cordero, V. (2019). Biotic predictors with phenological information improve range estimates for migrating monarch butterflies in Mexico. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04886 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04886

Although long‐standing theory suggests that biotic variables are only relevant at local scales for explaining the patterns of species’ distributions, recent studies have demonstrated improvements to species distribution models (SDMs) by incorporating predictor variables informed by biotic interactio…

Stull, G., Tiffney, B. H., Manchester, S. R., Rio, C. D., & Wing, S. L. (2019). Endocarps of Pyrenacantha (Icacinaceae) from the early Oligocene of Egypt. International Journal of Plant Sciences. doi:10.1086/706854 https://doi.org/10.1086/706854

The fossil record of Pyrenacantha (Phytocreneae tribe, Icacinaceae) includes well-documented species from the Paleogene of North and South America but, to date, no fossils have been described from its present geographic range, the Old World tropics. We document endocarp remains from the early Oligoc…

Armani, M., Charles-Dominique, T., E. Barton, K., & W. Tomlinson, K. (2019). Developmental constraints and resource environment shape early emergence and investment in spines in saplings. Annals of Botany. doi:10.1093/aob/mcz152 https://doi.org/10.1093/aob/mcz152

Background and Aims: Herbivory by large mammals imposes a critical recruitment bottleneck on plants in many systems. Spines defend plants against large herbivores and how early they emerge in saplings may be one of the strongest predictors of sapling survival in herbivore-rich environments. Yet litt…

Marconi, L., & Armengot, L. (2020). Complex agroforestry systems against biotic homogenization: The case of plants in the herbaceous stratum of cocoa production systems. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 287, 106664. doi:10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2019.106664

In addition to their potential against deforestation and climate change, agroforestry systems may have a relevant role in biodiversity conservation. In this sense, not only species richness per se, but also community composition, including the distribution range of the species, should be considered.…