Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Xue, T., Gadagkar, S. R., Albright, T. P., Yang, X., Li, J., Xia, C., … Yu, S. (2021). Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation, 32, e01885. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

De Oliveira, M. H. V., Torke, B. M., & Almeida, T. E. (2021). An inventory of the ferns and lycophytes of the Lower Tapajós River Basin in the Brazilian Amazon reveals collecting biases, sampling gaps, and previously undocumented diversity. Brittonia. doi:10.1007/s12228-021-09668-7 https://doi.org/10.1007/s12228-021-09668-7

Ferns and lycophytes are an excellent group for conservation and species distribution studies because they are closely related to environmental changes. In this study, we analyzed collection gaps, sampling biases, richness distribution, and the species conservation effectiveness of protected areas i…

Mason, C. M., LaScaleia, M. C., De La Pascua, D. R., Monroe, J. G., & Goolsby, E. W. (2020). Learning from Dynamic Traits: Seasonal Shifts Yield Insights into Ecophysiological Trade-Offs across Scales from Macroevolutionary to Intraindividual. International Journal of Plant Sciences, 181(1), 88–102. doi:10.1086/706238 https://doi.org/10.1086/706238

Premise of the Research. Phylogenetic comparative methods provide a powerful approach for exploring the macroevolution of plant functional traits. Such approaches can uncover trait-trait correlations through evolutionary time, as well as provide evidence of the role of traits in adaptation across en…

De La Pascua, D. R., Smith‐Winterscheidt, C., Dowell, J. A., Goolsby, E. W., & Mason, C. M. (2020). Evolutionary trade‐offs in the chemical defense of floral and fruit tissues across genus Cornus. American Journal of Botany, 107(9), 1260–1273. doi:10.1002/ajb2.1540 https://doi.org/10.1002/ajb2.1540

Premise: Defense investment in plant reproductive structures is relatively understudied compared to the defense of vegetative organs. Here the evolution of chemical defenses in reproductive structures is examined in light of the optimal defense, apparency, and resource availability hypotheses within…

Cross, A. T., Krueger, T. A., Gonella, P. M., Robinson, A. S., & Fleischmann, A. S. (2020). Conservation of carnivorous plants in the age of extinction. Global Ecology and Conservation, e01272. doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2020.e01272

Carnivorous plants (CPs)—those possessing specific strategies to attract, capture and kill animal prey and obtain nutrition through the absorption of their biomass—are harbingers of anthropogenic degradation and destruction of ecosystems. CPs exhibit highly specialised and often very sensitive ecolo…

Lindelof, K., Lindo, J. A., Zhou, W., Ji, X., & Xiang, Q. (Jenny). (2020). Phylogenomics, biogeography, and evolution of the blue‐ or white‐fruited dogwoods ( Cornus ) ‐ insights into morphological and ecological niche divergence following intercontinental geographic isolation. Journal of Systematics and Evolution. doi:10.1111/jse.12676 https://doi.org/10.1111/jse.12676

The eastern Asian (EA)–eastern North American (ENA) floristic disjunction represents a major pattern of phytogeography of the Northern Hemisphere. Despite 20 years of studies dedicated to identification of taxa that display this disjunct pattern, its origin and evolution remain an open question, esp…

O’Connell, E., & Savage, J. (2020). Extended leaf phenology has limited benefits for invasive species growing at northern latitudes. Biological Invasions. doi:10.1007/s10530-020-02301-w https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-020-02301-w

Many understory woody invasive plants in North America leaf out earlier or retain leaves later than their native associates. This extended leaf phenology is thought to grant invasive species an advantage over native species because spring and fall are crucial times for light access and carbon acquis…

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…

Peterson, A. T., Asase, A., Canhos, D., de Souza, S., & Wieczorek, J. (2018). Data Leakage and Loss in Biodiversity Informatics. Biodiversity Data Journal, 6. doi:10.3897/bdj.6.e26826 https://doi.org/10.3897/bdj.6.e26826

The field of biodiversity informatics is in a massive, “grow-out” phase of creating and enabling large-scale biodiversity data resources. Because perhaps 90% of existing biodiversity data nonetheless remains unavailable for science and policy applications, the question arises as to how these existin…