Science Enabled by Specimen Data

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…

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…

Rotenberry, J. T., & Balasubramaniam, P. (2020). Connecting species’ geographical distributions to environmental variables: range maps versus observed points of occurrence. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.04871 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.04871

Connecting the geographical occurrence of a species with underlying environmental variables is fundamental for many analyses of life history evolution and for modeling species distributions for both basic and practical ends. However, raw distributional information comes principally in two forms: poi…

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…

Zink, R. M., Botero-Cañola, S., Martinez, H., & Herzberg, K. M. (2020). Niche modeling reveals life history shifts in birds at La Brea over the last twenty millennia. PLOS ONE, 15(1), e0227361. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0227361 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227361

A species presence at a particular site can change over time, resulting in temporally dynamic species pools. Ecological niche models provide estimates of species presence at different time intervals. The avifauna of La Brea includes approximately 120 species dating to approximately 15,000 years ago.…

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…

Sullivan, J., Smith, M. L., Espíndola, A., Ruffley, M., Rankin, A., Tank, D., & Carstens, B. (2019). Integrating life history traits into predictive phylogeography. Molecular Ecology. doi:10.1111/mec.15029 https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15029

Predictive phylogeography seeks to aggregate genetic, environmental and taxonomic data from multiple species in order to make predictions about unsampled taxa using machine‐learning techniques such as Random Forests. To date, organismal trait data have infrequently been incorporated into predictive …

Inman, R., Franklin, J., Esque, T., & Nussear, K. (2018). Spatial sampling bias in the Neotoma paleoecological archives affects species paleo-distribution models. Quaternary Science Reviews, 198, 115–125. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.015 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.quascirev.2018.08.015

The ability to infer paleo-distributions with limited knowledge of absence makes species distribution modeling (SDM) a useful tool for exploring paleobiogeographic questions. Spatial sampling bias is a known issue when modeling extant species. Here we quantify the spatial sampling bias in a North Am…

Antonelli, A., Zizka, A., Carvalho, F. A., Scharn, R., Bacon, C. D., Silvestro, D., & Condamine, F. L. (2018). Amazonia is the primary source of Neotropical biodiversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(23), 6034–6039. doi:10.1073/pnas.1713819115 https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1713819115

The American tropics (the Neotropics) are the most species-rich realm on Earth, and for centuries, scientists have attempted to understand the origins and evolution of their biodiversity. It is now clear that different regions and taxonomic groups have responded differently to geological and climati…

Guedes, T. B., Sawaya, R. J., Zizka, A., Laffan, S., Faurby, S., Pyron, R. A., … Antonelli, A. (2017). Patterns, biases and prospects in the distribution and diversity of Neotropical snakes. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27(1), 14–21. doi:10.1111/geb.12679 https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12679

Motivation: We generated a novel database of Neotropical snakes (one of the world’s richest herpetofauna) combining the most comprehensive, manually compiled distribution dataset with publicly available data. We assess, for the first time, the diversity patterns for all Neotropical snakes as well as…