Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Rotenberry, J. T., and P. Balasubramaniam. 2020. Connecting species’ geographical distributions to environmental variables: range maps versus observed points of occurrence. Ecography 43: 897–913. 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…

Li, M., J. He, Z. Zhao, R. Lyu, M. Yao, J. Cheng, and L. Xie. 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. 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…

Prieto-Torres, D. A., A. Lira-Noriega, and A. G. Navarro-Sigüenza. 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 18: 19–30. 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., S. Botero-Cañola, H. Martinez, and K. M. Herzberg. 2020. Niche modeling reveals life history shifts in birds at La Brea over the last twenty millennia S. Lötters [ed.],. PLOS ONE 15: e0227361. 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.…

Menegotto, A., T. F. Rangel, J. Schrader, P. Weigelt, and H. Kreft. 2019. A global test of the subsidized island biogeography hypothesis A. M. C. dos Santos [ed.],. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29: 320–330. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.13032

Aim: The decreasing capacity of area to predict species richness on small islands (the small‐island effect; SIE) seems to be one of the few exceptions of the species–area relationship. While most studies have focused on how to detect the SIE, the underlying ecological factors determining this patter…

Ezray, B. D., D. C. Wham, C. E. Hill, and H. M. Hines. 2019. Unsupervised machine learning reveals mimicry complexes in bumblebees occur along a perceptual continuum. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20191501. 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…

Folk, R. A., R. L. Stubbs, M. E. Mort, N. Cellinese, J. M. Allen, P. S. Soltis, D. E. Soltis, and R. P. Guralnick. 2019. Rates of niche and phenotype evolution lag behind diversification in a temperate radiation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 116: 10874–10882. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1817999116

Environmental change can create opportunities for increased rates of lineage diversification, but continued species accumulation has been hypothesized to lead to slowdowns via competitive exclusion and niche partitioning. Such density-dependent models imply tight linkages between diversification and…

Rankin, A. M., R. S. Schwartz, C. H. Floyd, and K. E. Galbreath. 2019. Contrasting consequences of historical climate change for marmots at northern and temperate latitudes. Journal of Mammalogy 100: 328–344. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyz025

Many species that occupy high latitudes of North America were historically restricted to relatively small refugia during the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). The geographic ranges of many of these species then expanded widely across the continent after glacial ice receded. In contrast, species whose LGM …

Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Li, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2019. Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology 29: 499-505.e4. 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., M. L. Smith, A. Espíndola, M. Ruffley, A. Rankin, D. Tank, and B. Carstens. 2019. Integrating life history traits into predictive phylogeography. Molecular Ecology 28: 2062–2073. 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 …