Uses of GBIF in scientific research

Peer-reviewed research citing GBIF as a data source, with at least one author from Australia.
Extracted from the Mendeley GBIF Public Library.

List of publications

  • Albuquerque F, Beier P (2015)

    Using abiotic variables to predict importance of sites for species representation.

    Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology.

    In systematic conservation planning, species distribution data for all sites in a planning area are used to prioritize each site in terms of the site's importance toward meeting the goal of species representation. But comprehensive species data are not available in most planning areas and would be expensive to acquire. As a shortcut, ecologists use surrogates, such as occurrences of birds or another well-surveyed taxon, or land types defined from remotely sensed data, in the hope that sites that represent the surrogates also represent biodiversity. Unfortunately, surrogates have not performed reliably. We propose a new type of surrogate, predicted importance, that can be developed from species data for a q% subset of sites. With species data from this subset of sites, importance can be modeled as a function of abiotic variables available at no charge for all terrestrial areas on Earth. Predicted importance can then be used as a surrogate to prioritize all sites. We tested this surrogate with 8 sets of species data. For each data set, we used a q% subset of sites to model importance as a function of abiotic variables, used the resulting function to predict importance for all sites, and evaluated the number of species in the sites with highest predicted importance. Sites with the highest predicted importance represented species efficiently for all data sets when q = 25% and for 7 of 8 data sets when q = 20%. Predicted importance requires less survey effort than direct selection for species representation and meets representation goals well compared with other surrogates currently in use. This less expensive surrogate may be useful in those areas of the world that need it most, namely tropical regions with the highest biodiversity, greatest biodiversity loss, most severe lack of inventory data, and poorly developed protected area networks.

    Keywords: conservation planning, planeación de la conservación, prioritization, priorización, reresentación de especies, species representation, surrogacy, sustitución

  • Alsos I, Ware C, Elven R (2015)

    Past Arctic aliens have passed away, current ones may stay

    Biological Invasions.

    Increased human activity and climate change are expected to increase the numbers and impact of alien species in the Arctic, but knowledge of alien species is poor in most Arctic regions. Through field investigations over the last 10 years, and review of alien vascular plant records for the high Arctic Archipelago Svalbard over the past 130 years, we explored long term trends in persistence and phenology. In total, 448 observations of 105 taxa have been recorded from 28 sites. Recent surveys at 18 of these sites revealed that alien species had disappeared at half of them. Investigations at a further 49 sites characterised by former human activity and/or current tourist landing sites did not reveal any alien species. Patterns of alien species distribution suggest that greater alien species richness is more likely to be aligned with ongoing human inhabitation than sites of transient use. The probability of an alien species being in a more advanced phenological stage increased with higher mean July temperatures. As higher mean July temperatures are positively correlated with more recent year, the latter finding suggests a clear warming effect on the increased reproductive potential of alien plants, and thus an increased potential for spread in Svalbard. Given that both human activity and temperatures are expected to increase in the future, there is need to respond in policy and action to reduce the potential for further alien species introduction and spread in the Arctic.

    Keywords: Alien Arctic, Climate change, Management, Non-native species, Phenology

  • Alter S, Meyer M, Post K, Czechowski P, Gravlund P, Gaines C et al. (2015)

    Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100.

    Molecular ecology 24(7) 1510-22.

    Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, but a thorough analysis of past climate impacts on this species has been complicated by lack of information about an extinct population in the Atlantic. While little is known about the history of Atlantic gray whales or their relationship to the extant Pacific population, the extirpation of the Atlantic population during historical times has been attributed to whaling. We used a combination of ancient and modern DNA, radiocarbon dating and predictive habitat modelling to better understand the distribution of gray whales during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that dispersal between the Pacific and Atlantic was climate dependent and occurred both during the Pleistocene prior to the last glacial period and the early Holocene immediately following the opening of the Bering Strait. Genetic diversity in the Atlantic declined over an extended interval that predates the period of intensive commercial whaling, indicating this decline may have been precipitated by Holocene climate or other ecological causes. These first genetic data for Atlantic gray whales, particularly when combined with predictive habitat models for the year 2100, suggest that two recent sightings of gray whales in the Atlantic may represent the beginning of the expansion of this species' habitat beyond its currently realized range.

    Keywords: Animals, Arctic Regions, Atlantic Ocean, Biological, Climate Change, DNA, Ecosystem, Fossils, Genetic Variation, Haplotypes, Mitochondrial, Mitochondrial: genetics, Models, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeography, Population Dynamics, Sequence Analysis, Whales, Whales: genetics

  • Booth T, Broadhurst L, Pinkard E, Prober S, Dillon S, Bush D et al. (2015)

    Native forests and climate change: Lessons from eucalypts

    Forest Ecology and Management 347 18-29.

    The purpose of this paper is to review studies relevant to potential climate change impacts on natural stands of eucalypts, with a view to identifying not only specific lessons for the management of native forests in Australia but also some general lessons relevant to native forests anywhere. More than 800 species of Eucalyptus are found naturally across Australia, as well as species such as E. deglupta and E. urophylla in countries north of Australia. Eucalypts provide a particularly interesting opportunity to examine the likely impacts of climate change, as many species have been widely evaluated in trials within and outside Australia, often under conditions that are warmer and sometimes drier than those found within their natural distributions. Results from these trials indicate the intrinsic ability of particular eucalypt species and provenances to tolerate conditions that are somewhat different from those experienced within their natural distributions. Eucalypts have particularly poor dispersal capabilities, so natural stands will be generally unable to track changing climatic conditions. Therefore, in the period to the end of the present century a key issue for each eucalypt species under climate change is whether its intrinsic adaptability will be sufficient to allow it to survive where it is currently located. Their ability to survive will be affected not only by climatic, but also atmospheric changes, which will affect important processes such as photosynthesis and water exchange. Again eucalypts provide a useful group for climate change studies as their commercial significance has led to various enhanced carbon dioxide experiments being carried out, as well as detailed genomic studies. This review considers eucalypts in relation to four main areas; (i) resources and characteristics (natural distributions and introduced distributions including their adaptability/plasticity), (ii) analysis tools (species distribution models and growth models), (iii) physiological factors (including temperature, drought and enhanced CO2) and (iv) interactions with other species (including pests and diseases). Priorities for future research are identified. It is concluded that analyses that do not allow for the intrinsic climatic adaptability of tree species, as well as their particular dispersal capabilities, are unlikely to provide reliable predictions of climate change impacts.

    Keywords: Adaptation, Carbon dioxide, Genomics, Simulation models, Species distribution models, Vulnerability

  • Booth T (2015)

    Using a global botanic gardens database to help assess the capabilities of rare eucalypt species to cope with climate change

    International Forestry Review 17(3) 259-268.

    Climate change impact analyses have focused mostly on natural distributions of plants and have generally ignored their intrinsic climatic adaptability. This may produce unreliable predictions of impacts. Eucalypts are potentially instructive for climate change studies, as many species have been assessed in commercial forestry trials outside the conditions of their natural distributions. However, rare eucalypt species, which usually have limited natural distributions, and are likely to be most susceptible to climate change, are often small or multi-stemmed species, which have generally not been included in commercial trials. This study used information for 12 rare eucalypt species from the PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International and assessed if this information can assist determining their climatic adaptability. The results should be treated with caution, but indicate that most of the 12 species are growing at some botanic gardens under annual mean temperature conditions that are warmer than where they occur naturally


  • Byers J, Smith R, Pringle J, Clark G, Gribben P, Hewitt C et al. (2015)

    Invasion Expansion: Time since introduction best predicts global ranges of marine invaders.

    Scientific reports 5 12436.

    Strategies for managing biological invasions are often based on the premise that characteristics of invading species and the invaded environment are key predictors of the invader's distribution. Yet, for either biological traits or environmental characteristics to explain distribution, adequate time must have elapsed for species to spread to all potential habitats. We compiled and analyzed a database of natural history and ecological traits of 138 coastal marine invertebrate species, the environmental conditions at sites to which they have been introduced, and their date of first introduction. We found that time since introduction explained the largest fraction (20%) of the variability in non-native range size, while traits of the species and environmental variables had significant, but minimal, influence on non-native range size. The positive relationship between time since introduction and range size indicates that non-native marine invertebrate species are not at equilibrium and are still spreading, posing a major challenge for management of coastal ecosystems.


  • Cabrelli A, Hughes L (2015)

    Assessing the vulnerability of Australian skinks to climate change

    Climatic Change.

    A framework for assessing species vulnerability to climate change was developed and applied to the largest family of reptiles in Australia, the scincid lizards (skinks). This framework integrated the projections of environmental niche models (ENMs) with an index of vulnerability based on the species’ ecological traits. We found vulnerability to be highly variable among species, suggesting that responses to climate change will be idiosyncratic, and identified a number of species that by virtue of their ecological traits and model projections may be at risk of significant range contractions in the near future. Importantly, we also found that extrinsic vulnerability (as measured by the degree of range change) and intrinsic vulnerability (based on species traits) were not correlated, highlighting the importance of considering both types of information. This framework provides a transparent and objective tool for assessing climate change vulnerability and can provide a basis upon which to develop conservation strategies.


  • Clavero M, Hermoso V (2015)

    Historical data to plan the recovery of the European eel

    Journal of Applied Ecology 52(4) 960-968.

    Long-term perspectives are critical to understand contemporary ecological systems. However, historical data on the distribution of biodiversity have only rarely been used in applied environmental sciences. Here, we use historical sources to reconstruct the historical range of the European eel, a critically endangered species. We then use this baseline range to set range targets for the recovery of the European eel, as opposed to the abundance-based targets established by the European Union, which are constrained by the poor information on pre-collapse stocks. We collected over 10 000 historical freshwater fish records from Spain in the 19th and 16th centuries, as well as over 25 000 records from the global biodiversity information facility (GBIF) to characterize historical and current European eel distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. We converted fish records into an eel presence–absence data set using subcatchment as spatial unit of analysis and modelled eel distribution in the different historical periods. The eel was historically widespread throughout the Iberian Peninsula, but it has lost over 80% of its original range, mainly due to river fragmentation by dams. Distribution models applied to 16th- and 19th-century data showed a high agreement, supporting the use of the 19th-century estimated distribution as a baseline range. We identified the number and identity of dams that should be made passable for accomplishing specific range recovery targets, for example showing that acting upon 20 dams would make available 60% of the baseline eel range. Synthesis and applications. This work exemplifies how insights gained from historical ecology can support and guide present-day management of migratory fishes. Similar approaches could be developed throughout Europe to plan the recovery of the eel, since there are large amounts of historical eel records. Historical baseline ranges for the eel range should be incorporated into the European Union legal mandates aimed at the recovery of the species.

    Keywords: Anguilla anguilla, conservation targets, dams, distribution changes, historical ecology, reference conditions, river fragmentation

  • Dodd A, Burgman M, McCarthy M, Ainsworth N (2015)

    The changing patterns of plant naturalization in Australia

    Diversity and Distributions 21(9).

    Aim To identify the temporal patterns of plant naturalization in Australia, particularly the interaction between taxonomy, geographic origin and economic use. Location Australia. Methods From Australia's Virtual Herbarium, we compiled a database of information for the entire naturalized flora of Australia. We then examined the database in discrete time intervals to determine the changes in patterns of naturalized species taxonomy, geographic origin and economic use over time. Results Contrary to prevailing hypotheses, we found no evidence to indicate that the rate of alien flora naturalization is increasing in Australia. The number of naturalized species has grown linearly during the period 1880–2000, with the underlying rate of new species detected per thousand specimens declining over the same time period. Despite this, the diversity of both species taxonomy and geographic origin has increased over the last 120 years, leading to increased rates of growth in the total phylogenetic diversity of the Australian flora. Main Conclusions By classifying species according to their likely origin and economic use, we are able to infer the circumstances driving the patterns of naturalization. In particular, we identify how the contribution of individual pathways has changed since European settlement corresponding with the socio-economic development of the continent. Our study illustrates how the changing nature of ‘high-risk’ pathways is relevant to directing interventions such as biosecurity regulation.

    Keywords: Alien flora, Australia, globalization, invasive plants, pathway analysis, weed risk assessment

  • Harvey K, Nipperess D, Britton D, Hughes L (2015)

    Comparison of invertebrate herbivores on native and non-native S enecio species: Implications for the enemy release hypothesis

    Austral Ecology n/a-n/a.

    The enemy release hypothesis posits that non-native plant species may gain a competitive advantage over their native counterparts because they are liberated from co-evolved natural enemies from their native area. The phylogenetic relationship between a non-native plant and the native community may be important for understanding the success of some non-native plants, because host switching by insect herbivores is more likely to occur between closely related species. We tested the enemy release hypothesis by comparing leaf damage and herbivorous insect assemblages on the invasive species Senecio madagascariensis Poir. to that on nine congeneric species, of which five are native to the study area, and four are non-native but considered non-invasive. Non-native species had less leaf damage than natives overall, but we found no significant differences in the abundance, richness and Shannon diversity of herbivores between native and non-native Senecio L. species. The herbivore assemblage and percentage abundance of herbivore guilds differed among all Senecio species, but patterns were not related to whether the species was native or not. Species-level differences indicate that S. madagascariensis may have a greater proportion of generalist insect damage (represented by phytophagous leaf chewers) than the other Senecio species. Within a plant genus, escape from natural enemies may not be a sufficient explanation for why some non-native species become more invasive than others.

    Keywords: enemy release hypothesis, invasive plants, naturalization hypothesis, non-invasive plant, plant–insect interaction