Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Cocquyt, C., Jüttner, I., Kusber, W.

    Reinvestigation of West African Surirellaceae (Bacillariophyta) described by Woodhead and Tweed from Sierra Leone

    Nova Hedwigia 28(2) 121-129.

    Microscope slides containing material from Sierra Leone used by Woodhead and Tweed to describe eight new Surirellaceae taxa in the mid-twentieth century were reinvestigated. Only two taxa were found on the original slides, Surirella approximataWoodhead & Tweed and S. engleri [var. constricta]f. minor Woodhead & Tweed. The valve variability of S. engleri O. Müller includes valves of S. engleri [var. constricta]f. minor which is now regarded as a synonym. As no holotypes were indicated by the authors, types are given here. Comments on S. rudis var. sierra-leonensis Woodhead & Tweed, S. rudis [var. sierra-leonensis]f. constricta Woodhead & Tweed and S. esamangensis Foged are also given. Valves resembling Stenopterobia recta Woodhead & Tweed, Surirella asperrima f. rokuprensis Woodhead&Tweed, S. engleri f. sierra-leonensisWoodhead&Tweed and S. rokuprensisWoodhead&Tweed could not be found on the Woodhead and Tweed original slides.

    Keywords: diatoms, sierra leone, stenopterobia, surirella, taxonomy, west africa


  • Habel, J., Husemann, M., Schmitt, T., Dapporto, L., Rödder, D., Vandewoestijne, S.

    A forest butterfly in sahara desert oases: isolation does not matter.

    The Journal of heredity 104(2) 234-47.

    Numerous studies addressing the impact of habitat fragmentation on genetic diversity have been performed. In this study, we analyze the effects of a seemingly nonpermeable matrix on the population structure of the forest-dwelling butterfly Pararge aegeria in geographically isolated oases at the northern margin of the Sahara desert using microsatellites, morphological characters, and species distribution modeling. Results from all analyses are mostly congruent and reveal 1) a split between European and North African populations, 2) rather low divergence between populations from the eastern and western part of North Africa (Morocco vs. Tunisia), 3) a lack of differentiation between the oasis and Atlas Mountain populations, 4) as well as among the oasis populations, and 5) no reduction of genetic variability in oasis populations. However, one exception to this general trend resulted from the analyses of wing shape; wings of butterflies from oases are more elongated compared with those from the other habitats. This pattern of phenotypic divergence may suggest a recent colonization of the oasis habitats by individuals, which might be accompanied by a rather dispersive behavior. Species distribution modeling suggests a fairly recent reexpansion of the species' climatic niche starting in the Holocene at about 6000 before present. The combined results indicate a rather recent colonization of the oases by highly mobile individuals from genetically diverse founder populations. The colonization was likely followed by the expansion and persistence of these founder populations under relatively stable environmental conditions. This, together with low rates of gene flow, likely prevented differentiation of populations via drift and led to the maintenance of high genetic diversity.

    Keywords: differentiation, genetic diversity, genitalia, geometric morphometrics, habitat isolation, microsatellites, Pararge aegeria, species distribution modeling, wing morphology


  • Jueterbock, A., Tyberghein, L., Verbruggen, H., Coyer, J., Olsen, J., Hoarau, G.

    Climate change impact on seaweed meadow distribution in the North Atlantic rocky intertidal

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    The North-Atlantic has warmed faster than all other ocean basins and climate change scenarios predict sea surface temperature isotherms to shift up to 600 km northwards by the end of the 21st century. The pole-ward shift has already begun for many temperate seaweed species that are important intertidal foundation species. We asked the question: Where will climate change have the greatest impact on three foundational, macroalgal species that occur along North-Atlantic shores: Fucus serratus, Fucus vesiculosus, and Ascophyllum nodo- sum? To predict distributional changes of these key species under three IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) climate change scenarios (A2, A1B, and B1) over the coming two centuries, we generated Ecological Niche Models with the program MAXENT. Model predictions suggest that these three species will shift northwards as an assemblage or “unit” and that phytogeo- graphic changes will be most pronounced in the southern Arctic and the south- ern temperate provinces. Our models predict that Arctic shores in Canada, Greenland, and Spitsbergen will become suitable for all three species by 2100. Shores south of 45° North will become unsuitable for at least two of the three focal species on both the Northwest- and Northeast-Atlantic coasts by 2200. If these foundational species are unable to adapt to the rising temperatures, they will lose their centers of genetic diversity and their loss will trigger an unpredictable shift in the North-Atlantic intertidal ecosystem.

    Keywords: ascophyllum, ecological niche models, fucus, geographic distribution, global warming, intertidal, macroalgae, species distribution


  • Mateo, R., Vanderpoorten, A., Muñoz, J., Laenen, B., Désamoré, A.

    Modeling species distributions from heterogeneous data for the biogeographic regionalization of the European bryophyte flora.

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    The definition of biogeographic regions provides a fundamental framework for a range of basic and applied questions in biogeography, evolutionary biology, systematics and conservation. Previous research suggested that environmental forcing results in highly congruent regionalization patterns across taxa, but that the size and number of regions depends on the dispersal ability of the taxa considered. We produced a biogeographic regionalization of European bryophytes and hypothesized that (1) regions defined for bryophytes would differ from those defined for other taxa due to the highly specific eco-physiology of the group and (2) their high dispersal ability would result in the resolution of few, large regions. Species distributions were recorded using 10,000 km(2) MGRS pixels. Because of the lack of data across large portions of the area, species distribution models employing macroclimatic variables as predictors were used to determine the potential composition of empty pixels. K-means clustering analyses of the pixels based on their potential species composition were employed to define biogeographic regions. The optimal number of regions was determined by v-fold cross-validation and Moran's I statistic. The spatial congruence of the regions identified from their potential bryophyte assemblages with large-scale vegetation patterns is at odds with our primary hypothesis. This reinforces the notion that post-glacial migration patterns might have been much more similar in bryophytes and vascular plants than previously thought. The substantially lower optimal number of clusters and the absence of nested patterns within the main biogeographic regions, as compared to identical analyses in vascular plants, support our second hypothesis. The modelling approach implemented here is, however, based on many assumptions that are discussed but can only be tested when additional data on species distributions become available, highlighting the substantial importance of developing integrated mapping projects for all taxa in key biogeographically areas of Europe, and the Mediterranean peninsulas in particular.

    Keywords: ascophyllum, ecological niche models, fucus, geographic distribution, global warming, intertidal, macroalgae, species distribution


  • Vinceti, B., Loo, J., Gaisberger, H., van Zonneveld, M., Schueler, S., Konrad, H., Kadu, C., Geburek, T.

    Conservation Priorities for Prunus africana Defined with the Aid of Spatial Analysis of Genetic Data and Climatic Variables

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    Conservation priorities for Prunus africana, a tree species found across Afromontane regions, which is of great commercial interest internationally and of local value for rural communities, were defined with the aid of spatial analyses applied to a set of georeferenced molecular marker data (chloroplast and nuclear microsatellites) from 32 populations in 9 African countries. Two approaches for the selection of priority populations for conservation were used, differing in the way they optimize representation of intra-specific diversity of P. africana across a minimum number of populations. The first method (S1) was aimed at maximizing genetic diversity of the conservation units and their distinctiveness with regard to climatic conditions, the second method (S2) at optimizing representativeness of the genetic diversity found throughout the species’ range. Populations in East African countries (especially Kenya and Tanzania) were found to be of great conservation value, as suggested by previous findings. These populations are complemented by those in Madagascar and Cameroon. The combination of the two methods for prioritization led to the identification of a set of 6 priority populations. The potential distribution of P. africana was then modeled based on a dataset of 1,500 georeferenced observations. This enabled an assessment of whether the priority populations identified are exposed to threats from agricultural expansion and climate change, and whether they are located within the boundaries of protected areas. The range of the species has been affected by past climate change and the modeled distribution of P. africana indicates that the species is likely to be negatively affected in future, with an expected decrease in distribution by 2050. Based on these insights, further research at the regional and national scale is recommended, in order to strengthen P. africana conservation efforts.

    Keywords: ascophyllum, ecological niche models, fucus, geographic distribution, global warming, intertidal, macroalgae, species distribution


  • Andel, T., Mitchell, S., Volpato, G., Vandebroek, I., Swier, J., Ruysschaert, S., Rentería Jiménez, C., Raes, N.

    In search of the perfect aphrodisiac: parallel use of bitter tonics in West Africa and the Caribbean.

    Journal of Ethnopharmacology 143(3) 840-50.

    Enslaved Africans in the Americas had to reinvent their medicinal flora in an unknown environment by adhering to plants that came with them, learning from Amerindians and Europeans, using their Old World knowledge and trial and error to find substitutes for their homeland herbs. This process has left few written records, and little research has been done on transatlantic plant use. We used the composition of aphrodisiac mixtures across the black Atlantic to discuss the adaptation of herbal medicine by African diaspora in the New World. Since Africans are considered relatively recent migrants in America, their healing flora is often said to consist largely of pantropical and cultivated species, with few native trees. Therefore, we expected Caribbean recipes to be dominated by taxa that occur in both continents, poor in forest species and rich in weeds and domesticated exotics.

    Keywords: Erectile dysfunction, Ethnobotany, Plant mixtures, Slave trade, Traditional medicine Africa


  • Carstens, K., Anderson, J., Bachman, P., De Schrijver, A., Dively, G., Federici, B., Hamer, M., Gielkens, M., Jensen, P., Lamp, W., Rauschen, S., Ridley, G., Romeis, J., Waggoner, A.

    Genetically modified crops and aquatic ecosystems: considerations for environmental risk assessment and non-target organism testing.

    Transgenic Research 21(4) 813-42.

    Environmental risk assessments (ERA) support regulatory decisions for the commercial cultivation of genetically modified (GM) crops. The ERA for terrestrial agroecosystems is well-developed, whereas guidance for ERA of GM crops in aquatic ecosystems is not as well-defined. The purpose of this document is to demonstrate how comprehensive problem formulation can be used to develop a conceptual model and to identify potential exposure pathways, using Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) maize as a case study. Within problem formulation, the insecticidal trait, the crop, the receiving environment, and protection goals were characterized, and a conceptual model was developed to identify routes through which aquatic organisms may be exposed to insecticidal proteins in maize tissue. Following a tiered approach for exposure assessment, worst-case exposures were estimated using standardized models, and factors mitigating exposure were described. Based on exposure estimates, shredders were identified as the functional group most likely to be exposed to insecticidal proteins. However, even using worst-case assumptions, the exposure of shredders to Bt maize was low and studies supporting the current risk assessments were deemed adequate. Determining if early tier toxicity studies are necessary to inform the risk assessment for a specific GM crop should be done on a case by case basis, and should be guided by thorough problem formulation and exposure assessment. The processes used to develop the Bt maize case study are intended to serve as a model for performing risk assessments on future traits and crops.

    Keywords: Aquatic ecosystem, Environmental risk assessment, Genetically modified crops, Non-target organism


  • Cires, E., Cuesta, C., Vargas, P., Fernández Prieto, J.

    Unravelling the evolutionary history of the polyploid complex Ranunculus parnassiifolius (Ranunculaceae)

    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 107(3) 477-493.

    Ranunculus L. represents the largest genus within Ranunculaceae, comprising more than 600 species with a worldwide distribution. However, there are still many gaps in our knowledge of the infrageneric taxonomy and evolution of Ranunculus. In this regard, intraspecific variation of the polyploid complex Ranunculus parnassiifolius remains under discussion. To reconstruct the biogeographical history of the polyploid complex R. parnassiifolius, 20 populations distributed throughout the Cantabrian Mountains, Pyrenees, and Alps were investigated. Phylogenetic studies were based on nuclear internal transcribed spacers (ITS) and plastid (rpl32-trnL, rps16-trnQ) sequence data, analysed using Bayesian approaches as well as the evolution of morphological characters. Additionally, biogeographical patterns were conducted using statistical dispersal–vicariance analysis. The analyses presented here support the recognition of two evolutionary independent units: R. cabrerensis sensu lato (s.l.) and R. parnassiifolius s.l. Furthermore gradual speciation depending on the biogeographical territory is proposed, and optimal reconstructions have probably favoured the ancestor of Ranunculus parnassiifolius as originating in the Iberian Peninsula

    Keywords: biogeography, character tracing, molecular phylogenetics


  • Désamoré, A., Laenen, B., González-Mancebo, J., Jaén Molina, R., Bystriakova, N., Martinez-Klimova, E., Carine, M., Vanderpoorten, A.

    Inverted patterns of genetic diversity in continental and island populations of the heather Erica scoparia s.l.

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    Aim Using the heather Erica scoparia s.l. as a model, this paper aims to test theoretical predictions that island populations are genetically less diverse than continental ones and to determine the extent to which island and continental populations are connected by pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow. Location Macaronesia, Mediterranean, Atlantic fringe of Europe. Methods Patterns of genetic diversity are described based on variation at two chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) loci and one nuclear DNA (nDNA) locus for 109 accessions across the entire distribution range of the species. Global patterns of genetic differentiation were investigated using principal coordinates analysis. Genetic differentiation between island and continental areas, estimations of pollen- and seed-mediated gene flow, and the presence of phylogeographical signal were assessed by means of Fst/NST (continental scale) and Fij/Nij (local scale). Extant and past distribution ranges of the species were inferred from niche modelling using layers describing present and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) macroclimatic conditions. Results The Azores exhibited a significantly higher genetic diversity than the continent. The lowest levels of genetic differentiation were observed between the Azores and the western Mediterranean, and the diversity observed in the Azores resulted from at least two colonization waves. Within the Azores, kinship coefficients showed a significant and much steeper decrease with geographical distance in the cpDNA than in the nDNA. The distribution predicted by LGM models was markedly different from the current potential distribution, particularly in western Europe, where no suitable areas were predicted by LGM models, and along the Atlantic coast of the African continent, where LGM models predicted highly suitable climatic conditions. Main conclusions The higher diversity observed in Azorean than in continental populations is inconsistent with MacArthur and Wilson’s equilibrium model and derived theoretical population genetic expectations. This inverted pattern may be the result of extinction on the continent coupled with multiple island colonization events and subsequent allopatric diversification and lineage hybridization in the Azores. The results highlight the role of allopatric diversification in explaining diversification on islands and suggest that this process has played a much more significant role in shaping Azorean biodiversity than previously thought.

    Keywords: azores, dispersal, endemism, island biogeography, isolation by distance, macaronesia, spatial autocorrelation, spatial genetic structure, speciation


  • Greve, M., Lykke, A., Fagg, C., Bogaert, J., Friis, I., Marchant, R., Marshall, A., Sandel, B., Sandom, C., Schmidt, M., Timberlake, J., Wieringa, J.

    Continental-scale variability in browser diversity is a major driver of diversity patterns in acacias across Africa

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    1. It has been proposed that, across broad spatial scales, climatic factors are the main drivers of ecological patterns, while biotic factors are mainly important at local spatial scales. However, few tests of the effect of biotic interactions on broad-scale patterns have been conducted; conclusions about the scale-dependence of the importance of biotic interactions thus seem premature. 2. We developed an extensive database of locality records of one of Africa’s most conspicuous groups, the acacias (the genera Senegalia and Vachellia), and used species distribution models (SDMs) to estimate the distribution of all African acacias. 3. African acacias are particularly well adapted against mammalian herbivory; therefore, we hypothesized that browser diversity could be an important driver of acacia richness. Species richness maps for the two genera were created from SDM-generated maps. Ordinary least square (OLS) regressions and, to consider spatial autocorrelation, simultaneous autoregressive (SAR) analyses were used to model richness of the two genera in relation to mammalian browser richness, current environment (including climate), and climate history since the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). We used variation partitioning to determine what percentage of variation could be explained by these three groups of factors. 4. Both genera showed centres of richness in East Africa and the Limpopo Basin of southern Africa. Browser richness was the best explanatory variable for richness of both genera. Environmental factors explained negligible variation in the richness of Senegalia, but some variation in Vachellia. For both genera, the residuals of the species richness model of one genus also explained much variation in the richness of the other genus, indicating that common factors not considered in the richness analyses here may additionally be driving the richness of both genera. 5. Mechanisms that could generate a correlation between browser and acacia richness are proposed, and differences in the determinants of richness patterns of Senegalia and Vachellia discussed in the light of the two genera’s history of colonization of Africa. 6. Synthesis. This is the first study that demonstrates that consumer diversity can influence richness patterns at continental scales and demonstrates that biotic factors can drive richness even at broad spatial scales.

    Keywords: diversity patterns, herbivory, plant–herbivore interactions, Quaternary climate change, resource–consumer relationships, savanna species, speciation