Uses of GBIF in scientific research

Peer-reviewed research citing GBIF as a data source, with at least one author from Bulgaria.
For all researches, please visit our "Peer-reviewed publications" page.

List of publications

  • Calderón L, Campagna L, Wilke T, Lormee H, Eraud C, Dunn J et al. (2016)

    Genomic evidence of demographic fluctuations and lack of genetic structure across flyways in a long distance migrant, the European turtle dove

    BMC Evolutionary Biology 16(1) 237.

    Understanding how past climatic oscillations have affected organismic evolution will help predict the impact that current climate change has on living organisms. The European turtle dove, Streptopelia turtur, is a warm-temperature adapted species and a long distance migrant that uses multiple flyways to move between Europe and Africa. Despite being abundant, it is categorized as vulnerable because of a long-term demographic decline. We studied the demographic history and population genetic structure of the European turtle dove using genomic data and mitochondrial DNA sequences from individuals sampled across Europe, and performing paleoclimatic niche modelling simulations. Overall our data suggest that this species is panmictic across Europe, and is not genetically structured across flyways. We found the genetic signatures of demographic fluctuations, inferring an effective population size (Ne) expansion that occurred between the late Pleistocene and early Holocene, followed by a decrease in the Ne that started between the mid Holocene and the present. Our niche modelling analyses suggest that the variations in the Ne are coincident with recent changes in the availability of suitable habitat. We argue that the European turtle dove is prone to undergo demographic fluctuations, a trait that makes it sensitive to anthropogenic impacts, especially when its numbers are decreasing. Also, considering the lack of genetic structure, we suggest all populations across Europe are equally relevant for conservation.

    Keywords: Climate change, Conservation, Demography, Genomics, Migratory birds, Paleoclimatic, Population genetic structure, niche modelling


  • Louy D, Habel J, Abadjiev S, Rákosy L, Varga Z, Rödder D et al. (2014)

    Molecules and models indicate diverging evolutionary effects from parallel altitudinal range shifts in two mountain Ringlet butterflies

    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 112(3) 569-583.

    Quaternary climatic oscillations caused severe range expansions and retractions of European biota. During the cold phases, most species shifted to lower latitudes and altitudes, and expanded their distribution range northwards and to higher elevations during the warmer interglacial phases. These range shifts produced contrasting distribution dynamics, forming geographically restricted distribution patterns but also panmictic distributions, strongly dependent on the ecologic demands of the species. The two closely related butterfly species Erebia ottomana Herrich-Schäffer, 1847 and Erebia cassioides (Reiner & Hohenwarth, 1792) show subalpine and alpine distribution settings, respectively. Erebia ottomana is found up to the treeline (1400–2400 m a.s.l.), whereas E. cassioides reaches much higher elevations (from about 1800 m a.s.l. in the Retezat Mountains, in Romania, to 2800 m a.s.l.). Thus, both species cover diverging climatic niches, and thus might also have been distributed differently during the cold glacial stages. Individuals of these two species were sampled over the mountain areas of the Balkan Peninsula and genetically analysed using allozyme electrophoresis. Additionally, we performed species distribution models (SDMs) to simulate the distribution patterns of both species in the past (i.e. during the Last Glacial Maximum and the Atlanticum). Our genetic data show contrasting structures, with comparatively low genetic differentiation but high genetic diversity found in E. ottomana, and with stronger genetic differentiation and a lower level of genetic diversity, including many endemic alleles, occurring restricted to single mountain massifs in E. cassioides. The SDMs support a downhill shift during glacial periods, especially for E. ottomana, with possible interconnection among mountain regions.We conclude that during the cold glacial phases, both species are assumed to shift downhill, but persisted at different elevations, with E. ottomana reaching the foothills and spreading over major parts of the Balkan Peninsula. In contrast, E. cassioides (the truly alpine species) survived in the foothills, but did not reach and spread over lowland areas. This more widespread distribution at the Balkan Peninsula of E. ottomana compared with E. cassioides is strongly supported by our distribution models. As a consequence, long-term geographic restriction to distinct mountain massifs in E. cassioides versus panmixia in E. ottomana produced two contrasting evolutionary scenarios.

    Keywords: allozyme electrophoresis, altitudinal gradient, disjunction, genetic differentiation, genetic diversity, panmixia, species distribution model


  • Oldham P, Hall S, Forero O (2013)

    Biological Diversity in the Patent System

    PLoS ONE 8(11) e78737.

    Biological diversity in the patent system is an enduring focus of controversy but empirical analysis of the presence of biodiversity in the patent system has been limited. To address this problem we text mined 11 million patent documents for 6 million Latin species names from the Global Names Index (GNI) established by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) and Encyclopedia of Life (EOL). We identified 76,274 full Latin species names from 23,882 genera in 767,955 patent documents. 25,595 species appeared in the claims section of 136,880 patent documents. This reveals that human innovative activity involving biodiversity in the patent system focuses on approximately 4% of taxonomically described species and between 0.8–1% of predicted global species. In this article we identify the major features of the patent landscape for biological diversity by focusing on key areas including pharmaceuticals, neglected diseases, traditional medicines, genetic engineering, foods, biocides, marine genetic resources and Antarctica. We conclude that the narrow focus of human innovative activity and ownership of genetic resources is unlikely to be in the long term interest of humanity. We argue that a broader spectrum of biodiversity needs to be opened up to research and development based on the principles of equitable benefit-sharing, respect for the objectives of the Convention on Biological Diversity, human rights and ethics. Finally, we argue that alternative models of innovation, such as open source and commons models, are required to open up biodiversity for research that addresses actual and neglected areas of human need. The research aims to inform the implementation of the 2010 Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization and international debates directed to the governance of genetic resources. Our research also aims to inform debates under the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore at the World Intellectual Property Organization.

    Keywords: allozyme electrophoresis, altitudinal gradient, disjunction, genetic differentiation, genetic diversity, panmixia, species distribution model