Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Feldman R, Peers M, Pickles R, Thornton D, Murray D (2017)

    Climate driven range divergence among host species affects range-wide patterns of parasitism

    Global Ecology and Conservation 9 1-10.

    Species interactions like parasitism influence the outcome of climate-driven shifts in species ranges. For some host species, parasitism can only occur in that part of its range that overlaps with a second host species. Thus, predicting future parasitism may depend on how the ranges of the two hosts change in relation to each other. In this study, we tested whether the climate driven species range shift of Odocoileus virginianus (white-tailed deer) accounts for predicted changes in parasitism of two other species from the family Cervidae, Alces alces (moose) and Rangifer tarandus (caribou), in North America. We used MaxEnt models to predict the recent (2000) and future (2050) ranges (probabilities of occurrence) of the cervids and a parasite Parelaphostrongylus tenuis (brainworm) taking into account range shifts of the parasite’s intermediate gastropod hosts. Our models predicted that range overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and P. tenuis will decrease between 2000 and 2050, an outcome that reflects decreased overlap between A. alces/R. tarandus and O. virginianus and not the parasites, themselves. Geographically, our models predicted increasing potential occurrence of P. tenuis where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to decline, but minimal spatial overlap where A. alces/R. tarandus are likely to increase. Thus, parasitism may exacerbate climate-mediated southern contraction of A. alces and R. tarandus ranges but will have limited influence on northward range expansion. Our results suggest that the spatial dynamics of one host species may be the driving force behind future rates of parasitism for another host species.

    Keywords: Boreal, Cervidae, Climate change, Evolution, Parasitism, Synergistic effects


  • Brown K, Farris Z, Yesuf G, Gerber B, Rasambainarivo F, Karpanty S et al. (2016)

    Modeling co-occurrence between toxic prey and naïve predators in an incipient invasion

    Biodiversity and Conservation 1-19.

    Biological invasions can represent important threats to endemic species, including those within the invaders’ food webs. The Asian common toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus) was introduced to Madagascar in 2011. This introduction presents a potentially dangerous prey item to a relatively naïve, highly diverse endemic carnivore fauna. Using a multivariate niche modeling approach (background test), we assessed the predicted niche overlap between D. melanostictus and six endemic carnivores in eastern Madagascar. The overlap between this potential prey and predators was assessed on four environmental niche axes: temperature, precipitation, vegetation cover and elevation. Our results showed a mixture of niche overlap and divergence between D. melanostictus and the six carnivores for environmental axes tested. There was significant overlap with five of the carnivores on temperature and NDVI axes. On the precipitation axis, there was significant overlap between D. melanostictus with two species. Our results suggested that wide-ranging, locally rare carnivores may overlap extensively with D. melanostictus. The six carnivores that inhabit the eastern rainforest of Madagascar will likely share multiple, niche axes with this novel potential prey item. Species that eat the non-native common toad and are susceptible to its toxins are at conservation risk because their populations may not be robust enough to adapt quickly to this threat. We advocate closely monitoring these emerging interactions and suggest a preemptive conservation strategy for carnivores potentially at risk.

    Keywords: Asian common toad, Background test, Carnivores, Ecological niche models, Invasive alien species, Madagascar


  • Cardinal-McTeague W, Sytsma K, Hall J (2016)

    Biogeography and diversification of Brassicales: A 103million year tale

    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

    Brassicales is a diverse order perhaps most famous because it houses Brassicaceae and, its premier member, Arabidopsis thaliana. This widely distributed and species-rich lineage has been overlooked as a promising system to investigate patterns of disjunct distributions and diversification rates. We analyzed plastid and mitochondrial sequence data from five gene regions (>8000bp) across 150 taxa to: (1) produce a chronogram for major lineages in Brassicales, including Brassicaceae and Arabidopsis, based on greater taxon sampling across the order and previously overlooked fossil evidence, (2) examine biogeographical ancestral range estimations and disjunct distributions in BioGeoBEARS, and (3) determine where shifts in species diversification occur using BAMM. The evolution and radiation of the Brassicales began 103Mya and was linked to a series of inter-continental vicariant, long-distance dispersal, and land bridge migration events. North America appears to be a significant area for early stem lineages in the order. Shifts to Australia then African are evident at nodes near the core Brassicales, which diverged 68.5Mya (HPD=75.6–62.0). This estimated age combined with fossil evidence, indicates that some New World clades embedded amongst Old World relatives (e.g., New World capparoids) are the result of different long distance dispersal events, whereas others may be best explained by land bridge migration (e.g., Forchhammeria). Based on these analyses, the Brassicaceae crown group diverged in Europe/Northern Africa in the Eocene, circa 43.4Mya (HPD=46.6–40.3) and Arabidopsis separated from close congeners circa 10.4Mya. These ages fall between divergent dates that were previously published, suggesting we are slowly converging on a robust age estimate for the family. Three significant shifts in species diversification are observed in the order: (1) 58Mya at the crown of Capparaceae, Cleomaceae and Brassicaceae, (2) 38Mya at the crown of Resedaceae+Stixis clade, and (3) 21Mya at the crown of the tribes Brassiceae and Sisymbrieae within Brassicaceae.

    Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, BAMM, BEAST, BioGeoBEARS, Brassicaceae, Cleomaceae, K–Pg extinction event, Pierid butterflies, Species diversification, Whole genome duplication


  • Chai S, Zhang J, Nixon A, Nielsen S, Leishman M, Gallagher R et al. (2016)

    Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate

    PLOS ONE 11(10) e0165292.

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta’s biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as ‘extremely invasive’, with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is ‘extremely invasive’ with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is ‘highly invasive’ with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

    Keywords: Arabidopsis thaliana, BAMM, BEAST, BioGeoBEARS, Brassicaceae, Cleomaceae, K–Pg extinction event, Pierid butterflies, Species diversification, Whole genome duplication


  • Charles-Dominique T, Davies T, Hempson G, Bezeng B, Daru B, Kabongo R et al. (2016)

    Spiny plants, mammal browsers, and the origin of African savannas.

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(38) E5572-9.

    Savannas first began to spread across Africa during the Miocene. A major hypothesis for explaining this vegetation change is the increase in C4 grasses, promoting fire. We investigated whether mammals could also have contributed to savanna expansion by using spinescence as a marker of mammal herbivory. Looking at the present distribution of 1,852 tree species, we established that spinescence is mainly associated with two functional types of mammals: large browsers and medium-sized mixed feeders. Using a dated phylogeny for the same tree species, we found that spinescence evolved at least 55 times. The diversification of spiny plants occurred long after the evolution of Afrotherian proboscideans and hyracoids. However, it is remarkably congruent with diversification of bovids, the lineage including the antelope that predominantly browse these plants today. Our findings suggest that herbivore-adapted savannas evolved several million years before fire-maintained savannas and probably, in different environmental conditions. Spiny savannas with abundant mammal herbivores occur in drier climates and on nutrient-rich soils, whereas fire-maintained savannas occur in wetter climates on nutrient-poor soils.

    Keywords: Africa, Bovidae, coevolution, mammalian herbivory, savanna


  • Cheek M, Semple J (2016)

    First official record of naturalised populations of Solidago altissima L. var. pluricephala M.C. Johnst. (Asteraceae: Astereae) in Africa

    South African Journal of Botany 105 333-336.

    Solidago altissima var. pluricephala is recorded for the first time as naturalised in Africa, with two populations detected in South Africa. One 0.5ha population has been found near Harding and another of 403 shoots near Hilton, both in KwaZulu-Natal. A projected species distribution model for South Africa indicates that the grassland biome is the most at risk from invasion by this species. These plants are most likely garden escapees although we are uncertain how widely they are cultivated in South Africa.

    Keywords: Distribution model, Golden rods, Grasslands, Invasive species, Ornamental plants


  • Dunne J, Maschner H, Betts M, Huntly N, Russell R, Williams R et al. (2016)

    The roles and impacts of human hunter-gatherers in North Pacific marine food webs.

    Scientific reports 6 21179.

    There is a nearly 10,000-year history of human presence in the western Gulf of Alaska, but little understanding of how human foragers integrated into and impacted ecosystems through their roles as hunter-gatherers. We present two highly resolved intertidal and nearshore food webs for the Sanak Archipelago in the eastern Aleutian Islands and use them to compare trophic roles of prehistoric humans to other species. We find that the native Aleut people played distinctive roles as super-generalist and highly-omnivorous consumers closely connected to other species. Although the human population was positioned to have strong effects, arrival and presence of Aleut people in the Sanak Archipelago does not appear associated with long-term extinctions. We simulated food web dynamics to explore to what degree introducing a species with trophic roles like those of an Aleut forager, and allowing for variable strong feeding to reflect use of hunting technology, is likely to trigger extinctions. Potential extinctions decreased when an invading omnivorous super-generalist consumer focused strong feeding on decreasing fractions of its possible resources. This study presents the first assessment of the structural roles of humans as consumers within complex ecological networks, and potential impacts of those roles and feeding behavior on associated extinctions.

    Keywords: Distribution model, Golden rods, Grasslands, Invasive species, Ornamental plants


  • Forsyth R, Maunder J, McAlpine D, Noseworthy R (2016)

    Distributional Status of an Introduced Land Snail Discus rotundatus (Rotund Disc, Mollusca: Discidae) in Canada

    The Canadian Field-Naturalist 130(3) 236-247.

    First collected in North America in 1937 on the Avalon Peninsula of the Island of Newfoundland, the introduced, primarily European land snail, Discus rotundatus , has now been recorded from the Island of Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and British Columbia. We review all known records from Canada, demonstrate that D. rotundatus is more widespread than was previously recognized on the Island of Newfoundland, and report the first record from New Brunswick.

    Keywords: Discus rotundatus, Introduction, Mollusca, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, biogeography, gastropod, new provincial record, terrestrial snail


  • Fournier A, Sullivan A, Bump J, Perkins M, Shieldcastle M, King S (2016)

    Combining citizen science species distribution models and stable isotopes reveals migratory connectivity in the secretive Virginia rail

    Journal of Applied Ecology.

    Stable hydrogen isotope (δD) methods for tracking animal movement are widely used yet often produce low resolution assignments. Incorporating prior knowledge of abundance, distribution or movement patterns can ameliorate this limitation, but data are lacking for most species. We demonstrate how observations reported by citizen scientists can be used to develop robust estimates of species distributions and to constrain δD assignments. We developed a Bayesian framework to refine isotopic estimates of migrant animal origins conditional on species distribution models constructed from citizen scientist observations. To illustrate this approach, we analysed the migratory connectivity of the Virginia rail Rallus limicola, a secretive and declining migratory game bird in North America. Citizen science observations enabled both estimation of sampling bias and construction of bias-corrected species distribution models. Conditioning δD assignments on these species distribution models yielded comparably high-resolution assignments. Most Virginia rails wintering across five Gulf Coast sites spent the previous summer near the Great Lakes, although a considerable minority originated from the Chesapeake Bay watershed or Prairie Pothole region of North Dakota. Conversely, the majority of migrating Virginia rails from a site in the Great Lakes most likely spent the previous winter on the Gulf Coast between Texas and Louisiana. Synthesis and applications. In this analysis, Virginia rail migratory connectivity does not fully correspond to the administrative flyways used to manage migratory birds. This example demonstrates that with the increasing availability of citizen science data to create species distribution models, our framework can produce high-resolution estimates of migratory connectivity for many animals, including cryptic species. Empirical evidence of links between seasonal habitats will help enable effective habitat management, hunting quotas and population monitoring and also highlight critical knowledge gaps.

    Keywords: Bayesian, Virginia rail Rallus limicola, citizen science, dDanimalorigins, eBird, feathers, hydrogen isotopes, migration, migratory connectivity, species distribution model


  • Frishkoff L, Karp D, Flanders J, Zook J, Hadly E, Daily G et al. (2016)

    Climate change and habitat conversion favour the same species

    Ecology Letters 19(9) 1081-1090.

    Land-use change and climate change are driving a global biodiversity crisis. Yet, how species' responses to climate change are correlated with their responses to land-use change is poorly understood. Here, we assess the linkages between climate and land-use change on birds in Neotropical forest and agriculture. Across > 300 species, we show that affiliation with drier climates is associated with an ability to persist in and colonise agriculture. Further, species shift their habitat use along a precipitation gradient: species prefer forest in drier regions, but use agriculture more in wetter zones. Finally, forest-dependent species that avoid agriculture are most likely to experience decreases in habitable range size if current drying trends in the Neotropics continue as predicted. This linkage suggests a synergy between the primary drivers of biodiversity loss. Because they favour the same species, climate and land-use change will likely homogenise biodiversity more severely than otherwise anticipated.

    Keywords: Anthropocene, bird, climate niche, countryside biogeography, deforestation, habitat conversion, homogenisation.