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

  • 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


  • 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


  • 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.


  • Hattab T, Leprieur F, Lasram F, Gravel D, Loc'h F, Albouy C (2016)

    Forecasting fine-scale changes in the food-web structure of coastal marine communities under climate change

    Ecography.

    Climate change is inducing deep modifications in local communities worldwide as a consequence of individualistic species range shifts. Understanding how complex interaction networks will be reorganized under climate change represents a major challenge in the fields of ecology and biogeography. However, forecasting the potential effects of climate change on local communities, and more particularly on food-web structure, requires the consideration of highly structuring processes, such as trophic interactions. A major breakthrough is therefore expected by combining predictive models integrating habitat selection processes, the physiological limits of marine species and their trophic interactions. In this study, we forecasted the potential impacts of climate change on the local food-web structure of the highly threatened Gulf of Gabes ecosystem located in the south of the Mediterranean Sea. We coupled the climatic envelope and habitat models to an allometric niche food web model, hence taking into account the different processes acting at regional (climate) and local scales (habitat selection and trophic interactions). Our projections under the A2 climate change scenario showed that future food webs would be composed of smaller species with fewer links, resulting in a decrease of connectance, generality, vulnerability and mean trophic level of communities and an increase of the average path length, which may have large consequences on ecosystem functioning. The unified framework presented here, by connecting food-web ecology, biogeography and seascape ecology, allows the exploration of spatial aspects of interspecific interactions under climate change and improves our current understanding of climate change impacts on local marine food webs.

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


  • Keller B, de Vos J, Schmidt-Lebuhn A, Thomson J, Conti E (2016)

    Both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species

    Ecology and Evolution 6(17) 6223-6244.

    The interaction between floral traits and reproductive isolation is crucial to explaining the extraordinary diversity of angiosperms. Heterostyly, a complex floral polymorphism that optimizes outcrossing, evolved repeatedly and has been shown to accelerate diversification in primroses, yet its potential influence on isolating mechanisms remains unexplored. Furthermore, the relative contribution of pre- versus postmating barriers to reproductive isolation is still debated. No experimental study has yet evaluated the possible effects of heterostyly on pre- and postmating reproductive mechanisms. We quantify multiple reproductive barriers between the heterostylous Primula elatior (oxlip) and P. vulgaris (primrose), which readily hybridize when co-occurring, and test whether traits of heterostyly contribute to reproductive barriers in unique ways. We find that premating isolation is key for both species, while postmating isolation is considerable only for P. vulgaris; ecogeographic isolation is crucial for both species, while phenological, seed developmental, and hybrid sterility barriers are also important in P. vulgaris, implicating sympatrically higher gene flow into P. elatior. We document for the first time that, in addition to the aforementioned species-dependent asymmetries, morph-dependent asymmetries affect reproductive barriers between heterostylous species. Indeed, the interspecific decrease of reciprocity between high sexual organs of complementary floral morphs limits interspecific pollen transfer from anthers of short-styled flowers to stigmas of long-styled flowers, while higher reciprocity between low sexual organs favors introgression over isolation from anthers of long-styled flowers to stigmas of short-styled flowers. Finally, intramorph incompatibility persists across species boundaries, but is weakened in long-styled flowers of P. elatior, opening a possible backdoor to gene flow through intramorph pollen transfer between species. Therefore, patterns of gene flow across species boundaries are likely affected by floral morph composition of adjacent populations. To summarize, our study highlights the general importance of premating isolation and newly illustrates that both morph- and species-dependent asymmetries shape boundaries between heterostylous species.

    Keywords: Diversification, Primula elatior (oxlip), Primula vulgaris (primrose), floral heteromorphism, heterostyly, hybridization, mechanical isolation, morph-dependent asymmetry, reciprocal herkogamy, speciation, species-dependent asymmetry


  • Lee-Yaw J, Kharouba H, Bontrager M, Mahony C, Csergő A, Noreen A et al. (2016)

    A synthesis of transplant experiments and ecological niche models suggests that range limits are often niche limits

    Ecology Letters.

    Global change has made it important to understand the factors that shape species' distributions. Central to this area of research is the question of whether species' range limits primarily reflect the distribution of suitable habitat (i.e. niche limits) or arise as a result of dispersal limitation. Over-the-edge transplant experiments and ecological niche models are commonly used to address this question, yet few studies have taken advantage of a combined approach for inferring the causes of range limits. Here, we synthesise results from existing transplant experiments with new information on the predicted suitability of sites based on niche models. We found that individual performance and habitat suitability independently decline beyond range limits across multiple species. Furthermore, inferences from transplant experiments and niche models were generally concordant within species, with 31 out of 40 cases fully supporting the hypothesis that range limits are niche limits. These results suggest that range limits are often niche limits and that the factors constraining species' ranges operate at scales detectable by both transplant experiments and niche models. In light of these findings, we outline an integrative framework for addressing the causes of range limits in individual species.

    Keywords: Abiotic constraints, climate, dispersal limitation, fitness, geographical distribution, over the edge transplant, species distribution modelling


  • Moyes C, Shearer F, Huang Z, Wiebe A, Gibson H, Nijman V et al. (2016)

    Predicting the geographical distributions of the macaque hosts and mosquito vectors of Plasmodium knowlesi malaria in forested and non-forested areas.

    Parasites & vectors 9(1) 242.

    BACKGROUND: Plasmodium knowlesi is a zoonotic pathogen, transmitted among macaques and to humans by anopheline mosquitoes. Information on P. knowlesi malaria is lacking in most regions so the first step to understand the geographical distribution of disease risk is to define the distributions of the reservoir and vector species. METHODS: We used macaque and mosquito species presence data, background data that captured sampling bias in the presence data, a boosted regression tree model and environmental datasets, including annual data for land classes, to predict the distributions of each vector and host species. We then compared the predicted distribution of each species with cover of each land class. RESULTS: Fine-scale distribution maps were generated for three macaque host species (Macaca fascicularis, M. nemestrina and M. leonina) and two mosquito vector complexes (the Dirus Complex and the Leucosphyrus Complex). The Leucosphyrus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with disturbed, but not intact, forest cover (> 60 % tree cover) whereas the Dirus Complex was predicted to occur in areas with 10-100 % tree cover as well as vegetation mosaics and cropland. Of the macaque species, M. nemestrina was mainly predicted to occur in forested areas whereas M. fascicularis was predicted to occur in vegetation mosaics, cropland, wetland and urban areas in addition to forested areas. CONCLUSIONS: The predicted M. fascicularis distribution encompassed a wide range of habitats where humans are found. This is of most significance in the northern part of its range where members of the Dirus Complex are the main P. knowlesi vectors because these mosquitoes were also predicted to occur in a wider range of habitats. Our results support the hypothesis that conversion of intact forest into disturbed forest (for example plantations or timber concessions), or the creation of vegetation mosaics, will increase the probability that members of the Leucosphyrus Complex occur at these locations, as well as bringing humans into these areas. An explicit analysis of disease risk itself using infection data is required to explore this further. The species distributions generated here can now be included in future analyses of P. knowlesi infection risk.

    Keywords: Entomology, Infectious Diseases, Parasitology, Tropical Medicine