Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • 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.


  • Hutter S, Brugger K, Sancho Vargas V, González R, Aguilar O, León B et al. (2016)

    Rabies in Costa Rica: Documentation of the Surveillance Program and the Endemic Situation from 1985 to 2014.

    Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.).

    This is the first comprehensive epidemiological analysis of rabies in Costa Rica. We characterized the occurrence of the disease and demonstrated its endemic nature in this country. In Costa Rica, as in other countries in Latin America, hematophagous vampire bats are the primary wildlife vectors transmitting the rabies virus to cattle herds. Between 1985 and 2014, a total of 78 outbreaks of bovine rabies was reported in Costa Rica, with documented cases of 723 dead cattle. Of cattle outbreaks, 82% occurred between 0 and 500 meters above sea level, and seasonality could be demonstrated on the Pacific side of the country, with significantly more outbreaks occurring during the wet season. A total of 1588 animal samples, or an average of 55 samples per year, was received by the veterinary authority (SENASA) for rabies diagnostic testing at this time. Of all samples tested, 9% (143/1588) were positive. Of these, 85.6% (125/1588) were from cattle; four dogs (0.3% [4/1588]) were diagnosed with rabies in this 30-year period. Simultaneously, an extremely low number (n = 3) of autochthonous rabies cases were reported among human patients, all of which were fatal. However, given the virus' zoonotic characteristics and predominantly fatal outcome among both cattle and humans, it is extremely important for healthcare practitioners and veterinarians to be aware of the importance of adequate wound hygiene and postexpositional rabies prophylaxis when dealing with both wild and domestic animal bites.

    Keywords: Bats, Cattle, Rabies, Vector, Zoonosis


  • Alvarado C, Rodríguez C, González R (2015)

    First record of the myxomycete genus Colloderma in Central America

    Check List 11(4) 1716.

    The myxomycete genus Colloderma and the species Colloderma oculatum are reported for the first time in Central America. The species was recorded in the high elevations of the Talamanca Mountain Range in Costa Rica during 2014 in a location where the structure of myxomycete assemblages has been historically associated with temperate rather than tropical communities. Comments on the geographical distribution and ecology of the species are included. This record has increased the number of Costa Rican myxomycetes to 213 according to the most updated checklist.

    Keywords: Neotropics, biogeography, mesoamerica, myxogastrids, slime molds


  • Díaz S, Kattge J, Cornelissen J, Wright I, Lavorel S, Dray S et al. (2015)

    The global spectrum of plant form and function

    Nature.

    Earth is home to a remarkable diversity of plant forms and life histories, yet comparatively few essential trait combinations have proved evolutionarily viable in today’s terrestrial biosphere. By analysing worldwide variation in six major traits critical to growth, survival and reproduction within the largest sample of vascular plant species ever compiled, we found that occupancy of six-dimensional trait space is strongly concentrated, indicating coordination and trade-offs. Three-quarters of trait variation is captured in a two-dimensional global spectrum of plant form and function. One major dimension within this plane reflects the size of whole plants and their parts; the other represents the leaf economics spectrum, which balances leaf construction costs against growth potential. The global plant trait spectrum provides a backdrop for elucidating constraints on evolution, for functionally qualifying species and ecosystems, and for improving models that predict future vegetation based on continuous variation in plant form and function.

    Keywords: Neotropics, biogeography, mesoamerica, myxogastrids, slime molds


  • Galluzzi G, Dufour D, Thomas E, van Zonneveld M, Escobar Salamanca A, Giraldo Toro A et al. (2015)

    An Integrated Hypothesis on the Domestication of Bactris gasipaes.

    PloS one 10(12) e0144644.

    Peach palm (Bactris gasipaes Kunth) has had a central place in the livelihoods of people in the Americas since pre-Columbian times, notably for its edible fruits and multi-purpose wood. The botanical taxon includes both domesticated and wild varieties. Domesticated var gasipaes is believed to derive from one or more of the three wild types of var. chichagui identified today, although the exact dynamics and location of the domestication are still uncertain. Drawing on a combination of molecular and phenotypic diversity data, modeling of past climate suitability and existing literature, we present an integrated hypothesis about peach palm's domestication. We support a single initial domestication event in south western Amazonia, giving rise to var. chichagui type 3, the putative incipient domesticate. We argue that subsequent dispersal by humans across western Amazonia, and possibly into Central America allowed for secondary domestication events through hybridization with resident wild populations, and differential human selection pressures, resulting in the diversity of present-day landraces. The high phenotypic diversity in the Ecuadorian and northern Peruvian Amazon suggest that human selection of different traits was particularly intense there. While acknowledging the need for further data collection, we believe that our results contribute new insights and tools to understand domestication and dispersal patterns of this important native staple, as well as to plan for its conservation.

    Keywords: Neotropics, biogeography, mesoamerica, myxogastrids, slime molds


  • Jg J (2015)

    Records for the Mourning Gecko (Lepidodactylus lugubris) and its expansion in Costa Rica

    Mesoamerican Herpetology 2(2) 214-217.

    Incilius luetkenii , Smilisca sordida , and Lithobates forreri. Predation by birds . Predation on adult anurans by tropical birds has been recorded on numerous occasions, where birds of various families (e.g., Accipitridae, Striigidae, Momotidae, Turdidae) have preyed on anurans of different families (e.g., Centrolenidae, Dendrobatidae, Hylidae, Leptodactylidae, Rhinophrynidae; Hayes, 1983; Master 1999; Toledo et al., 2007; Acosta and Morún, 2014; Ramírez-Fernández and Solís-DelValle, 2014). The majority of these events are opportunistic and associated with diet-generalist or invertebrate- and vertebrate-predator bird species (Toledo et al., 2007; Amézquita et al., 2013; Paluh et al., 2015). Here, we present information on the predation of Incilius luetkenii (Bufonidae), Smilisca sordida (Hylidae), and Lithobates forreri (Ranidae) by birds in Costa Rica.

    Keywords: Neotropics, biogeography, mesoamerica, myxogastrids, slime molds


  • van Kleunen M, Dawson W, Essl F, Pergl J, Winter M, Weber E et al. (2015)

    Global exchange and accumulation of non-native plants

    Nature 525(7567) 100-103.

    All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch1, 2 is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage3. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species.

    Keywords: Biodiversity, Biogeography, Invasive species, Macroecology


  • Cadima X, van Zonneveld M, Scheldeman X, Castañeda N, Patiño F, Beltran M et al. (2014)

    Endemic wild potato (Solanum spp.) biodiversity status in Bolivia: Reasons for conservation concerns

    Journal for Nature Conservation 22(2) 113-131.

    Crop wild relatives possess important traits, therefore ex situ and in situ conservation efforts are essential to maintain sufficient options for crop improvement. Bolivia is a centre of wild relative diversity for several crops, among them potato, which is an important staple worldwide and the principal food crop in this country. Despite their relevance for plant breeding, limited knowledge exists about their in situ conservation status. We used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and distribution modelling with the software Maxent to better understand geographic patterns of endemic wild potato diversity in Bolivia. In combination with threat layers, we assessed the conservation status of all endemic species, 21 in total. We prioritised areas for in situ conservation by using complementary reserve selection and excluded 25% of the most-threatened collection sites because costs to implement conservation measures at those locations may be too high compared to other areas. Some 70% (15 of 21 species) has a preliminary vulnerable status or worse according to IUCN red list distribution criteria. Our results show that four of these species would require special conservation attention because they were only observed in <15 locations and are highly threatened by human accessibility, fires and livestock pressure. Although highest species richness occurs in south-central Bolivia, in the departments Santa Cruz and Chuquisaca, the first priority area for in situ conservation according to our reserve selection exercise is central Bolivia, Cochabamba; this area is less threatened than the potato wild relatives’ hotspot in south-central Bolivia. Only seven of the 21 species were observed in protected areas. To improve coverage of potato wild relatives’ distribution by protected areas, we recommend starting inventories in parks and reserves with high modelled diversity. Finally, to improve ex situ conservation, we targeted areas for germplasm collection of species with <5 accessions conserved in genebanks.

    Keywords: Crop wild relatives, Ex situ conservation, IUCN red listing, In situ conservation, Potato breeding material, Reserve selection, Species distribution modelling, Threat assessment


  • González-Maya J, Castañeda F, González R, Pacheco J, Ceballos G (2014)

    Distribution, Range Extension, And Conservation Of The Endemic Black-Headed Bushmaster (Lachesis Melanocephala) In Costa Rica And Panama

    Herpetological Conservation and Biology 9(2) 369-377.

    The Black-headed Bushmaster, Lachesis melanocephala (Viperidae: Crotalinae), is an endemic pit viper from south-eastern Costa Rica. Despite its importance with regard to medicine and conservation, the ecology and distribution of this species are still poorly known, mainly because it was only recently recognized as a full species and records are scarce across its range. Known only from the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range, L. melanocephala is considered uncommon, restricted to undisturbed habitats, and likely threatened with extinction. Here we summarize its distribution, in terms of the Extent of Occurrence (EOO) and Species Distribution Model (SDM), and present a new locality record for the Las Tablas Protected Zone, at an elevation of 1,873 m, in a mixed premontane and montane oak forest habitat with steep slopes. The new record is located 14 km from the Panama border, so it is very likely that the species is also found in that country. Our results indicate that L. melanocephala has a very small geographic range, between 3,432 and 10,507 km2, depending on the method of assessment. It is found mostly in undisturbed habitats, including tropical, premontane and montane humid, very humid, and pluvial forests. Due to its restricted geographic range and habitat specificity, the severe and continued loss of lowland and mid-elevation forests throughout its range pose serious threats to the persistence of the Black-headed Bushmaster. Key

    Keywords: Crotalinae, Las Tablas, Talamanca, endemism, niche, snake


  • van Zonneveld M, Castañeda N, Scheldeman X, van Etten J, Van Damme P (2014)

    Application of consensus theory to formalize expert evaluations of plant species distribution models

    Applied Vegetation Science 17(3) 528-542.

    Aim: Application of environmental envelope modelling (EEM) for conservation planning requires careful validation. Opinions of experts who have worked with species of interest in the field can be a valuable and independent information source to validate EEM because of their first-hand experience with species occurrence and absence. However, their use in model validation is limited because of the subjectivity of their feedback. In this study, we present a method on the basis of cultural consensus theory to formalize expert model evaluations. Methods We developed, for five tree species, distribution models with nine different variable combinations and Maxent EEM software. Species specialists validated the generated distribution maps through an online Google Earth interface with the scores from Invalid to Excellent. Experts were also asked about the commission and omission errors of the distribution models they evaluated. We weighted expert scores according to consensus theory. These values were used to obtain a final average expert score for each of the produced distribution models. The consensus-weighted expert scores were compared with un-weighted scores and correlated to four conventional model performance parameters after cross-validation with test data: Area Under Curve (AUC), maximum Kappa, commission error and omission error. Results The median consensus-weighted expert score of all species–variable combinations was close to Fair. In general, experts that reached more consensus with peers were more positive about the EEM outcomes, compared to those that had more opposite judgements. Both consensus-weighted and un-weighted scores were significantly correlated to corresponding AUC, maximum Kappa and commission error values, but not to omission errors. More than half of the experts indicated that the distribution model they considered best included areas where the species is known to be absent. One third also indicated areas of species presence that were omitted by the model. Conclusions Our results indicate that experts are fairly positive about EEM outcomes. This is encouraging, but EEM application for conservation actions remains limited according to them. Methods to formalize expert knowledge allow a wider use of this information in model validation and improvement, and they complement conventional validation methods of presence-only modelling. Online GIS and survey applications facilitate the consultation of experts.

    Keywords: cultural consensus theory, envelope modelling, expert opinion, google earth, in situ conservation, mapforgen, model validatation, online survey, species distribution modelling