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

  • Ruedas L, Silva S, French J, Platt ii R, Salazar–bravo J, Mora J et al. (2017)



    A critical issue with species names derived from Linnaeus’ 10th edition of the Systema Naturae is the lack of holotypes, which in many instances has led to taxonomic confusion and uncertainty, as well as an unstable taxonomy. In the particular case of the South American cottontail, currently known as Sylvilagus brasiliensis, Linnaeus listed the type locality as “America Meridionali,” or South America. As a result, S. brasiliensis was ascribed a widespread distribution in North and South America, over an area estimated as approximately 1.09 × 107 Km2, and containing upwards of 37 named subspecies. In order to stabilize the taxonomy and initiate the process of illumination of evolutionary and biogeographic relationships among the South American cottontails, we designate herein a neotype for S. brasiliensis. Because the original description by Linnaeus was based on the posthumously published 1648 work of Georg Marcgraff, we restrict the type locality of S. brasiliensis to coastal Pernambuco State, near Recife, where Marcgraff largely was based. We select and describe a neotype from that area, speci cally from a forest fragment in the Pernambuco Endemism Center of the Atlantic Forest Biome, collected at ca. 7o50′38.4′′S, 35o6′7.3′′W, elevation: ca. 137 m. Niche modeling suggests that S. brasiliensis as thus de ned may have a much more restricted range of 500–700 Km2, in a narrow distributional band along northern Atlantic coastal Brazil. We compare the neotype of S. brasiliensis to holotype material of S. andinus and S. tapetillus and nd suf cient distinction in characters and measurements between S. brasiliensis, S. andinus, and S. tapetillus, to retain the latter two as valid species level taxa. Molecular phylogenetic analyses based on a limited number of sequences from the mitochondrial 12S rRNA and cytochrome–b genes support the distinction between S. andinus and S. brasiliensis. Genetic distances also support the lack of close relationship between the two taxa, with cytochrome–b showing a patristic distance between the two of ca. 15%, the largest interspeci c distance among Sylvilagus species previously examined for that locus. Our analysis of Lineages Through Time suggests that the vast unreported taxonomic diversity among Tropical Sylvilagus is based on high speciation rates in the genus, combined with unusually low extinction rates. Episodes of explosive speciation in Sylvilagus, hypothesized to be ecologically driven, have been coeval with cooling events at the Miocene–Pliocene transition and following the Piacenzan Warm Period (Late Pliocene) into the Pleistocene; warm periods have in contrast slowed down speciation rates. The status of all described subspecies of S. brasiliensis will require careful scrutiny and comparison with the neotype to ascertain and establish species limits. Because of a lack of specimens of Neotropical Sylvilagus in collections, our study suffers from a typological schema, however, our approach from rst principles—examination of holotypes—not only serves to establish a more stable taxonomic framework for Neotropical Sylvilagus, but also further suggests that many of the existing taxa currently subsumed as subspecies within Sylvilagus brasiliensis likely are valid species in their own right.

    Keywords: Andes, Ecuador, Neotropics, Páramo, biogeography, conservation, taxonomy

  • 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.

  • Hannah L, Steele M, Fung E, Imbach P, Flint L, Flint A (2016)

    Climate change influences on pollinator, forest, and farm interactions across a climate gradient

    Climatic Change 1-13.

    Climate impact models are often implemented at horizontal resolutions (“scales”) too coarse to be readily applied in local impact assessments. However, recent advancements in fine-scale modeling are allowing the creation of impact models that can be applied to landscape-scale adaptation planning. Here, we illustrate the use of fine-scale impact models for landscape-scale adaptation planning of pollination services for six sites in Central America. The strategies include the identification of (1) potential reservoir areas that may retain bee diversity and serve as a source of recolonization after climate shocks such as droughts; and (2) potential restoration areas, where improving forest cover is likely to lead to increases in pollinator services both in the present and in the future. Coarse-scale (>1-km horizontal resolution) climatic controls on pollinator diversity and forest cover determine the general location of these areas in our six landscapes. Fine-scale (<100-m horizontal resolution) variation in climatic water deficit provides an index of forest health which can help identify intervention strategies within these zones. All sites have significant areas in which protecting or restoring forest cover is likely to enhance pollination services. The gradient in rainfall change across the study sites dictates choice of adaptation strategies.

    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

  • Wehrtmann I, Magalhães C, Orozco M (2016)

    The primary freshwater crabs of Guatemala (Decapoda: Brachyura: Pseudothelphusidae), with comments on their conservation status

    Journal of Crustacean Biology.

    The freshwater crabs of the family Pseudothelphusidae Ortmann, 1893 are restricted to the Neotropics and many species have an elevated risk of extinction. The majority of pseudothelphusids is considered to be data-deficient, which impedes the assessment of their vulnerability levels. More than 50% of pseudothelphusids are endemic to Guatemala, and half of the species are categorized as data-deficient. In order to update and broaden our knowledge of the freshwater crab fauna of Guatemala, several surveys were carried out from 2014 to 2015, combined with the examination of collections of freshwater crabs of Guatemala deposited in several museums. A total of 55 specimens comprising six pseudothelphusid species were collected. The most common species were Potamocarcinus armatus H. Milne Edwards, 1853 (20% of the material identified to the species level), Phrygiopilus ibarrai (Pretzmann, 1978), Raddaus bocourti (A. Milne-Edwards, 1866), and Potamocarcinus magnus Rathbun, 1896 (14.5% each). The collection of the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala consisted of 57 lots with 69 individuals of nine pseudothelphusid species; predominant species were R. bocourti (61.7% of all identified lots) and P. magnus (20.5%). The following species are reported here as new records for Guatemala: Elsalvadoria zurstrasseni (Bott, 1956), Raddaus mertensi (Bott, 1956), and two undescribed species (Phrygiopilus sp., Zilchia sp.). Almost half of the 17 freshwater crab species (including the two undescribed) are either data-deficient or not yet assessed, and 65% (11 species) are endemic to Guatemala. Conservation strategies are urgently needed to preserve the integrity of the sites and habitats occupied by freshwater crabs, along with studies aiming to fill the gap of the data-deficient species.

    Keywords: Central America, Neotropical region, biodiversity, conservation status, faunal surveys

  • Zhurbenko M, Etayo J, Demidova A, Zhdanov I (2016)

    Capronia josefhafellneri sp. nov. (Ascomycota, Herpotrichiellaceae) and some other Lichenicolous Fungi from Vietnam

    Herzogia 29(2) 364-373.

    Abstract: Zhurbenko, M. P., Etayo, J., Demidova, A. N. & Zhdanov, I. S. 2016. Capronia josefhafellneri sp. nov. (Ascomycota, Herpotrichiellaceae) and some other lichenicolous fungi from Vietnam. — Herzogia 29: 364–373. Eleven species of lichenicolous fungi are recorded from Bi Doup-Nui Ba National Park in Vietnam. Capronia josefhafellneri growing on apothecia and thallus of Septotrapelia triseptata is described as new to science. It is characterized by comparatively short setae up to 30 μm long and (0-)1(-2)-septate ascospores. Clypeococcum rugosisporum and Zwackhiomyces diederichii are reported as new to Asia, and Abrothallus usneae, Arthophacopsis cf. parmeliarum, Lichenoconium erodens, Pseudoseptoria usneae and Roselliniella cladoniae new to Southeast Asia. Arthophacopsis cf. parmeliarum is found on Hypotrachyna species.

    Keywords: Biogeography, South Vietnam, lichen-inhabiting fungi, taxonomy, tropics

  • 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


    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