Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Abrahamczyk S, Poretschkin C, Renner S (2017)

    Evolutionary flexibility in five hummingbird/plant mutualistic systems: testing temporal and geographic matching

    Journal of Biogeography.

    Aim Partners in co-evolutionary interactions must be ecologically interdependent and at least at some stage have matching traits and more or less overlapping ranges. As co-evolution is a process, neither the mutual dependence nor the trait and range matching are expected to be static or perfect. Here we investigate the extent of evolutionary flexibility in tight pollination mutualisms between hummingbirds and plants, ranging from straight-billed species to sicklebills. Location The Americas. Methods The five considered pollination mutualisms are between the following hummingbird and plant species: Calypte anna and Ribes speciosum (Grossulariaceae); Basilinna xantusii and Arbutus peninsularis (Ericaceae); two species of Sephanoides and Tristerix aphyllus/corymbosus (Loranthaceae); two species of Eutoxeres and 34 species of curved-corolla Centropogon (Campanulaceae); and six species of Oreotrochilus and seven species of Chuquiraga (Asteraceae). While ecological interdependence and trait matching in these mutualisms are well established, geographic occurrence data and molecular clock-based ages for the 10 clades were newly compiled. Results We found matching bird and plant stem ages in two of the five systems and (much) older bird than plant ages in the other three. The implied adaptation of plant populations to already existing hummingbird species fits with the modelled distributions. In three of the systems, the ranges of the plants overlap those of their pollinators by > 90%; conversely, the range overlap between the bird species and the plant species they pollinate is much less than that. Surprisingly, the age mismatch was greatest in the Eutoxeres/Centropogon system, in spite of the perfect morphological fit among bills and corollas, illustrating the evolutionary flexibility of these mutualisms and the apparently rapid ‘addition’ of further plant species. Main conclusions These findings illuminate the macroevolutionary assembly of hummingbird/plant mutualisms, which has been highly dynamic, even in specialized systems with perfect morphological trait fitting.


  • German D (2017)

    What is Cochlearia venusta (Cruciferae)?

    Phytotaxa 297(3) 295.

    Available material on the improperly known Cruciferae (Brassicaceae) species, Cochlearia venusta (Pseudosempervivum venustum), is revised and identified. The taxon is found to be conspecific with the eastern Anatolian endemic Noccaea bornmuelleri, previously long known as Thlaspi bornmuelleri (based on Syrenopsis bornmuelleri). The 10-years younger S. bornmuelleri is reduced to synonymy of C. venusta and a combination Noccaea venusta is validated. Original material of both names is briefly discussed; a lectotype (instead of holotype) is recognized for S. bornmuelleri and that is designated for C. venusta.

    Keywords: Brassicaceae, Eudicots, nomenclature, taxonomy


  • Huber B, Huber B, Neumann J, Grabolle A, Hula V (2017)

    Aliens in Europe: updates on the distributions of Modisimus culicinus and Micropholcus fauroti (Araneae, Pholcidae)

    Arachnologische Mitteilungen 53 12-18.

    The pholcid spiders Modisimus culicinus (Simon, 1893) and Micropholcus fauroti (Simon, 1887) are pantropical species that have spread around the world at least several decades ago. Here we present numerous new records for both species, most of which fall into the expected latitudes, i.e. between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (93% and 87% of records respectively). However, we also report the first records for M. culicinus from Central Europe (Germany and Czech Republic, >50°N) and the first European record for M. fauroti from outside of Belgium (Germany). The fact that in both species several specimens have been found at more than one locality suggests that they may already be in the stage of establishment and spreading in Europe. Finally, we present an updated identification key to the genera of Pholcidae in Europe.

    Keywords: alien, harmless, invasive, pantropical, synanthropic


  • Leipold M, Tausch S, Poschlod P, Reisch C (2017)

    Species distribution modeling and molecular markers suggest longitudinal range shifts and cryptic northern refugia of the typical calcareous grassland species Hippocrepis comosa (horseshoe vetch)

    Ecology and Evolution.

    Calcareous grasslands belong to the most diverse, endangered habitats in Europe, but there is still insufficient information about the origin of the plant species related to these grasslands. In order to illuminate this question, we chose for our study the representative grassland species Hippocrepis comosa (Horseshoe vetch). Based on species distribution modeling and molecular markers, we identified the glacial refugia and the postglacial migration routes of the species to Central Europe. We clearly demonstrate that H. comosa followed a latitudinal and due to its oceanity also a longitudinal gradient during the last glacial maximum (LGM), restricting the species to southern refugia situated on the Peninsulas of Iberia, the Balkans, and Italy during the last glaciation. However, we also found evidence for cryptic northern refugia in the UK, the Alps, and Central Germany. Both species distribution modeling and molecular markers underline that refugia of temperate, oceanic species such as H. comosa must not be exclusively located in southern but also in western of parts of Europe. The analysis showed a distinct separation of the southern refugia into a western cluster embracing Iberia and an eastern group including the Balkans and Italy, which determined the postglacial recolonization of Central Europe. At the end of the LGM, H. comosa seems to have expanded from the Iberian refugium, to Central and Northern Europe, including the UK, Belgium, and Germany.

    Keywords: alien, harmless, invasive, pantropical, synanthropic


  • Liston A, Goergen G, Koch F (2017)

    Revisions of the Afrotropical genera of Argidae and species of Pampsilota Konow, 1899 (Hymenoptera, Tenthredinoidea)

    Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift 64(1) 1-25.

    The Afrotropical fauna contains five genera of Argidae. These are keyed. New subjective synonyms, followed by the valid name in brackets, are Calarge Enslin, 1911 [Arge Schrank, 1802], Calarge africana Enslin, 1911 [Arge congrua Konow, 1907], Clyparge Pasteels, 1963 [Scobina Lepeletier & Serville, 1828], Clyparge terminalis Pasteels, 1963 [Scobina poecila (Klug, 1834)], and Sterictophora [sic] afra Pasteels, 1963 [Sphacophilus afer comb. n., species inquirenda near S. monjarasi Smith & Morales-Reyes, 2015]. The type material of both C. terminalis and S. afra was probably collected in the New World, but labelled with the wrong locality “Kamerun”. An introduction of both species to Africa, not followed by long-term establishment, seems less likely. The removal of these taxa from the faunal list of the region is recommended. The nine known Afrotropical species of Pampsilota are revised, and an illustrated dichotomous identification key presented, with distribution maps for all species. Four species are here described as new to science: P. dahomeyanus Goergen, Koch & Liston, sp. n., P. nigeriae Liston & Koch, sp. n., P. tsavoensis Liston & Koch, sp. n., and P. zebra Liston & Koch, sp. n. Lectotypes are designated for Pampsilota afer Konow, 1899, and Cipdele africana Mocsáry, 1909. The immature stages and host plant of only one species are known: P. dahomeyanus on Lannea nigritana (Anacardiaceae). Its larval morphology strongly resembles that of European and North American species of Arge. We provisionally retain Pampsilota as a valid genus, although it could justifiably be treated as comprising merely a species group, or groups, within Arge.

    Keywords: Anacardiaceae, Lannea, Taxonomic revision, distributions, host, key, new species, new synonymy


  • Parmar A, Kirchner S, Langguth H, Döring T, Hensel O (2017)

    Boxwood Borer Heterobostrychus brunneus (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae) Infesting Dried Cassava: A Current Record from Southern Ethiopia

    Journal of Insect Science 17(1) 14.

    Insect specimens of adult beetles and larvae of 7–9 and 9–10 mm length, respectively were collected from infested dry cassava at two locations from multiple stores in southern Ethiopia. The specimens were identified as Heterobostrychus brunneus (Murray, 1867) commonly known as boxwood borer and auger beetle. The study presents a current record of H. brunneus in Ethiopia, particularly in the context of infesting food products. Additionally, a wide geographical distribution of the pest was reviewed and presented in this article. Current evidence suggests that H. brunneus is a serious pest of forest wood, structural timbers, and dried food products and that it carries a risk to be introduced into various other parts of the world via global trade.

    Keywords: Anacardiaceae, Lannea, Taxonomic revision, distributions, host, key, new species, new synonymy


  • Rockinger A, Flores A, Renner S (2017)

    Clock-dated phylogeny for 48% of the 700 species of Crotalaria (Fabaceae–Papilionoideae) resolves sections worldwide and implies conserved flower and leaf traits throughout its pantropical range

    BMC Evolutionary Biology 17(1) 61.

    Background With some 700 species, the pantropical Crotalaria is among the angiosperm’s largest genera. We sampled 48% of the species from all sections (and representatives of the 15 remaining Crotalarieae genera) for nuclear and plastid DNA markers to infer changes in climate niches, flower morphology, leaf type, and chromosome numbers. Results Crotalaria is monophyletic and most closely related to African Bolusia (five species) from which it diverged 23 to 30 Ma ago. Ancestral state reconstructions reveal that leaf and flower types are conserved in large clades and that leaf type is uncorrelated to climate as assessed with phylogenetically-informed analyses that related compound vs. simple leaves to the mean values of four Bioclim parameters for 183 species with good occurrence data. Most species occur in open habitats <1000 m alt., and trifoliolate leaves are the ancestral condition, from which unifoliolate and simple leaves each evolved a few times, the former predominantly in humid, the latter mainly in dry climates. Based on chromosome counts for 36% of the 338 sequenced species, most polyploids are tetraploid and belong to a neotropical clade. Conclusions An unexpected finding of our study is that in Crotalaria, simple leaves predominate in humid climates and compound leaves in dry climates, which points to a different adaptive value of these morphologies, regardless of whether these two leaf types evolved rarely or frequently in our focal group.

    Keywords: Climate types, Flower morphology, GBIF data, Leaf architecture, Molecular clock, Trait evolution


  • Schmidtlein S, Fassnacht F (2017)

    The spectral variability hypothesis does not hold across landscapes

    Remote Sensing of Environment 192 114-125.

    One of the biodiversity metrics to track from space is the spatial variability in reflectance that has previously been proposed as a proxy of species counts per unit area. The corresponding hypothesis is known as the spectral variability hypothesis (SVH). Little attention has been paid so far to the questions whether the SVH holds over broader regions and across time. Here, we addressed these questions by using a spatially contiguous dataset of vascular plant species occurrences in Southern Germany along with MODIS data at 14 time steps. The floristic dataset consists of species occurrence data for 815 areas of 10 longitudinal by 6 latitudinal minutes (approximately 12 km by 11 km, referred to as mapping units). The spectral variability in space (within these units) was determined using MODIS pixels of 0.5 km by 0.5 km. We used two different measures of spectral variability in combination with a moving window approach to derive statistical links between spectral variability and species counts through space and time. The moving windows consisting of several mapping units were shifted in space and meanwhile used as target areas for correlation analyses. The performance of the spectral variability to predict species counts was influenced by the location and the extent of the reference windows. In some regions, high spectral variability was connected to high species counts. In other regions, comparably low spectral variability was linked to high species counts and vice versa. Furthermore, the relation between spectral variability and species varied with season. Certain areas changed from almost no correlation to very high correlation depending on the applied scene. Also, the applied spectral variability measure had a notable influence on the observed results. Based on these results, we conclude that the spectral variability hypothesis does not hold across landscapes at this spatial grain. Using spectral variability alone as a proxy for species counts in a monitoring approach for larger extents and grains is therefore unlikely to work in many parts of the world. This does not mean that it cannot help as a covariate in analyses with more predictors.

    Keywords: Biodiversity, Floristic survey, Plant species richness, SVH, Spatial non-stationarity, Zoning effects


  • Zeng X, Durka W, Welk E, Fischer M (2017)

    Heritability of early growth traits and their plasticity in 14 woody species of Chinese subtropical forest

    Journal of Plant Ecology 10(1) 222-231.

    Aims Genetic variation in plant traits represents the raw material for future adaptive evolution. Its extent can be estimated as heritability based on the performance of experimental plants of known relatedness, such as maternal half-sib seed families. While there is considerable heritability information for herbaceous plants and commercially important trees, little is known for woody species of natural subtropical forest. Moreover, it is open whether heritability is higher for species with r- or K-strategies, for more common species with larger distribution ranges than for rarer ones, or for populations closer to the centres of distributional ranges. Methods For 14 woody species in Chinese subtropical forest, we collected 13–38 maternal seed families, assessed seed size, grew replicates of each seed family in one more and one less benign nursery environment and measured stem diameter and plant height after 7 months. Important findings For the different species, plants grew 1.8–8.1 times taller in the more benign environment. For all 14 species, variation between seed families (and thus heritability) was significant (with very few exceptions at the P < 0.001 level) for seed size and for stem diameter and plant height in both nurseries. Moreover, significant seed family by nursery interactions for stem diameter and plant height for all species (P < 0.001) indicated significant heritability for plasticity in these traits. Multiple regression analysis suggests that heritabilities were higher for species with higher age at reproduction and higher wood density (traits indicating a K strategy) but also for species with higher specific leaf area (a trait rather indicating an r strategy). Furthermore, heritabilities were higher for species with larger range sizes, while there was no significant relationship between heritabilities and the distance of the study area to the range margins of our study species. In conclusion, the detected large heritability estimates suggest considerable potential for the evolution of plant performance and its plasticity for trees of subtropical forest. Moreover, our study shows that the simple method of comparing plants of different maternal seed families is valuable to address evolutionary ecological questions for so far understudied species.

    Keywords: heritability, phenotypic plasticity, plant performance, subtropical forest


  • Zohner C, Benito B, Fridley J, Svenning J, Renner S (2017)

    Spring predictability explains different leaf-out strategies in the woody floras of North America, Europe and East Asia

    Ecology Letters.

    Intuitively, interannual spring temperature variability (STV) should influence the leaf-out strategies of temperate zone woody species, with high winter chilling requirements in species from regions where spring warming varies greatly among years. We tested this hypothesis using experiments in 215 species and leaf-out monitoring in 1585 species from East Asia (EA), Europe (EU) and North America (NA). The results reveal that species from regions with high STV indeed have higher winter chilling requirements, and, when grown under the same conditions, leaf out later than related species from regions with lower STV. Since 1900, STV has been consistently higher in NA than in EU and EA, and under experimentally short winter conditions NA species required 84% more spring warming for bud break, EU ones 49% and EA ones only 1%. These previously unknown continental-scale differences in phenological strategies underscore the need for considering regional climate histories in global change models.

    Keywords: heritability, phenotypic plasticity, plant performance, subtropical forest