Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Padilla O, Rosas P, Moreno W, Toulkeridis T (2017)

    Modeling of the ecological niches of the anopheles spp in Ecuador by the use of geo-informatic tools

    Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology 21 1-11.

    Ecuador in the northwestern edge of South America is struggling by vector-borne diseases with an endemic-epidemic behavior leading to an enormous public health problem. Malaria, which has a cyclicality in its dynamics, is closely related to climatic, ecological and socio-economic phenomena. The main objective of this research has been to compare three different prediction species models, the so-called Maxent, logistic regression and multi criteria evaluation with fuzzy logic, in order to determine the model which best describes the ecological niche of the Anopheles spp species, which transmits malaria within Ecuador. After performing a detailed data collection and data processing, we applied the mentioned models and validated them with a statistical analysis in order to discover that the Maxent model has been the model that best defines the distribution of Anopheles spp within the territory. The determined sites, which are of high strategic value and important for the increasing national development, will now be able to initiate preventive countermeasures based on this study.

    Keywords: Anopheles, Ecological niche model, Logistic regression, Maxent, Multi-criteria evaluation


  • Kübler D, Hildebrandt P, Günter S, Stimm B, Weber M, Mosandl R, Muñoz J, Cabrera O, Aguirre N Z (2016)

    Assessing the importance of topographic variables for the spatial distribution of tree species in a tropical mountain forest — erdkunde

    Erdkunde 70(1) 19-47.

    Availability and improved access to high-resolution digital terrain models (DTM) enables new approaches for the analysis of spatially explicit biological data. In this study, the spatial distribution of 16 tree species in a tropical mountain rain forest in South Ecuador and its relationship with topographic variables was evaluated at a fine-scale ecological level using two presence-only species distribution modelling techniques: The maximum entropy model (Maxent) and the ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA). Spatially explicit tree data stem from long-term forest monitoring plots in three microcatchments with a total area of 11.1 ha. Topographic variables were derived from a high-resolution DTM. Model performance was assessed by the true skill statistic (TSS) and area under curve (AUC) of the receiver operator characteristic (ROC), using both a k-fold approach and null-models. Performance varied among species and techniques, but generally Maxent models showed better performance than ENFA models. Furthermore, the ecological plausibility of the models was confirmed by comparing them with a previously established forest type classification. Among the explanatory topographic variables, elevation and a Topographic Position Index (TPI) appear as the main determinants for the distribution of most of the tree species. This study demonstrates that even on a small scale, the use of presence-only species distribution modelling techniques is a viable option for modelling suitable habitat for tree species in tropical mountain rain forests, indicating suitability for supporting stand-level planning and site-species matching techniques for natural forest management.

    Keywords: ENFA, biogeography, species distribution modelling


  • Lessmann J, Guayasamin J, Casner K, Flecker A, Funk W, Ghalambor C et al. (2016)

    Freshwater vertebrate and invertebrate diversity patterns in an Andean-Amazon basin: implications for conservation efforts

    Neotropical Biodiversity 2(1) 99-114.

    The Napo Basin in Ecuador is an important drainage of the Amazon Basin, the most biodiverse ecosystem for freshwater species. At the same time, this basin has conspicuous information gaps on its biodiversity patterns and human threats. Here, we estimated the diversity distribution patterns of freshwater vertebrates and invertebrates in the Napo Basin, as a tool for present and future management and conservation efforts. Also, we assessed the spatial congruence of the diversity patterns observed between aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates. For this, we compiled occurrence records for 481 freshwater vertebrate species (amphibians, birds, mammals, reptiles, and fish), and 54 invertebrate families obtained across an altitudinal gradient of the basin (200–4500 m). Using these occurrence records and environmental variables, we modeled the distribution of each vertebrate species and invertebrate family. Then, we stacked these distributions to build species richness maps for vertebrates, and a family richness m...

    Keywords: Ecuador, Napo Basin, aquatic invertebrate families, freshwater tropical ecosystems, vertebrate species


  • Tirira D, Camacho M, Tinoco N, Solórzano M, Burneo S (2016)

    Genus Glyphonycteris Thomas, 1896 (Mammalia: Chiroptera) in Ecuador: first confirmed record of G. sylvestris Thomas, 1896 and a geographical review to G. daviesi (Hill, 1965)

    Check List 12(5) 1965.

    Herein we present a geographical review to the genus Glyphonycteris in Ecuador. We confirm the first record for G. sylvestris for the country, which extends its range about 680 km southwest of the nearest previously known record. This first record belongs to an individual captured in Sangay National Park, Morona Santiago province, eastern slopes of the Andes. We also review the records of G. daviesi deposited in scientific collections and mentioned in literature, report a new record from west of the Andes, and present a distribution map.

    Keywords: Andes eastern slopes, Phyllostomidae, distribution modelling, range extension, tropical and subtropical forest


  • Báez S, Malizia A, Carilla J, Blundo C, Aguilar M, Aguirre N et al. (2015)

    Large-scale patterns of turnover and Basal area change in Andean forests.

    PloS one 10(5) e0126594.

    General patterns of forest dynamics and productivity in the Andes Mountains are poorly characterized. Here we present the first large-scale study of Andean forest dynamics using a set of 63 permanent forest plots assembled over the past two decades. In the North-Central Andes tree turnover (mortality and recruitment) and tree growth declined with increasing elevation and decreasing temperature. In addition, basal area increased in Lower Montane Moist Forests but did not change in Higher Montane Humid Forests. However, at higher elevations the lack of net basal area change and excess of mortality over recruitment suggests negative environmental impacts. In North-Western Argentina, forest dynamics appear to be influenced by land use history in addition to environmental variation. Taken together, our results indicate that combinations of abiotic and biotic factors that vary across elevation gradients are important determinants of tree turnover and productivity in the Andes. More extensive and longer-term monitoring and analyses of forest dynamics in permanent plots will be necessary to understand how demographic processes and woody biomass are responding to changing environmental conditions along elevation gradients through this century.

    Keywords: Andes eastern slopes, Phyllostomidae, distribution modelling, range extension, tropical and subtropical forest


  • Cadena E, Anaya F, Croft D (2015)

    Giant fossil tortoise and freshwater chelid turtle remains from the middle Miocene, Quebrada Honda, Bolivia: Evidence for lower paleoelevations for the southern Altiplano

    Journal of South American Earth Sciences 64 190-198.

    We describe the first Miocene turtle remains from Bolivia, which were collected from the late middle Miocene (13.18–13.03 Ma) of Quebrada Honda, southern Bolivia. This material includes a large scapula-acromion and fragmentary shell elements conferred to the genus Chelonoidis (Testudinidae), and a left xiphiplastron from a pleurodire or side-necked turtle, conferred to Acanthochelys (Chelidae). The occurrence of a giant tortoise and a freshwater turtle suggests that the paleoelevation of the region when the fossils were deposited was lower than has been estimated by stable isotope proxies, with a maximum elevation probably less than 1000 m. At a greater elevation, cool temperatures would have been beyond the tolerable physiological limits for these turtles and other giant ectotherm reptiles.

    Keywords: Altiplano, Bolivia, Chelidae, Miocene, Paleoelevation, Testudinidae, Turtles


  • Ortega-Andrade H, Prieto-Torres D, Gómez-Lora I, Lizcano D (2015)

    Ecological and geographical analysis of the distribution of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in Ecuador: importance of protected areas in future scenarios of global warming.

    PloS one 10(3) e0121137.

    In Ecuador, Tapirus pinchaque is considered to be critically endangered. Although the species has been registered in several localities, its geographic distribution remains unclear, and the effects of climate change and current land uses on this species are largely unknown. We modeled the ecological niche of T. pinchaque using MaxEnt, in order to assess its potential adaptation to present and future climate change scenarios. We evaluated the effects of habitat loss due by current land use, the ecosystem availability and importance of Ecuadorian System of Protected Areas into the models. The model of environmental suitability estimated an extent of occurrence for species of 21,729 km2 in all of Ecuador, mainly occurring along the corridor of the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. A total of 10 Andean ecosystems encompassed ~98% of the area defined by the model, with herbaceous paramo, northeastern Andean montane evergreen forest and northeastern Andes upper montane evergreen forest being the most representative. When considering the effect of habitat loss, a significant reduction in model area (~17%) occurred, and the effect of climate change represented a net reduction up to 37.86%. However, the synergistic effect of both climate change and habitat loss, given current land use practices, could represent a greater risk in the short-term, leading to a net reduction of 19.90 to 44.65% in T. pinchaque's potential distribution. Even under such a scenarios, several Protected Areas harbor a portion (~36 to 48%) of the potential distribution defined by the models. However, the central and southern populations are highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Based on these results and due to the restricted home range of T. pinchaque, its preference for upland forests and paramos, and its small estimated population size in the Andes, we suggest to maintaining its current status as Critically Endangered in Ecuador.

    Keywords: Altiplano, Bolivia, Chelidae, Miocene, Paleoelevation, Testudinidae, Turtles


  • Andújar C, Arribas P, Ruiz C, Serrano J, Gómez-Zurita J (2014)

    Integration of conflict into integrative taxonomy: fitting hybridization in species delimitation of Mesocarabus (Coleoptera: Carabidae)

    Molecular Ecology 23(17) 4344-61.

    In species differentiation, characters may not diverge synchronously, and there are also processes that shuffle character states in lineages descendant from a common ancestor. Species are thus expected to show some degree of incongruence among characters; therefore, taxonomic delimitation can benefit from integrative approaches and objective strategies that account for character conflict. We illustrate the potential of exploiting conflict for species delimitation in a study case of ground beetles of the subgenus Carabus (Mesocarabus), where traditional taxonomy does not accurately delimit species. The molecular phylogenies of four mitochondrial and three nuclear genes, cladistic analysis of the aedeagus, ecological niche divergence and morphometry of pronotal shape in more than 500 specimens of Mesocarabus show that these characters are not fully congruent. For these data, a three-step operational strategy is proposed for species delimitation by (i) delineating candidate species based on the integration of incongruence among conclusive lines of evidence, (ii) corroborating candidate species with inconclusive lines of evidence and (iii) refining a final species proposal based on an integrated characterization of candidate species based on the evolutionary analysis of incongruence. This procedure provided a general understanding of the reticulate process of hybridization and introgression acting on Mesocarabus and generated the hypothesis of seven Mesocarabus species, including two putative hybrid lineages. Our work emphasizes the importance of incorporating critical analyses of character and phylogenetic conflict to infer both the evolutionary history and species boundaries through an integrative taxonomic approach.

    Keywords: Animals, Bayes Theorem, Beetles, Beetles: classification, Beetles: genetics, Cell Nucleus, Cell Nucleus: genetics, DNA, Genetic, Genetic Speciation, Hybridization, Likelihood Functions, Mitochondrial, Mitochondrial: genetics, Models, Phylogeny, Sequence Analysis


  • Fajardo J, Lessmann J, Bonaccorso E, Devenish C, Muñoz J (2014)

    Combined use of systematic conservation planning, species distribution modelling, and connectivity analysis reveals severe conservation gaps in a megadiverse country (peru).

    PloS one 9(12) e114367.

    Conservation planning is crucial for megadiverse countries where biodiversity is coupled with incomplete reserve systems and limited resources to invest in conservation. Using Peru as an example of a megadiverse country, we asked whether the national system of protected areas satisfies biodiversity conservation needs. Further, to complement the existing reserve system, we identified and prioritized potential conservation areas using a combination of species distribution modeling, conservation planning and connectivity analysis. Based on a set of 2,869 species, including mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, butterflies, and plants, we used species distribution models to represent species' geographic ranges to reduce the effect of biased sampling and partial knowledge about species' distributions. A site-selection algorithm then searched for efficient and complementary proposals, based on the above distributions, for a more representative system of protection. Finally, we incorporated connectivity among areas in an innovative post-hoc analysis to prioritize those areas maximizing connectivity within the system. Our results highlight severe conservation gaps in the Coastal and Andean regions, and we propose several areas, which are not currently covered by the existing network of protected areas. Our approach helps to find areas that contribute to creating a more representative, connected and efficient network.

    Keywords: Peru, amphibians, biodiversity, birds, conservation scince, endangered species, mammals, reptiles


  • Ramirez-Villegas J, Cuesta F, Devenish C, Peralvo M, Jarvis A, Arnillas C (2014)

    Using species distributions models for designing conservation strategies of Tropical Andean biodiversity under climate change

    Journal for Nature Conservation Forthcoming.

    Biodiversity in the Tropical Andes is under continuous threat from anthropogenic activities. Projected changes in climate will likely exacerbate this situation. Using species distribution models, we assess possible future changes in the diversity and climatic niche size of an unprecedented number of species for the region. We modeled a broad range of taxa (11,012 species of birds and vascular plants), including both endemic and widespread species and provide a comprehensive estimation of climate change impacts on the Andes. We find that if no dispersal is assumed, by 2050s, more than 50% of the species studied are projected to undergo reductions of at least 45% in their climatic niche, whilst 10% of species could be extinct. Even assuming unlimited dispersal, most of the Andean endemics (comprising ∼5% of our dataset) would become severely threatened (>50% climatic niche loss). While some areas appear to be climatically stable (e.g. Pichincha and Imbabura in Ecuador; and Nariño, Cauca, Valle del Cauca and Putumayo in Colombia) and hence depict little diversity loss and/or potential species gains, major negative impacts were also observed. Tropical high Andean grasslands (páramos and punas) and evergreen montane forests, two key ecosystems for the provision of environmental services in the region, are projected to experience negative changes in species richness and high rates of species turnover. Adapting to these impacts would require a landscape-network based approach to conservation, including protected areas, their buffer zones and corridors. A central aspect of such network is the implementation of an integrated landscape management approach based on sustainable management and restoration practices covering wider areas than currently contemplated.

    Keywords: Andes, Biodiversity, Climate change, Climatic niche, Conservation, Maxent, Threats