Uses of GBIF in scientific research

Peer-reviewed research citing GBIF as a data source, with at least one author from Ecuador.
Extracted from the Mendeley GBIF Public Library.

List of publications

  • 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

  • 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: ENFA, biogeography, species distribution modelling

  • 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

  • Salas J, Burneo S, Viteri H. F, Carvajal M. R (2014)

    First record of the pale-faced bat Phylloderma stenops Peters 1865 (Chiroptera: Phyllostomidae) in the province of Guayas, Southwest Ecuador

    Check List 10(5) 1218-1222.

    We report the first record of Phylloderma stenops in the province of Guayas, Ecuador. The specimen was captured in a heavily disturbed area, surrounded by small remnants of semi-deciduous lowland forests. We also present a predictive distribution map, constructed with the new and existing information for P. stenops in Ecuador and other countries in South America, showing that this species may occur in other areas where it has not yet been observed.

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

  • Sánchez-Guillén R, Muñoz J, Hafernik J, Tierney M, Rodriguez-Tapia G, Córdoba-Aguilar A (2014)

    Hybridization rate and climate change: are endangered species at risk?

    Journal of Insect Conservation 18(3) 295-305.

    Many species are altering their geographic range due to climate change creating new sympatric populations of otherwise allopatric populations. We investigated whether climate change will affect the distribution and thus the pattern of hybridization between two pairs of closely related damselfly species [Ischnura damula and I. demorsa, and I. denticollis and I. gemina (this, an endan- gered species)]. Thus, we estimated the strength of pre and postmating reproductive barriers between both pairs of species, and we predicted future potential distribution under four different Global Circulation Models and a realistic emissions scenario of climate change by using maximum entropy modelling technique. Our results showed that reproductive isolation (RI) is complete in I. damula 9 I. demorsa individuals: F1 (first generation) hybrids are produced but do not reach sexual maturation. However, RI in I. denticollis 9 I. gemina hybrids is high but incomplete and unidirectional: only I. gemina females produced F1 hybrids which mate with males and females of I. denticollis and between them producing BC1 (back- crosses) and F2 (second generation) viable hybrids. Maximum entropy models revealed a northern and westward shift and a general reduction of the potential geographic ranges. Based on the pattern of hybridization, for I. damula and I. demorsa there is a current threat as well as a rapid displacement and/or extinction of I. gemina by I. denticollis. However, the current pattern of extinction may not continue due to the contraction in ranges of the four species.

    Keywords: Climate change, Displacement and extinction, Hybridization and introgression, MAXENT, Range shifts, Sympatric distributions

  • Mateo R, Vanderpoorten A, Muñoz J, Laenen B, Désamoré A (2013)

    Modeling species distributions from heterogeneous data for the biogeographic regionalization of the European bryophyte flora

    PLoS ONE 8(2) e55648.

    The definition of biogeographic regions provides a fundamental framework for a range of basic and applied questions in biogeography, evolutionary biology, systematics and conservation. Previous research suggested that environmental forcing results in highly congruent regionalization patterns across taxa, but that the size and number of regions depends on the dispersal ability of the taxa considered. We produced a biogeographic regionalization of European bryophytes and hypothesized that (1) regions defined for bryophytes would differ from those defined for other taxa due to the highly specific eco-physiology of the group and (2) their high dispersal ability would result in the resolution of few, large regions. Species distributions were recorded using 10,000 km(2) MGRS pixels. Because of the lack of data across large portions of the area, species distribution models employing macroclimatic variables as predictors were used to determine the potential composition of empty pixels. K-means clustering analyses of the pixels based on their potential species composition were employed to define biogeographic regions. The optimal number of regions was determined by v-fold cross-validation and Moran's I statistic. The spatial congruence of the regions identified from their potential bryophyte assemblages with large-scale vegetation patterns is at odds with our primary hypothesis. This reinforces the notion that post-glacial migration patterns might have been much more similar in bryophytes and vascular plants than previously thought. The substantially lower optimal number of clusters and the absence of nested patterns within the main biogeographic regions, as compared to identical analyses in vascular plants, support our second hypothesis. The modelling approach implemented here is, however, based on many assumptions that are discussed but can only be tested when additional data on species distributions become available, highlighting the substantial importance of developing integrated mapping projects for all taxa in key biogeographically areas of Europe, and the Mediterranean peninsulas in particular.

    Keywords: Climate change, Displacement and extinction, Hybridization and introgression, MAXENT, Range shifts, Sympatric distributions