Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Alonso-Redondo, R., De Paz, E., Alonso-Herrero, E., García-González, M., Alfaro-Saiz, E.

    A new method for calculating Risk Tolerance in the assessment of threatened flora

    Journal for Nature Conservation.

    This paper reports on a proposed method for evaluating threat categories for regional flora, based mainly on phytogeographical data. The method involves the creation of current distribution maps, analysis of threat factors and use of the RAMAS Red List software to facilitate rapid and objective classification of taxa in accordance with 2001 IUCN criteria. In order to ensure a more objective approach by the assessor and reduce the range of uncertainty, an index was created for calculating Risk Tolerance (RT) that enabled adjustment of the results obtained and thus supplemented the software used. For trial purposes, the proposed model was applied to Spanish gypsophilous flora currently protected under Spanish regional legislation. When classified using the new model, the taxa in question were placed in very different categories, ranging from least concern (LC) to endangered (EN), indicating the need to redefine both their current legal status and recommended management measures. Use of this method will enable scientists to optimise available information on the geographical distribution of endangered taxa, and help governments both to optimise their financial investment in conservation and to define their priorities. The authors endorse the use of IUCN categories in legal protection texts, and advocate as essential a greater degree of coordination between scientists and governments.

    Keywords: Conservation prioritization, Conservation status, Endangered species, RAMAS Red List, Risk Tolerance


  • Anadón, J., del Mar Mancha-Cisneros, M., Best, B., Gerber, L.

    Habitat-specific larval dispersal and marine connectivity: implications for spatial conservation planning

    Ecosphere 4(7) art82.

    Connectivity via larval dispersal is an important ingredient in setting effective marine reserve networks. Simple guidance for establishing spacing between individual protected sites can provide reliable rules of thumb to help ensure connectivity. Spacing rules for protected network design are relatively new to marine spatial planning, though so far they have been generically and indiscriminately applied to all types of habitats based on a single range of distance values. Here we address the extent to which such rules capture subtleties associated with dispersal distances varying among species in different regions and habitats. We applied a 50–100 km global spacing rule (SRglob), also recently applied in the California Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) process and based on available global larval dispersal data, to a previously assessed network in the Gulf of California. Using larval dispersal data for species within this region (SRreg), we associated each species with eight unique habitats (SRhab*) and we evaluated connectivity by means of different spacing rules (SRglob, SRreg and SRhab*) using graph-theory. The existing spacing rule employed by the MLPA process (SRglob) was found to be robust and conservative when applied to the Gulf of California or to its different habitats (i.e., the lower limit for dispersal distance includes the distance for all species in the Gulf). We found that species in different habitats exhibit statistically distinct dispersal profiles. Therefore, some habitats could be evaluated with more relaxed spacing rules (i.e., larger distances), than those proposed by the rules of thumb. Our work identifies a conservation planning trade-off when implementing spacing rules: already proposed rules are robust but at the cost of efficiency. Habitat-specific spacing rules should be considered for more efficient marine conservation planning solutions.

    Keywords: graph theory, Gulf of California, larval dispersal, marine connectivity, Marine Life Protection Act, marine protected areas networks, rules of thumb, spacing rules


  • Ballesteros, M., Foronda, A., Cañadas, E., Peñas, J., Lorite, J.

    Conservation status of the narrow endemic gypsophile Ononis tridentata subsp. crassifolia in southern Spain: effects of habitat disturbance

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    Ononis tridentata L. subsp. crassifolia (Leguminosae) is a narrow endemic plant restricted to gypsum outcrops in south-east Spain. Its habitat and populations are currently threatened by anthropogenic disturbance. Because of the paucity of information concerning its distribution, abundance and response to disturbance, we assessed its status and evaluated the impacts of quarrying, ploughing, grazing and afforestation. Distribution and population size were estimated by field surveys, censuses and mapping. We measured cover, plant volume, fruit and seed production, seed predation and seedling recruitment to asses any effects of disturbance. The species’ area of occupancy is 1.6 km2 and its extent of occurrence 337km2,in 29 habitat patches and 16 populations between 705 and 1,125maltitude, and its population sizewas estimated to be 531,605. Quarrying, ploughing, overgrazing and afforestation negatively affected the species, in this order. We recommend this subspecies be categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. A species recovery plan is required, and the ecological restoration of altered areas would mitigate negative effects on the species and improve the overall conservation of gypsum habitats.

    Keywords: Conservation status, grazing, gypsophile, gypsum quarrying, habitat disturbance, narrow endemic, Ononis tridentata, ploughing


  • Benito, B., Cayuela, L., Albuquerque, F.

    The impact of modelling choices in the predictive performance of richness maps derived from species-distribution models: guidelines to build better diversity models

    Methods in Ecology and Evolution 4(4) 327-335.

    1. The stacking of species-distribution models (S-SDMs) is receiving attention by conservation researchers because this approach is capable of simultaneously predicting species richness and composition. However, the steps required to build S-SDMs implies at least two choices that influence its predictive performancewhich have not been extensively assessed: the selection of themodelling algorithm and the application of a threshold to trans- form the species-distributionmodels into binarymaps to be added together to build thefinalS-SDM.Our goal was to provide guidelines concerning the best combinations ofmodelling algorithms and thresholds with which to build more accurate S-SDMs. 2. Wegenerated 380 S-SDMs of 1224 tree species in Mesoamerica by combining 19 distribution modellingmeth- odswith 20 different thresholds using presence-only data from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.We compared the predicted richness and composition with inventory data obtained from theBIOTREE-NETforest plot database. We designed two indicators of predictive performance that were based on the diversity factors used to measure species turnover: a (shared species between the observed and predicted compositions), b and c (the exclusive species of the predicted and observed compositions respectively) and compared them with the Sorensen andBeta-Simpson turnovermeasures. 3. Our proposed indexes and the Sorensen index proved suitable as indicators of predictive performance for S- SDMs,whereas theBeta-Simpson turnovermeasure presented issues that would prevent its application to evalu- ate S-SDMs. 4. Some modellingmethods – especially machine learning and ensemble model forecasting methods performed significantly better than others in minimizing the error in predicted richness and composition. Our results also points out that restrictive thresholds (with high omission errors) lead to more accurate S-SDMs in terms of spe- cies richness and composition. Here, we demonstrate that particular combinations of modelling methods and thresholds provide results with higher predictive performance. 5. These results provide clear modelling guidelines that will helpS-SDMmodellers to select the appropriate com- bination of modellingmethods and thresholds to buildmore accurate S-SDMs, and thereforewill have a positive impact on the quality of the diversitymodels used to assist conservation planning.

    Keywords: BIOTREE-NET, species composition, species richness, stacked species-distribution models


  • Blanco-Pastor, J., Vargas, P.

    Autecological traits determined two evolutionary strategies in Mediterranean plants during the Quaternary: low differentiation and range expansion versus geographical speciation in Linaria

    Molecular Ecology.

    The evolutionary patterns of the Mediterranean flora during the Quaternary have been relatively well-documented based on phylogenetic and biogeographic analyses, but few studies have addressed the evolutionary traits that determined diversification and range expansion success during this period. We analysed previously published and newly generated sequences of three plastid non-coding regions (rpl32-trnLUAG, trnS-trnG and trnL-trnF), the nuclear ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and a low-copy nuclear gene intron (AGT1) of Linaria sect. Supinae, a group of angiosperms that diversified in the Quaternary. The origin and recent colonisation dynamics of closely related lineages were inferred by biogeographic reconstruction and phylogeographic analyses, while breeding system experiments coupled with ecological and morphological data were used to test association with range expansion and diversification. A combination of traits, including selfing, short lifespan and the ability to tolerate a wide variety of substrates, were key factors underlying range expansion after long-distance dispersal throughout the Mediterranean basin. By contrast, self-incompatibility may have promoted higher diversification rates in narrow ranges of the Iberian Peninsula. We argue that a few traits contributed to the adoption of two contrasting strategies that may have been predominant in the evolution of Mediterranean angiosperms.

    Keywords: breeding system, colonization, ecological requirements, Mediterranean, Quaternary, speciation


  • Brito, J., Godinho, R., Martínez-Freiría, F., Pleguezuelos, J., Rebelo, H., Santos, X., Vale, C., Velo-Antón, G., Boratyński, Z., Carvalho, S., Ferreira, S., Gonçalves, D., Silva, T., Tarroso, P., Campos, J., Leite, J., Nogueira, J., Alvares, F., Sillero, N., Sow, A., Fahd, S., Crochet, P., Carranza, S.

    Unravelling biodiversity, evolution and threats to conservation in the Sahara-Sahel.

    Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 1.

    Deserts and arid regions are generally perceived as bare and rather homogeneous areas of low diversity. The Sahara is the largest warm desert in the world and together with the arid Sahel displays high topographical and climatic heterogeneity, and has experienced recent and strong climatic oscillations that have greatly shifted biodiversity distribution and community composition. The large size, remoteness and long-term political instability of the Sahara-Sahel, have limited knowledge on its biodiversity. However, over the last decade, there have been an increasing number of published scientific studies based on modern geomatic and molecular tools, and broad sampling of taxa of these regions. This review tracks trends in knowledge about biodiversity patterns, processes and threats across the Sahara-Sahel, and anticipates needs for biodiversity research and conservation. Recent studies are changing completely the perception of regional biodiversity patterns. Instead of relatively low species diversity with distribution covering most of the region, studies now suggest a high rate of endemism and larger number of species, with much narrower and fragmented ranges, frequently limited to micro-hotspots of biodiversity. Molecular-based studies are also unravelling cryptic diversity associated with mountains, which together with recent distribution atlases, allows identifying integrative biogeographic patterns in biodiversity distribution. Mapping of multivariate environmental variation (at 1 km × 1 km resolution) of the region illustrates main biogeographical features of the Sahara-Sahel and supports recently hypothesised dispersal corridors and refugia. Micro-scale water-features present mostly in mountains have been associated with local biodiversity hotspots. However, the distribution of available data on vertebrates highlights current knowledge gaps that still apply to a large proportion of the Sahara-Sahel. Current research is providing insights into key evolutionary and ecological processes, including causes and timing of radiation and divergence for multiple taxa, and associating the onset of the Sahara with diversification processes for low-mobility vertebrates. Examples of phylogeographic patterns are showing the importance of allopatric speciation in the Sahara-Sahel, and this review presents a synthetic overview of the most commonly hypothesised diversification mechanisms. Studies are also stressing that biodiversity is threatened by increasing human activities in the region, including overhunting and natural resources prospection, and in the future by predicted global warming. A representation of areas of conflict, landmines, and natural resources extraction illustrates how human activities and regional insecurity are hampering biodiversity research and conservation. Although there are still numerous knowledge gaps for the optimised conservation of biodiversity in the region, a set of research priorities is provided to identify the framework data needed to support regional conservation planning.

    Keywords: Africa, biodiversity, climate change, conservation, deserts, distribution, diversification, phylogeography, Sahara, Sahel


  • Castilla, A., Valdeón, A., Cog, D., Gosá, A., Saifelnasr, E., Naimi, S., Al-Hemaidi, A.

    First record of a gecko species to the fauna of Qatar: Hemidactylus persicus Anderson, 1872 (Gekkonidae)

    Q Science Connect 1872.

    We report the discovery of a gecko species, the Persian leaf-toed gecko Hemidactylus persicus Anderson, 1872 (Gekkonidae) in Qatar, found on Halul Island. According to the Qatar National Biodiversity Surveys and the available international literature H. persicus was not previously recorded in Qatar. Its known range covers the north east of the Arabian Peninsula, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and south western Asia. Our findings bridge the current geographic gap in the known distribution of the species from Saudi Arabia to Asia. We believe that the species could also be present in the Qatar peninsula. A thorough field survey is needed in order to map the range of this species in the State of Qatar.

    Keywords: Africa, biodiversity, climate change, conservation, deserts, distribution, diversification, phylogeography, Sahara, Sahel


  • Figuerola, B., Gordon, D., Polonio, V., Cristobo, J., Avila, C.

    Cheilostome bryozoan diversity from the southwest Atlantic region: Is Antarctica really isolated?

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    During the Cenozoic, the break-up of Gondwana was accompanied by a gradual separation of its components and the subsequent establishment of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, leading to a relative thermal and biogeographic isolation of the Antarctic fauna. However, the zoogeographical affinities of several taxa from South America and Antarctica have been subject to debate, bringing into question the extent of Antarctic isolation. Here we present new data on bryozoan species and their spatial distribution in the Argentine Patagonian (AP) region, as well as an analysis of the bryozoological similarities between deep ranges from Argentina and neighbouring regions. A total of 108 species of cheilostome bryozoans (378 samples), belonging to 59 genera was found. Five new genera and 36 new species were found in the AP region, while 71 species were reported for the first time from Argentina. The bathymetric ranges of 94 species (87 %) were expanded and a high proportion of the identified species (44.4 %) also had an Antarctic distribution. The bryozoological affinities found in the current study between the nearest geographical neighbours are in agreement with the hypothesis of the sequential separation of Gondwana during the Cenozoic. Moreover, a high number of shared species, mainly from the slope, were found in this study between the AP region and Antarctica, thus supporting the idea that the Southern Ocean may have been less isolated over geological time than once thought.

    Keywords: Antarctic Polar Front, Falkland/Malvinas Current, marine invertebrates, Spatial patterns, Species richness, Zoogeography


  • Gaiji, S., Chavan, V., Ariño, A., Otegui, J., Hobern, D., Sood, R., Robles, E.

    Content assessment of the primary biodiversity data Published through gbif network: status, challenges and potentials

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    With the establishment of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) in 2001 as an inter-governmental coordinating body, concerted efforts have been made during the past decade to establish a global research infrastructure to facilitate the publishing, discovery, and access to primary biodiversity data. The participants in GBIF have enabled the access to over 377 million records of such data as of August 2012. This is a remarkable achievement involving efforts at national, regional and global levels in multiple areas such as data digitization, standardization and exchange protocols. However concerns about the quality and ‘fitness for use’ of the data mobilized in particular for the scientific communities have grown over the years and must now be carefully considered in future developments. This paper is the first comprehensive assessment of the content mobilised so far through GBIF, as well as a reflexion on possible strategies to improve its ‘fitness for use’. The methodology builds on complementary approaches adopted by the GBIF Secretariat and the University of Navarra for the development of comprehensive content assessment methodologies. The outcome of this collaborative research demonstrates the immense value of the GBIF mobilized data and its potential for the scientific communities. Recommendations are provided to the GBIF community to improve the quality of the data published as well as priorities for future data mobilization.

    Keywords: content assessment, gap analysis, primary biodiversity data


  • García-Roselló, E., Guisande, C., González-Dacosta, J., Heine, J., Pelayo-Villamil, P., Manjarrás-Hernández, A., Vaamonde, A., Granado-Lorencio, C.

    ModestR: a software tool for managing and analyzing species distribution map databases

    (Journal name unavailable from Mendeley API. To be updated soon...)

    The ModestR package consists of three applications: MapMaker, DataManager and MRFinder. MapMaker facilitates making range maps by drawing the areas, by importing existing data or using the Global Biodiversity Information Facility portal. It can discriminate between diff erent habitats, thereby making data cleaning tasks easier. DataManager allows the management of taxonomically structured databases for range maps. MRFinder supports querying ModestR databases to fi nd the species present in specifi c areas. Possible applications include the compilation and management of species distribu- tion databases, cleaning data and computing aggregated data to perform subsequent analyses in other packages thanks to emphasized interoperability.

    Keywords: content assessment, gap analysis, primary biodiversity data