Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Aguiar L, Bernard E, Ribeiro V, Machado R, Jones G (2016)

    Should I stay or should I go? Climate change effects on the future of Neotropical savannah bats

    Global Ecology and Conservation 5 22-33.

    Most extant species are survivors of the last climate change event 20,000 years ago. While past events took place over thousands of years, current climate change is occurring much faster, over a few decades. We modelled the potential distribution area of bat species in the Brazilian Cerrado, a Neotropical savannah, and assessed the potential impacts of climate change up to 2050 in two scenarios. First we evaluated what the impact on the distributions of bat species would be if they were unable to move to areas where climate conditions might be similar to current ones. The novelty of our paper is that, based on least-cost-path analyses, we identified potential corridors that could be managed now to mitigate potential impacts of climate change. Our results indicate that on average, in the future bat species would find similar climate conditions 281 km southeast from current regions. If bat species were not able to move to new suitable areas and were unable to adapt, then 36 species (31.6%) could lose >80% of their current distribution area, and five species will lose more than 98% of their distribution area in the Brazilian Cerrado. In contrast, if bat species are able to reach such areas, then the number of highly impacted species will be reduced to nine, with none of them likely to disappear from the Cerrado. We present measures that could be implemented immediately to mitigate future climate change impacts.

    Keywords: Brazil, Brazilian Cerrado, Chiroptera, Conservation, Ecological niche models

  • Alexander N, Massei G, Wint W (2016)

    The European Distribution of Sus Scrofa. Model Outputs from the Project Described within the Poster – Where are All the Boars? An Attempt to Gain a Continental Perspective

    Open Health Data 4(1).

    Wild boar is a host of a number of arthropod-vectored diseases and its numbers are on the rise in mainland Europe. The species potentially impacts ecosystems, humans and farming practices and so its distribution is of interest to policy makers in a number of fields beyond that of the primarily epidemiological goal of this study. Three statistical model outputs describing the distribution and abundance of the species Sus scrofa (Wild boar) are included in this data package. The extent of this dataset covers continental Europe. These data were presented as a poster [1] at the conference Genes, Ecosystems and Risk of Infection (GERI 2015). The first of the three models provide a European map presenting the probability of presence of Sus scrofa, which can be used to describe the likely geographical distribution of the species. The second and third models provide indices to help describe the likely abundance across the continent. The two indices include “the proportion of suitable habitat where presence is estimated” and a simple classification of boar abundance across Europe using quantiles of existing abundance data and proxies.

    Keywords: Abundance, Distribution, Europe, Random Forest, Statistical modelling, Sus scrofa

  • Newbold T, Hudson L, Hill S, Contu S, Gray C, Scharlemann J et al. (2016)

    Global patterns of terrestrial assemblage turnover within and among land uses


    Land use has large effects on the diversity of ecological assemblages. Differences among land uses in the diversity of local assemblages (alpha diversity) have been quantified at a global scale. Effects on the turnover of species composition between locations (beta diversity) are less clear, with previous studies focusing on particular regions or groups of species. Using a global database on the composition of ecological assemblages in different land uses, we test for differences in the between–site turnover of species composition, within and among land–use types. Overall, we show a strong impact of land use on assemblage composition. While we find that compositional turnover within land uses does not differ strongly among land uses, human land uses and secondary vegetation in an early stage of recovery are poor at retaining the species that characterise primary vegetation. The dissimilarity of assemblages in human–impacted habitats compared with primary vegetation was more pronounced in the tropical than temperate realm. An exploratory analysis suggests that this geographic difference might be caused primarily by differences in climate seasonality and in the numbers of species sampled. Taken together the results suggest that, while small–scale beta diversity within land uses is not strongly impacted by land–use type, compositional turnover between land uses is substantial. Therefore, land–use change will lead to profound changes in the structure of ecological assemblages.

    Keywords: Abundance, Distribution, Europe, Random Forest, Statistical modelling, Sus scrofa

  • A S (2015)

    Forward Planning for Scottish Gardens in the Face of Climate Change

    Sibbaldia: The Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture 13.

    The impact of climate change and its effects on gardens has so far received limited academic attention. This paper offers a partial correction of this imbalance by investigating the potential impact of climate change on a selection of common Scottish garden plants. A climate envelope modelling approach was taken, whereby wild species distribution data were used to build climate ‘envelopes’ or descriptions of the native climates of selected species. The envelope models were projected onto future climate scenarios for Scotland, allowing observations to be made regarding the climatic suitability of Scotland, both currently and into the future, for each of the plants studied. The models and predictions for four species are described here along with strengths and limitations of the methodology. It is suggested that this approach, or variations of it, could become a useful tool in forward planning for gardens in assisting efforts to mitigate the effect of climate change

    Keywords: Abundance, Distribution, Europe, Random Forest, Statistical modelling, Sus scrofa

  • Aguiar L, da Rosa R, Jones G, Machado R (2015)

    Effect of chronological addition of records to species distribution maps: The case of Tonatia saurophila maresi (Chiroptera, Phyllostomidae) in South America

    Austral Ecology.

    Ecological niche models have become very popular for analysing the potential distribution of species. Nevertheless, models are strongly influenced by many factors, such as spatial resolution, environmental variables and the quality of distribution records. In this paper, we evaluated how ecological niche models changed with the addition of records accumulated over four decades. Our model species was the stripe-headed round-eared bat (Tonatia saurophila). Thus, with data organized in chronological order, we could observe how the models changed in predicting distributions over time in comparison with all known point locations. We tested if partial models could predict the occurrence of new unpublished records for savannah areas in central Brazil, considering that the species is typically associated with forest environments. Our results indicate a high omission rate for models built with point localities from the 1970s and 1980s (58.5% and 50.0% of all known points respectively), and predicted that the species could occur in central Brazil. Although T. saurophila has indeed been recorded recently in central Brazil, it was found in places different from those predicted by the models using these restricted earlier data. Nevertheless, the environmental suitability of such areas is significantly different from sites largely described in earlier records from the Amazonia region, as shown by principal components analysis. We argue that populations of T. saurophila that occupy open habitats in central South America (including Caatinga, Cerrado, Chaco and semi-deciduous interior forests) deserve further study at the genetic level to determine if bats in these very different habitats are taxonomically distinct from Amazonian populations. Our results also suggest that models based on very limited datasets for species occurrence can lead conservationists or decision makers to wrong conclusions.

    Keywords: Maxent, bat, biogeography, conservation, ecological niche model, neotropical savannah

  • Ahrends A, Hollingsworth P, Ziegler A, Fox J, Chen H, Su Y et al. (2015)

    Current trends of rubber plantation expansion may threaten biodiversity and livelihoods

    Global Environmental Change 34 48-58.

    The first decade of the new millennium saw a boom in rubber prices. This led to rapid and widespread land conversion to monoculture rubber plantations in continental SE Asia, where natural rubber production has increased >50% since 2000. Here, we analyze the subsequent spread of rubber between 2005 and 2010 in combination with environmental data and reports on rubber plantation performance. We show that rubber has been planted into increasingly sub-optimal environments. Currently, 72% of plantation area is in environmentally marginal zones where reduced yields are likely. An estimated 57% of the area is susceptible to insufficient water availability, erosion, frost, or wind damage, all of which may make long-term rubber production unsustainable. In 2013 typhoons destroyed plantations worth US$ >250 million in Vietnam alone, and future climate change is likely to lead to a net exacerbation of environmental marginality for both current and predicted future rubber plantation area. New rubber plantations are also frequently placed on lands that are important for biodiversity conservation and ecological functions. For example, between 2005 and 2010 >2500km2 of natural tree cover and 610km2 of protected areas were converted to plantations. Overall, expansion into marginal areas creates potential for loss-loss scenarios: clearing of high-biodiversity value land for economically unsustainable plantations that are poorly adapted to local conditions and alter landscape functions (e.g. hydrology, erosion) – ultimately compromising livelihoods, particularly when rubber prices fall.

    Keywords: Biodiversity, Cash crops, Deforestation, Rubber, South East Asia

  • Alter S, Meyer M, Post K, Czechowski P, Gravlund P, Gaines C et al. (2015)

    Climate impacts on transocean dispersal and habitat in gray whales from the Pleistocene to 2100.

    Molecular ecology 24(7) 1510-22.

    Arctic animals face dramatic habitat alteration due to ongoing climate change. Understanding how such species have responded to past glacial cycles can help us forecast their response to today's changing climate. Gray whales are among those marine species likely to be strongly affected by Arctic climate change, but a thorough analysis of past climate impacts on this species has been complicated by lack of information about an extinct population in the Atlantic. While little is known about the history of Atlantic gray whales or their relationship to the extant Pacific population, the extirpation of the Atlantic population during historical times has been attributed to whaling. We used a combination of ancient and modern DNA, radiocarbon dating and predictive habitat modelling to better understand the distribution of gray whales during the Pleistocene and Holocene. Our results reveal that dispersal between the Pacific and Atlantic was climate dependent and occurred both during the Pleistocene prior to the last glacial period and the early Holocene immediately following the opening of the Bering Strait. Genetic diversity in the Atlantic declined over an extended interval that predates the period of intensive commercial whaling, indicating this decline may have been precipitated by Holocene climate or other ecological causes. These first genetic data for Atlantic gray whales, particularly when combined with predictive habitat models for the year 2100, suggest that two recent sightings of gray whales in the Atlantic may represent the beginning of the expansion of this species' habitat beyond its currently realized range.

    Keywords: Animals, Arctic Regions, Atlantic Ocean, Biological, Climate Change, DNA, Ecosystem, Fossils, Genetic Variation, Haplotypes, Mitochondrial, Mitochondrial: genetics, Models, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeography, Population Dynamics, Sequence Analysis, Whales, Whales: genetics

  • Beatty G, Lennon J, O'Sullivan C, Provan J (2015)

    The not-so-Irish spurge: Euphorbia hyberna (Euphorbiaceae) and the Littletonian plant ‘steeplechase’

    Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 114(2) 249-259.

    The disjunct distributions of the Lusitanian flora, which are found only in south-west Ireland and northern Iberia, and are generally absent from intervening regions, have been of great interest to biogeographers. There has been much debate as to whether Irish populations represent relicts that survived the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM; approximately 21 kya), or whether they recolonized from southern refugia subsequent to the retreat of the ice and, if so, whether this occurred directly (i.e. the result of long distance dispersal) or successively (i.e. in the manner of a ‘steeplechase’, with the English Channel and Irish Sea representing successive ‘water-jumps’ that have to be successfully crossed). In the present study, we used a combined palaeodistribution modelling and phylogeographical approach to determine the glacial history of the Irish spurge, Euphorbia hyberna, the sole member of the Lusitanian flora that is also considered to occur naturally in south-western England. Our findings suggest that the species persisted through the LGM in several southern refugia, and that northern populations are the result of successive recolonization of Britain and Ireland during the postglacial Littletonian warm stage, akin to the ‘steeplechase’ hypothesis

    Keywords: Last Glacial Maximum, Lusitanian flora, palaeodistribution modelling, phylogeography

  • Bone R, Smith J, Arrigo N, Buerki S (2015)

    A macro-ecological perspective on crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis evolution in Afro-Madagascan drylands: Eulophiinae orchids as a case study.

    The New phytologist.

    Crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis is an adaptation to water and atmospheric CO2 deficits that has been linked to diversification in dry-adapted plants. We investigated whether CAM evolution can be associated with the availability of new or alternative niches, using Eulophiinae orchids as a case study. Carbon isotope ratios, geographical and climate data, fossil records and DNA sequences were used to: assess the prevalence of CAM in Eulophiinae orchids; characterize the ecological niche of extant taxa; infer divergence times; and estimate whether CAM is associated with niche shifts. CAM evolved in four terrestrial lineages during the late Miocene/Pliocene, which have uneven diversification patterns. These lineages originated in humid habitats and colonized dry/seasonally dry environments in Africa and Madagascar. Additional key features (variegation, heterophylly) evolved in the most species-rich CAM lineages. Dry habitats were also colonized by a lineage that includes putative mycoheterotrophic taxa. These findings indicate that the switch to CAM is associated with environmental change. With its suite of adaptive traits, this group of orchids represents a unique opportunity to study the adaptations to dry environments, especially in the face of projected global aridification.

    Keywords: Africa, Eulophiinae, Madagascar, Orchidaceae, climate change, crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) photosynthesis, shift of niche

  • Boston E, Ian Montgomery W, Hynes R, Prodöhl P (2015)

    New insights on postglacial colonization in western Europe: the phylogeography of the Leisler's bat (Nyctalus leisleri).

    Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society 282(1804) 20142605-.

    Despite recent advances in the understanding of the interplay between a dynamic physical environment and phylogeography in Europe, the origins of contemporary Irish biota remain uncertain. Current thinking is that Ireland was colonized post-glacially from southern European refugia, following the end of the last glacial maximum (LGM), some 20 000 years BP. The Leisler's bat (Nyctalus leisleri), one of the few native Irish mammal species, is widely distributed throughout Europe but, with the exception of Ireland, is generally rare and considered vulnerable. We investigate the origins and phylogeographic relationships of Irish populations in relation to those across Europe, including the closely related species N. azoreum. We use a combination of approaches, including mitochondrial and nuclear DNA markers, in addition to approximate Bayesian computation and palaeo-climatic species distribution modelling. Molecular analyses revealed two distinct and diverse European mitochondrial DNA lineages, which probably diverged in separate glacial refugia. A western lineage, restricted to Ireland, Britain and the Azores, comprises Irish and British N. leisleri and N. azoreum specimens; an eastern lineage is distributed throughout mainland Europe. Palaeo-climatic projections indicate suitable habitats during the LGM, including known glacial refugia, in addition to potential novel cryptic refugia along the western fringe of Europe. These results may be applicable to populations of many species.

    Keywords: Nyctalus azoreum, Nyctalus leisleri, cryptic refugia, postglacial colonization, western Europe