Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Guénard B, Weiser M, Gómez K, Narula N, Economo E (2017)

    The Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics (GABI) database: synthesizing data on the geographic distribution of ant species (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)

    Myrmecological News 24 83-89.

    The global distribution patterns of most vertebrate groups and several plant groups have been described and analyzed over the past few years, a development facilitated by the compilation of important databases. Similar efforts are needed for large insect groups that constitute he majority of global biodiversity. As a result of this lack of information, invertebrate taxa are often left out of both large-scale analyses of biodiversity patterns and large-scale efforts in conservation planning and prioritization. Here, we introduce the first comprehensive global database of ant species distributions, the Global Ant Biodiversity Informatics (GABI) database, based on the compilation of 1.72 million records extracted from over 8811 publications and 25 existing databases. We first present the main goals of the database, the methodology used to build the database, is well as its limitations and challenges. Then, we discuss how different fields of ant biology may benefit from utilizing this tool. Finally, we emphasize the importance of future participation of myrmecologists to improve the database and use it to identify and fill holes in our knowledge of ant biodiversity.

    Keywords: Formicidae, ants, biogeography, database, ecoinformatics, global distribution, species distribution


  • 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


  • Henk D, Shahar-Golan R, Devi K, Boyce K, Zhan N, Fedorova N et al. (2012)

    Clonality Despite Sex: The Evolution of Host-Associated Sexual Neighborhoods in the Pathogenic Fungus Penicillium marneffei

    PLoS Pathogens 8(10) e1002851.

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


  • Rajbhandary S, Hughes M, Phutthai T, Thomas D, Shrestha K (2011)

    Asian Begonia: out of Africa via the Himalayas?

    Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 63(1 & 2) 277-286.

    The large genus Begonia began to diverge in Africa during the Oligocene. The current hotspot of diversity for the genus in China and Southeast Asia must therefore be the result of an eastward dispersal or migration across the Asian continent. To investigate the role of the Himalayas as a mesic corridor facilitating this migration, we constructed a time- calibrated molecular phylogeny using ITS sequence data. Himalayan species of Begonia were found to fall into two groups. The first is an unresolved grade of tuberous, deciduous species of unknown geographic origin, with evidence of endemic radiations in the Himalayan region beginning c. 7.4 Ma, coinciding with the onset of the Asian monsoon. The second is a group of evergreen rhizomatous species with a probable origin in China, which immigrated to the Himalayan region c. 5.1 Ma, coinciding with an intensification of the monsoon. The hypothesis of the Himalayas being a mesic migration route during the colonisation of Asia is not refuted, but further data is needed.

    Keywords: Begonia, China, Himalayas, biogeography, molecular phylogeny, southeast Asia