Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Sungani H, Ngatunga B, Koblmüller S, Mäkinen T, Skelton P, Genner M (2016)

    Multiple colonisations of the Lake Malawi catchment by the genus Opsaridium (Teleostei: Cyprinidae)

    Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

    It has been proposed that the fish faunas of African rivers assemble through multiple colonisation events, while lake faunas form additionally through intralacustine speciation. While this pattern has been established for many lineages, most notably cichlids, there are opportunities to further investigate the concept using phylogenies of congeneric endemic species within ancient lake catchments. The Lake Malawi catchment contains three river-spawning cyprinids of the genus Opsaridium, two of which are endemic. These species differ in body size, migratory behaviour and habitat use, but it has never previously been tested if these represent a monophyletic radiation, or have instead colonised the lake independently. We placed these species in a broader phylogeny of Opsaridium and the related genus Raiamas, including all known species from the river systems surrounding Lake Malawi. Our results suggest that each of the species has independently colonised the lake catchment, with all three taxa having well-defined sister taxa outside of the lake, and all sharing a common ancestor ∼14.9 million years ago, before the Lake Malawi basin started to form ∼8.6 million years ago. Additionally, the results strongly support previous observations that Opsaridium is not a monophyletic group, but instead contains Raiamas from the Congo drainage. Together these results are supportive of the concept that river fish faunas within African catchments are primarily assembled through a process of accumulation from independent origins, rather than within-catchment speciation and adaptive radiation. In light of these results we also suggest there is scope for a re-evaluation of systematics of both Opsaridium and Raiamas.

    Keywords: Chedrina, East Africa, Molecular phylogeny, phylogeography, river fishes


  • Kindt R, Lillesø J, van Breugel P, Bingham M, Demissew S, Dudley C et al. (2014)

    Correspondence in forest species composition between the Vegetation Map of Africa and higher resolution maps for seven African countries

    Applied Vegetation Science 17(1) 162-171.

    Abstract Question How well does the forest classification system of the 1:5,000,000 vegetation map of Africa developed by Frank White correspond with classification systems and more extensive information on species assemblages of higher resolution maps developed for Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia? Methods We reviewed various national and sub-national vegetation maps for their potential in increasing the resolution of the African map. Associated documentation was consulted to compile species assemblages, and to identify indicator species, for national forest vegetation types. Indicator species were identified for each regional forest type by selecting those species that, among all the species listed for the same phytochorion (regional centre of endemism), were listed only for that forest type. For each of the national forest types, we counted the number of indicator species of the anticipated regional type. Floristic relationships (expressed by four different ecological distance measures) among national forest types were investigated based on distance-based redundancy analysis, permutational multivariate analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) using distance matrices and hierarchical clustering. Results For most of the national forests, the analysis of indicator species and floristic relationships confirmed the regional classification system for the majority of national forest types, including the allocation to different phytochoria. Permutation tests confirmed allocation of national forest types to regional typologies, although the number of possible permutations limited inferences for the Zambezian and Lake Victoria phytochoria. Two forest types from Ethiopia and Kenya did not correspond to regional forest types. Conclusions Our analysis provides support that as the classification systems are compatible, the resolution and information content of the vegetation map of Africa can be directly improved by adding information from national maps, probably leading to improved liability of its application domains. We found statistical evidence for a distinct Afromontane phytochorion. We suggest expanding the regional forest classification system with ‘Afromontane moist transitional forest’. Among the various application domains of the higher resolution maps, these maps allow for an enhanced phytochoristic analysis of eastern Africa.

    Keywords: Ethiopia, Frank White, Kenya, Kulczynski distance, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, beta-sim distance, indicator species, phytochorion