Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • Deblauwe V, Droissart V, Bose R, Sonké B, Blach-Overgaard A, Svenning J et al. (2016)

    Remotely sensed temperature and precipitation data improve species distribution modelling in the tropics

    Global Ecology and Biogeography.

    Aim Species distribution modelling typically relies completely or partially on climatic variables as predictors, overlooking the fact that these are themselves predictions with associated uncertainties. This is particularly critical when such predictors are interpolated between sparse station data, such as in the tropics. The goal of this study is to provide a new set of satellite-based climatic predictor data and to evaluate its potential to improve modelled species–climate associations and transferability to novel geographical regions. Location Rain forests areas of Central Africa, the Western Ghats of India and South America. Methods We compared models calibrated on the widely used WorldClim station-interpolated climatic data with models where either temperature or precipitation data from WorldClim were replaced by data from CRU, MODIS, TRMM and CHIRPS. Each predictor set was used to model 451 plant species distributions. To test for chance associations, we devised a null model with which to compare the accuracy metric obtained for every species. Results Fewer than half of the studied rain forest species distributions matched the climatic pattern better than did random distributions. The inclusion of MODIS temperature and CHIRPS precipitation estimates derived from remote sensing each allowed for a better than random fit for respectively 40% and 22% more species than models calibrated on WorldClim. Furthermore, their inclusion was positively related to a better transferability of models to novel regions. Main conclusions We provide a newly assembled dataset of ecologically meaningful variables derived from MODIS and CHIRPS for download, and provide a basis for choosing among the plethora of available climate datasets. We emphasize the need to consider the method used in the production of climate data when working on a region with sparse meteorological station data. In this context, remote sensing data should be the preferred choice, particularly when model transferability to novel climates or inferences on causality are invoked.

    Keywords: Association test, CHIRPS, GLM, MODIS, MaxEnt, TRMM, WorldClim, ecological niche model, habitat suitability, null model

  • Herkt K, Barnikel G, Skidmore A, Fahr J (2016)

    A high-resolution model of bat diversity and endemism for continental Africa

    Ecological Modelling 320 9-28.

    Bats are the second-most species-rich mammal group numbering more than 1270 species globally. Our knowledge of their geographic distributions and diversity patterns however is very limited – possibly the poorest among mammals – mainly due to their nocturnal and volant life history, and challenging fieldwork conditions in the tropics where most bat species occur. This knowledge gap obscures the geographic extent of ecosystem services provided by bats (i.e. pollination, seed dispersal and insect control), translates into inefficient conservation policies, and restricts macroecological analyses to coarse spatial resolutions. In contrast to the currently prevailing method of estimating species distributions using expert-drawn range maps, correlative species distribution models (SDMs) can provide estimates at very fine spatial grains and largely account for widespread sample bias as well as the prevalent Wallacean shortfall in species occurrence data. Very few such studies have hitherto been published that cover a large and complete taxonomic group with fine resolution at continental extent. Using an unparalleled amount of occurrence data, the MaxEnt algorithm and tailored solutions to specific modelling challenges, we created SDMs for nearly all 250 African bat species to explore emerging diversity patterns at a resolution of 1km2. Predicted species richness generally increases towards the equator conforming to expectations. Within the tropical area of elevated richness, several pronounced richness peaks and lows stand out, hinting at a complex interplay of determining factors. Richness gradients are often steep, decreasing strongly away from streams, and especially so in savanna biomes. Species richness also seems positively associated with rugged terrain, in particular at lower elevations. Centres of endemism are found primarily at low latitudes near major elevational ranges. Overlap with hotspots of species richness is rather low, and confined to five or six topodiverse, relatively low lying areas between western Guinea and the East African coast. Several poorly sampled regions are identified that may represent rewarding future survey targets. Our results demonstrate the value of stacking SDMs to infer plausible continent-wide diversity gradients at a spatial resolution fine enough to directly inform conservation policies and to open up new avenues in macroecological research.

    Keywords: Africa, Chiroptera, Range size rarity, Spatial resolution, Species distribution modelling (SDM), Species richness

  • Janssens S, Vandelook F, De Langhe E, Verstraete B, Smets E, Vandenhouwe I et al. (2016)

    Evolutionary dynamics and biogeography of Musaceae reveal a correlation between the diversification of the banana family and the geological and climatic history of Southeast Asia.

    The New phytologist.

    Tropical Southeast Asia, which harbors most of the Musaceae biodiversity, is one of the most species-rich regions in the world. Its high degree of endemism is shaped by the region's tectonic and climatic history, with large differences between northern Indo-Burma and the Malayan Archipelago. Here, we aim to find a link between the diversification and biogeography of Musaceae and geological history of the Southeast Asian subcontinent. The Musaceae family (including five Ensete, 45 Musa and one Musella species) was dated using a large phylogenetic framework encompassing 163 species from all Zingiberales families. Evolutionary patterns within Musaceae were inferred using ancestral area reconstruction and diversification rate analyses. All three Musaceae genera - Ensete, Musa and Musella - originated in northern Indo-Burma during the early Eocene. Musa species dispersed from 'northwest to southeast' into Southeast Asia with only few back-dispersals towards northern Indo-Burma. Musaceae colonization events of the Malayan Archipelago subcontinent are clearly linked to the geological and climatic history of the region. Musa species were only able to colonize the region east of Wallace's line after the availability of emergent land from the late Miocene onwards.

    Keywords: Africa, Chiroptera, Range size rarity, Spatial resolution, Species distribution modelling (SDM), Species richness

  • Langejans G, Dusseldorp G, Thackeray J (2016)

    Pleistocene molluscs from Klasies River (South Africa): Reconstructing the local coastal environment

    Quaternary International.

    We explore if taxonomic analysis of archaeological mollusc assemblages can be used to reconstruct Late Pleistocene (MIS 5–3) coastal environments at Klasies River in South Africa. To obtain a balanced reconstruction, we analyse the large molluscs separately from the so-called incidentals, the small mollusc species. Based on modern mollusc habitat preferences and tolerances we identify four different eco-profiles to help characterise sea surface temperatures and the character of the shore: temperature profile; geographical distribution; substrate; wave interaction. We hypothesise that changes in the Klasies River mollusc community/eco-profiles can be linked to global glacial and interglacial events and we define several testable assumptions. We found that in response to global warming and cooling events, the Klasies River mollusc communities change slightly, yet significantly. Other sources of marine environmental data confirm that average sea surface temperatures gradually decreased, but probably remained within the modern southern east coast range of variation. It appears that coastal sea surface temperatures of the warm Agulhas current were not particularly depressed during the occupation sequence. The character of the coastal topography does change more apparently during the occupation sequence of the sites and with it the mollusc assemblages: from an interglacial rocky shore in the Klasies and two Mossel Bay phases to a more glacial sandy environment during the Howiesons Poort and the MSA III. In conclusion, the temperature tolerance levels of many Klasies River mollusc species are too broad to reflect small changes in sea surface temperatures. However, in conjunction with other eco-profiles and environmental proxies, such as substrate requirements and oxygen isotopes, the temperature approximations are useful, particularly when evaluating large scale sea surface temperature fluctuations. For the characterisation of the shore and substrate we found the eco-profile approach very useful.

    Keywords: Climatic and environmental change, Klasies River, Late Pleistocene, Middle Stone Age, Molluscs, South Africa

  • Ornelas J, González C, Hernández-Baños B, García-Moreno J (2016)

    Molecular and iridescent feather reflectance data reveal recent genetic diversification and phenotypic differentiation in a cloud forest hummingbird

    Ecology and Evolution.

    The present day distribution and spatial genetic diversity of Mesoamerican biota reflects a long history of responses to habitat change. The hummingbird Lampornis amethystinus is distributed in northern Mesoamerica, with geographically disjunct populations. Based on sampling across the species range using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences and nuclear microsatellites jointly analysed with phenotypic and climatic data, we (1) test whether the fragmented distribution is correlated with main evolutionary lineages, (2) assess body size and plumage color differentiation of populations in geographic isolation, and (3) evaluate a set of divergence scenarios and demographic patterns of the hummingbird populations. Analysis of genetic variation revealed four main groups: blue-throated populations (Sierra Madre del Sur); two groups of amethyst-throated populations (Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt and Sierra Madre Oriental); and populations east of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec (IT) with males showing an amethyst throat. The most basal split is estimated to have originated in the Pleistocene, 2.39–0.57 million years ago (MYA), and corresponded to groups of populations separated by the IT. However, the estimated recent divergence time between blue- and amethyst-throated populations does not correspond to the 2-MY needed to be in isolation for substantial plumage divergence, likely because structurally iridescent colors are more malleable than others. Results of species distribution modeling and Approximate Bayesian Computation analysis fit a model of lineage divergence west of the Isthmus after the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM), and that the species’ suitable habitat was disjunct during past and current conditions. These results challenge the generality of the contraction/expansion glacial model to cloud forest-interior species and urges management of cloud forest, a highly vulnerable ecosystem to climate change and currently facing destruction, to prevent further loss of genetic diversity or extinction.

    Keywords: Feather iridescence, Lampornis amethystinus, Mesoamerican highlands, glacial cycles

  • Sanín M, Kissling W, Bacon C, Borchsenius F, Galeano G, Svenning J et al. (2016)

    The Neogene rise of the tropical Andes facilitated diversification of wax palms ( Ceroxylon : Arecaceae) through geographical colonization and climatic niche separation

    Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society.

    he tropical Andes are a biodiversity hotspot, partly due to their rich and complex floristic composition. A fundamental question regarding this outstanding biodiversity is what role the Andean orogeny has played in species diversification. Ceroxylon is a genus of endemic Andean palms that stands out in the palm family (Arecaceae) due to its adaptation to cold, mountainous environments. Here, we reconstruct the biogeography and climatic preference of this lineage to test the hypothesis that Andean uplift allowed diversification by providing suitable habitats along climatic and elevational gradients. Ancestral areas were reconstructed under a model allowing for founder-event speciation and climatic niches were inferred from climatic variables at present-day occurrences of all species. Niche evolution in a phylogenetic framework was evaluated by testing differences between the climatic niches of clades. Our analyses identified four main clades, with a general pattern of diversification through geographical colonization from south to north after the Pliocene uplift of the northern Andes. Adaptation to low temperatures was conserved at the generic level, with climatic niche differentiation among clades along elevational temperature gradients. We conclude that the Neogene Andean uplift has facilitated the diversification of this iconic plant group via opportunities for geographical migration and separation within its climatic niche

    Keywords: Miocene, Neotropics, cold adaptation, niche shift, phylogenetic niche conservatism, range expansion

  • Adriaens, T., Sutton-Croft, M., Owen, K., Brosens, D., van Valkenburg, J., Kilbey, D., Groom, Q., Ehmig, C., Thürkow, F. V, , P., Schneider K (2015)

    Trying to engage the crowd in recording invasive alien species in Europe: experiences from two smartphone applications in northwest Europe

    Management of Biological Invasions 6(2) 215-225.

    New technologies such as smartphone appli cation software (apps) are increasingly used to reach a wider audience on the subject of invasive alien species (IAS) and to involve the public in recording them. In this paper we pr esent two of the more recent smartphone app lications for IAS recording in northwest Europe, the RINSE That’s Invasive! app and the KORINA app. We present an overview of available smartphone apps for IAS recording in Europe and addr ess issues of data integra tion, data openness, data quality, data harmonisation and da tabase interoperability. Finally, we make some recommendations for future app design

    Keywords: biological recording, citizen science, early war

  • 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

  • Castañeda-Álvarez N, de Haan S, Juárez H, Khoury C, Achicanoy H, Sosa C et al. (2015)

    Ex situ conservation priorities for the wild relatives of potato (solanum L. Section petota).

    PloS one 10(4) e0122599.

    Crop wild relatives have a long history of use in potato breeding, particularly for pest and disease resistance, and are expected to be increasingly used in the search for tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses. Their current and future use in crop improvement depends on their availability in ex situ germplasm collections. As these plants are impacted in the wild by habitat destruction and climate change, actions to ensure their conservation ex situ become ever more urgent. We analyzed the state of ex situ conservation of 73 of the closest wild relatives of potato (Solanum section Petota) with the aim of establishing priorities for further collecting to fill important gaps in germplasm collections. A total of 32 species (43.8%), were assigned high priority for further collecting due to severe gaps in their ex situ collections. Such gaps are most pronounced in the geographic center of diversity of the wild relatives in Peru. A total of 20 and 18 species were assessed as medium and low priority for further collecting, respectively, with only three species determined to be sufficiently represented currently. Priorities for further collecting include: (i) species completely lacking representation in germplasm collections; (ii) other high priority taxa, with geographic emphasis on the center of species diversity; (iii) medium priority species. Such collecting efforts combined with further emphasis on improving ex situ conservation technologies and methods, performing genotypic and phenotypic characterization of wild relative diversity, monitoring wild populations in situ, and making conserved wild relatives and their associated data accessible to the global research community, represent key steps in ensuring the long-term availability of the wild genetic resources of this important crop.

    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

  • Cheng D, Xu L (2015)

    Predicting the potential distributions of Senecio vulgaris L. in China

    Predicting potential distribution for alien plants by species distribution model (SDM, or Ecological Niche Model) using occurrence data and habitat environmental variables plays an important role in management of the invasive risk by an alien plant. Common groundsels (Senecio vulgaris, Asteracea), native in Eurasia and North Africa, has been a cosmopolitan weed in temperature and also listed as one of invasive plants in China. We predict the potential distribution of this species in the world and in China particularly in Maxent (maximum entropy) models by using global occurrence records of S. vulgaris and the associated climate variables. The occurrence data were collected from the online databases, Global Biodiversity Information Facility database (GBIF), Chinese Virtual Herbarium database (CVH), and also from field work in China. The climate variables were download from WorldClim ( The occurrence records showed that S. vulgaris is present in 16 provinces or regions in north – eastern, south – western, central and north China, and almost not present in south – eastern, north – western China. The mapping of S. vulgaris potential distribution is diagonally across China, including the north – eastern, south – western China, and the cool area between the two regions. Analysis of the contribution and importance of climatic factors in the prediction model indicated that S. vulgaris adapts to the climate in humid and cool area in China (annual mean temperature ranges 2.4 ~ 17.5 ℃, and annual precipitation ranges 550 ~ 1500 mm). It is suggested that special attention should be paid to the plain in NE China and Shandong Peninsula, Yungui Plateau, the cool mountain area around Sichuan basin, in western Hubei, southern Shaanxi, Shanxi and around Beijing in order to manage the invasion risk by S. vulgaris. The better performance of the model built by using occurrence data in China than that by using the global data in relation the predict outcome in China imply that it is might be better to use regional data than the global data when predict potential distribution for an alien plant with long invasive history in study area.

    Keywords: ArcGis, Climatic threshold, DivGis, Ecological niche model, Maxent, Species distribution model