Uses of GBIF in scientific research

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

List of publications

  • De Pooter D, Appeltans W, Bailly N, Bristol S, Deneudt K, Eliezer M et al. (2017)

    Toward a new data standard for combined marine biological and environmental datasets - expanding OBIS beyond species occurrences

    Biodiversity Data Journal 5 e10989.

    The Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) is the world’s most comprehensive online, open-access database of marine species distributions. OBIS grows with millions of new species observations every year. Contributions come from a network of hundreds of institutions, projects and individuals with common goals: to build a scientific knowledge base that is open to the public for scientific discovery and exploration and to detect trends and changes that inform society as essential elements in conservation management and sustainable development. Until now, OBIS has focused solely on the collection of biogeographic data (the presence of marine species in space and time) and operated with optimized data flows, quality control procedures and data standards specifically targeted to these data. Based on requirements from the growing OBIS community to manage datasets that combine biological, physical and chemical measurements, the OBIS-ENV-DATA pilot project was launched to develop a proposed standard and guidelines to make sure these combined datasets can stay together and are not, as is often the case, split and sent to different repositories. The proposal in this paper allows for the management of sampling methodology, animal tracking and telemetry data, biological measurements (e.g., body length, percent live cover, ...) as well as environmental measurements such as nutrient concentrations, sediment characteristics or other abiotic parameters measured during sampling to characterize the environment from which biogeographic data was collected. The recommended practice builds on the Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) standard and on practices adopted by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). It consists of a DwC Event Core in combination with a DwC Occurrence Extension and a proposed enhancement to the DwC MeasurementOrFact Extension. This new structure enables the linkage of measurements or facts - quantitative and qualitative properties - to both sampling events and species occurrences, and includes additional fields for property standardization. We also embrace the use of the new parentEventID DwC term, which enables the creation of a sampling event hierarchy. We believe that the adoption of this recommended practice as a new data standard for managing and sharing biological and associated environmental datasets by IODE and the wider international scientific community would be key to improving the effectiveness of the knowledge base, and will enhance integration and management of critical data needed to understand ecological and biological processes in the ocean, and on land.

    Keywords: Darwin Core Archive, data standardisation, ecosystem data, environmental data, oceanographic data, sample event, species occurrence, telemetry data


  • Ferrer-Paris J, Lozano C, Cardozo-Urdaneta A, Thomas Cabianca A (2016)

    Indicative response of Oxysternon festivum Linné (Coleoptera: Scarabaidae) to vegetation condition in the basin of the Orinoco river, Venezuela

    Journal of Insect Conservation 20(3) 527-538.

    A good indicator species should be easy to sample, identify and measure, and be informative about its ecological context. We analysed data from a nation-wide dung beetle survey in Venezuela in order to assess the indicative response of Oxysternon festivum (Coleoptera: Scarabaeinae) to vegetation and climatic condition in the Orinoco river basin. Our approach consisted of two steps: estimating habitat suitability (HS) from historical records and mean environmental conditions, and analysing four different properties measured during a nationwide survey (occurrence, total abundance, individual body size, and total biomass), in relationship with HS and current environmental covariates measured from remote sensors. O. festivum population status could not be completely explained by historical or current conditions alone, but rather by combinations of both. It was strongly associated with forest vegetation, but abundance, biomass and body size increased under harsher (hotter and drier) climatic conditions. Thus, O. festivum seems to be sensitive to changes in vegetation cover, but tolerant to certain levels of perturbance, where it probably replaces other, more sensitive species. Fully understanding the role of O. festivum requires the analysis of its relationships to other species. We strongly recommend the development of similar protocols for the analysis of other potential ecological indicator species, drawing information from historical and contemporary sources and exploiting the available statistical tools to reveal complex patterns. Given the high diversity of dung beetles, and the growing interest in this group, several candidates will probably be found in most tropical countries.

    Keywords: Biodiversity monitoring, Environmental niche modelling, Guiana shield, Mixture model, Redundancy analysis


  • Ortega-Andrade H, Prieto-Torres D, Gómez-Lora I, Lizcano D (2015)

    Ecological and geographical analysis of the distribution of the mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) in Ecuador: importance of protected areas in future scenarios of global warming.

    PloS one 10(3) e0121137.

    In Ecuador, Tapirus pinchaque is considered to be critically endangered. Although the species has been registered in several localities, its geographic distribution remains unclear, and the effects of climate change and current land uses on this species are largely unknown. We modeled the ecological niche of T. pinchaque using MaxEnt, in order to assess its potential adaptation to present and future climate change scenarios. We evaluated the effects of habitat loss due by current land use, the ecosystem availability and importance of Ecuadorian System of Protected Areas into the models. The model of environmental suitability estimated an extent of occurrence for species of 21,729 km2 in all of Ecuador, mainly occurring along the corridor of the eastern Ecuadorian Andes. A total of 10 Andean ecosystems encompassed ~98% of the area defined by the model, with herbaceous paramo, northeastern Andean montane evergreen forest and northeastern Andes upper montane evergreen forest being the most representative. When considering the effect of habitat loss, a significant reduction in model area (~17%) occurred, and the effect of climate change represented a net reduction up to 37.86%. However, the synergistic effect of both climate change and habitat loss, given current land use practices, could represent a greater risk in the short-term, leading to a net reduction of 19.90 to 44.65% in T. pinchaque's potential distribution. Even under such a scenarios, several Protected Areas harbor a portion (~36 to 48%) of the potential distribution defined by the models. However, the central and southern populations are highly threatened by habitat loss and climate change. Based on these results and due to the restricted home range of T. pinchaque, its preference for upland forests and paramos, and its small estimated population size in the Andes, we suggest to maintaining its current status as Critically Endangered in Ecuador.

    Keywords: Biodiversity monitoring, Environmental niche modelling, Guiana shield, Mixture model, Redundancy analysis


  • Ferrer-Paris J, Sánchez-Mercado A, Rodríguez-Clark K, Rodríguez J, Rodríguez G (2014)

    Using limited data to detect changes in species distributions: Insights from Amazon parrots in Venezuela

    Biological Conservation 173 133-143.

    Documenting changes in distribution is necessary for understanding species’ response to environmental changes, but data on species distributions are heterogeneous in accuracy and resolution. Combining dif- ferent data sources and methodological approaches can fill gaps in knowledge about the dynamic pro- cesses driving changes in species-rich, but data-poor regions. We combined recent bird survey data from the Neotropical Biodiversity Mapping Initiative (NeoMaps) with historical distribution records to estimate potential changes in the distribution of eight species of Amazon parrots in Venezuela. Using environmental covariates and presence-only data from museum collections and the literature, we first used maximum likelihood to fit a species distribution model (SDM) estimating a historical maximum probability of occurrence for each species. We then used recent, NeoMaps survey data to build single- season occupancy models (OM) with the same environmental covariates, as well as with time- and effort-dependent detectability, resulting in estimates of the current probability of occurrence. We finally calculated the disagreement between predictions as a matrix of probability of change in the state of occurrence. Our results suggested negative changes for the only restricted, threatened species, Amazona barbadensis, which has been independently confirmed with field studies. Two of the three remaining widespread species that were detected, Amazona amazonica, Amazona ochrocephala, also had a high prob- ability of negative changes in northern Venezuela, but results were not conclusive for Amazona farinosa. The four remaining species were undetected in recent field surveys; three of these were most probably absent from the survey locations (Amazona autumnalis, Amazona mercenaria and Amazona festiva), while a fourth (Amazona dufresniana) requires more intensive targeted sampling to estimate its current status. Our approach is unique in taking full advantage of available, but limited data, and in detecting a high probability of change even for rare and patchily-distributed species. However, it is presently limited to species meeting the strong assumptions required for maximum-likelihood estimation with presence- only data, including very high detectability and representative sampling of its historical distribution.

    Keywords: Birds, Change in distribution, Detectability, Neotropics, Occupancy models, Threatened species


  • Ferrer-Paris J, Sánchez-Mercado A, Viloria , Donaldson J (2013)

    Congruence and Diversity of Butterfly-Host Plant Associations at Higher Taxonomic Levels

    PLoS ONE 8(5) e63570.

    We aggregated data on butterfly-host plant associations from existing sources in order to address the following questions: (1) is there a general correlation between host diversity and butterfly species richness?, (2) has the evolution of host plant use followed consistent patterns across butterfly lineages?, (3) what is the common ancestral host plant for all butterfly lineages? The compilation included 44,148 records from 5,152 butterfly species (28.6% of worldwide species of Papilionoidea) and 1,193 genera (66.3%). The overwhelming majority of butterflies use angiosperms as host plants. Fabales is used by most species (1,007 spp.) from all seven butterfly families and most subfamilies, Poales is the second most frequently used order, but is mostly restricted to two species-rich subfamilies: Hesperiinae (56.5% of all Hesperiidae), and Satyrinae (42.6% of all Nymphalidae). We found a significant and strong correlation between host plant diversity and butterfly species richness. A global test for congruence (Parafit test) was sensitive to uncertainty in the butterfly cladogram, and suggests a mixed system with congruent associations between Papilionidae and magnoliids, Hesperiidae and monocots, and the remaining subfamilies with the eudicots (fabids and malvids), but also numerous random associations. The congruent associations are also recovered as the most probable ancestral states in each node using maximum likelihood methods. The shift from basal groups to eudicots appears to be more likely than the other way around, with the only exception being a Satyrine-clade within the Nymphalidae that feed on monocots. Our analysis contributes to the visualization of the complex pattern of interactions at superfamily level and provides a context to discuss the timing of changes in host plant utilization that might have promoted diversification in some butterfly lineages.

    Keywords: Birds, Change in distribution, Detectability, Neotropics, Occupancy models, Threatened species


  • Berlingeri C, Crespo M (2011)

    Inventory of related wild species of priority crops in Venezuela

    Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution online.

    A prerequisite in any conservation programme of Plant Genetic Resources is estimation of diversity. The inventory of wild and naturalized relatives of priority crops in Venezuela (CWR) is based on the main Catalogues of Flora in the country, selecting taxa closely related to crops, according to the concepts of “gene pool” and “taxonomic group”. We included 47 genera, 217 species and 228 taxa belonging to 28 plant families. Among them, those with higher richness are: Fabaceae, Solanaceae, Araceae, Lauraceae, Dioscoreaceae, Poaceae, Rosaceae and Myrtaceae. Genera with a higher number of species are Xanthosoma, Persea, Dioscorea, Prunus, Psidium, Phaseolus, Solanum, Vigna, Capsicum, Manihot, Theobroma, Ipomoea and Oryza. A total of 26 endemic species are found, which belong to genera Xanthosoma, Persea, Dioscorea, Prunus and Manihot. The primary gene pool of crops include native species from genera such as Manihot, Solanum (Section Petota), Lycopersicon, Ananas, Capsicum, Dioscorea, Xanthosoma, Phaseolus, Theobroma, Ipomoea, Gossypium, Arracacia and Psidium. Genera with native species weakly related to crops are Saccharum, Persea, Ipomoea, Prunus, Vigna, Solanum (Section Melongena) and Daucus. Crop genera without native species in Venezuela are Allium, Musa, Brassica, Spinacia, Helianthus, Pisum, Lactuca, Citrus, Elaeis, Beta, Glycine and Triticum. Only a few taxa have already been evaluated according to the IUCN criteria, and Venezuelan accessions of crop wild relatives in national and international genebanks are very scarce.

    Keywords: Venezuela, crop wild relatives, inventory, plant genetic resources


  • Escalante T, Martinez-Salazar E, Falcon-Ordaz J, Linaje M, Guerrero R (2011)

    Análisis panbiogeográfico de Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) y sus huéspedes (Mammalia: Rodentia)

    Acta Zoológica Mexicana 27(1) 25-46.

    Panbiogeographic analysis of Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) and its hosts (Mammalia: Rodentia). A panbiogeographic analysis was carried out, based on a parsimony analysis of ende- micity (PAE) to analyze the species of helminth intestinal parasites of the genus Vexillata (Nematoda: Ornithostrongylidae) and their host species, mammals of the families Geomyidae and Heteromyidae. Two analyses were undertaken, the first using only those species of Vexillata with more than two locali- ties, and the second analyzing all localities of this genus as a single track. Three generalized tracks were obtained by the first PAE: northern coast of Venezuela, Central America and Nearctic. Only one track was identified by a parasite and its host (V. tejerai and Heteromys anomalus). It proposes the existence of two biogeographical nodes, the first is located between the northern coast of Venezuela and Central America, on the boundaries of northeast Colombia and Panama (Colombia node); and the other in Central Mexico. Those track and nodes overlap with some proposed by other authors. In general, it appears that these systems can be explained as three biotic components. In the case of the South American component might correspond with the isolation of species (V. scorzai), as well as by species that had expanded their geographical distribution (V. tejerai), it could be related to mobilism stages of their host (Heteromys).

    Keywords: biogeographical provinces, helminths parasites, mammals, nematodes, panbiogeography


  • Miloslavich P, Klein E, Díaz J, Hernández C, Bigatti G, Campos L et al. (2011)

    Marine biodiversity in the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of South America: knowledge and gaps.

    PLoS ONE 6(1) e14631.

    Keywords: Ecology/Community Ecology and Biodiversity, Marine and Aquatic Sciences/Biological Oceanograph, Marine and Aquatic Sciences/Conservation Science, Review