Diversity of the Deep

Previous work has characterized diversity gradients in terrestrial and shallow-water system. Are these previously described diversity gradients also applicable to hard-substrate features in the deep sea? Above: Some example seabed images from the cruises around St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha (Credit: British Antarctic Survey/Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). Investigation into theContinue reading “Diversity of the Deep”

Flowers, biomes, and a mountain of data

Describing patterns of flowering time in plant communities across six biomes, and showing how they relate to climate means and climate predictability – all using open access data and a reproducible analysis in R. Above: Bossiaea foliosa (Leafy Bossiaea) flowering in the Snowy Mountains in southeast Australia. Alpine flowering is often highly concentrated, as everythingContinue reading “Flowers, biomes, and a mountain of data”

The Paleotropical Biome Rode the Ark of the Indian Plate from Africa to Asia

Tropical biomes today occupy a disjunct distribution around the equator covering about 7% of land surface, but harbouring more than 40% of plant species. This mystery is a fascinating topic yet to be fully addressed. We attempt to solve this mystery using our knowledge on the origin and migration of tropical gingers across these globalContinue reading “The Paleotropical Biome Rode the Ark of the Indian Plate from Africa to Asia”

Climate and environment shape jackal diet

Dietary flexibility promotes range expansion: The case of golden jackals in Eurasia. Above: Golden jackal in carcass cleaning role (with raven Corvus corax). According to the literature, the consumption of wild ungulates and domestic animals are mainly due to scavenging. Photo: Zoltán Horváth. Global changes can lead to the expansion of a species geographical range.Continue reading “Climate and environment shape jackal diet”

Historical biogeography in recent evolving Neotropical mammals

Oligoryzomys is an intriguing genus of sigmodontines that is distributed in almost all ecoregions of South America and continental Middle America. How did it get to be so diverse and distributed so broadly? Above: A Patagonian specimen of Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, a species representative of one the fastest and geographically wide radiation of Neotropical mammals (photoContinue reading “Historical biogeography in recent evolving Neotropical mammals”

Pseudocongruent phylogeographic patterns in forest-living herpetofauna

Similar phylogeographic patterns do not necessarily imply similar evolutionary histories. Instead, environmental factors like the formation of rivers, ancient climatic cycles and climatic gradients could collectively interact with the unique life histories species to strengthen dispersal barriers at different times and generate complex biogeographic patterns. Above: Isolated forest fragment in the Eastern Cape Province ofContinue reading “Pseudocongruent phylogeographic patterns in forest-living herpetofauna”

Colonization across oceanic islands, and how to estimate it

Colonization across oceanic islands is a central topic in island biogeography. PAICE, a new methodological tool to estimate colonization events using floristics, genetics, and accounting for sample size. PAICE is designed to perform comparisons among organisms and archipelagos, and can be used to test explicit biogeographic hypotheses such as the difference in colonization success betweenContinue reading “Colonization across oceanic islands, and how to estimate it”

It is a good day to study lichens

“There is a low mist in the woods­–It is a good day to study lichens.” Henry David Thoreau, A Year in Thoreau’s Journal: 1851. Above: Brownish monk’s-hood lichen (Hypogymnia vittata) on a mossy rock wall in an old-growth forest, eastern Norway. Lichens all share a common “lifestyle” – whether you call it a symbiosis, parasitism,Continue reading “It is a good day to study lichens”

Are bluebells too slow for climate change?

Slow demography and colonization rates 17,500 times lower than the current velocity of climate change make range shifts virtually impossible in the emblematic forest plant Bluebell. Above: The Hallerbos in Belgium is nicknamed ‘the blue forest’ because of the carpets of spring-flowering bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta), which attract yearly more than 100,000 visitors. (© Sanne Govaert).Continue reading “Are bluebells too slow for climate change?”