Preprints

Filtering by Subject: Biodiversity

Assessing the aesthetic attractivity of European butterflies: a web-based survey protocol

Elia van Tongeren, Ginevra Sistri, Vincenzo Zingaro, et al.

Published: 2022-11-03
Subjects: Biodiversity, Entomology, Life Sciences, Zoology

Aesthetic attractivity stands as an underestimated yet fundamental feature of species in conservation biology, significantly driving disproportionate protection efforts towards charismatic species. Despite the evidence, few attempts sought to precisely quantify the impact of aesthetic attractivity in defining priority of species for conservation actions (e.g. inclusion in International Union for [...]

Unstratified forests dominate the tropics especially in regions with lower fertility or higher temperatures

Christopher Doughty, Camille Gaillard, Andrew Abraham, et al.

Published: 2022-11-02
Subjects: Biodiversity, Forest Biology, Plant Biology

The stratified nature of tropical forest structure had been noted by early explorers, but until recent use of satellite-based LiDAR (GEDI, or Global Ecosystems Dynamics Investigation LiDAR), there has been no way to quantify stratification across all tropical forests. Understanding stratification is important because by some estimates, a majority of the world’s species inhabit tropical forest [...]

Small is big: A new conservation paradigm for amphibians

Emma Cathleen Steigerwald, Julianne Oshiro, Julia Chen, et al.

Published: 2022-11-02
Subjects: Biodiversity, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Many countries have responded to the current global biodiversity crisis by committing to protect 30% of the Earth by 2030, a goal known as “30 x 30”. However, an excessive emphasis on megafauna to the exclusion of other species weakens our current protected area (PA) network. This limited perspective overvalues large, connected PAs, while disregarding the potential impacts of small PAs in [...]

A globally integrated structure of taxonomy supporting biodiversity science and conservation

Emily L. Sandall, Aurore Maureaud, Robert Guralnick, et al.

Published: 2022-10-28
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

All aspects of biodiversity research, from taxonomy to conservation, rely on data associated with species names. Effective integration of names across multiple fields is paramount and depends on coordination and organization of taxonomic data. We assess current efforts and find that even key applications for well-studied taxa still lack commonality in taxonomic information required for [...]

Deep reticulation: the long legacy of hybridization in vascular plant evolution

Gregory W Stull, Kasey K Pham, Pamela S Soltis, et al.

Published: 2022-10-26
Subjects: Biodiversity, Botany, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Evolution, Life Sciences, Plant Biology, Plant Sciences

Hybridization has long been recognized as a fundamental evolutionary process in plants, but our understanding of its phylogenetic distribution and biological significance across deep evolutionary scales has been largely obscure—until recently. Over the past decade, genomic and phylogenomic datasets have revealed, perhaps not surprisingly, that hybridization, often associated with polyploidy, has [...]

Discovering the rules of plant biogeography using a trait-based approach

Thais Vasconcelos

Published: 2022-09-30
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Lineage-specific traits determine how plants interact with their surrounding environment. As different species may find similar phenotypic solutions through evolution to tolerate, persist in and invade environments with certain characteristics, some traits may become more common in certain types of habitats. These general patterns of geographical trait distribution point towards the existence of [...]

Distribution and Variability of Cistanthe philhershkovitziana Hershk. (Cistanthe sect. Cistanthe; Montiaceae)

Mark Alan Hershkovitz

Published: 2022-09-29
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

The present work exploits internet resources to update previously reported data for the distributional range and ecology of Cistanthe philhershkovitziana Hershk. (Cistanthe Spach sect. Cistanthe; Montiaceae), a conspicuous and not uncommon species of central and north-central Chile. The latitudinal range documented here is at least 4.8° greater than previously reported, extending from ca. 29°S [...]

Individual-based eco-evolutionary framework: towards unifying ecology and evolution

Jan Hrcek

Published: 2022-09-28
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences

Evolution is increasingly found to be rapid and entangled with ecological processes in complex eco-evolutionary dynamics, calling for a common conceptual framework. Yet, ecological and evolutionary theory remain largely separated, which constrains the development of integrative research. To overcome this separation, I argue for treating the entangled dynamics as a single eco-evolutionary process [...]

Stable laws in a changing world The structure of evolutionary theories over the centuries

Liz Pásztor, Géza Meszéna

Published: 2022-09-27
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Successful fundamental theories are built on verifiable principles that include measurable variables. This paper shows that Darwin’s inclusive theory is built on such principles and follows their rocky road into modern operational theories. Besides reproduction, variation, and heredity, Darwin’s conditions of diversification also include the potential for exponential (geometric) population growth [...]

Causal inference and large-scale expert validation shed light on the drivers of SDM accuracy and variance

Rob James Boyd, Martin Harvey, David Roy, et al.

Published: 2022-09-21
Subjects: Biodiversity, Life Sciences

1. The literature is awash with studies purporting to show how various species and data characteristics affect the performances of Species Distribution Models (SDMs). Many of these studies follow a similar template: they fit SDMs for several species, or the same species using different datasets; assess the accuracy of those SDMs using skill statistics; and then identify correlates thereof. [...]

New Global Species Biodiversity: Soil soars, Ocean flounders

Robert Blakemore

Published: 2022-09-16
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Population Biology

Based on topographic field data, an argument is advanced that Soil houses ~2.1 x 10^24 taxa and supports >99.9% of global species biodiversity, mostly Bacteria or other microbes. Contradictory claims that Soil is home to only a quarter of biota while Ocean harbours 80-99% of Life on Earth are both dismissed. Earlier guesstimates of ~8.8 million taxa (~2.2 million or 25% marine), of 1-6 [...]

Realising the potential of real-time online monitoring for conservation culturomics

Thomas Frederick Johnson, Richard Cornford, Shawn Dove, et al.

Published: 2022-09-09
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Life Sciences, Other Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Social and Behavioral Sciences

Environmental monitoring is increasingly shifting towards a set of systems that describe changes in real-time. In ecology specifically, a series of challenges have prevented the roll-out of real-time monitoring for features such as biodiversity change or ecosystem service provision. Conservation culturomics, a field concerned with interactions between people and nature, is well-placed to [...]

Sampling strategy matters to accurately estimate response curves’ parameters in species distribution models

Manuele Bazzichetto, Jonathan Lenoir, Daniele Da Re, et al.

Published: 2022-08-27
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Life Sciences, Other Life Sciences, Plant Sciences

Aim: Assessing how different sampling strategies affect the accuracy and precision of species response curves estimated by parametric Species Distribution Models. Major taxa studied: Virtual plant species. Location: Abruzzo (Italy). Time period: Timeless (simulated data). Methods: We simulated the occurrence of two virtual species with different ecology (generalist vs specialist) and [...]

The courage of hopelessness: a transformative change for conservation sciences

Marco Malavasi

Published: 2022-07-30
Subjects: Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Environmental Studies, Life Sciences, Social and Behavioral Sciences

As the twenty-first century unfolds, the human-driven decline of life on Earth is of greater concern and, despite tremendous growth in the volume of conservation science and many local successes, shows no clear signs of improvement. As a matter of fact, the reversal of nature’s ongoing decline is only possible with urgent “transformative change” However, no transformative changes are viable [...]

Draft for Open Consultation. The Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP): A status review and roadmap for global amphibian conservation.

Amphibian Specialist Group IUCN SSC

Published: 2022-07-18
Subjects: Animal Sciences, Biodiversity, Life Sciences, Other Animal Sciences

As the most threatened vertebrate class on earth, amphibians are at the forefront of the biodiversity crisis, with the start of global amphibian declines and extinctions dating back several decades now. The Amphibian Conservation Action Plan (ACAP), the first taxonomic class-level plan of its kind, was first published in 2007 and then updated as a digital resource in 2015, with the goal of acting [...]

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