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      Assessing spatial and temporal biases and gaps in the publicly available distributional information of Iberian mosses

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          Abstract

          One of the most valuable initiatives on massive availability of biodiversity data is the Global Biodiversity Information Facility, which is creating new opportunities to develop and test macroecological knowledge. However, the potential uses of these data are limited by the gaps and biases associated to large-scale distributional databases (the so-called Wallacean shortfall). Describing and quantifying these limitations are essential to improve knowledge on biodiversity, especially in poorly-studied groups, such as mosses. Here we assess the coverage of the publicly-available distributional information on Iberian mosses, defining its eventual biases and gaps. For this purpose, we compiled IberBryo v1.0, a database that comprises 82,582 records after processing and checking the geospatial and taxonomical information. Our results show the limitations of data and metadata of the publicly-available information. Particularly, ca. 42% of the records lacked collecting date information, which limits data usefulness for time coverage analyses and enlarges the existing knowledge gaps. Then we evaluated the overall coverage of several aspects of the spatial, temporal and environmental variability of the Iberian Peninsula. Through this assessment, we demonstrate that the publicly-available information on Iberian mosses presents significant biases. Inventory completeness is strongly conditioned by the recorders' survey bias, particularly in northern Portugal and eastern Spain and the spatial pattern of surveys is also biased towards mountains. Besides, the temporal pattern of survey effort intensifies from 1970 onwards, encompassing a progressive increase in the geographic coverage of the Iberian Peninsula. Although we just found 5% of well-surveyed cells of 30’ of resolution over the 1970-2018 period, they cover about a fifth of the main climatic gradients of the Iberian Peninsula, which provides a fair – though limited – coverage. Yet, the well-surveyed cells are biased towards anthropised areas and some of them are located in areas under intense land-use changes, mainly due to the wood-fires of the last decade. Despite the overall increase, we found a noticeable gap of information in the south-west of Iberia, the Ebro river basin and the inner plateaus. All these gaps and biases call for a careful use of the available distributional data of Iberian mosses for biogeographical and ecological modelling analysis. Further, our results highlight the necessity of incorporating several good practices to increase the coverage of high-quality information. These good practices include digitalisation of specimens and metadata information, improvement on the protocols to get accurate data and metadata or revisions of the vouchers and recorders' field notebooks. These procedures are essential to improve the quality and coverage of the data. Finally, we also encourage Iberian bryologists to establish a series of re-surveys of classical localities that would allow updating the information on the group, as well as to design their future surveys considering the most important information gaps on IberBryo.

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          Most cited references 77

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          Conservation Biogeography: assessment and prospect

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              Distorted Views of Biodiversity: Spatial and Temporal Bias in Species Occurrence Data

              Boakes et al. compile and analyze a historical dataset of 170,000 bird sightings over two centuries and show how changing trends in data gathering may confound a true picture of biodiversity change.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                1
                urn:lsid:arphahub.com:pub:F9B2E808-C883-5F47-B276-6D62129E4FF4
                urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:245B00E9-BFE5-4B4F-B76E-15C30BA74C02
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2836
                1314-2828
                2020
                15 September 2020
                : 8
                Affiliations
                [1 ] Dept. Biogeography & Global Change, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC), Madrid, Spain Dept. Biogeography & Global Change, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales (MNCN-CSIC) Madrid Spain
                [2 ] Dept. Biología (Botánica), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain Dept. Biología (Botánica), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Madrid Spain
                [3 ] Dept. Botanica e Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT), Cuiaba, Brazil Dept. Botanica e Ecologia, Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso (UFMT) Cuiaba Brazil
                [4 ] Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia. 1154, R. Barão de Jeremoabo, 668 - Ondina, Salvador, Brazil Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal da Bahia. 1154, R. Barão de Jeremoabo, 668 - Ondina Salvador Brazil
                [5 ] Universidade Federal de Goiás, Goiânia, Brazil Universidade Federal de Goiás Goiânia Brazil
                [6 ] Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa Lisboa Portugal
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Cristina Ronquillo ( cristinaronquilloferrero@ 123456gmail.com ).

                Academic editor: Yasen Mutafchiev

                Article
                53474 13465
                10.3897/BDJ.8.e53474
                7508938
                Cristina Ronquillo, Fernanda Alves-Martins, Vicente Mazimpaka, Thadeu Sobral-Souza, Bruno Vilela-Silva, Nagore G. Medina, Joaquín Hortal

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Figures: 8, Tables: 0, References: 102
                Funding
                This research has been possible by the Comunidad de Madrid and the European Social co-financed Fund through the Youth Employment Operational Program and the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) PEJ-2017-AI/AMB/6655. This work is part of the project UNITED Unifying niches, interactions and distributions: A common theoretical framework for geographic range dynamics and local coexistence (CGL2016-78070-P, funded by AEI/FEDER, UE).
                Categories
                Research Article

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