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      A general methodology for collecting and preserving xystodesmid and other large millipedes for biodiversity research

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          Abstract

          Abstract
          Background

          With an estimated 80% of species remaining undescribed (but see Brewer et al. 2012), millipede taxonomy offers the opportunity to discover new species and explore biodiversity. The lack of basic alpha taxonomic information regarding millipedes belies their significant ecological role and potential as premier models in ecological and evolutionary studies. The group possesses many fascinating biological properties ( e.g., bioluminescence, mimicry, and complex chemical secretions) that have been the focus of several recent studies and are emerging avenues of future investigation.

          New information

          Here we summarize a methodology for large-bodied millipede collection, curation, and preservation for genetic analyses with the hope that sharing these techniques will stimulate interest in these charismatic detritivores.

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          Most cited references 31

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          Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs.

          The commonly observed high diversity of trees in tropical rain forests and corals on tropical reefs is a nonequilibrium state which, if not disturbed further, will progress toward a low-diversity equilibrium community. This may not happen if gradual changes in climate favor different species. If equilibrium is reached, a lesser degree of diversity may be sustained by niche diversification or by a compensatory mortality that favors inferior competitors. However, tropical forests and reefs are subject to severe disturbances often enough that equilibrium may never be attained.
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            21 years of shelf life between discovery and description of new species.

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              Harnessing the world's biodiversity data: promise and peril in ecological niche modeling of species distributions.

              Recent advances allow harnessing enormous stores of biological and environmental data to model species niches and geographic distributions. Natural history museums hold specimens that represent the only information available for most species. Ecological niche models (sometimes termed species distribution models) combine such information with digital environmental data (especially climatic) to offer key insights for conservation biology, management of invasive species, zoonotic human diseases, and other pressing environmental problems. Five major pitfalls seriously hinder such research, especially for cross-space or cross-time uses: (1) incorrect taxonomic identifications; (2) lacking or inadequate databasing and georeferences; (3) effects of sampling bias across geography; (4) violation of assumptions related to selection of the study region; and (5) problems regarding model evaluation to identify optimal model complexity. Large-scale initiatives regarding data availability and quality, technological development, and capacity building should allow high-quality modeling on a scale commensurate with the enormous potential of and need for these techniques.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodivers Data J
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Biodiversity Data Journal
                Pensoft Publishers
                1314-2836
                1314-2828
                2015
                17 August 2015
                : 3
                Affiliations
                []Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, United States of America
                [§ ]University of Arizona, Tucson, United States of America
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Jackson C. Means ( mjacks4@ 123456vt.edu ).

                Academic editor: Pavel Stoev

                Article
                Biodiversity Data Journal 4285
                10.3897/BDJ.3.e5665
                4563156
                Jackson C. Means, Elizabeth A. Francis, Avery A. Lane, Paul E. Marek

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

                Page count
                Figures: 12, Tables: 0, References: 27
                Funding
                Funded by: Virginia Tech USDA NIFA Hatch Project (VA-160028) and the National Science Foundation (DEB#1410911)
                Categories
                General Research Article
                Myriapoda
                General Ecology
                Systematics

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