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      Filling gaps in species distributions through the study of biological collections: 415 new distribution records for Neotropical Cryptinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae)

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          Abstract

          ABSTRACT Filling gaps in species distributions is instrumental to increase our understanding of natural environments and underpin efficient conservation policies. For many hyperdiverse groups, this knowledge is hampered by insufficient taxonomic information. Herein we provide 415 new distribution records for the parasitic wasp subfamily Cryptinae (Hymenoptera, Ichneumonidae) in the Neotropical region, based on examination of material from 20 biological collections worldwide. Records span across 227 sites in 24 countries and territories, and represent 175 species from 53 genera. Of these, 102 represent new country records for 74 species. A distinct "road pattern" was detected in the records, at least within Brazil, where 50.2% of the records fall within 10 km of federal roads, an area that occupies only 11.9% of the surface of the country. The results help to identify priority areas that remain poorly sampled and should be targeted for future collecting efforts, and highlight the importance of biological collections in yielding new information about species distributions that is orders of magnitude above what is provided in most individual studies.

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          Emerging patterns in the comparative analysis of phylogenetic community structure.

          The analysis of the phylogenetic structure of communities can help reveal contemporary ecological interactions, as well as link community ecology with biogeography and the study of character evolution. The number of studies employing this broad approach has increased to the point where comparison of their results can now be used to highlight successes and deficiencies in the approach, and to detect emerging patterns in community organization. We review studies of the phylogenetic structure of communities of different major taxa and trophic levels, across different spatial and phylogenetic scales, and using different metrics and null models. Twenty-three of 39 studies (59%) find evidence for phylogenetic clustering in contemporary communities, but terrestrial and/or plant systems are heavily over-represented among published studies. Experimental investigations, although uncommon at present, hold promise for unravelling mechanisms underlying the phylogenetic community structure patterns observed in community surveys. We discuss the relationship between metrics of phylogenetic clustering and tree balance and explore the various emerging biases in taxonomy and pitfalls of scale. Finally, we look beyond one-dimensional metrics of phylogenetic structure towards multivariate descriptors that better capture the variety of ecological behaviours likely to be exhibited in communities of species with hundreds of millions of years of independent evolution.
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            The Value of Museum Collections for Research and Society

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              Widespread mistaken identity in tropical plant collections.

              Specimens of plants and animals preserved in museums are the primary source of verifiable data on the geographical and temporal distribution of organisms. Museum datasets are increasingly being uploaded to aggregated regional and global databases (e.g. the Global Biodiversity Information Facility; GBIF) for use in a wide range of analyses. Thus, digitisation of natural history collections is providing unprecedented information to facilitate the study of the natural world on a global scale. The digitisation of this information utilises information provided on specimen labels, and assumes they are correctly identified. Here we evaluate the accuracy of names associated with 4,500 specimens of African gingers from 40 herbaria in 21 countries. Our data show that at least 58% of the specimens had the wrong name prior to a recent taxonomic study. A similar pattern of wrongly named specimens is also shown for Dipterocarps and Ipomoea (morning glory). We also examine the number of available plant specimens worldwide. Our data demonstrate that, while the world's collections have more than doubled since 1970, more than 50% of tropical specimens, on average, are likely to be incorrectly named. This finding has serious implications for the uncritical use of specimen data from natural history collections.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: ND
                Role: ND
                Journal
                rbent
                Revista Brasileira de Entomologia
                Rev. Bras. entomol.
                Sociedade Brasileira De Entomologia (São Paulo, SP, Brazil )
                0085-5626
                1806-9665
                December 2018
                : 62
                : 4
                : 288-291
                Affiliations
                Washington DC orgnameNational Museum of Natural History orgdiv1Department of Entomology USA
                Vitória Espírito Santo orgnameUniversidade Federal do Espírito Santo orgdiv1Departamento de Ciências Biológicas Brazil
                Article
                S0085-56262018000400288
                10.1016/j.rbe.2018.09.001

                This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

                Page count
                Figures: 0, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 40, Pages: 4
                Product
                Product Information: website
                Categories
                Biology, Ecology and Diversity

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