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Liu, X., T. M. Blackburn, T. Song, X. Li, C. Huang, and Y. Li. 2019. Risks of Biological Invasion on the Belt and Road. Current Biology 29: 499-505.e4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2018.12.036

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is an unprecedented global development program that involves nearly half of the world’s countries [1]. It not only will have economic and political influences, but also may generate multiple environmental challenges and is a focus of considerable academic and p…

Mothes, C. C., J. T. Stroud, S. L. Clements, and C. A. Searcy. 2019. Evaluating ecological niche model accuracy in predicting biotic invasions using South Florida’s exotic lizard community. Journal of Biogeography 46: 432–441. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.13511

Aim: Predicting environmentally suitable areas for non‐native species is an important step in managing biotic invasions, and ecological niche models are commonly used to accomplish this task. Depending on these models to enact appropriate management plans assumes their accuracy, but most niche model…

Wan, J.-Z., Z.-X. Zhang, and C.-J. Wang. 2018. Identifying potential distributions of 10 invasive alien trees: implications for conservation management of protected areas. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 190. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-018-7104-6

Tree invasion has the potential to negatively affect biodiversity and ecosystems, with invasive alien trees (IATs) expanding widely in protected areas (PAs) across different habitats. Thus, the effectiveness of PAs might be reduced. Investigation of the distributions of IAT is urgently required to i…

Milla, R., J. M. Bastida, M. M. Turcotte, G. Jones, C. Violle, C. P. Osborne, J. Chacón-Labella, et al. 2018. Phylogenetic patterns and phenotypic profiles of the species of plants and mammals farmed for food. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1808–1817. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0690-4

The origins of agriculture were key events in human history, during which people came to depend for their food on small numbers of animal and plant species. However, the biological traits determining which species were domesticated for food provision, and which were not, are unclear. Here, we invest…

Li, Q., Y. (Christopher) Liu, J. Jin, and C. Quan. 2018. Late Oligocene Fissistigma (Annonaceae) leaves from Guangxi, low-latitude China and its paleoecological implications. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 259: 39–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.09.005

Fissistigma nanningense sp. nov. (Annonaceae) is described based on well-preserved mummified leaves from the Oligocene Yongning Formation of Nanning, Guangxi, southern China. They are characterized by retuse apex, a swollen petiole, eucamptodromous to simple brochidodromous secondary veins, percurre…

Obiakara, M. C., and Y. Fourcade. 2018. Climatic niche and potential distribution of Tithonia diversifolia (Hemsl.) A. Gray in Africa L. Bosso [ed.],. PLOS ONE 13: e0202421. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0202421

Mexican sunflower, Tithonia diversifolia (Asteraceae), is an invasive tropical plant species native to Central America. It has spread in more than 70 countries across Asia, Africa and Australia. In Africa, this species is known to disturb native crops and plant communities, but its negative impacts …

Chen, X., T. S. Kohyama, and C. H. Cannon. 2018. Associated morphometric and geospatial differentiation among 98 species of stone oaks (Lithocarpus) H. Auge [ed.],. PLOS ONE 13: e0199538. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0199538

Two fruit types can be distinguished among stone oaks (Lithocarpus) species: the ‘acorn’ (AC) and the ‘enclosed receptacle’ (ER) types. Our morphometric analysis of 595 nuts from 98 species (one third of all Lithocarpus spp.) found substantial transition in mechanical protection of the seed between …

Xie, S.-P., S.-H. Zhang, T.-Y. Chen, X.-C. Zhang, X. Zeng, and Y. Yu. 2018. Late Miocene occurrence of monogeneric family Oleandraceae from southwest China and its implications on evolution of eupolypods I. Review of Palaeobotany and Palynology 256: 13–19. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.revpalbo.2018.05.002

Yunnan in SW China is a world renowned hotspot for diverse species of vascular plants such as ferns. However, fossil records of the Cenozoic ferns there are insufficient to clarify their phylogeny and historical biogeography from a geological perspective. Among these derived ferns, the monogeneric f…

Petersen, K. B., and M. Burd. 2018. The adaptive value of heterospory: Evidence from Selaginella. Evolution 72: 1080–1091. https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13484

Heterospory was a pivotal evolutionary innovation for land plants, but it has never been clear why it evolved. We used the geographic distributions of 114 species of the heterosporous lycophyte Selaginella to explore the functional ecology of microspore and megaspore size, traits that would be corre…

Jurd, D., and M. Pole. 2017. Miocene “fin-winged” fruits and Pliocene drift fruits – the first record of Combretaceae (Terminalia) from New Zealand. Geobios 50: 423–429. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geobios.2017.10.002

Two types of fossil Terminalia (Combretaceae) fruits are described from warmer periods in New Zealand’s past. One is represented by large ‘fin-winged’ fruit (samara) from the Early Miocene Manuherikia Group sediments of Bannockburn and the Nevis Valley. The form and size of the fruits are entirely u…