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Hamer, M., M. Kgatla, and B. Petersen. 2023. An assessment of collection specimen data for South African mountain plants and invertebrates. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa: 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/0035919x.2023.2200742

South Africa is considered a megadiverse country, with exceptionally high plant and relatively high animal species richness and endemism. The country’s species have been surveyed and studied for over 200 years, resulting in extensive natural science collections and a vast number of scientific papers and books. This study assessed whether existing data portals provide access to occurrence data and investigated the extent of the data in Global Biodiversity Information Facility and its completeness for plants and selected invertebrate taxa. The main focus was preserved specimen data, but some observation data from iNaturalist were also considered for selected analyses. Records that include species-level identification and co-ordinates were mapped in QGIS to show the coverage of collection localities across the country. The records that fall within the mountain range spatial layer were then extracted and counted to identify density of records per mountain range for various taxa. Forty percent of plant records are from mountain localities, and the Atlantic Cape Fold Mountains had the highest density of records. Table Mountain has been extensively collected for plants and invertebrates. A large proportion of the records for invertebrates lacked species-level identification and co-ordinates, resulting in a low number of records for analyses. The accessible data are only a relatively small subset of existing collections, and digitisation and data upgrading is considered a high priority before collecting gaps can be addressed by targeted surveys.

Ravazi, A., J. de Oliveira, F. F. Madeira, G. M. Nunes, Y. V. dos Reis, A. B. B. de Oliveira, L. M. S. Azevedo, et al. 2023. Climate and Environmental Changes and Their Potential Effects on the Dynamics of Chagas Disease: Hybridization in Rhodniini (Hemiptera, Triatominae). Insects 14: 378. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects14040378

Chagas disease affects about eight million people. In view of the issues related to the influence of anthropogenic changes in the dynamics of the distribution and reproductive interaction of triatomines, we performed experimental crosses between species of the Rhodniini tribe in order to evaluate interspecific reproductive interactions and hybrid production capacity. Reciprocal crossing experiments were conducted among Rhodnius brethesi × R. pictipes, R. colombiensis × R. ecuadoriensis, R. neivai × R. prolixus, R. robustus × R. prolixus, R. montenegrensis × R. marabaensis; R. montenegrensis × R. robustus, R. prolixus × R. nasutus and R. neglectus × R. milesi. With the exception of crosses between R. pictipes ♀ × R. brethesi ♂, R. ecuadoriensis ♀ × R. colombiensis ♂ and R. prolixus ♀ × R. neivai ♂, all experimental crosses resulted in hybrids. Our results demonstrate that both allopatric and sympatric species produce hybrids, which can generate concern for public health agencies in the face of current anthropogenic events. Thus, we demonstrate that species of the Rhodniini tribe are capable of producing hybrids under laboratory conditions. These results are of great epidemiological importance and raise an important discussion about the influence of climatic and environmental interactions on Chagas disease dynamics.

Xu, X.-T., J. Szwedo, D.-Y. Huang, W.-Y.-D. Deng, M. Obroślak, F.-X. Wu, and T. Su. 2022. A New Genus of Spittlebugs (Hemiptera, Cercopidae) from the Eocene of Central Tibetan Plateau. Insects 13: 770. https://doi.org/10.3390/insects13090770

The superfamily Cercopoidea is commonly named as “spittlebugs”, as its nymphs produce a spittle mass to protect themselves. Cosmoscartini (Cercopoidea: Cercopidae) is a large and brightly colored Old World tropical tribe, including 11 genera. A new genus Nangamostethos gen. nov. (type species: Nangamostethostibetense sp. nov.) of Cosmoscartini is described from Niubao Formation, the late Eocene of central Tibetan Plateau (TP), China. Its placement is ensured by comparison with all the extant genera of the tribe Cosmoscartini. The new fossil represents one of few fossil Cercopidae species described from Asia. It is likely that Nangamostethos was extinct from the TP due to the regional aridification and an overturn of plant taxa in the late Paleogene.

Li, D., Z. Li, Z. Liu, Y. Yang, A. G. Khoso, L. Wang, and D. Liu. 2022. Climate change simulations revealed potentially drastic shifts in insect community structure and crop yields in China’s farmland. Journal of Pest Science. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10340-022-01479-3

Climate change will cause drastic fluctuations in agricultural ecosystems, which in turn may affect global food security. We used ecological niche modeling to predict the potential distribution for four cereal aphids (i.e., Sitobion avenae, Rhopalosiphum padi, Schizaphis graminum, and Diurphis noxia…

Xue, T., S. R. Gadagkar, T. P. Albright, X. Yang, J. Li, C. Xia, J. Wu, and S. Yu. 2021. Prioritizing conservation of biodiversity in an alpine region: Distribution pattern and conservation status of seed plants in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Global Ecology and Conservation 32: e01885. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gecco.2021.e01885

The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) harbors abundant and diverse plant life owing to its high habitat heterogeneity. However, the distribution pattern of biodiversity hotspots and their conservation status remain unclear. Based on 148,283 high-resolution occurrence coordinates of 13,450 seed plants, w…

随机森林(Random forest)模型在2001年发表后得到广泛的关注。由于随机森林可以进行回归和判别等多种统计分析,而且不受正态性、方差齐性和自变量独立性等参数检验的前提条件的制约,其应用日益普遍,有被看作万能模型的趋势。实际上,随机森林是一种特点鲜明的模型,应用局部优化拟合观察值,在分析有偏效应关系的数据时,其结果往往不准确。本文以蝉科(Cicadidea)物种的分布数据为例,比较了随机森林在回归分析时与多元线性回归、广义可加模型和人工神经网络模型的差别,在判别分析时与线性判别分析的差别,强调了随机森林预测时的碎片化特点。结果显示随机森林在处理有多元共线性和交互作用的数据时,以及在判别…

Li, X., B. Li, G. Wang, X. Zhan, and M. Holyoak. 2020. Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX 7: 101067. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Peyre, G., J. Lenoir, D. N. Karger, M. Gomez, A. Gonzalez, O. Broennimann, and A. Guisan. 2020. The fate of páramo plant assemblages in the sky islands of the northern Andes B. Jiménez‐Alfaro [ed.],. Journal of Vegetation Science 31: 967–980. https://doi.org/10.1111/jvs.12898

Aims: Assessing climate change impacts on biodiversity is a main scientific challenge, especially in the tropics, therefore, we predicted the future of plant species and communities on the unique páramo sky islands. We implemented the Spatially Explicit Species Assemblage Modelling framework, by i) …

Joffard, N., F. Massol, M. Grenié, C. Montgelard, and B. Schatz. 2018. Effect of pollination strategy, phylogeny and distribution on pollination niches of Euro‐Mediterranean orchids I. Bartomeus [ed.],. Journal of Ecology 107: 478–490. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13013

1.Pollination niches are important components of ecological niches and have played a major role in the diversification of Angiosperms. In this study, we focused on Euro‐Mediterranean orchids, which use diverse pollination strategies and interact with various functional groups of insects. In these or…