Science Rendue Possible

Chevalier, M. 2022. <i>crestr</i>: an R package to perform probabilistic climate reconstructions from palaeoecological datasets. Climate of the Past 18: 821–844. https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-18-821-2022

Abstract. Statistical climate reconstruction techniques are fundamental tools to study past climate variability from fossil proxy data. In particular, the methods based on probability density functions (or PDFs) can be used in various environments and with different climate proxies because they rely on elementary calibration data (i.e. modern geolocalised presence data). However, the difficulty of accessing and curating these calibration data and the complexity of interpreting probabilistic results have often limited their use in palaeoclimatological studies. Here, I introduce a new R package (crestr) to apply the PDF-based method CREST (Climate REconstruction SofTware) on diverse palaeoecological datasets and address these problems. crestr includes a globally curated calibration dataset for six common climate proxies (i.e. plants, beetles, chironomids, rodents, foraminifera, and dinoflagellate cysts) associated with an extensive range of climate variables (20 terrestrial and 19 marine variables) that enables its use in most terrestrial and marine environments. Private data collections can also be used instead of, or in combination with, the provided calibration dataset. The package includes a suite of graphical diagnostic tools to represent the data at each step of the reconstruction process and provide insights into the effect of the different modelling assumptions and external factors that underlie a reconstruction. With this R package, the CREST method can now be used in a scriptable environment and thus be more easily integrated with existing workflows. It is hoped that crestr will be used to produce the much-needed quantified climate reconstructions from the many regions where they are currently lacking, despite the availability of suitable fossil records. To support this development, the use of the package is illustrated with a step-by-step replication of a 790 000-year-long mean annual temperature reconstruction based on a pollen record from southeastern Africa.

Sarker, U., Y.-P. Lin, S. Oba, Y. Yoshioka, and K. Hoshikawa. 2022. Prospects and potentials of underutilized leafy Amaranths as vegetable use for health-promotion. Plant Physiology and Biochemistry 182: 104–123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.plaphy.2022.04.011

Climate change causes environmental variation worldwide, which is one of the most serious threats to global food security. In addition, more than 2 billion people in the world are reported to suffer from serious malnutrition, referred to as ‘hidden hunger.’ Dependence on only a few crops could lead to the loss of genetic diversity and high fragility of crop breeding in systems adapting to global scale climate change. The exploitation of underutilized species and genetic resources, referred to as orphan crops, could be a useful approach for resolving the issue of adaptability to environmental alteration, biodiversity preservation, and improvement of nutrient quality and quantity to ensure food security. Moreover, the use of these alternative crops will help to increase the human health benefits and the income of farmers in developing countries. In this review, we highlight the potential of orphan crops, especially amaranths, for use as vegetables and health-promoting nutritional components. This review highlights promising diversified sources of amaranth germplasms, their tolerance to abiotic stresses, and their nutritional, phytochemical, and antioxidant values for vegetable purposes. Betalains (betacyanins and betaxanthins), unique antioxidant components in amaranth vegetables, are also highlighted regarding their chemodiversity across amaranth germplasms and their stability and degradation. In addition, we discuss the physiological functions, antioxidant, antilipidemic, anticancer, and antimicrobial activities, as well as the biosynthesis pathway, molecular, biochemical, genetics, and genomic mechanisms of betalains in detail.

Schley, R. J., M. Qin, M. Vatanparast, P. Malakasi, M. Estrella, G. P. Lewis, and B. B. Klitgård. 2022. Pantropical diversification of padauk trees and relatives was influenced by biome‐switching and long‐distance dispersal. Journal of Biogeography 49: 391–404. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14310

Aim: Phenotypes promoting dispersal over ecological timescales may have macroevolutionary consequences, such as long-distance dispersal and diversification. However, whether dispersal traits explain the distribution of pantropical plant groups remains unclear. Here we reconstruct the biogeographical…

Meller, P., M. Stellmes, A. Fidelis, and M. Finckh. 2022. Correlates of geoxyle diversity in Afrotropical grasslands. Journal of Biogeography 49: 339–352. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14305

Aim: Tropical old-growth grasslands are increasingly acknowledged as biodiverse ecosystems, but they are understudied in many aspects. Geoxyle species are a key component in many of these ecosystems, their belowground storage organs and bud banks are functionally diverse and contribute to the grassl…

Vasconcelos, T., J. D. Boyko, and J. M. Beaulieu. 2021. Linking mode of seed dispersal and climatic niche evolution in flowering plants. Journal of Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/jbi.14292

Aim: Due to the sessile nature of flowering plants, movements to new geographical areas occur mainly during seed dispersal. Frugivores tend to be efficient dispersers because animals move within the boundaries of their preferable niches, so seeds are more likely to be transported to environments tha…

Moshobane, M. C., B. T. Mudereri, M. Mukundamago, and T. Chitata. 2022. Predicting future distribution patterns of Jatropha gossypiifolia L. in South Africa in response to climate change. South African Journal of Botany 146: 417–425. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sajb.2021.11.031

Invasive alien species such as Bellyache bush (Jatropha gossypiifolia L.) pose immense threats to global food security, biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and provision of ecosystem services. The Bellyache bush has generally been naturalised in Africa but poses vast management challenges in the Afric…

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…

Roberts, J., and S. Florentine. 2021. Biology, distribution and management of the invasive Jatropha gossypiifolia (Bellyache bush): A global review of current and future management challenges and research gaps. Weed Research 61: 443–453. https://doi.org/10.1111/wre.12504

Jatropha gossypiifolia (Bellyache bush) is an evergreen, perennial, invasive woody shrub that globally threatens agricultural and native landscapes. The species is native to North and South America, but is currently found in over 52 countries; in many of these countries, it is listed as invasive, du…

Sadda, A.-S., G. Coppens d’Eeckenbrugge, A.-A. Saidou, A. Diouf, N. S. Jangorzo, H. B.-A. Issoufou, and O. Malam-Issa. 2021. The witchweed Striga gesnerioides and the cultivated cowpea: A geographical and historical analysis of their West African distribution points to the prevalence of agro-ecological factors and the parasite’s multilocal evolution potential M. Di Febbraro [ed.],. PLOS ONE 16: e0254803. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254803

The increasing severity of Striga gesnerioides attacks on cowpea across West Africa has been related to its prolificity, seed mobility and longevity, and adaptation to aridity, in a context of agricultural intensification. To understand this fast extension, we analyzed (1) the distributions of the c…

BELLO, A., F. B. MUKHTAR, and A. N. MUELLNER-RIEHL. 2021. <strong>DIVERSITY AND DISTRIBUTION OF NIGERIAN LEGUMES (FABACEAE)</strong> Phytotaxa 480: 103–124. https://doi.org/10.11646/phytotaxa.480.2.1

This study provides the first comprehensive checklist and analysis of the species of Fabaceae from Nigeria, based on over 5000 herbarium collections and the completed "Flora of West Tropical Africa (FWTA)". We report 552 taxa, belonging to 540 species in 155 genera from six subfamilies, with an outs…