335 Works

Data for: Angels in disguise: Sympatric hybridization in the marine angelfishes is widespread and occurs between deeply divergent lineages

Yi-Kai Tea, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Federico Vitelli, Joseph DiBattista, Simon Ho & Nathan Lo
Hybridization is not uncommon in marine environments where physical barriers are attenuated. Research conducted on hybridization in coral reefs has grown rapidly, but the majority of studies have focused on parapatric species along biogeographical suture zones. Comparatively little attention has been directed towards sympatric hybridization on coral reefs, despite the large amount of biogeographical overlap that occurs among coral reef species. Here we investigate if the propensity for hybridization along suture zones represents a general...

Data from: Conservation concern among Australian undergraduates is associated with childhood socio-cultural experiences

Jessica Pinder, Kelly Fielding & Richard A. Fuller
Fostering widespread concern for conservation problems requires a robust understanding of the life experiences that positively contribute to an individual's conservation attitudes and behaviours. However, few studies have assessed a comprehensive range of social and experiential predictors of conservation concern. Using survey responses from 391 undergraduate students enrolled in various course disciplines across Australia, we describe the relationship between five major constructs of early-life experiences and two measures of conservation concern: a preference for conservation...

Change in terrestrial human footprint drives continued loss of intact ecosystems

Brooke Williams, Oscar Venter, James Allan, Scott Atkinson, Jose Rehbein, Michelle Ward, Moreno Di Marco, Hedley Grantham, Jamison Ervin, Scott Goetz, Andrew Hansen, Patrick Jantz, Rajeev Pillay, Susana Rodríguez-Buriticá, Christina Supples, Anne Virnig & James Watson
Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity's role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. Our ability to map this influence has evolved, thanks to powerful computing, earth observing satellites, and new bottom-up census and crowd-sourced data. Here, we provide the latest temporally inter-comparable maps of the terrestrial human footprint, and assessment of change in human pressure at global, biome, and ecoregional scales. In 2013, 42% of terrestrial Earth could be considered relatively free of...

Data from: Longevity, body dimension and reproductive mode drive differences in aquatic versus terrestrial life history strategies

Pol Capdevila, Maria Beger, Simone Blomberg, Bernat Hereu, Cristina Linares & Roberto Salguero-Gómez
1. Aquatic and terrestrial environments display stark differences in key environmental factors and phylogenetic composition but their consequences for the evolution of species’ life history strategies remain poorly understood. 2. Here, we examine whether and how life history strategies vary between terrestrial and aquatic species. We use demographic information for 685 terrestrial and 122 aquatic animal and plant species to estimate key life history traits. We then use phylogenetically corrected least squares regression to explore...

Data from: Predators drive community reorganization during experimental range shifts

Natalie Jones
1. Increased global temperatures caused by climate change are causing species to shift their ranges and colonize new sites, creating novel assemblages that have historically not interacted. Species interactions play a central role in the response of ecosystems to climate change, but the role of trophic interactions in facilitating or preventing range expansions are largely unknown. 2. The goal of our study was to understand how predators influence the ability of range-shifting prey to successfully...

Aggressive interactions between cavity nesting birds in SE QLD Australia

Andrew Rogers
1. Context: A mechanistic understanding of the drivers of competition between species at a community level can improve invasive species management by helping identify where and when impacts are likely to be greatest. Invasive cavity-breeding birds provide a way to test shared traits and resource requirements are related to intensity of competition. Australia is home to one of the richest cavity-nesting communities globally with over 100 native and introduced bird species requiring hollows: but the...

Data from: Niche partitioning between river shark species is driven by seasonal fluctuations in environmental salinity

Ross Dwyer, Hamish Campbell, Rebecca Cramp, Colin Burke, Mariana Micheli-Campbell, Richard Pillans, Barry Lyon & Craig Franklin
Tropical rivers and estuaries are highly dynamic environments, where environmental conditions change dramatically over spatial and temporal scales. This creates both physiological and ecological challenges for euryhaline elasmobranchs, where fluctuations in salinity can impact not only osmoregulatory function, but also the ability to find and acquire prey. We investigated how spatial and temporal variation in environmental salinity influences physiological homeostasis, habitat utilisation, and migration timing in two euryhaline carcharhinid sharks within a tropical river in...

Extreme rainfall events and cooling of sea turtle clutches: implications in the face of climate warming

Jacques-Olivier Laloë, Jamie N. Tedeschi, David T. Booth, Ian Bell Bell, Andy Dunstan, Richard D. Reina & Graeme C. Hays
Understanding how climate change impacts species and ecosystems is integral to conservation. When studying impacts of climate change, warming temperatures are a research focus, with much less attention given to extreme weather events and their impacts. Here we show how localized, extreme rainfall events can have a major impact on a species that is endangered in many parts of its range. We report incubation temperatures from the world’s largest green sea turtle rookery, during a...

Single-cell visualization indicates direct role of sponge host in uptake of dissolved organic matter

Michelle Achlatis, Mathieu Pernice, Kathryn Green, Jasper De Goeij, Paul Guagliardo, Matt Kilburn, Ove Hoegh-Guldberg & Sophie Dove
Marine sponges are set to become more abundant in many near-future oligotrophic environments, where they play crucial roles in nutrient cycling. Of high importance is their mass turnover of dissolved organic matter (DOM), a heterogeneous mixture that constitutes the largest fraction of organic matter in the ocean and is recycled primarily by bacterial mediation. Little is known however about the mechanism that enables sponges to incorporate large quantities of DOM in their nutrition, unlike most...

Data from: Multiple habitat use by declining migratory birds necessitates joined-up conservation

Micha V Jackson, L R Carrasco, Chi-Yeung Choi, Jing Li, Zhijun Ma, David S Melville, Tong Mu, He-Bo Peng, Bradley K Woodworth, Ziyou Yang, Lin Zhang & Richard A Fuller
Many species depend on multiple habitats at different points in space and time. Their effective conservation requires an understanding of how and when each habitat is used, coupled with adequate protection. Migratory shorebirds use intertidal and supratidal wetlands, both of which are affected by coastal landscape change. Yet the extent to which shorebirds use artificial supratidal habitats, particularly at highly developed stopover sites, remains poorly understood leading to potential deficiencies in habitat management. We surveyed...

Data from: Look to seedling heights, rather than functional traits, to explain survival during extreme heat stress in the early stages of subtropical rainforest restoration

Ronald Gardiner, Luke Shoo & John Dwyer
1. Ecological restoration is urgently needed to arrest and reverse land degradation, reinstate ecosystem services and recover threatened species. Tree planting is a commonly used strategy to restore forests, however planted seedlings often experience low survival and slow growth during the establishment period. Critical evaluation of factors that lead to poor establishment is vital to improve practice but is often constrained by a lack of monitoring and reporting. 2. We took advantage of a large...

Integrating climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation in the global ocean

Derek Tittensor, Maria Beger, Kristina Boerder, Daniel Boyce, Rachel Cavanagh, Aurelie Cosandey-Godin, Guillermo Crespo, Daniel Dunn, Wildan Ghiffary, Susie Grant, Lee Hannah, Pat Halpin, Mike Harfoot, Susan Heaslip, Nicholas Jeffery, Naomi Kingston, Heike Lotze, Jennifer McGowan, Elizabeth McLeod, Chris McOwen, Bethan O'Leary, Laurenne Schiller, Ryan Stanley, Maxine Westhead, Kristen Wilson … & Boris Worm
The impacts of climate change and the socioecological challenges they present are ubiquitous and increasingly severe. Practical efforts to operationalize climate-responsive design and management in the global network of marine protected areas (MPAs) are required to ensure long-term effectiveness for safeguarding marine biodiversity and ecosystem services. Here, we review progress in integrating climate change adaptation into MPA design and management and provide eight recommendations to expedite this process. Climate-smart management objectives should become the default...

Data from: Visual system development of the spotted unicornfish, Naso brevirostris (Acanthuridae)

Valerio Tettamanti, Fanny De Busserolles, David Lecchini, N. Justin Marshall & Fabio Cortesi
Ontogenetic changes of the visual system are often correlated to shifts in habitat and feeding behaviour of animals. Coral reef fishes begin their lives in the pelagic zone and then migrate to the reef. This habitat transition frequently involves a change in diet and light environment as well as major morphological modifications. The spotted unicornfish, Naso brevirostris, is known to shift diet from zooplankton to algae and back to mainly zooplankton when transitioning from larval...

Biotic exchange leaves detectable genomic patterns in the Australian rainforest flora

Jia-Yee Yap, Marlien Van Der Merwe, Andrew Ford, Robert Henry & Maurizio Rossetto
The movement (or invasion) of plant lineages from Sunda (the Malay Archipelago) into Sahul (mainland Australia) has resulted in a present-day Australian rainforest flora of mixed ancestries. Floristic integration increased during the Quaternary when continental vegetation was subjected to recurrent expansion/contraction cycles. To date, this expansion history has yet to be investigated through multi-species, landscape-level genetic analyses within tropical Northern Australia, presumably the main point of contact for Sunda lineages. Here, we characterise and compare...

Comparative genomics reveals divergent thermal selection in warm- and cold-tolerant marine mussels

Iva Popovic & Cynthia Riginos
Investigating the history of natural selection among closely related species can elucidate how genomes diverge in response to disparate environmental pressures. Molecular evolutionary approaches can be integrated with knowledge of gene functions to examine how evolutionary divergence may affect ecologically-relevant traits such as temperature tolerance and species distribution limits. Here, we integrate transcriptome-wide analyses of molecular evolution with knowledge from physiological studies to develop hypotheses regarding the functional classes of genes under positive selection in...

Microhabitat partitioning correlates with opsin gene expression in coral reef cardinalfishes (Apogonidae)

Martin Luehrmann, Fabio Cortesi, Karen Cheney, Fanny De Busserolles & Justin Marshall
Fish are the most diverse vertebrate group, and they have evolved equally diverse visual systems, varying in terms of eye morphology, number and distribution of spectrally distinct photoreceptor types, visual opsin genes and opsin gene expression levels. This variation is mainly due to adaptations driven by two factors: differences in the light environments and behavioural tasks. However, while the effects of large-scale habitat differences are well described, it is less clear whether visual systems also...

Population genomic response to geographic gradients by widespread and endemic fishes of the Arabian Peninsula

Joseph DiBattista, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Marek Piatek, Fernando Cagua, Brian Bowen, John Choat, Luiz Rocha, Michelle Gaither, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Tane Sinclair-Taylor, Jennifer McIlwain, Mark Priest, Camrin Braun, Nigel Hussey, Steven Kessel & Michael Berumen
Genetic structure within marine species may be driven by local adaptation to their environment, or alternatively by historical processes, such as geographic isolation. The gulfs and seas bordering the Arabian Peninsula offer an ideal setting to examine connectivity patterns in coral reef fishes with respect to environmental gradients and vicariance. The Red Sea is characterized by a unique marine fauna, historical periods of desiccation and isolation, as well as environmental gradients in salinity, temperature, and...

Data from: Genome-wide diversity and demographic dynamics of Cameroon goats and their divergence from east African, north African, and Asian conspecifics

Getinet M. Tarekegn, Patrick Wouobeng, Kouam S. Jaures, Raphael Mrode, Zewdu Edea, Bin Liu, Wenguang Zhang, Okeyo A. Mwai, Tadelle Dessie, Kassahun Tesfaye, Erling Strandberg, Britt Berglund, Mutai Mutai, Sarah Osama, Asaminew T. Wolde, Josephine Birungi, Appolinaire Djikeng & Félix Meutchieye
Indigenous goats make significant contributions to Cameroon’s national and local economy, but little effort has been devoted to identifying the populations. Here, we assessed the genetic diversity and demographic dynamics of Cameroon goat populations using mitochondrial DNA (two populations) and autosomal markers (four populations) generated with the Caprine 50K SNP chip. To infer genetic relationships at continental and global level, genotype data on six goat populations from Ethiopia and one population each from Egypt, Morocco,...

Data from: Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology

Dalia A. Conde, Johanna Staerk, Fernando Colchero, Rita Da Silva, Jonas Schöley, H. Maria Baden, Lionel Jouvet, John E. Fa, Hassan Syed, Eelke Jongejans, Shai Meiri, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Scott Chamberlain, Jonathan Wilcken, Owen R. Jones, Johan P. Dahlgren, Ulrich K. Steiner, Lucie M. Bland, Ivan Gomez-Mestre, Jean-Dominique Lebreton, Jaime González Vargas, Nate Flesness, Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Onnie Byers … & James W. Vaupel
Biodiversity loss is a major challenge. Over the past century, the average rate of vertebrate extinction has been about 100-fold higher than the estimated background rate and population declines continue to increase globally. Birth and death rates determine the pace of population increase or decline, thus driving the expansion or extinction of a species. Design of species conservation policies hence depends on demographic data (e.g., for extinction risk assessments or estimation of harvesting quotas). However,...

Data from: Towards automated annotation of benthic survey images: variability of human experts and operational modes of automation

Oscar Beijbom, Peter J. Edmunds, Chris Roelfsema, Jennifer Smith, David I. Kline, Benjamin Neal, Matthew J. Dunlap, Vincent Moriarty, Tung-Yung Fan, Chih-Jui Tan, Stephen Chan, Tali Treibitz, Anthony Gamst, B. Greg Mitchell, David Kriegman & Benjamin P. Neal
Global climate change and other anthropogenic stressors have heightened the need to rapidly characterize ecological changes in marine benthic communities across large scales. Digital photography enables rapid collection of survey images to meet this need, but the subsequent image annotation is typically a time consuming, manual task. We investigated the feasibility of using automated point-annotation to expedite cover estimation of the 17 dominant benthic categories from survey-images captured at four Pacific coral reefs. Inter- and...

Data from: Direct and indirect effects of nursery habitats on coral-reef fish assemblages, grazing pressure, and benthic dynamics

Alastair R. Harborne, Ivan Nagelkerken, Nicholas H. Wolff, Yves-Marie Bozec, Martijn Dorenbosch, Monique G. G. Grol & Peter J. Mumby
Migrating species are common within seascapes, but the potential for these movements to alter the populations and functional roles of non-migrating species (e.g. by increasing predation) is rarely investigated. This study considers whether the presence of nursery habitats (mangroves and seagrass) simply enhances the abundance of nursery-using parrotfishes and piscivores on nearby coral reefs, or also affects other parrotfishes. Data from 131 reef sites and multiple seascape configurations across 13 degrees of latitude were used...

Data from: Ocean acidification induces biochemical and morphological changes in the calcification process of large benthic foraminifera

Martina De Freitas Prazeres, Sven Uthicke, John M. Pandolfi & M. Prazeres
Large benthic foraminifera are significant contributors to sediment formation on coral reefs, yet they are vulnerable to ocean acidification. Here, we assessed the biochemical and morphological impacts of acidification on the calcification of Amphistegina lessonii and Marginopora vertebralis exposed to different pH conditions. We measured growth rates (surface area and buoyant weight) and Ca-ATPase and Mg-ATPase activities and calculated shell density using micro-computer tomography images. In A. lessonii, we detected a significant decrease in buoyant...

Data from: A demographic ménage à trois: interactions between disturbances both amplify and dampen population dynamics of an endemic plant

Matthew R. Tye, Eric S. Menges, Carl Weekley, Pedro F. Quintana-Ascencio, Roberto Salguero-Gómez & Matthew Tye
Natural and anthropogenic disturbances co-occur in most systems, but how they interact to shape demographic outcomes remains poorly understood. Such interactions may alter dynamics of populations in non-additive ways, making demographic predictions challenging when focusing on only one disturbance. Thus, understanding the interactive effects of such disturbances is critically important to determine the population viability of most species under a diversity of stressors. We used a hierarchical integral projection model (IPM), parameterized with 13 years...

Data from: A genomic reference panel for Drosophila serrata

Adam R. Reddiex, Scott L. Allen & Stephen F. Chenoweth
Here we describe a collection of re-sequenced inbred lines of Drosophila serrata, sampled from a natural population situated deep within the species endemic distribution in Brisbane, Australia. D. serrata is a member of the speciose montium group whose members inhabit much of south east Asia and has been well studied for aspects of climatic adaptation, sexual selection, sexual dimorphism, and mate recognition. We sequenced 110 lines that were inbred via 17-20 generations of full-sib mating...

Data from: Reef flattening effects on total richness and species responses in the Caribbean

Steven P. Newman, Erik H. Meesters, Charlie S. Dryden, Stacey M. Williams, Cristina Sanchez, Peter J. Mumby, Nicholas V.C. Polunin & Nicholas V. C. Polunin
1. There has been ongoing flattening of Caribbean coral reefs with the loss of habitat having severe implications for these systems. Complexity and its structural components are important to fish species richness and community composition, but little is known about its role for other taxa or species-specific responses. 2. This study reveals the importance of reef habitat complexity and structural components to different taxa of macrofauna, total species richness, and individual coral and fish species...

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