335 Works

Data from: Optimal running speeds when there is a trade-off between speed and the probability of mistakes

Ami Fadillah Amir Abdul Nasir, Christofer J. Clemente, Melissa L. Wynn, Robbie S. Wilson & Ami Fadhillah Amir Abdul Nasir
1. Do prey run as fast as they can to avoid capture? This is a common assumption in studies of animal performance, yet a recent mathematical model (Wheatley et al. 2015) of escape behaviour predicts that animals should instead use speeds below their maximum capabilities even when running from predators. Fast speeds may compromise motor control and accuracy of limb placement, particularly as the animal runs along narrow structures like beams or branches. Mistakes decrease...

Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia

Jens G. Froese, Carl S. Smith, Peter A. Durr, Clive A. McAlpine & Rieks D. Van Klinken
Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a...

Data from: Variation of anal fin egg-spots along an environmental gradient in a haplochromine cichlid fish

Anya Theis, Olivia Roth, Fabio Cortesi, Fabrizia Ronco, Walter Salzburger & Bernd Egger
Male secondary sexual traits are targets of inter- and/or intrasexual selection, but can vary due to a correlation with life-history traits or as by-product of adaptation to distinct environments. Trade-offs contributing to this variation may comprise conspicuousness toward conspecifics versus inconspicuousness toward predators, or between allocating resources into coloration versus the immune system. Here, we examine variation in expression of a carotenoid-based visual signal, anal-fin egg-spots, along a replicate environmental gradient in the haplochromine cichlid...

Data from: Geometric models to explore mechanisms of dynamic shape change in skeletal muscle

Taylor J.M. Dick, James M. Wakeling & Taylor J. M. Dick
Skeletal muscle bulges when it contracts. These 3-dimensional (3D) dynamic shape changes play an important role in muscle performance by altering the range of fascicle velocities over which a muscle operates. However traditional muscle models are 1D and cannot fully explain in vivo shape changes. In this study we compared medial gastrocnemius behaviour during human cycling (fascicle length changes and rotations) predicted by a traditional 1D Hill-type model and by models that incorporate 2D and...

Data from: Colder environments did not select for a faster metabolism during experimental evolution of Drosophila melanogaster

Lesley A. Alton, Catriona Condon, Craig Robert White & Michael J. Angilletta
The effect of temperature on the evolution of metabolism has been the subject of debate for a century; however, no consistent patterns have emerged from comparisons of metabolic rate within and among species living at different temperatures. We used experimental evolution to determine how metabolism evolves in populations of Drosophila melanogaster exposed to one of three selective treatments: a constant 16°C, a constant 25°C, or temporal fluctuations between 16 and 25°C. We tested August Krogh's...

Data from: Identifying patterns and drivers of coral diversity in the Central Indo-Pacific marine biodiversity hotspot

Morana Mihaljević, Chelsea Korpanty, Willem Renema, Kevin Welsh & John M. Pandolfi
Biodiversity hotspots are increasingly recognized as areas of high taxonomic and functional diversity. These hotspots are dynamic and shift geographically over time in response to environmental change. To identify drivers of the origin, evolution, and persistence of diversity hotspots, we investigated the diversity patterns of reef-building corals (Scleractinia) in the Central Indo-Pacific, a marine biodiversity hotspot for the last 25 Myr. We used the scleractinian fossil record (based on literature and a newly acquired fossil...

Data from: Pushing the limits of photoreception in twilight conditions: The rod-like cone retina of the deep-sea pearlsides

Fanny De Busserolles, Fabio Cortesi, Jon Vidar Helvik, Wayne I. L. Davies, Rachel M. Templin, Robert K. P. Sullivan, Craig T. Michell, Jessica K. Mountford, Shaun P. Collin, Xabier Irigoien, Stein Kaartvedt & Justin Marshall
Most vertebrates have a duplex retina comprising two photoreceptor types, rods for dim-light (scotopic) vision and cones for bright-light (photopic) and color vision. However, deep-sea fishes are only active in dim-light conditions; hence, most species have lost their cones in favor of a simplex retina composed exclusively of rods. Although the pearlsides, Maurolicus spp., have such a pure rod retina, their behavior is at odds with this simplex visual system. Contrary to other deep-sea fishes,...

Data from: Skill not athleticism predicts individual variation in match performance of soccer players

Robbie S. Wilson, Gwendolyn K. David, Sean C. Murphy, , Amanda C. Niehaus, Andrew H. Hunter, Michelle D. Smith & Michael J. Angilletta
Just as evolutionary biologists endeavor to link phenotypes to fitness, sport scientists try to identify traits that determine athlete success. Both disciplines would benefit from collaboration, and to illustrate this, we used an analytical approach common to evolutionary biology to isolate the phenotypes that promote success in soccer, a complex activity of humans played in nearly every modern society. Using path analysis, we quantified the relationships among morphology, balance, skill, athleticism, and performance of soccer...

Data from: Seascapes as drivers of herbivore assemblages in coral reef ecosystems

George Roff, Sonia Bejarano, Mark Priest, Alyssa Marshell, Iliana Chollett, Robert S. Steneck, Christopher Doropoulos, Yimnang Golbuu & Peter J. Mumby
Herbivorous fish maintain a critical ecosystem function on coral reefs by grazing algae and maintaining highly productive algal turf assemblages. Current paradigms implicate habitat complexity, predation and primary productivity as major drivers of the distribution and abundance of herbivorous fish, yet little is known about the relative contribution of these factors. Here, we compare bottom-up and top-down drivers of notional herbivore assemblages across an environmental gradient of wave exposure in the Palau archipelago. We surveyed...

Data from: High Rates of Asymptomatic, Sub-microscopic Plasmodium vivax Infection and Disappearing Plasmodium falciparum Malaria in an Area of Low Transmission in Solomon Islands

Andreea Waltmann, Andrew W. Darcy, Ivor Harris, Cristian Koepfli, John Lodo, Ventis Vahi, David Piziki, G. Dennis Shanks, Alyssa Barry, Maxine Whittaker, James W. Kazura, Ivo Mueller & Alyssa E. Barry
Introduction: Solomon Islands is intensifying national efforts to achieve malaria elimination. A long history of indoor spraying with residual insecticides, combined recently with distribution of long lasting insecticidal nets and artemether-lumefantrine therapy, has been implemented in Solomon Islands. The impact of these interventions on local endemicity of Plasmodium spp. is unknown. Methods: In 2012, a cross-sectional survey of 3501 residents of all ages was conducted in Ngella, Central Islands Province, Solomon Islands. Prevalence of Plasmodium...

Data from: Adapting environmental management to uncertain but inevitable change

Sam C. Nicol, Richard A. Fuller, Takuya Iwamura, Iadine Chades & S. Nicol
Implementation of adaptation actions to protect biodiversity is limited by uncertainty about the future. One reason for this is the fear of making the wrong decisions caused by the myriad future scenarios presented to decision-makers. We propose an adaptive management (AM) method for optimally managing a population under uncertain and changing habitat conditions. Our approach incorporates multiple future scenarios and continually learns the best management strategy from observations, even as conditions change. We demonstrate the...

Data from: Having a lot of a good thing: multiple important group memberships as a source of self-esteem

Jolanda Jetten, Nyla R. Branscombe, S. Alexander Haslam, Catherine Haslam, Tegan Cruwys, Janelle M. Jones, Lijuan Cui, Genevieve Dingle, James Liu, Sean Murphy, Anh Thai, Zoe Walter & Airong Zhang
Membership in important social groups can promote a positive identity. We propose and test an identity resource model in which personal self-esteem is boosted by membership in additional important social groups. Belonging to multiple important group memberships predicts personal self-esteem in children (Study 1a), older adults (Study 1b), and former residents of a homeless shelter (Study 1c). Study 2 shows that the effects of multiple important group memberships on personal self-esteem are not reducible to...

Data from: Testing the correlated response hypothesis for the evolution and maintenance of male mating preferences in Drosophila serrata

Thomas P. Gosden, Howard D. Rundle & Stephen F. Chenoweth
Mate preferences are abundant throughout the animal kingdom with female preferences receiving the most empirical and theoretical attention. Although recent work has acknowledged the existence of male mate preferences, whether they have evolved and are maintained as a direct result of selection on males or indirectly as a genetically correlated response to selection for female choice remains an open question. Using the native Australian species Drosophila serrata in which mutual mate choice occurs for a...

Data from: Getting a head in hard soils: convergent skull evolution and divergent allometric patterns explain shape variation in a highly diverse genus of pocket gophers (Thomomys)

Ariel E. Marcy, Elizabeth A. Hadly, Emma Sherratt, Kathleen Garland & Vera Weisbecker
Background: High morphological diversity can occur in closely related animals when selection favors morphologies that are subject to intrinsic biological constraints. A good example is subterranean rodents of the genus Thomomys, one of the most taxonomically and morphologically diverse mammalian genera. Highly procumbent, tooth-digging rodent skull shapes are often geometric consequences of increased body size. Indeed, larger-bodied Thomomys species tend to inhabit harder soils. We used geometric morphometric analyses to investigate the interplay between soil...

Data from: Functional traits in red flour beetles: the dispersal phenotype is associated with leg length but not body size nor metabolic rate

Pieter A. Arnold, Phill Cassey, Craig R. White & Phillip Cassey
Individuals vary in their ability to disperse. Much of this variation can be described by covarying phenotypic traits that are related to dispersal (constituting the ‘dispersal phenotype’ or ‘dispersal syndrome’), but the nature of the associations among these traits is not well understood. Unravelling the associations among traits that potentially constitute the dispersal phenotype provides a foundation for understanding evolutionary trade-offs due to variation in dispersal. Here, we tested five predictions pertaining to the relationships...

Data from: Australian spiny mountain crayfish and their temnocephalan ectosymbionts: an ancient association on the edge of coextinction?

Jennifer F. Hoyal Cuthill, Kim B. Sewell, Lester R. G. Cannon, Michael A. Charleston, Susan Lawler, D. Timothy J. Littlewood, Peter D. Olson & David Blair
Australian spiny mountain crayfish (Euastacus, Parastacidae) and their ecotosymbiotic temnocephalan flatworms (Temnocephalida, Platyhelminthes) may have co-occurred and interacted through deep time, during a period of major environmental change. Therefore, reconstructing the history of their association is of evolutionary, ecological, and conservation significance. Here, time-calibrated Bayesian phylogenies of Euastacus species and their temnocephalans (Temnohaswellia and Temnosewellia) indicate near-synchronous diversifications from the Cretaceous. Statistically significant cophylogeny correlations between associated clades suggest linked evolutionary histories. However, there is...

Network analysis reveals underlying syntactic features in a vocally learnt mammalian display, humpback whale song

Jennifer Allen, Ellen Garland, Rebecca Dunlop & Michael Noad
Vocal communication systems have a set of rules that govern the arrangement of acoustic signals, broadly defined as ‘syntax’. However, there is a limited understanding of potentially shared or analogous rules across vocal displays in different taxa. Recent work on songbirds has investigated syntax using network-based modelling. This technique quantifies features such as connectivity (adjacent signals in a sequence) and recurring patterns. Here, we apply network-based modelling to the complex, hierarchically structured songs of humpback...

Data from: Motivations, success and cost of coral reef restoration

Elisa Bayraktarov, Phoebe J. Stewart-Sinclair, Shantala Brisbane, Audrey Van Herwaarden, Lisa Boström-Einarsson, Megan I. Saunders, Catherine E. Lovelock, Hugh P. Possingham, Peter J. Mumby & Kerrie A. Wilson
Coral reef restoration is an increasingly important part of tropical marine conservation. Information about what motivates coral reef restoration as well as its success and cost is not well understood but needed to inform restoration decisions. We systematically review and synthesise data from mostly scientific studies published in peer‐reviewed and grey literature on the motivations for coral reef restoration, the variables measured, outcomes reported, the cost per hectare of the restoration project, the survival of...

Data from: Experimental evidence for accelerated adaptation to desiccation through sexual selection on males

Aline Gibson Vega, Jason Kennington, Joseph Tomkins & Robert Dugand
The impact of sexual selection on the adaptive process remains unclear. On the one hand, sexual selection might hinder adaptation by favouring costly traits and preferences that reduce nonsexual fitness. On the other hand, condition dependence of success in sexual selection may accelerate adaptation. Here, we used replicate populations of Drosophila melanogaster to artificially select on male desiccation resistance while manipulating the opportunity for precopulatory sexual selection in a factorial design. Following five generations of...

Support for the habitat amount hypothesis from a global synthesis of species density studies

James Watling, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Marion Pfeifer, Lander Baeten, Cristina Banks-Leite, Laura Cisneros, Rebecca Fang, Caroli Hamel-Leigue, Thibault Lachat, Inara Leal, Luc Lens, Hugh Possingham, Dinarzarde Raheem, Danilo Ribeiro, Eleanor Slade, Nicolas Urbina-Cardona, Eric Wood & Lenore Fahrig
Decades of research suggest that species richness depends on spatial characteristics of habitat patches, especially their size and isolation. In contrast, the habitat amount hypothesis predicts that: 1) species richness in plots of fixed size (species density) is more strongly and positively related to the amount of habitat around the plot than to patch size or isolation; 2) habitat amount better predicts species density than patch size and isolation combined, 3) there is no effect...

Data from: Self-deception in nonhuman animals: weak crayfish escalated aggression as if they were strong

Michael Angilletta, Gregory Kubitz & Robbie Wilson
Humans routinely deceive themselves when communicating to others, but no one knows whether other animals do the same. We ask whether dishonest signaling between crayfish meets a condition required for self-deception: dishonest individuals and honest individuals escalate aggression according to their signals of strength rather than actual strength. Using game theory, we predicted how an animal’s knowledge of its strength should affect its decision to escalate aggression. At the evolutionary equilibrium, an animal that knows...

Data from: The influence of distance to perennial surface water on ant communities in Mopane woodlands, northern Botswana

Fredrik Dalerum, Tarryn Anne Retief, Carl Peter Havemann, Christian T. Chimimba, Benrdt Janse Van Rensburg & Berndt Janse Van Rensburg
Studies of biodiversity along environmental gradients provide information on how ecological communities change in response to biotic and abiotic factors. For instance, distance to water is associated with several factors that shape the structure and the functioning of ecosystems at a range of spatial scales. We investigated the influence of distance to a perennial water source on ant communities in a semi-arid savanna in northern Botswana. Ant abundance, taxonomic richness and both alpha and beta...

Data from: Do slower movers have lower reproductive success and higher mutation load?

Carly B. Walsh & Katrina McGuigan
Deleterious mutations occur frequently in eukaryotes, resulting in individuals carrying multiple alleles that decrease their fitness. At a population level, if unchecked, accumulation of this mutation load can ultimately lead to extinction. How selection counters the accumulation of mutation load, limiting declines in population fitness, is not well understood. Here, we use manipulative experiments in zebrafish (Danio rerio) to investigate the opportunities for selection on mutation load. Inducing high mutation load through mutagenesis, we applied...

Data from: Measuring the surrogacy potential of charismatic megafauna species across taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity on a megadiverse island

Marsya C Sibarani, Moreno Di Marco, Carlo Rondinini & Salit Kark
1. Conservation organisations and governments often use charismatic megafauna as surrogates for representing broader biodiversity. While these species are primarily selected as “flagships” for marketing campaign, it is important to evaluate their surrogacy potential, i.e., the extent to which their protection benefits other biodiversity elements. Four charismatic megafauna species are used as surrogates in the megadiverse island of Sumatra: the Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae, Sumatran elephant Elephas maximus sumatranus, Sumatran orangutan Pongo abelii and...

Data from: Avoided emissions and conservation of scrub mangroves: a potential Blue Carbon project in the Gulf of California, Mexico

M. Fernanda Adame, Eduardo Najera, Catherine E. Lovelock & Chris J. Brown
Mangroves are considered ideal ecosystems for Blue Carbon projects. However, because of their short stature, some mangroves (“scrub” mangroves, < 2m) do not fulfil the current definition of “forests” which makes them ineligible for emission reduction programs such as REDD+. Short stature mangroves can be the dominant form of mangroves in arid and poor nutrient landscapes, and emissions from their deforestation and degradation could be substantial. Here, we describe a potential Blue Carbon project in...

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