Data from: High-throughput sequencing of ancient plant and mammal DNA preserved in herbivore middensDáithí C. Murray, Stuart G. Pearson, Richard Fullagar, Brian M. Chase, Jayne Houston, Jennifer Atchison, Nicole E. White, Matthew I. Bellgard, Edward Clarke, Mike Macphail, M. Thomas P. Gilbert, James Haile & Michael Bunce
The study of arid palaeoenvironments is often frustrated by the poor or non-existent preservation of plant and animal material, yet these environments are of considerable environmental importance. The analysis of pollen and macrofossils isolated from herbivore middens has been an invaluable source of information regarding past environments and the nature of ecological fluctuations within arid zones. The application of ancient DNA (aDNA) techniques to hot, arid zone middens remains unexplored. This paper attempts to retrieve...
Ectoparasites can reduce individual fitness by negatively affecting behavioural, morphological and physiological traits. In fishes, there are potential costs if ectoparasites decrease streamlining, thereby directly compromising swimming performance. Few studies have examined the effects of ectoparasites on fish swimming performance and none distinguish between energetic costs imposed by changes in streamlining and effects on host physiology. The bridled monocle bream (Scolopsis bilineatus) is parasitized by an isopod (Anilocra nemipteri), which attaches above the eye. We...
Data from: Alarming features: birds use specific acoustic properties to identify heterospecific alarm callsPamela M. Fallow, Benjamin J. Pitcher, Robert D. Magrath, B. J. Pitcher, P. M. Fallow & R. D. Magrath
Vertebrates that eavesdrop on heterospecific alarm calls must distinguish alarms from sounds that can safely be ignored, but the mechanisms for identifying heterospecific alarm calls are poorly understood. While vertebrates learn to identify heterospecific alarms through experience, some can also respond to unfamiliar alarm calls that are acoustically similar to conspecific alarm calls. We used synthetic calls to test the role of specific acoustic properties in alarm call identification by superb fairy wrens, Malurus cyaneus....
Data from: Nest predation in New Zealand songbirds: exotic predators, introduced prey and long-term changes in predation riskVladimír Remeš, Beata Matysioková & Andrew Cockburn
Predation is a major factor in ecology, evolution and conservation and thus its understanding is essential for insights into ecological processes and management of endangered populations of prey. Here we conducted a spatially (main island through to offshore islets) and temporally (1938-2005) extensive meta-analysis of published nest predation rates in New Zealand songbirds. We obtained information on nest predation rates from 79 populations (n = 4838 nests) of 26 species of songbirds belonging to 17...
Among songbirds, growing evidence suggests that acoustic adaptation of song traits occurs in response to habitat features. Despite extensive study, most research supporting acoustic adaptation has only considered acoustic traits averaged for species or populations, overlooking intraindividual variation of song traits, which may facilitate effective communication in heterogeneous and variable environments. Fewer studies have explicitly incorporated sexual selection, which, if strong, may favour variation across environments. Here, we evaluate the prevalence of acoustic adaptation among...
Theory suggests that reproductive effort generally increases with age, but life history models indicate that other outcomes are possible. Empirical data are needed to quantify variation in actual age-dependence. Data are readily attainable for females (e.g. clutch/egg size), but not for males (e.g. courtship effort). To quantify male effort one must: (a) experimentally control for potential age-dependent changes in female presence; and, crucially, (b) distinguish between the likelihood of courtship being initiated, the display rate,...
Data from: Predicting local adaptation in fragmented plant populations: implications for restoration geneticsMelinda Pickup, David L. Field, David M. Rowell & Andrew G. Young
Understanding patterns and correlates of local adaptation in heterogeneous landscapes can provide important information in the selection of appropriate seed sources for restoration. We assessed the extent of local adaptation of fitness components in 12 population pairs of the perennial herb Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) and examined if spatial scale (0.7 – 600km), environmental distance, quantitative Q_ST and neutral genetic differentiation F_ST, and size of the local and foreign populations could predict patterns of adaptive differentiation....
Birds choose mates on the basis of colour, song and body size, but little is known about the mechanisms underlying these mating decisions. Reports that zebra finches prefer to view mates with the right eye during courtship, and that immediate early gene expression associated with courtship behaviour is lateralized in their left hemisphere suggest that visual mate choice itself may be lateralized. To test this hypothesis, we used the Gouldian finch, a polymorphic species in...
Data from: Source population characteristics affect heterosis following genetic rescue of fragmented plant populationsMelinda Pickup, David L. Field, David M. Rowell, Andrew G. Young, D. M. Rowell & A. G. Young
Understanding the relative importance of heterosis and outbreeding depression over multiple generations is a key question in evolutionary biology and is essential for identifying appropriate genetic sources for population and ecosystem restoration. Here we use 2455 experimental crosses between 12 population pairs of the rare perennial plant Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) to investigate the multi-generational (F1, F2, F3) fitness outcomes of inter-population hybridisation. We detected no evidence of outbreeding depression, with inter-population hybrids and backcrosses showing...
Data from: Morphological, ecological and genetic aspects associated with endemism in the Fly Orchid groupYann Triponez, Nils Arrigo, Loïc Pellissier, Bertrand Schatz & Nadir Alvarez
The European genus Ophrys (Orchidaceae) is famous for its insect-like floral morphology, an adaptation for a pseudocopulatory pollination strategy involving Hymenoptera males. A large number of endemic Ophrys species have recently been described, especially within the Mediterranean Basin, which is one of the major species diversity hotspots. Subtle morphological variation and specific pollinator dependence are the two main perceptible criteria for describing numerous endemic taxa. However, the degree to which endemics differ genetically remains a...
Data from: Demography and growth of subadult savanna trees: interactions of life history, size, fire season, and grassy understoryPatricia A. Werner & Lynda D. Prior
Tree populations in mesic (>650 mm precipitation/yr) savannas of the world have strong demographic bottlenecks to the transition of subadult trees to the canopy layer. Although such bottlenecks are a major determinant of savanna physiognomy, the factors that allow subadults to traverse the bottleneck are little studied. In a landscape-scale field experiment in a northern Australia savanna, we determined the survival and growth of 1506 permanently marked juveniles (<150 cm tall) and saplings (150–599 cm...
Australian National University11
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation2
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center1
Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive1
University of Wollongong1
University of Neuchâtel1
University of Lausanne1
University of Tasmania1
Queen Mary University of London1
University of Arizona1
University of Bergen1