38 Works

Isotopic niche overlap between sympatric Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins

Guido J. Parra, Zachary Wojtkowiak, Katharina J. Peters & Daniele Cagnazzi
Ecological niche theory predicts the coexistence of closely related species is promoted by resource partitioning and leads to the use of different ecological niches. Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and humpback (Sousa sahulensis) dolphins live in sympatry throughout most of their range in northern Australia. We compared stable isotope ratios of carbon (δ13C) and nitrogen (δ15N) in their skin to investigate resource partitioning between these ecologically similar species. Skin samples were collected from live Australian snubfin...

Koala greater glider detection histories: Richmond Range NP

Ross Goldingay
Multi-year investigations of population dynamics are fundamental to threatened species conservation. We used multi-season occupancy based on spotlight surveys to investigate dynamic occupancy of the koala and the greater glider over an 8-year period that encompassed a severe drought in year 6. We combined our occupancy estimates with literature estimates of density to estimate the population sizes of these species within the focal conservation reserve. Both species showed substantial yearly variation in the probability of...

Large-scale interventions may delay decline of the Great Barrier Reef

Scott Condie, Ken Anthony, Mark Baird, Roger Beeden, Daniel Harrison, Éva Plagányi, Russell Babcock, Cameron Fletcher, Rebecca Gorton, Alistair Hobday & David Westcott
On the iconic Great Barrier Reef (GBR) the cumulative impacts of tropical cyclones, marine heatwaves and regular outbreaks of coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish (CoTS) have severely depleted coral cover. Climate change will further exacerbate this situation over the coming decades unless effective interventions are implemented. Evaluating the efficacy of alternative interventions in a complex system experiencing major cumulative impacts can only be achieved through a systems-modeling approach. We have evaluated combinations of interventions using a coral...

Data from: Upgrades of coastal protection infrastructure affect benthic communities

Lea Mamo, Augustine Porter, Alejandro Tagliafico, Melinda Coleman, Stephen Smith, Will Figueira & Brendan Kelaher
Sea level rise, storm surges, aging and wear are forcing upgrades to breakwaters and seawalls to protect coastal areas from erosion and inundation. Such upgrades involve the introduction of new material which may consequently act as an ecological disturbance that can alter established marine communities and ecosystem function. Mitigating ecological impacts requires an understanding of how species assemblages are affected by such works. Here, we use the major upgrade of a regularly wave-overtopped breakwater as...

Schooling in a time of disruption: the impact of COVID-19 from the perspective of five New South Wales (Australia) secondary principals

Marilyn Chaseling, Julie-Ann Paredes & William E. Boyd

Data from: Combined mechanistic modelling predicts changes in species distribution and increased co-occurrence of a tropical urchin herbivore and a habitat-forming temperate kelp

Louise Castro, Paulina Cetina-Heredia, Moninya Roughan, Symon Dworjanyn, Loic Thibaut, Matthew Chamberlain, Ming Feng & Adriana Vergés
This dataset aims to identify climate change impacts on spawning and settlement of a tropical herbivore, the sea-urchin, Tripneustes gratilla, along eastern Australia and into the Tasman Sea including Lord Howe Island. The dataset contains the trajectories of particles that represent T. gratilla larvae and their dispersal by ocean currents for each day of both a contemporary (2006-2015) and future ‘business as usual’ RCP 8.5 climate change scenario (2090-2100). T. gratilla larval dispersal under both...

Coral restoration – a systematic review of current methods, successes, failures and future directions

Lisa Boström-Einarsson, Russell C. Babcock, Elisa Bayraktarov, Daniela Ceccarelli, Nathan Cook, Sebastian C. A. Ferse, Boze Hancock, Peter Harrison, Margaux Hein, Elizabeth Shaver, Adam Smith, David Suggett, Phoebe J. Stewart-Sinclair, Tali Vardi & Ian M. McLeod
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef managers and scientists has resulted in a disjointed field where it is difficult to gain an overview of existing knowledge. To address this, we aimed to synthesise the...

Data from: Ecological opportunity and the evolution of habitat preferences in an arid-zone bird: implications for speciation in a climate-modified landscape

Janette A. Norman & Les Christidis
Bioclimatic models are widely used to investigate the impacts of climate change on species distributions. Range shifts are expected to occur as species track their current climate niche yet the potential for exploitation of new ecological opportunities that may arise as ecosystems and communities remodel is rarely considered. Here we show that grasswrens of the Amytornis textilis-modestus complex responded to new ecological opportunities in Australia’s arid biome through shifts in habitat preference following the development...

Data from: Indirect effects of ocean acidification drive feeding and growth of juvenile crown-of-thorns starfish, Acanthaster planci

Pamela Z. Kamya, Maria Byrne, Benjamin Mos, Lauren Hall & Symon A. Dworjanyn
The indirect effects of changing climate in modulating trophic interactions can be as important as the direct effects of climate stressors on consumers. The success of the herbivorous juvenile stage of the crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS), Acanthaster planci, may be affected by the impacts of ocean conditions on its crustose coralline algal (CCA) food. To partition the direct effects of near future ocean acidification on juvenile COTS and indirect effects through changes in their CCA food,...

Data from: Larval settlement: the role of surface topography for sessile coral reef invertebrates

Steve Whalan, Muhammad A. Abdul Wahab, Susanne Sprungala, Andrew J. Poole & Rocky De Nys
For sessile marine invertebrates with complex life cycles, habitat choice is directed by the larval phase. Defining which habitat-linked cues are implicated in sessile invertebrate larval settlement has largely concentrated on chemical cues which are thought to signal optimal habitat. There has been less effort establishing physical settlement cues, including the role of surface microtopography. This laboratory based study tested whether surface microtopography alone (without chemical cues) plays an important contributing role in the settlement...

Data from: DNA barcoding reveals the coral “laboratory-rat”, Stylophora pistillata encompasses multiple identities

Shashank Keshavmurthy, Sung-Yin Yang, Ada Alamaru, Yao-Yang Chuang, Michel Pichon, David Obura, Silvia Fontana, Stephane De Palmas, Fabrizio Stefani, Francesca Benzoni, Angus MacDonald, Annika M. E. Noreen, Chienshun Chen, Carden C. Wallace, Ruby M. Pillay, Vianney Denis, Affendi Yang Amri, James D. Reimer, Takuma Mezaki, Charles Sheppard, Yossi Loya, Avidor Abelson, Mohammed S. Mohammed, Andrew C. Baker, Pargol G. Mostafavi … & Chaolun A. Chen
Stylophora pistillata is a widely used coral “lab-rat” species with highly variable morphology and a broad biogeographic range (Red Sea to western central Pacific). Here we show, by analysing Cytochorme Oxidase I sequences, from 241 samples across this range, that this taxon in fact comprises four deeply divergent clades corresponding to the Pacific-Western Australia, Chagos-Madagascar-South Africa, Gulf of Aden-Zanzibar- Madagascar, and Red Sea-Persian/Arabian Gulf-Kenya. On the basis of the fossil record of Stylophora, these four...

Data from: Fighting and mating success in giant Australian cuttlefish is influenced by behavioural lateralization

Alexandra K. Schnell, Christelle Jozet-Alves, Karina C. Hall, Léa Radday & Roger T. Hanlon
Behavioural lateralization is widespread. Yet, a fundamental question remains, how can lateralization be evolutionary stable when individuals lateralized in one direction often significantly outnumber individuals lateralized in the opposite direction? A recently developed game theory model predicts that fitness consequences that occur during intraspecific interactions may be driving population-level lateralization as an evolutionary stable strategy. This model predicts that (i) minority-type individuals exist because they are more likely to adopt unpredictable fighting behaviours during competitive...

Use of road underpasses by mammals and a monitor lizard in eastern Australia and consideration of the prey-trap hypothesis

Ross Goldingay
Road networks continue to expand globally with predictable effects on ecological systems. Research into the effectiveness of road underpasses and overpasses for wildlife has been concentrated in North America and Europe. In Australia, most studies of underpasses have been of relatively short duration and without reference sites to give context to the measured rates of use. We studied 5–7 road underpasses at two locations in eastern Australia over 2–3 years, comparing camera trap detections of...

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