52 Works

Data from: Female choice for related males in wild red-backed toadlets (Pseudophryne coriacea)

Daniel M. O'Brien, J. Scott Keogh, Aimee J. Silla & Phillip G. Byrne
Mate choice for genetic benefits is assumed to be widespread in nature, yet very few studies have comprehensively examined relationships between female mate choice and male genetic quality in wild populations. Here, we use exhaustive sampling and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to provide a partial test of the “good genes as heterozygosity” hypothesis and the “genetic compatibility” hypothesis in an entire population of terrestrial breeding red-backed toadlets, Pseudophryne coriacea. We found that successful males did...

Data from: Sex- and tissue-specific differences in telomere length in a reptile

Nicky Rollings, Christopher R. Friesen, Camilla M. Whittington, Rasmus Johansson, Richard Shine & Mats Olsson
The usage of telomere length (TL) in blood as a proxy for the TL of other tissues relies on the assumption that telomere dynamics across all tissues are similar. However, telomere attrition can be caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) which may vary with metabolic rate, which itself varies across organs depending upon the life history strategy of an organism. Thus we chose to measure the telomeres of various cell types in juvenile painted dragon...

Data from: Effects of male telomeres on probability of paternity in sand lizards

Angela Pauliny, Emily Miller, Nicky Rollings, Erik Wapstra, Donald Blomqvist, Christopher Friesen, Mats Olsson & Chris R. Friesen
Standardized swim-up trials are used in IVF clinics to select particularly motile spermatozoa in order to increase the probability of a successful fertilization. Such trials demonstrate that sperm with longer telomeres have higher motility and lower levels of DNA damage. Regardless of whether sperm motility, and successful swim-up to fertilization sites, is a direct or correlational effect of telomere length or DNA damage, covariation between telomere length and sperm performance predicts a relationship between telomere...

Data from: Climate-driven range shifts explain the distribution of extant gene pools and predict future loss of unique lineages in a marine brown alga

Jorge Assis, Ester Serrão, Bruno Claro, Cécile Perrin & Gareth A. Pearson
The climate-driven dynamics of species ranges is a critical research question in evolutionary ecology. We ask whether present intra-specific diversity is determined by the imprint of past climate. This is an ongoing debate requiring interdisciplinary examination of population genetic pools and persistence patterns across global ranges. Previously, contrasting inferences and predictions have resulted from distinct genomic coverage and/or geographical information. We aim to describe and explain the causes of geographical contrasts in genetic diversity and...

Data from: A significant component of ageing (DNA damage) is reflected in fading breeding colors: an experimental test using innate antioxidant mimetics in painted dragon lizards

Mats Michael Olsson, Michael Tobler, Mo Healey, Cecile Perrin & Mark Wilson
A decade ahead of their time, von Schantz and coworkers united sexual selection and free radical biology by identifying causal links between deep-rooted physiological processes that dictate resistance to toxic waste from oxidative metabolism (reactive oxygen species), and phenotypic traits, such as ornaments. Ten years later, these ideas have still only been tested with indirect estimates of free radical levels (oxidative stress) subsequent to the action of innate and dietary antioxidants. Here we measure net...

Influence of genetic compatibility on offspring fitness in the red-backed toadlet

Phillip Byrne
Presented are data from a manipulative study investigating the influence of parental genetic compatibility on offspring viability in the red backed toadlet (Pseudophryne coriacea). The study used artificial fertilisation techniques combined with a cross-classified breeding design (North Carolina type II) to control parentage and partition sources of genetic and phenotypic variance in offspring fitness. The study also tested the influence of parental genetic similarity on offspring viability. Quantitative genetic analysis of the data revealed no...

Data from: Transgenerational plasticity of reproduction depends on rate of warming across generations

Jennifer M. Donelson, Marian Wong, David J. Booth & Philip L. Munday
Predicting the impacts of climate change to biological systems requires an understanding of the ability for species to acclimate to the projected environmental change through phenotypic plasticity. Determining the effects of higher temperatures on individual performance is made more complex by the potential for environmental conditions experienced in previous and current generations to independently affect phenotypic responses to high temperatures. We used a model coral reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) to investigate the influence of thermal...

Pollination by bats enhances both quality and yield of a major cash crop in Mexico

Constance Tremlett, Mandy Moore, Mark Chapman, Veronica Zamora-Gutierrez & Kelvin Peh
We used exclusion experiments to determine the effect of different pollinator taxa on the yield and quality of pitayas (fruit of Stenocereus queretaroensis (F.A.C. Weber) Buxbaum), a major crop in central Mexico. We studied the three most economically important cultivars and wild individuals in the principal region for pitaya production. For each pollinator taxa we recorded fruit set and measured three key parameters of fruit quality: weight, sucrose concentration and seed set. When bats were...

Data from: The role of phylogeny and ecology in shaping morphology in 21 genera and 127 species of Australo-Papuan myobatrachid frogs

M. Vidal-García, P. G. Byrne, J. D. Roberts & J. S. Keogh
Body shape is predicted to differ among species for functional reasons and in relation to environmental niche and phylogenetic history. We quantified morphological differences in shape and size among 98.5% of the 129 species and all 21 genera of the Australo-Papuan endemic myobatrachid frogs to test the hypothesis that habitat type predicts body shape in this radiation. We tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic context at two taxonomic levels: across the entire radiation and within...

Data from: Is the post-disturbance composition of a plant population determined by selection for outcrossed seedlings or by the composition of the seedbank?

David G. Roberts, Kym M. Ottewell, Robert J. Whelan & David J. Ayre
Seedbanks are expected to buffer populations against disturbances, such as fire, that could alter the genetic composition of smaller, ephemeral adult populations. However, seedling genotypes may be influenced by the spatially heterogeneous nature of both the seedbank and the disturbance (for example, germination may vary with local disturbance) and also by selection acting on germination and post-germination performance. We used microsatellite-DNA surveys of seedlings emerging from the soil-stored seedbanks of Grevillea macleayana after wildfire to...

Data from: Fifty thousand years of arctic vegetation and megafaunal diet

Eske Willerslev, John Davison, Mari Moora, Martin Zobel, Eric Coissac, Mary E. Edwards, Eline D. Lorenzen, Mette Vestergård, Galina Gussarova, James Haile, Joseph Craine, Gaddy Bergmann, Ludovic Gielly, Sanne Boessenkool, Laura S. Epp, Peter B. Pearman, Rachid Cheddadi, David Murray, Karri Anne Bråthen, Nigel Yoccoz, Heather Binney, Corinne Cruaud, Patrick Wincker, Tomasz Goslar, Inger Greve Alsos … & Pierre Taberlet
Although it is generally agreed that the arctic flora is among the youngest and least diverse on Earth, the processes that shaped it are poorly understood. Here we present 50 thousand years (kyr) of arctic vegetation history, derived from the first large-scale ancient DNA metabarcoding study of circumpolar plant diversity. For this interval we additionally explore nematode diversity as a proxy for modelling vegetation cover and soil quality, and diets of herbivorous megafaunal mammals, many...

Data from: Varying levels of clonality and ploidy create barriers to gene flow and challenges for conservation of an Australian arid-zone ecosystem engineer, Acacia loderi

David G. Roberts, Cairo N. Forrest, Andrew J. Denham & David J. Ayre
Acacia loderi, the ecosystem engineer of the endangered Acacia loderi Shrublands in arid eastern Australia, spans a persistent (> 15 000 year) but poorly studied landscape feature, the Darling River. We investigated the genetic structure of 19 stands of eight to > 1000 plants separated by < 300 km to test for variation in life histories between semi-arid and arid stands to the east and west of the Darling River, respectively. Eight of nine stands...

Data from: The relationship of body condition, superoxide dismutase, and superoxide with sperm performance

Christopher R. Friesen, Simon P. De Graaf & Mats Olsson
Sperm competition theory predicts a negative correlation between somatic investment in traits that aid in pre- and postcopulatory sexual selection. Sperm performance is critical for postcopulatory success but are susceptible to damage by free radicals such as superoxide radicals generated during mitochondrial respiration (mtSOx). Males can ameliorate damage to spermatozoa by investing in the production of antioxidants, like superoxide dismutase (SOD), which may act as a mechanistic link for pre and postcopulatory trade-offs. Some male...

Data from: A preliminary framework for DNA barcoding, incorporating the multispecies coalescent

Mark Dowton, Kelly Meiklejohn, Stephen L. Cameron & James Wallman
The capacity to identify an unknown organism using the DNA sequence from a single gene has many applications. These include the development of biodiversity inventories (Janzen et al. 2005), forensics (Meiklejohn et al. 2011), biosecurity (Armstrong and Ball 2005), and the identification of cryptic species (Smith et al. 2006). The popularity and widespread use (Teletchea 2010) of the DNA barcoding approach (Hebert et al. 2003), despite broad misgivings (e.g., Smith 2005; Will et al. 2005;...

Data from: Effect of captivity on morphology: negligible changes in external morphology mask significant changes in internal morphology

Stephanie K. Courtney Jones, Adam J. Munn & Phillip G. Byrne
Captive breeding programmes are increasingly relied upon for threatened species management. Changes in morphology can occur in captivity, often with unknown consequences for reintroductions. Few studies have examined the morphological changes that occur in captive animals compared with wild animals. Further, the effect of multiple generations being maintained in captivity, and the potential effects of captivity on sexual dimorphism remain poorly understood. We compared external and internal morphology of captive and wild animals using house...

Data from: Stress in native grasses under ecologically relevant heat waves

Michael Davies, Heath Ecroyd, Sharon A. Robinson, Kris French & Kristine French
Future increases in the intensity of heat waves (high heat and low water availability) are predicted to be one of the most significant impacts on organisms. Using six native grasses from Eastern Australia, we assessed their capacity to tolerate heat waves with low water availability. We were interested in understanding differential response between native grasses of differing photosynthetic pathways in terms of physiological and some molecular parameters to ecologically relevant summer heat waves that are...

Data from: Evidence for enemy release and increased seed production and size for two invasive Australian acacias

Marta Correia, Daniel Montesinos, Kristine French & Susana Rodríguez-Echeverría
Invasive plants are hypothesized to have higher fitness in introduced areas due to their release from pathogens and herbivores and the relocation of resources to reproduction. However, few studies have tested this hypothesis in native and introduced regions. A biogeographical approach is fundamental to understanding the mechanisms involved in plant invasions and to detect rapid evolutionary changes in the introduced area. Reproduction was assessed in native and introduced ranges of two invasive Australian woody legumes,...

Differential geographic patterns in song components of male Albert’s lyrebirds

Fiona Backhouse, Anastasia Dalziell, Robert Magrath, Aaron Rice, Taylor Crisologo & Justin Welbergen
Geographic variation in bird song has received much attention in evolutionary studies, yet few consider components within songs that may be subject to different constraints and follow different evolutionary trajectories. Here we quantify patterns of geographic variation in the socially-transmitted ‘whistle’ song of Albert’s lyrebirds (Menura alberti), an oscine passerine renowned for its remarkable vocal abilities. Albert’s lyrebirds are confined to narrow stretches of suitable habitat, allowing us to map likely paths of cultural transmission...

Wing interference patterns of Chrysomya blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae)

Nathan Butterworth, Thomas White, Phillip Byrne & James Wallman
Wing interference patterns (WIPs) are stable structural colours displayed on insect wings which are only visible at specific viewing geometries and against certain backgrounds. These patterns are widespread among flies and wasps, and growing evidence suggests that they may function as species- and sex-specific mating cues in a range of taxa. As such, it is expected that WIPs should differ between species and show clear sexual dimorphisms. However, the true extent to which WIPs vary...

Data from: Apex predator suppression is linked to restructuring of ecosystems via multiple ecological pathways

Viyanna Leo, Richard P. Reading, Christopher Gordon & Mike Letnic
Removal of apex predators can drive ecological regime shifts owing to compensatory positive and negative population level responses by organisms at lower trophic levels. Despite evidence that apex predators can influence ecosystems though multiple ecological pathways, most studies investigating apex predators’ effects on ecosystems have considered just one pathway in isolation. Here, we provide evidence that lethal control of an apex predator, the dingo (Canis dingo), drives shifts in the structure of Australia’s tropical-savannah ecosystems....

Data from: Direct evidence for encoding of motion streaks in human visual cortex

Deborah Apthorp, D. Samuel Schwarzkopf, Christian Kaul, Bahador Bahrami, David Alais & Geraint Rees
Temporal integration in the visual system causes fast-moving objects to generate static, oriented traces (‘motion streaks’), which could be used to help judge direction of motion. While human psychophysics and single-unit studies in non-human primates are consistent with this hypothesis, direct neural evidence from the human cortex is still lacking. First, we provide psychophysical evidence that faster and slower motions are processed by distinct neural mechanisms: faster motion raised human perceptual thresholds for static orientations...

Data from: Curvilinear telomere length dynamics in a squamate reptile

Beata Ujvari, Peter A. Biro, Jordan E. Charters, Gregory Brown, Kim Heasman, Christa Beckman, Thomas Madsen & Christa Beckmann
The lack of consensus concerning the impact of telomere length (TL) dynamics on survival emphasizes the need for additional studies to evaluate the effect of TL on key life-history processes. Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we therefore explored age-specific TL dynamics in a squamate reptile: the frillneck lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii). Our cross-sectional analyses revealed that young lizards had short TL, TL increased in medium-aged lizards, but TL decreased in older age cohorts, revealing a...

Data from: Impacts and recovery from Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasi on the Great Barrier Reef

Roger J. Beeden, Jeffrey Maynard, Marjetta Puotinen, Paul Marshall, Jen Dryden, Jeremy Goldberg, Gareth Williams & Roger Beeden
Full recovery of coral reefs from tropical cyclone (TC) damage can take decades, making cyclones a major driver of habitat condition where they occur regularly. Since 1985, 44 TCs generated gale force winds (≥17 metres/second) within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP). Of the hurricane strength TCs (≥H1—Saffir Simpson scale; ≥ category 3 Australian scale), TC Yasi (February, 2011) was the largest. In the weeks after TC Yasi crossed the GBRMP, participating researchers, managers...

Data from: Positive severity feedback between consecutive fires in dry eucalypt forests of southern Australia

James W. Barker & Owen F. Price
Fire regimes have long-term effects on ecosystems which can be subtle, requiring study at a large spatial scale and temporal scale to fully appreciate. The way in which multiple fires interact to create a fire regime is poorly understood, and the relationship between the severities of consecutive fires has not been studied in Australia. By overlaying remotely sensed severity maps, our study investigated how the severity of a fire is influenced by previous fire severity....

Comparison of health literacy profile of patients with end stage kidney disease on dialysis versus non-dialysis chronic kidney disease and the influencing factors: a cross-sectional study

Karumathil Murali, Judy Mullan, Steven Roodenrys & Maureen Lonergan
Objectives: Lower health literacy (HL) is associated with poor outcomes in patients with kidney disease. Since HL matches the patient’s competencies with the complexities of the care package, the level of HL sufficient in earlier stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD) may be inadequate for end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) patients on dialysis. We aimed to analyse the HL profile of ESKD and non-dialysis CKD patients and examine if there were significant associations with covariates which...

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