58 Works

Data from: Demographic collapse and low genetic diversity of the Irrawaddy dolphin population inhabiting the Mekong River

Michael Krützen, Isabel Beasley, Corinne Y. Ackermann, Dietmar Lieckfeldt, Arne Ludwig, Gerard E. Ryan, Lars Bejder, Guido J. Parra, Rebekka Wolfensberger & Peter B. S. Spencer
In threatened wildlife populations, it is important to determine whether observed low genetic diversity may be due to recent anthropogenic pressure or the consequence of historic events. Historical size of the Irrawaddy dolphin (Orcaella brevirostris) population inhabiting the Mekong River is unknown and there is significant concern for long-term survival of the remaining population as a result of low abundance, slow reproduction rate, high neonatal mortality, and continuing anthropogenic threats. We investigated population structure and...

Data from: How well do molecular and pedigree relatedness correspond, in populations with variable mating systems, and types and quantities of molecular and demographic data?

Anna M. Kopps, Jungkoo Kang, William B. Sherwin & Per J. Palsbøll
Kinship analyses are important pillars of ecological and conservation genetic studies with potentially far-reaching implications. There is a need for power analyses that address a range of possible relationships. Nevertheless, such analyses are rarely applied, and studies that use genetic-data-based-kinship inference often ignore the influence of intrinsic population characteristics. We investigated 11 questions regarding the correct classification rate of dyads to relatedness categories (relatedness category assignments; RCA) using an individual-based model with realistic life history...

Data from: Intrinsic factors drive spatial genetic variation in a highly vagile species, the wedge-tailed eagle (Aquila audax), in Tasmania

Christopher P. Kozakiewicz, Scott Carver, Jeremy J. Austin, Jill M. Shephard & Christopher P. Burridge
Knowledge of dispersal in a species, both its quantity and the factors influencing it, are crucial for our understanding of ecology and evolution, and for species conservation. Here we quantified and formally assessed the potential contribution of extrinsic factors on individual dispersal in the threatened Tasmanian population of wedge-tailed eagle, Aquila audax. As successful breeding by these individuals appears strongly related to habitat, we tested the effect of landscape around sampling sites on genetic diversity...

Data from: New species from Phytophthora Clade 6a: evidence for recent radiation

Treena I. Burgess, Agnes V. Simamora, Diane White, Briony Williams, Michelle Schwager, Michael J. C. Stukely, Giles Hardy, T.I. Burgess, B. Wiliams, G.E.St.J. Hardy & A.V. Simamora
During routine vegetation health surveys in the southwest of Western Australia (SWWA), several Phytophthora isolates with affinity to Clade 6a have been recovered. In this study, all known species from Clade 6a, P. inundata, P. humicola, P. gemini, P. ‘walnut’ and P. ‘personii’, and the new isolates were compared based on morphology and DNA sequence data from three nuclear genes and two mitochondrial genes resulting in the description of five new species, P. balyanboodja, P....

Data from: Resistance and resilience to changing climate and fire regime depend on plant functional traits

Neal J. Enright, Joseph B. Fontaine, Byron B. Lamont, Ben P. Miller & Vanessa C. Westcott
Changing disturbance-climate interactions will drive shifts in plant communities: these effects are not adequately quantified by environmental niche models used to predict future species distributions. We quantified the effects of more frequent fire and lower rainfall - as projected to occur under a warming and drying climate - on population responses of shrub species in biodiverse Mediterranean-climate type shrublands near Eneabba, southwestern Australia. Using experimental fires, we measured the density of all shrub species for...

Data from: Ontogenetic development of intestinal length and relationships to diet in an Australasian fish family (Terapontidae)

Aaron M. Davis, Peter J. Unmack, Bradley J. Pusey, Richard G. Pearson & David L. Morgan
Background: One of the most widely accepted ecomorphological relationships in vertebrates is the negative correlation between intestinal length and proportion of animal prey in diet. While many fish groups exhibit this general pattern, other clades demonstrate minimal, and in some cases contrasting, associations between diet and intestinal length. Moreover, this relationship and its evolutionary derivation have received little attention from a phylogenetic perspective. This study documents the phylogenetic development of intestinal length variability, and resultant...

Data from: Adaptive variation for growth and resistance to a novel pathogen along climatic gradients in a foundation tree

Collin W. Ahrens, Richard A. Mazanec, Trudy Paap, Katinka X. Ruthrof, Anthea Challis, Giles Hardy, Margaret Byrne, David T. Tissue & Paul D. Rymer
Natural ecosystems are under pressure from increasing abiotic and biotic stressors, including climate change and novel pathogens, which are putting species at risk of local extinction, and altering community structure, composition, and function. Here, we aim to assess adaptive variation in growth and fungal disease resistance within a foundation tree, Corymbia calophylla to determine local adaptation, trait heritability, and genetic constraints in adapting to future environments. Two experimental planting sites were established in regions of...

Data from: Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).

Megan L. Coghlan, Garth Maker, Elly Crighton, James Haile, Dáithí C. Murray, Nicole E. White, Roger W. Byard, Matthew I. Bellgard, Ian Mullaney, Robert Trengove, Richard J. N. Allcock, Christine Nash, Claire Hoban, Kevin Jarrett, Ross Edwards, Ian F. Musgrave & Michael Bunce
Globally, there has been an increase in the use of herbal remedies including traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). There is a perception that products are natural, safe and effectively regulated, however, regulatory agencies are hampered by a lack of a toolkit to audit ingredient lists, adulterants and constituent active compounds. Here, for the first time, a multidisciplinary approach to assessing the molecular content of 26 TCMs is described. Next generation DNA sequencing is combined with toxicological...

Data from: DNA metabarcoding for diet analysis and biodiversity: A case study using the endangered Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea)

Tina E. Berry, Sylvia K. Osterrieder, Dáithí C. Murray, Megan L. Coghlan, Anthony J. Richardson, Alicia K. Grealy, Michael Stat, Lars Bejder & Michael Bunce
The analysis of apex predator diet has the ability to deliver valuable insights into ecosystem health, and the potential impacts a predator might have on commercially relevant species. The Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) is an endemic apex predator and one of the world's most endangered pinnipeds. Given that prey availability is vital to the survival of top predators, this study set out to understand what dietary information DNA metabarcoding could yield from 36 sea...

Plant functional traits differ in adaptability and are predicted to be differentially affected by climate change

Collin Ahrens, Margaret Andrew, Richard Mazanec, Katinka Ruthrof, Anthea Challis, Giles Hardy, Margaret Byrne, David T. Tissue & Paul Rymer
1. Climate change is testing the resilience of forests worldwide pushing physiological tolerance to climatic extremes. Plant functional traits have been shown to be adapted to climate, and have evolved patterns of trait correlations (similar patterns of distribution) and coordinations (mechanistic trade-off). We predicted that traits would differentiate between populations associated with climatic gradients, suggestive of adaptive variation, and correlated traits would adapt to future climate scenarios in similar ways. 2. We measured genetically determined...

Beyond species richness and community composition: Using plant functional diversity to measure restoration success in jarrah forest

Rachel Standish, Aaron Gove, Andrew Grigg & Matthew Daws
Aim: The importance of restoring ecosystem functions to native systems that have been degraded, damaged or destroyed is increasingly recognised. Yet few studies have measured the effect of restoration efforts on ecosystem functioning or the functional diversity (FD) that underpins it. Here we assessed change in FD of restored assemblages one to 25 years after the onset of post-mine restoration. Location: Northern Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata Donn ex Sm.) Forest bioregion of south-western Australia. Methods: Functional...

Global change shifts trade-offs among ecosystem functions in woodlands restored for multifunctionality

Sebastian Fiedler, José Monteiro, Kristin Hulvey, Rachel Standish, Michael Perring & Britta Tietjen
1. Ecological restoration increasingly aims at improving ecosystem multifunctionality and making landscapes resilient to future threats, especially in biodiversity hotspots such as Mediterranean-type ecosystems. Plants and their traits play a major role in the functioning of an ecosystem. Therefore, successful restoration towards long-term multifunctionality requires a fundamental mechanistic understanding of this link under changing climate. An integrated approach of empirical research and simulation modelling with a focus on plant traits can allow this understanding. 2....

Data from: One panel to rule them all: DArTcap genotyping for population structure, historical demography, and kinship analyses, and its application to a threatened shark

Pierre Feutry, Floriaan Devloo-Delva, Adrien Tran Lu Y, Stefano Mona, Rasanthi Gunasekera, Grant Johnson, Richard Pillans, Damian Jaccoud, Andrzej Kilian, David Morgan, Thor Saunders, Nicholas Bax & Peter Kyne
With recent advances in sequencing technology, genomic data are changing how important conservation management decisions are made. Applications such as Close-Kin Mark-Recapture demand large amounts of data to estimate population size and structure, and their full potential can only be realised through ongoing improvements in genotyping strategies. Here we introduce DArTcap, a cost-efficient method that combines DArTseq and sequence capture, and illustrate its use in a high resolution population analysis of Glyphis garricki, a rare,...

Global invasion history of the emerging plant pathogen Phytophthora multivora

Tetyana Tsykun, Simone Prospero, Corine N. Schoebel, Alexander Rea & Treena I. Burgess
Abstract Background: global trade in living plants and plant material has significantly increased the geographic distribution of many plant pathogens. As a consequence, several pathogens have been first found and described in their introduced range where they may cause severe damage on naïve host species. Knowing the center of origin and the pathways of spread of a pathogen is of importance for several reasons, including identifying natural enemies and reducing further spread. Several Phytophthora species...

Data from: The cover uncovered: bark control over wood decomposition

Gbadamassi G.O. Dossa, Douglas Schaefer, Jiao-Lin Zhang, Jian-Ping Tao, Kun-Fang Cao, Richard T. Corlett, Anthony B. Cunningham, Jian-Chu Xu, Johannes H. C. Cornelissen, Rhett D. Harrison & Gbadamassi G. O. Dossa
1. Woody debris (WD) represents a globally significant carbon stock and its decomposition returns nutrients to the soil while providing habitat to microbes, plants and animals. Understanding what drives WD decomposition is therefore important. 2. WD decomposition rates differ greatly among species. However, the role of bark in the process remains poorly known. 3. We ask how, and how much, interspecific variation in bark functional traits related to growth and protection have afterlife effects on...

Data from: Chronic exposure of Hawaii Island spinner dolphins (Stenella longirostris) to human activities

Julian A. Tyne, Fredrik Christiansen, Heather L. Heenehan, David W. Johnston & Lars Bejder
Habitat selection is strongly influenced by spatial variations in habitat quality and predation risk. Repeated exposure of wildlife to anthropogenic activities in important habitats may affect habitat selection, leading to negative biological consequences. We quantified the cumulative human exposure of a small, genetically-isolated and behaviourally-constrained spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) population, off Hawaii Island, and exposure effects on their daytime cumulative activity budget. Dolphins were exposed to human activities within 100m for 82.7% of the daytime,...

Data from: Microsatellite markers from the Ion Torrent: a multi-species contrast to 454 shotgun sequencing

Carole P. Elliott, Neal J. Enright, Richard J. N. Allcock, Michael G. Gardner, Emese Meglécz, Janet Anthony & Siegfried L. Krauss
The development and screening of microsatellite markers have been accelerated by next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and in particular GS-FLX pyro-sequencing (454). More recent platforms such as the PGM semiconductor sequencer (Ion Torrent) offer potential benefits such as dramatic reductions in cost, but to date have not been well utilized. Here, we critically compare the advantages and disadvantages of microsatellite development using PGM semiconductor sequencing and GS-FLX pyro-sequencing for two gymnosperm (a conifer and a cycad)...

Data from: Effect of plant root symbionts on performance of native woody species in competition with an invasive grass in multispecies microcosms

Christina Birnbaum, Tim K. Morald, Mark Tibbett, Richard G. Bennett & Rachel J. Standish
The majority of terrestrial plants form mutualistic associations with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and rhizobia (i.e. nitrogen fixing bacteria). Understanding these associations has important implications for ecological theory and for restoration practice. Here we tested whether the presence of AMF and rhizobia influence the performance of native woody plants invaded by a non-native grass in experimental microcosms. We planted eight plant species (i.e. Acacia acuminata, A. microbotrya, Eucalyptus loxophleba subsp. loxophleba, E. astringens, Calothamnus quadrifidus,...

Data from: Cryptic species, native populations and biological invasions by a eucalypt forest pathogen

Guillermo Perez, Bernard Slippers, Michael J. Wingfield, Brenda D. Wingfield, Angus J. Carnegie & Treena I. Burgess
Human associated introduction of pathogens and consequent invasions are very evident in areas where no related organisms existed before. In areas where related but distinct populations or closely related cryptic species already exist, the invasion process is much harder to unravel. In this study, the population structure of the Eucalyptus leaf pathogen Teratosphaeria nubilosa was studied within its native range in Australia, including both commercial plantations and native forests. A collection of 521 isolates from...

Data from: Macroalgae inhibits larval settlement and increases recruit mortality at Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

Fiona J. Webster, Russel C. Babcock, Mike Van Keulen & Neil R. Loneragan
Globally, many coral reefs are degraded and demonstrate reduced coral cover and increased macroalgal abundance. While negative correlations between macroalgae and coral recruitment have commonly been documented, the mechanisms by which macroalgae affects recruitment have received little attention. Here we examined the effect of macroalgae on larval settlement and the growth and survival of coral recruits, in a field experiment over nine months. Exclusion treatments were used to manipulate herbivory and macroalgal biomass, while settlement...

Data from: Synchronous diversification of Sulawesi's iconic artiodactyls driven by recent geological events

Laurent A. F. Frantz, Anna Rudzinski, Abang Mansyursyah Surya Nugraha, Allowen Evin, James Burton, Ardern Hulme-Beaman, Anna Linderholm, Ross Barnett, Rodrigo Vega, Evan K. Irving-Pease, James Haile, Richard Allen, Kristin Leus, Jill Shephard, Mia Hillyer, Sarah Gillemot, Jeroen Van Den Hurk, Sharron Ogle, Cristina Atofanei, Mark G. Thomas, Friederike Johansson, Abdul Haris Mustari, John Williams, Kusdiantoro Mohamad, Chandramaya Siska Damayanti … & Greger Larson
The high degree of endemism on Sulawesi has previously been suggested to have vicariant origins, dating back 40 Myr ago. Recent studies, however, suggest that much of Sulawesi’s fauna assembled over the last 15 Myr. Here, we test the hypothesis that more recent uplift of previously submerged portions of land on Sulawesi promoted diversification, and that much of its faunal assemblage is much younger than the island itself. To do so, we combined palaeogeographical reconstructions...

Data from: Native soilborne pathogens equalise differences in competitive ability between plants of contrasting nutrient-acquisition strategies

Felipe E. Albornoz, Treena I. Burgess, Hans Lambers, Hannah Etchells & Etienne Laliberté
Soilborne pathogens can contribute to the maintenance of local plant diversity by reducing differences in competitive ability between co-occurring plant species. It has been hypothesized that efficient phosphorus (P) acquisition by plants in P-impoverished ecosystems might trade off against resistance to root pathogens. This could help explain high plant diversity in severely nutrient-impoverished ecosystems. However, empirical evidence of such a trade-off remains scarce. In hyperdiverse shrublands in south-western Australia, non-mycorrhizal cluster-rooted Proteaceae are very efficient...

Data from: Seed moisture content as a primary trait regulating the lethal temperature thresholds of seeds.

Ryan Tangney, David J. Merritt, Joseph B. Fontaine & Ben P. Miller
1) Fire has shaped biological responses of plants and plant communities in fire-prone systems and is linked to myriad ecological processes but also frequently puts people and infrastructure at risk. Fuel or hazard-reduction burning is a common practice aimed at reducing the risk of high-severity fires, which ideally also incorporates consideration of biodiversity values. Within fire-prone systems, seed banks are often critical for plant species’ regeneration, and seeds are typically adapted to survive the passage...

Data from: The journey from traffic offender to severe road trauma victim: destiny or preventive opportunity?

Kwok-Ming Ho, Sudhakar Rao, Maxine Burrell, Tarun S. Weeramanthri & Kwok M. Ho
Background: Road trauma is a leading cause of death and injury in young people. Traffic offences are common, but their importance as a risk indicator for subsequent road trauma is unknown. This cohort study assessed whether severe road trauma could be predicted by a history of prior traffic offences. Methodology and Principal Findings: Clinical data of all adult road trauma patients admitted to the Western Australia (WA) State Trauma Centre between 1998 and 2013 were...

Data from: Current and projected global distribution of Phytophthora cinnamomi, one of the world’s worst plant pathogens

Treena Burgess, John K. Scott, Keith L. McDougall, Michael J. C. Stukely, Colin Crane, William A. Dunstan, Frances Brigg, Vera Andjic, Diane White, Tim Rudman, Frans Arentz, Noboru Ota, Giles E. St.J. Hardy, Treena I. Burgess & Giles E. St. J. Hardy
Globally, Phytophthora cinnamomi is listed as one of the 100 worst invasive alien species and active management is required to reduce impact and prevent spread in both horticulture and natural ecosystems. Conversely, there are regions thought to be suitable for the pathogen where no disease is observed. We developed a CLIMEX model for the global distribution of P. cinnamomi based on the pathogen's response to temperature and moisture and by incorporating extensive empirical evidence on...

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