481 Works

Data from: Trends in the sand: directional evolution in the shell shape of recessing scallops (Bivalvia: Pectinidae)

Emma Sherratt, Alvin Alejandrino, Andrew C. Kraemer, Jeanne M. Serb & Dean C. Adams
Directional evolution is one of the most compelling evolutionary patterns observed in macroevolution. Yet, despite its importance, detecting such trends in multivariate data remains a challenge. In this study, we evaluate multivariate evolution of shell shape in 93 bivalved scallop species, combining geometric morphometrics and phylogenetic comparative methods. Phylomorphospace visualization described the history of morphological diversification in the group; revealing that taxa with a recessing life habit were the most distinctive in shell shape, and...

Data from: Analysis of phylogenomic tree space resolves relationships among marsupial families

David A. Duchêne, Jason G. Bragg, Sebastian Duchêne, Linda E. Neaves, Sally Potter, Craig Moritz, Rebecca N. Johnson, Simon Y. W. Ho & Mark D. B. Eldridge
A fundamental challenge in resolving evolutionary relationships across the Tree of Life is to account for heterogeneity in the evolutionary signal across loci. Studies of marsupial mammals have demonstrated that this heterogeneity can be substantial, leaving considerable uncertainty in the evolutionary timescale and relationships within the group. Using simulations and a new phylogenomic data set comprising nucleotide sequences of 1550 loci from 18 of the 22 extant marsupial families, we demonstrate the power of a...

Data from: Isolation by distance and isolation by environment contribute to population differentiation in Protea repens (Proteaceae L.), a widespread South African species

Rachel Prunier, Melis Akman, Colin T. Kremer, Nicola C. Aitken, Aaron Chuah, Justin Borevitz, Kent E. Holsinger & Nicola Aitken
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The Cape Floristic Region (CFR) of South Africa is renowned for its botanical diversity, but the evolutionary origins of this diversity remain controversial. Both neutral and adaptive processes have been implicated in driving diversification, but population-level studies of plants in the CFR are rare. Here, we investigate the limits to gene flow and potential environmental drivers of selection in Protea repens L. (Proteaceae L.), a widespread CFR species. METHODS: We sampled...

Data from: What happens to offspring when parents are inbred, old or had a poor start in life? : Interactions between multiple causes of parental effects

Regina Vega-Trejo, Loeske E.B. Kruuk, Michael D. Jennions, Megan L. Head & Loeske E. B. Kruuk
Parental effects on offspring performance have been attributed to many factors such as parental age, size, and condition. However, we know little about how these different parental characteristics interact to determine parental effects, or the extent to which their effect on offspring depends on either the sex of the parent or that of the offspring. Here we experimentally tested for main effects of variation in parents' early diet and inbreeding levels, as well as effects...

Data from: Cross-sectional versus longitudinal research: a case study of trees with hollows and marsupials in Australian forests

David B. Lindenmayer, Jeff Wood, Lachlan McBurney, Damian Michael, Mason Crane, Christopher MacGregor, Rebecca Montague-Drake, Philip Gibbons & Sam C. Banks
How different are insights based on cross-sectional studies from those of longitudinal investigations? We addressed this question using a detailed case study encompassing a rare suite of inter-connected cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations that have spanned the past two decades and included work on (1) the decay and collapse of large cavity forest trees (termed trees with hollows), (2) populations of a suite of species of arboreal marsupials which are reliant on trees with hollows as...

Data from: Robustness of habitat-based surrogates of animal diversity: a multi-taxa comparison over time

Philip S. Barton, Martin J. Westgate, Peter W. Lane, Christopher MacGregor & David B. Lindenmayer
Many animal taxa respond strongly to spatial and temporal variation in vegetation structure and floristic composition, suggesting that changes in vegetation could be a cheap and readily observable surrogate for changes in animal assemblages. Yet there is considerable uncertainty about how different taxa respond to vegetation over time, potentially limiting the application of habitat-based surrogates to many areas of applied ecology. We examined the strength and temporal consistency of habitat-based surrogates of three different vertebrate...

Data from: Inbreeding depression does not increase after exposure to a stressful environment: a test using compensatory growth

Regina Vega-Trejo, Megan L. Head & Michael D. Jennions
Background: Inbreeding is often associated with a decrease in offspring fitness (‘inbreeding depression’). Moreover, it is generally assumed that the negative effects of inbreeding are exacerbated in stressful environments. This G × E interaction has been explored in many taxa under different environmental conditions. These studies usually manipulate environmental conditions either in adulthood or throughout an individual’s entire life. Far fewer studies have tested how stressful environments only experienced during development subsequently influence the effects...

Data from: Semicircular canals in Anolis lizards: ecomorphological convergence and ecomorph affinities of fossil species

Blake V. Dickson, Emma Sherratt, Jonathan B. Losos & Stephanie E. Pierce
Anolis lizards are a model system for the study of adaptive radiation and convergent evolution. Greater Antillean anoles have repeatedly evolved six similar forms or ecomorphs: crown-giant, grass-bush, twig, trunk, trunk-crown and trunk-ground. Members of each ecomorph category possess a specific set of morphological, ecological and behavioural characteristics which have been acquired convergently. Here we test whether the semicircular canal system—the organ of balance during movement—is also convergent among ecomorphs, reflecting the shared sensory requirements...

Data from: Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines

Martin J. Westgate, Ben C. Scheele, Karen Ikin, Anke Maria Hoefer, R. Matthew Beaty, Murray Evans, Will Osborne, David Hunter, Laura Rayner & Don A. Driscoll
Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species...

Data from: Optimal taxonomic groups for biodiversity assessment: a meta-analytic approach

Martin J. Westgate, Ayesha I. T. Tulloch, Philip S. Barton, Jennifer C. Pierson & David B. Lindenmayer
A fundamental decision in biodiversity assessment is the selection of one or more study taxa, a choice that is often made using qualitative criteria such as historical precedent, ease of detection, or available technical or taxonomic expertise. A more robust approach would involve selecting taxa based on the a priori expectation that they will provide the best possible information on unmeasured groups, but data to inform such hypotheses are often lacking. Using a global meta-analysis,...

Data from: Social networks and the spread of Salmonella in a sleepy lizard population

C. Michael Bull, Stephanie S. Godfrey & David M. Gordon
Although theoretical models consider social networks as pathways for disease transmission, strong empirical support, particularly for indirectly transmitted parasites, is lacking for many wildlife populations. We found multiple genetic strains of the enteric bacterium Salmonella enterica within a population of Australian sleepy lizards (Tiliqua rugosa), and we found that pairs of lizards that shared bacterial genotypes were more strongly connected in the social network than were pairs of lizards that did not. In contrast there...

Data from: C4 savanna grasses fail to maintain assimilation in drying soil under low CO2 compared with C3 trees despite lower leaf water demand

Joe Quirk, Chandra Bellasio, David A. Johnson, Colin P. Osborne & David J. Beerling
1) C4 photosynthesis evolved when grasses migrated out of contracting forests under a declining atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]a) and drying climate around 30 million years ago. C4 grasses are hypothesised to benefit from improved plant–water relations in open habitats like savannas, giving advantages over C3 plants under low [CO2]a. But experimental evidence in a low CO2 environment is limited and comparisons with C3 trees are needed to understand savanna vegetation patterns. 2) To test whether...

Data from: Detecting rare asymmetrically methylated cytosines and decoding methylation patterns in the honeybee genome

Laura Welsh, Ryszard Maleszka & Sylvain Foret
Context-dependent gene expression in eukaryotes is controlled by several mechanisms including cytosine methylation that primarily occurs in the CG dinucleotides (CpGs). However, less frequent non-CpG asymmetric methylation has been found in various cell types, such as mammalian neurons, and recent results suggest that these sites can repress transcription independently of CpG contexts. In addition, an emerging view is that CpG hemimethylation may arise not only from deregulation of cellular processes but also be a standard...

Data from: Herbivore resistance in congeneric and sympatric Nothofagus species is not related to leaf habit

Frida I. Piper, Michael J. Gundale, Tomás Fuenzalida & Alex Fajardo
Premise of the study Two fundamental hypotheses on herbivore resistance and leaf habit are the resource availability hypothesis (RAH) and the carbon-nutrient balance hypothesis (CNBH). The RAH predicts higher constitutive resistance by evergreens and the CNBH predicts higher induced resistance by deciduous species. Although support for these hypotheses is mixed, they have rarely been examined in congeneric species. Methods We compared leaf constitutive and induced resistance (as leaf polyphenols and tannin concentrations, and damage level...

Data from: Secondary compounds from exotic tree plantations change female mating preferences in the palmate newt (Lissotriton helveticus)

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Megan L. Head, Michael D. Jennions & Carlos Cabido
Selection can favor phenotypic plasticity in mate choice in response to environmental factors that alter the costs and benefits of being choosy, or of choosing specific mates. Human-induced environmental change could alter sexual selection by affecting the costs of mate choice, or by impairing the ability of individuals to identify preferred mates. For example, variation in mate choice could be driven by environmentally induced differences in body condition (e.g. health) that change the cost of...

Data from: Inferring node dates from tip dates in fossil Canidae: the importance of tree priors

Nicholas J. Matzke & April Wright
Tip-dating methods are becoming popular alternatives to traditional node calibration approaches for building time-scaled phylogenetic trees, but questions remain about their application to empirical datasets. We compared the performance of the most popular methods against a dated tree of fossil Canidae derived from previously published monographs. Using a canid morphology dataset, we performed tip-dating using BEAST v. 2.1.3 and MrBayes v. 3.2.5. We find that for key nodes (Canis, approx. 3.2 Ma, Caninae approx. 11.7...

Data from: Spatial, temporal and individual-based differences in nest-site visits and subsequent reproductive success in wild great tits

Joshua A. Firth, Brecht L. Verhelst, Ross A. Crates, Colin J. Garroway, Ben C. Sheldon & Josh A. Firth
The behaviour of individual birds before and during the breeding period may be an important factor determining reproductive success. One commonly observed behaviour during the breeding period in many species is the visitation of multiple potential breeding sites. Much research has attempted to determine the function and consequences of this behaviour, but traditionally studies have been limited to not examining individual-level behaviour, or only considering a small number of individuals. We used automated recording of...

Data from: Variation in the condition-dependence of individual sexual traits in male eastern mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki

Rebecca J. Fox, Ellen E. Gearing, Michael D. Jennions & Megan L. Head
Most sexually-selected traits are costly to produce and therefore tend to show condition-dependent expression. But individuals have a finite set of resources to invest across the multiple traits on which sexual selection acts. This necessarily leads to trade-offs among individual traits and between different reproductive stages. The effect of male condition on trait expression might therefore vary for different sexually selected traits depending on the marginal gains from investment into one trait rather than another....

Data from: Landscape-specific thresholds in the relationship between species richness and natural land cover

Jeremy S. Simmonds, Berndt J. Van Rensburg, Ayesha I. T. Tulloch & Martine Maron
1. Thresholds in the relationship between species richness and natural land cover can inform landscape-level vegetation protection and restoration targets. However, landscapes differ considerably in composition and other environmental attributes. If the effect of natural land cover on species richness depends on (i.e. interacts with) these attributes, and this affects the value of thresholds in this relationship, such dependencies must be considered when using thresholds to guide landscape management. 2. We hypothesised that the amount...

Data from: Ectoparasites increase swimming costs in a coral reef fish

Sandra A. Binning, Dominique G. Roche & Cayne Layton
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: Experimental habitat fragmentation disrupts nematode infections in Australian skinks

Julian Resasco, Matthew E. Bitters, Saul A. Cunningham, Hugh I. Jones, Valerie J. McKenzie & Kendi F. Davies
Habitat conversion and fragmentation threaten biodiversity and disrupt species interactions. While parasites are recognized as ecologically important, the impacts of fragmentation on parasitism are poorly understood relative to other species interactions. This lack of understanding is in part due to confounding landscape factors that accompany fragmentation. Fragmentation experiments provide the opportunity to fill this knowledge gap by mechanistically testing how fragmentation affects parasitism while controlling landscape factors. In a large-scale, long-term experiment, we asked how...

Data from: Testosterone production ability predicts breeding success and tracks breeding stage in male finches

Kristal E. Cain & Sarah R. Pryke
Testosterone (T) is an important mediator of reproductive behaviours and potential target for selection. However, there are few data relating natural variation in T to fitness estimates. Here, we used the GnRH challenge (an injection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone which stimulates maximal T release), to examine how individual differences in T relate to reproductive success and how T changes across date and breeding stage. We measured pre- and post-challenge T, in captive male Gouldian finches (Erythrura...

Data from: Does the winner-loser effect determine male mating success?

Lauren M. Harrison, Michael D. Jennions & Megan L. Head
Winning or losing a fight can have lasting effects on competitors. Controlling for inherent fighting ability and other factors, a history of winning often makes individuals more likely to win future contests, while the opposite is true for losers (the ‘winner-loser effect’). But does the winner-loser effect also influence a male’s mating success? We experimentally staged contests between male mosquito fish (Gambusia holbrooki) such that focal males either won or lost three successive encounters with...

Data from: Environmental change mediates mate choice for an extended phenotype, but not for mate quality

Megan L. Head, Rebecca J. Fox & Iain Barber
Sexual cues, including extended phenotypes, are expected to be reliable indicators of male genetic quality and/or provide information on parental quality. However, the reliability of these cues may be dependent on stability of the environment, with heterogeneity affecting how selection acts on such traits. Here we test how environmental change mediates mate choice for multiple sexual traits, including an extended phenotype – the structure of male-built nests – in stickleback fish. First, we manipulated the...

Data from: Empirical and Bayesian approaches to fossil-only divergence times: a study across three reptile clades

Alan H. Turner, Adam C. Pritchard & Nicholas J. Matzke
Estimating divergence times on phylogenies is critical in paleontological and neontological studies. Chronostratigraphically-constrained fossils are the only direct evidence of absolute timing of species divergence. Strict temporal calibration of fossil-only phylogenies provides minimum divergence estimates, and various methods have been proposed to estimate divergences beyond these minimum values. We explore the utility of simultaneous estimation of tree topology and divergence times using BEAST tip-dating on datasets consisting only of fossils by using relaxed morphological clocks...

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  • Australian National University
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