481 Works

What factors influence the extent of midstorey development in Mountain Ash forests?

David Lindenmayer, Wade Blanchard, Lachlan McBurney, Kita Ashman, Elle Bowd & Blair David
The midstorey is a critical component of the structure of many kinds of forest globally. We constructed statistical models of the factors influencing the percentage cover of two dominant Acacia spp. (Montane Wattle [Acacia frigiscens]) and Silver Wattle [Acacia dealbata]) in the midstorey of Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests in mainland south-eastern Australia. We modelled the influence on the percentage cover of two these two species of Acacia of : (1) the age of the...

Long-term monitoring in endangered woodlands shows effects of multi-scale drivers on bird occupancy

Kassel Hingee, David Lindenmayer & Martin Westgate
Occupancy predictor data, detection predictor data, and species detections from sites in remnant Box Gum Grassy Woodland patches in south-eastern Australia. Only sites, species, and predictors used in our statistical analysises included. For privacy, predictors have been standardised (mean = 0, standard deviation = 1) and latitude and longitude have been offset by random vectors.

Genomic analysis reveals a polygenic architecture of antler morphology in wild red deer (Cervus elaphus)

Lucy Peters, Jisca Huisman, Loeske Kruuk, Josephine Pemberton & Susan Jonston
Sexually-selected traits show large variation and rapid evolution across the animal kingdom, yet genetic variation often persists within populations despite apparent directional selection. A key step in solving this long-standing paradox is to determine the genetic architecture of sexually-selected traits to understand evolutionary drivers and constraints at the genomic level. Antlers are a form of sexual weaponry in male red deer. On the island of Rum, Scotland, males with larger antlers have increased breeding success,...

From nature reserve to mosaic management: improving matrix survival, not permeability, benefits regional populations under habitat loss and fragmentation

Yuichi Yamaura, Robert Fletcher, Steven Lade, Motoki Higa & David Lindenmayer
Although matrix improvement in fragmented landscapes is a promising conservation measure, matrix permeability (willingness of an organism to enter the matrix) and movement survival in the matrix are usually aggregated. Consequently, it is unknown which matrix property needs to be improved. It also remains unclear whether matrix upgrading from dispersal passage to providing reproduction opportunities has large conservation benefits and whether there are interactive effects between habitat and matrix management. We examined matrix effects on...

Efficacy of intervention to relieve nest box competition for Orange‐bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster

Dejan Stojanovic, Catherine Young & Shannon Troy
We use an experimental approach to evaluate the effectiveness of removing nests of a dominant competitor to create vacant nest boxes for a critically endangered parrot. We compared the number of times that Tree Martin (Petrochelidon nigricans – the dominant competitor at nest boxes) perched at or entered nest boxes intended for Orange-bellied Parrot (Neophema chrysogaster – the subordinate nest competitor) over three time periods (before, immediately after and one week after experimental nest destruction)....

Do nest boxes breed the target species or its competitors? A case study of a critically endangered bird

Dejan Stojanovic, Giselle Owens, Catherine Young, Fernanda Alves & Robert Heinsohn
Nest boxes are widely used for habitat restoration. Unfortunately, competitors of the target species may exploit nest boxes, creating perverse outcomes. Avoiding habitats preferred by nontarget species, while favoring those of the target species, requires an adaptive management approach if limited information about species preferences is available when deploying boxes. Using nest boxes intended for Swift Parrots Lathamus discolor, we identify factors associated with nontarget species occupancy (Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris and Tree Martin Petrochelidon...

C porosus genotype data

Yusuke Fukuda & Sam Banks
We collected 714 tissue samples of non-captive saltwater crocodiles Crocodylus porosus from Australia and its neighbouring countries and got them genotyped by Diversity Arrays Technology (Canberra, Australia) between 2016 and 2019. The folder contains two files named 'Report_DCroc19-4196_4_moreOrders_SNP_mapping_2.csv' and 'IDpop_sample_data_.csv'. The former contains the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data and latter has attributes (population ID, GPS coordinates, species, country) of each sample.

Maximising accuracy and reliability of carbonate climate proxy archives

Dorrit Jacob
This project brings together expertise and cutting-edge methodology from different disciplines to identify the controls on the compositions of the shells and skeletons of marine organisms. The compositions of these materials are essential tools to reconstruct environmental conditions before modern climate records began. However, recent insights into how they form profoundly complicate and affect their interpretations. The results will enable us to develop new, realistic models for the behaviour of chemical elements in these materials....

Phylogenomics of monitor lizards and the role of competition in dictating body size disparity

Ian Brennan, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Daniel M. Portik, Valter Weijola, Luke Welton, Stephen C. Donnellan & J. Scott Keogh
Organismal interactions drive the accumulation of diversity by influencing species ranges, morphology, and behavior. Interactions vary from agonistic to cooperative and should result in predictable patterns in trait and range evolution. However, despite a conceptual understanding of these processes, they have been difficult to model, particularly on macroevolutionary timescales and across broad geographic spaces. Here we investigate the influence of biotic interactions on trait evolution and community assembly in monitor lizards (Varanus). Monitors are an...

An experimental test of the role of male mating history on paternal effects in the livebearer fish, Gambusia holbrooki

Upama Aich, Michael Jennions & Rebecca Fox
We experimentally tested if differences in the mating history of old males affects their offsprings’ performance in the mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki. Upon maturation, males were housed for the duration of a natural field breeding season (23 weeks) either with mating access to females (‘lifetime mating’) or with visual but no physical access to females (‘no mating’). We then paired these males with a female to test whether male mating history had a significant effect on...

Alternative pathways to diversity across ecologically distinct lizard radiations

Alexander Skeels, Damien Esquerré & Marcel Cardillo
Aim: Lizard assemblages vary greatly in taxonomic, ecological and phenotypic diversity, yet the mechanisms that generate and maintain these patterns at a macroecological scale are not well understood. We aimed to characterize the ecological and environmental drivers of species richness patterns in the context of macroecological theory for ten independent lizard radiations. Location: Global Time Period: Present-day Major taxa: Lizards Methods: We analyzed patterns of species and ecological trait diversity in ten ecologically distinct and...

Spatiophylogenetic modelling of extinction risk reveals evolutionary distinctiveness and brief flowering period as threats in a hotspot plant genus

Russell Dinnage, Alexander Skeels & Marcel Cardillo
Comparative models used to predict species threat status can help to identify diagnostic features of species at risk. Such models often combine variables measured at the species level with spatial variables, causing multiple statistical challenges, including phylogenetic and spatial non-independence. We present a novel Bayesian approach for modelling threat status that simultaneously deals with both forms of non-independence and estimates their relative contribution, and we apply the approach to modelling threat status in the Australian...

Experimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder

Lyanne Brouwer & Andrew Cockburn
The paradox of cooperative breeding ­whereby individuals assist others instead of reproducing independently­ is generally explained through ecological constraints, but experimental evidence is scant. Here we performed the crucial test of the role of habitat saturation through experimental creation of vacancies and find that despite abundant presence of potential mates, subordinates are reluctant to disperse into suitable vacant habitat where conspecifics are absent. We argue that sudden disappearance of multiple group members might indicate a...

Combined effects of rearing and testing temperatures on sperm traits

Megan Head, Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Lauren Harrison & Michael Jennions
Temperature experienced during early development can affect a range of adult life history traits. Animals often show seemingly adaptive developmental plasticity – with animals reared at certain temperatures performing better as adults at those temperatures. The extent to which this type of adaptive response occurs in gonadal tissue that affect sperm traits is, however, poorly studied. We initially reared male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) at either 18oC or 30oC, and then measured their sperm reserves as...

Exotic herbivores dominate Australian high‐elevation grasslands

Renée Hartley, Wade Blanchard, Mellesa Schroder, David B. Lindenmayer, Chloe Sato & Ben C. Scheele
Invasive species are major drivers of ecosystem degradation globally. How invasive herbivore impacts differ from native herbivore impacts remains understudied. We examined the relationships between herbivore sign and vegetation height, foliage density, cover of forbs, weeds, bare ground, and soil compaction across environmental and herbivore activity gradients in the mainland Australian Alps. We detected native and exotic herbivore sign at 32.8% and 94.0% of sites, respectively. Total herbivore activity was primarily attributed to exotic herbivores...

Plant collections for conservation and restoration: can they be adapted and adaptable?

Jason Bragg, Marlien Van Der Merwe, Jia-Yee Yap, Justin Borevitz & Maurizio Rossetto
Plant collections are important for the conservation of threatened species, and as a source of material for ecological restoration. Typically we want collections to have high genetic diversity so populations founded from it are adaptable to future challenges. Sometimes, we have additional objectives for collections, such as enrichment for desirable traits controlled by adaptive alleles. We used landscape genomic datasets for two plants, Westringia fruticosa and Wilkiea huegeliana, to design collections that are genetically diverse,...

Data from: An environmental impact assessment of different management regimes in eucalypt plantations in southern China using Landscape Function Analysis

David Freudenberger
There are global concerns regarding the detrimental environmental impacts of industrial forest plantations developed over the past 30 years. To address this concern, the Landscape Function Analysis methodology was used to rapidly assess indices of soil stability, water infiltration, and nutrient cycling within eucalypt plantations at different growth stages and under different management regimes in Guangxi Province, China. Results showed that these plantations under both regimes were approaching an ecologically functional state by the time...

Stars and Galaxies: The chemical abundance breakthrough

Kathryn Grasha
Measuring the chemical history of galaxies is critical to understand how galaxies form and evolve. This program aims to address shortcomings in current methods used to measure elements in a novel approach that combines observations and state-of-the-art modelling. Expected outcomes include a model for the history of the elements as the theoretical basis to derive new, robust galaxy diagnostics. There are tremendous benefits as this research topic is a major science driver for the next...

Stress in the city: meta-analysis indicates no overall evidence for stress in urban vertebrates

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco
As cities continue to grow it is increasingly important to understand the long-term responses of wildlife to urban environments. There have been increased efforts to determine whether urbanization imposes chronic stress on wild animals, but empirical evidence is mixed. Here we conduct a meta-analysis to test whether there is, on average, a detrimental effect of urbanisation based on baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid levels of wild vertebrates. We found no effect of urbanisation on glucocorticoid levels,...

Geographic locations of presence points and the size of 14 skull measurements

Rasoul Khosravi, Mahmoud-Reza Hemami, Colin Groves & Mohsen Ahmadi
The phylogeny and species boundaries of Gazella subgutturosa and G. marica have been long debated. The achievements of past conservation efforts have been compromised by a lack of knowledge about the phylogeny and taxonomic status of different populations. We integrated the recent genetic findings by previous studies with morphometric analyses and ecological niche modelling (ENM) to assess discreteness among populations of these gazelle species in Asia. Taxonomic diversity of gazelles was investigated by using principal...

Genetic data improves niche model discrimination and alters the direction and magnitude of climate change forecasts

Helen Bothwell, Luke Evans, Erika Hersch-Green, Scott Woolbright, Gerard Allan & Thomas Whitham
Ecological niche models (ENMs) have classically operated under the simplifying assumptions that there are no barriers to gene flow, species are genetically homogeneous (i.e., no population-specific local adaptation), and all individuals share the same niche. Yet, these assumptions are violated for most broadly distributed species. Here we incorporate genetic data from the widespread riparian tree species narrowleaf cottonwood (Populus angustifolia) to examine whether including intraspecific genetic variation can alter model performance and predictions of climate...

Investigating gas-exchange performance between wheat landraces and commercial varieties

Robert Sharwood, Demi Sargent, Gonzalo Estavillo & Robert Furbank
Improvement of photosynthetic traits in crops to increase yield potential and crop resilience has recently become a major breeding target. Synthetic biology and genetic technologies offer unparalleled opportunities to create new genetics for photosynthetic traits driven by existing fundamental knowledge. However, large “gene bank” collections of germplasm comprising of historical collections of crop species and their relatives offer a wealth of opportunities to find novel allelic variation in the key steps of photosynthesis, to identify...

Data from: Covariation in life-history traits: differential effects of diet on condition, hormones, behavior and reproduction in genetic finch morphs

Sarah R. Pryke, Lee B. Astheimer, Simon C. Griffith & William A. Buttemer
The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors in determining variation in life-history traits is of central interest to evolutionary biologists, but the physiological mechanisms underlying these traits are still poorly understood. Here we experimentally demonstrate opposing effects of nutritional stress on immune function, endocrine physiology, parental care and reproduction between red and black head-color morphs of the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae). Although body condition of black morphs was largely unaffected by diet manipulation, red...

Data from: Testing the impact of calibration on molecular divergence times using a fossil-rich group: the case of Nothofagus (Fagales)

Hervé Sauquet, Simon Y. W. Ho, Maria A. Gandolfo, Gregory J. Jordan, Peter Wilf, David J. Cantrill, Michael J. Bayly, Lindell Bromham, Gillian K. Brown, Raymond J. Carpenter, Daphne M. Lee, Daniel J. Murphy, J. M. Kale Sniderman & Frank Udovicic
Although temporal calibration is widely recognized as critical for obtaining accurate divergence-time estimates using molecular dating methods, few studies have evaluated the variation resulting from different calibration strategies. Depending on the information available, researchers have often used primary calibrations from the fossil record or secondary calibrations from previous molecular dating studies. In analyses of flowering plants, primary calibration data can be obtained from macro- and mesofossils (e.g., leaves, flowers, and fruits) or microfossils (e.g., pollen)....

Data from: Negative frequency-dependent selection of sexually antagonistic alleles in Myodes glareolus

Mikael Mokkonen, Hanna Kokko, Esa Koskela, Jussi Lehtonen, Tapio Mappes, Henna Martiskainen & Suzanne C. Mills
Sexually antagonistic genetic variation, where optimal values of traits are sex-dependent, is known to slow the loss of genetic variance associated with directional selection on fitness-related traits. However, sexual antagonism alone is not sufficient to maintain variation indefinitely. Selection of rare forms within the sexes can help to conserve genotypic diversity. We combined theoretical models and a field experiment with Myodes glareolus to show that negative frequency-dependent selection on male dominance maintains variation in sexually...

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