36 Works

Data from: Novel bird responses to successive large-scale, landscape transformations

David B. Lindenmayer, Wade Blanchard, Martin J. Westgate, Claire Foster, Sam C Banks, Philip Barton, Mason Crane, Karen Ikin & Ben C. Scheele
Transformation of intact vegetation into new kinds and configurations of human-modified habitats is a well established driver of biodiversity loss. Following initial conversion, many human-dominated landscapes are then subject to further large-scale changes in land use. The impacts on biodiversity of repeated changes in land use remain poorly known, particularly how changes in the matrix interact with initial patterns of vegetation clearing. We used an 18-year study of birds in remnant patches of endangered temperate...

Data from: Cryptic genetic variation shapes the adaptive evolutionary potential of enzymes

Florian Baier, Nansook Hong, Gloria Yang, Anna Pabis, Charlotte M. Miton, Alexandre Barrozo, Paul D. Carr, Shina C. L. Kamerlin, Colin J. Jackson & Nobuhiko Tokuriki
Genetic variation among orthologous proteins can cause cryptic phenotypic properties that only manifest in changing environments. Such variation may impact the evolvability of proteins, but the underlying molecular basis remains unclear. Here, we performed comparative directed evolution of four orthologous metallo-β-lactamases toward a new function and found that different starting genotypes evolved to distinct evolutionary outcomes. Despite a low initial fitness, one ortholog reached a significantly higher fitness plateau than its counterparts, via increasing catalytic...

Data from: Climate‐driven shifts in the distribution of koala browse species from the Last Interglacial to the near future

Farzin Shabani, Mohsen Ahmadi, Katharina J. Peters, Simon Haberle, Antoine Champreux, Frédérik Saltré & Corey J. A. Bradshaw
The koala's (Phascolarctos cinereus) distribution is currently restricted to eastern and south‐eastern Australia. However, fossil records dating from 70 ± 4 ka (ka = 103 years) from south‐western Australia and the Nullarbor Plain are evidence of subpopulation extinctions in the southwest at least after the Last Interglacial (128‐116 ka). We hypothesize that koala sub‐population extinctions resulted from the eastward retraction of the koala's main browse species in response to unsuitable climatic conditions. We further posit...

Data from: Sexual selection, body mass, and molecular evolution interact to predict diversification in birds

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Michael Jennions, Simon Ho & David Duchene
Sexual selection is a powerful agent of evolution, driving microevolutionary changes in the genome and macroevolutionary rates of lineage diversification. The mechanisms by which sexual selection might influence macroevolution remain poorly understood. For example, sexual selection might drive positive selection for key adaptations that facilitate diversification. Furthermore, sexual selection might be a general driver of molecular evolutionary rate. We lay out some of the potential mechanisms that create a link between sexual selection and diversification,...

Data from: The effects of male age, sperm age and mating history on ejaculate senescence

Regina Vega-Trejo, Rebecca J. Fox, Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Megan L. Head & Michael D. Jennions
1. In polyandrous species, a male's reproductive success depends on his ability to fertilize females which, in turn, depends on his mating ability and his ability to produce competitive ejaculates. In many species, sperm traits differ between old and young males in ways that are likely to decrease the sperm competitiveness and fertility of older males. This age-ejaculate quality relationship is attributed to male ageing (i.e. senescence). 2. In a natural setting, male age and...

Data from: The strategic reference gene: an organismal theory of inclusive fitness

Lutz Fromhage & Michael D. Jennions
How to define and use the concept of inclusive fitness is a contentious topic in evolutionary theory. Inclusive fitness can be used to calculate selection on a focal gene, but it is also applied to whole organisms. Individuals are then predicted to appear designed as if to maximise their inclusive fitness, provided that certain conditions are met (formally when interactions between individuals are ‘additive’). Here we argue that applying the concept of inclusive fitness to...

SNP analyses reveal a diverse pool of potential colonists to earthquake‐uplifted coastlines

Johnette Peters, Jonathan Waters, Ludovic Dutoit & Ceridwen Fraser
In species that form dense populations, major disturbance events are expected to increase the chance of establishment for immigrant lineages. Real-time tests of the impact of disturbance on patterns of genetic structure are, however, scarce. Central to testing these concepts is determining the pool of potential immigrants dispersing into a disturbed area. In 2016, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred on the South Island of New Zealand. Affecting approximately 100 km of coastline, this quake caused...

Data from: Disentangling the costs of male harassment and the benefits of polyandry for females

Rebecca J. Fox, Megan L. Head & Michael D. Jennions
Many studies quantify how polyandry affects female fitness by allowing females to mate with one or several males. But even if the number of matings is standardised, such studies conflate any costs of interacting with males with potential benefits of receiving sperm from multiple mates, obscuring the benefits of polyandry. We conducted a 2x2 factorial experiment on the mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki to quantify the independent effects of male harassment and polyandry. We artificially inseminated virgin...

Data from: A Decision Support System for assessing management interventions in a Mental Health ecosystem: the case of Bizkaia (Basque Country, Spain)

Carlos R. García-Alonso, Nerea Almeda, José A. Salinas-Pérez, Mencía R. Gutiérrez-Colosía, José J. Uriarte-Uriarte & Luis Salvador-Carulla
Evidence-informed strategic planning is a top priority in Mental Health (MH) due to the burden associated with this group of disorders and its societal costs. However, MH systems are highly complex, and decision support tools should follow a systems thinking approach that incorporates expert knowledge. The aim of this paper is to introduce a new Decision Support System (DSS) to improve knowledge on the health ecosystem, resource allocation and management in regional MH planning. The...

Data from: A superb solo, or a deviant duet? Overlapping songs in superb fairy-wrens

Claire J. Taylor, Michelle L. Hall, Kristal E. Cain & Naomi E. Langmore
Avian duets are formed when two birds coordinate their songs. Most research on the evolution and function of duetting has focused on species with highly coordinated duets, and less is known about the context and function of overlapping songs that are more loosely coordinated, in part due to the challenge of determining whether such vocalisations coincide by chance or through coordination between the partners. Here, we use field recordings and playback experiments to test whether...

Data from: Why does noise reduce response to alarm calls? Experimental assessment of masking, distraction and greater vigilance in wild birds

You Zhou, Andrew N. Radford & Robert D. Magrath
1. Environmental noise from anthropogenic and other sources affects many aspects of animal ecology and behaviour, including acoustic communication. Acoustic masking is often assumed in field studies to be the cause of compromised communication in noise, but other mechanisms could have similar effects. 2. We tested experimentally how background noise disrupted the response to conspecific alarm calls in wild superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, assessing the effects of acoustic masking, distraction and changes in vigilance. We...

Data from: Host specialisation and disparate evolution of Pyrenophora teres f. teres on barley and barley grass

Celeste C. Linde & Leon M. Smith
Background Pathogens evolve in an arms race, frequently evolving virulence that defeats resistance genes in their hosts. Infection of multiple hosts may accelerate this virulence evolution. Theory predicts that host diversity affects pathogen diversity, with more diverse hosts expected to harbour more diverse pathogens that reproduce sexually. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the microsatellite (SSR) genetic diversity of the barley leaf pathogen Pyrenophora teres f. teres (Ptt) from barley (monoculture) and barley grass (outbreeding)....

Data from: From cryptic to colourful: evolutionary decoupling of larval and adult colour in butterflies

Iliana Medina, Regina Vega-Trejo, Thomas Wallenius, Matthew Symonds & Devi Stuart-Fox
Many animals undergo complete metamorphosis, where larval forms change abruptly in adulthood. Colour change during ontogeny is common, but there is little understanding of evolutionary patterns in these changes. Here we use data on larval and adult colour for 246 butterfly species (61% of all species in Australia) to test whether the evolution of colour is coupled between life stages. We show that adults are more variable in colour across species than caterpillars and that...

Occupancy patterns of the introduced, predatory sugar glider in Tasmanian forests

Dejan Stojanovic
Introduced mammals pose serious threats to native island fauna, and understanding their distributionis fundamental to evaluating their conservation impact. Introduced sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) are the mainpredator of critically endangered swift parrots (Lathamus discolor) on mainland Tasmania. We surveyed sugar gli-der occurrence over~800 km2in an important swift parrot breeding area, the Southern Forests. During 4–5 vis-its per site, we used call broadcast of predatory owls to elicit sugar glider alarm calls and surveyed 100 sitesduring...

Data from: Genome of an iconic Australian bird: High-quality assembly and linkage map of the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus)

Joshua V. Peñalba, Yuan Deng, Qi Fang, Leo Joseph, Craig Moritz & Andrew Cockburn
The superb fairy-wren, Malurus cyaneus, is one of the most iconic Australian passerine species. This species belongs to an endemic Australasian clade, Meliphagides, which diversified early in the evolution of the oscine passerines. Today, the oscine passer- ines comprise almost half of all avian species diversity. Despite the rapid increase of available bird genome assemblies, this part of the avian tree has not yet been repre- sented by a high-quality reference. To rectify that, we...

Empirical evidence of disturbance interactions: examples from Australian ecosystems

David B. Lindenmayer, Claire N. Foster, Martin J. Westgate & Ben.C Scheele
Ecosystems are shaped by a range of drivers including natural and human disturbances. Many natural disturbances such as fire, insect attack and windstorms are increasing in frequency and severity. At the same time, human disturbances like logging, land clearing and plantation establishment are expanding. Co-occurring disturbances can interact with far-reaching consequences, including altered ecological processes and losses of biodiversity. Whilst the importance of interacting disturbances is increasingly recognized, the majority of empirical studies focus only...

Data from: GHOST: Recovering Historical Signal from Heterotachously-evolved Sequence Alignments

Stephen M. Crotty, Bui Quang Minh, Nigel G. Bean, Barbara R. Holland, Jonathan Tuke, Lars S. Jermiin & Arndt Von Haeseler
Molecular sequence data that have evolved under the influence of heterotachous evolutionary processes are known to mislead phylogenetic inference. We introduce the General Heterogeneous evolution On a Single Topology (GHOST) model of sequence evolution, implemented under a maximum-likelihood framework in the phylogenetic program IQ-TREE (http://www.iqtree.org). Simulations show that using the GHOST model, IQ-TREE can accurately recover the tree topology, branch lengths, and substitution model parameters from heterotachously evolved sequences. We investigate the performance of the...

Data from: Genomic reconstruction of 100 000-year grassland history in a forested country: population dynamics of specialist forbs

Yuichi Yamaura, Ayu Narita, Yoshinobu Kusumoto, Atsushi J. Nagano, Ayumi Tezuka, Toru Okamoto, Hikaru Takahara, Futoshi Nakamura, Yuji Isagi & David Lindenmayer
Grassland ecosystems worldwide have been extensively converted to other land uses and are globally imperiled. Because many grasslands have been maintained by human activities, understanding their origin and history is fundamentally important to better contemporary management. However, existing methods to reconstruct past vegetation can produce contrasting views on grassland history. Here, we inferred demographic histories of 40 populations of four grassland forb species throughout Japan using high-resolution genome sequences and model-flexible demographic simulation based on...

Data from: Equilibrium and non-equilibrium phases in the radiation of Hakea and the drivers of diversity in Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems

Alexander Skeels & Marcel Cardillo
Mediterranean-Type ecosystems (MTEs) contain exceptional plant diversity. Explanations for this diversity are usually classed as either “equilibrium”, with elevated MTE diversity resulting from greater ecological carrying capacities, or “non-equilibrium”, with MTEs having a greater accumulation of diversity over time. These models have typically been considered as mutually exclusive. Here we present a trait-based explanatory framework that incorporates both equilibrium and non-equilibrium dynamics. Using a large continental Australian plant radiation (Hakea) as a case study, we...

Data from: Ecology and signal structure drive the evolution of synchronous displays

Daniela M Perez, Enzo Luigi Crisigiovanni, Marcio Roberto Pie, Ana Claudia Rorato, Sergio Roberto Lopes & Sabrina B L Araujo
Animal synchrony is found in phylogenetically distant animal groups, indicating behavioural adaptations to different selective pressures and in different signaling modalities. A notable example of synchronous display is found in fiddler crabs in that males wave their single enlarged claw during courtship. They present species-specific signals, which are composed of distinctive movement signatures. Given that synchronous waving has been reported for several fiddler crab species, the display pattern could influence the ability of a given...

Data S1 from \"Global scale drivers of crop visitor diversity and the historical development of agriculture.\"

Julian Brown & Saul Cunningham
Understanding diversity in flower visitor assemblages helps us improve pollination of crops and support better biodiversity conservation outcomes. Much recent research has focused on drivers of crop-visitor diversity operating over spatial scales from fields to landscapes, such as pesticide and habitat management, while drivers operating over larger scales of continents and biogeographic realms are virtually unknown. Flower and visitor traits influence attraction of pollinators to flowers, and evolve in the context of associations that can...

Data from: On and off the rocks: persistence and ecological diversification in a tropical Australian lizard radiation

Paul M. Oliver, Lauren G. Ashman, Sarah Bank, Rebecca J. Laver, Renae C. Pratt, Leonardo G. Tedeschi & Craig C. Moritz
Background: Congruent patterns in the distribution of biodiversity between regions or habitats suggest that key factors such as climatic and topographic variation may predictably shape evolutionary processes. In a number of tropical and arid biomes, genetic analyses are revealing deeper and more localised lineage diversity in rocky ranges than surrounding habitats. Two potential drivers of localised endemism in rocky areas are refugial persistence through climatic change, or ecological diversification and specialisation. Here we examine how...

Data from: Personal information about danger trumps social information from avian alarm calls

Jessica R. McLachlan, Chaminda P. Ratnayake & Robert D. Magrath
Information about predators can mean the difference between life and death, but prey face the challenge of integrating personal information about predators with social information from the alarm calls of others. This challenge might even affect the structure of interspecific information networks: species vary in response to alarm calls, potentially because different foraging ecologies constrain the acquisition of personal information. However, the hypothesis that constrained personal information explains a greater response to alarm calls has...

Data from: Data gaps and opportunities for comparative and conservation biology

Dalia A. Conde, Johanna Staerk, Fernando Colchero, Rita Da Silva, Jonas Schöley, H. Maria Baden, Lionel Jouvet, John E. Fa, Hassan Syed, Eelke Jongejans, Shai Meiri, Jean-Michel Gaillard, Scott Chamberlain, Jonathan Wilcken, Owen R. Jones, Johan P. Dahlgren, Ulrich K. Steiner, Lucie M. Bland, Ivan Gomez-Mestre, Jean-Dominique Lebreton, Jaime González Vargas, Nate Flesness, Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Roberto Salguero-Gómez, Onnie Byers … & James W. Vaupel
Biodiversity loss is a major challenge. Over the past century, the average rate of vertebrate extinction has been about 100-fold higher than the estimated background rate and population declines continue to increase globally. Birth and death rates determine the pace of population increase or decline, thus driving the expansion or extinction of a species. Design of species conservation policies hence depends on demographic data (e.g., for extinction risk assessments or estimation of harvesting quotas). However,...

Weighing the cost: the impact of serial heatwaves on body mass in a small Australian passerine

Lynda Sharpe, Belinda Cale & Janet Gardner
Rising temperatures pose a grave risk to arid zone birds because they are already living close to their physiological limits and must balance water conservation against the need for evaporative cooling. We assess how extreme temperatures affect a wild population of small passerines by monitoring daily mass change in individual Jacky Winters (a small Australasian robin; Microeca fascinans) across a series of severe heatwaves that afflicted southern Australia in the summer of 2018-19. Daily maximum...

Registration Year

  • 2019

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Australian National University
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australian Wildlife Conservancy
  • BioCruces Health research Institute
  • Loyola University Andalusia
  • University of Adelaide
  • Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive
  • University of Wollongong
  • Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment
  • Kyoto Prefectural University