35 Works

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...

Bandicoots return to Booderee: initial survival, dispersal, home range and habitat preferences of reintroduced southern brown bandicoots (eastern sub species; Isoodon obesulus obesulus)

Natasha Robinson, C. I. MacGregor, B. A. Hradsky, N. Dexter & D. B. Lindenmayer
Context Reintroductions can be an effective means of re-establishing locally extinct or declining faunal populations. However, incomplete knowledge of variables influencing survival and establishment can limit successful outcomes. Aim We aimed to examine the factors (e.g. sex, body mass, release order) influencing the survival, dispersal, home range and habitat selection of reintroduced southern brown bandicoots (eastern subspecies; Isoodon obesulus obesulus) into an unfenced, predator-managed environment in south-eastern Australia (Booderee National Park). Methods Over 2 weeks...

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...

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: 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,...

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: 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: 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: 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 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...

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: Trait convergence in photosynthetic nutrient-use efficiency along a 2-million year dune chronosequence in a global biodiversity hotspot

Caio Guilherme Pereira, Patrick E. Hayes, Odhran S. O'Sullivan, Lasantha K. Weerasinghe, Peta L. Clode, Owen K. Atkin & Hans Lambers
1. The Jurien Bay dune chronosequence in south-western Australia’s biodiversity hotspot comprises sites differing in nutrient availability, with phosphorus (P) availability declining strongly with increasing soil age. We have explored the exceptionally high photosynthetic P-use efficiency (PPUE) of Proteaceae in this region, triggering the question what the PPUE of co-occurring species in other families might be along the Jurien Bay chronosequence. 2. We explored how traits associated with PPUE, photosynthetic nitrogen (N)-use efficiency (PNUE) and...

Data from: The use and utility of surrogates in biodiversity monitoring programmes

Chloe F. Sato, Martin J. Westgate, Philip S. Barton, Claire N. Foster, Luke S. O'Loughlin, Jennifer C. Pierson, Jayne Balmer, Jane Chapman, Gareth Catt, Tanya Detto, Amy Hawcroft, Rodney Kavanagh, Deanna Marshall, Meredith McKay, Katherine Moseby, Mike Perry, Doug Robinson, Mellesa Schroder, Katherine Tuft & David B. Lindenmayer
Monitoring programmes are intended to inform effective biodiversity conservation and management (Legge et al. 2018). Well‐designed programmes can establish baseline conditions, determine trends in threatened species populations, quantify the effects of management, and provide warning of ecosystem changes (Magurran et al. 2010). For these reasons, biodiversity monitoring underpins the activities of land management agencies worldwide. However, it is not always possible to directly monitor key variables at ideal spatio‐temporal resolutions, due to resourcing or logistic...

Data from: Avian functional responses to landscape recovery

Karen Ikin, Philip S. Barton, Wade Blanchard, Mason Crane, John Stein & David B. Lindenmayer
Restoring native vegetation in agricultural landscapes can reverse biodiversity declines via species gains. Depending on whether the traits of colonizers are complementary or redundant to the assemblage, species gains can increase the efficiency or stability of ecological functions, yet detecting these processes is not straightforward. We propose a new conceptual model to identify potential changes to complementarity and redundancy in response to landscape change via relative changes in taxonomic and functional richness. We applied our...

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