83 Works

Data from: A global database and ‘state of the field’ review of research into ecosystem engineering by land animals.

Nicole V. Coggan, Matthew W. Hayward & Heloise Gibb
1. Ecosystem engineers have been widely studied for terrestrial systems, but global trends in research encompassing the range of taxa and functions have not previously been synthesised. 2. We synthesised contemporary understanding of engineer fauna in terrestrial habitats and assessed the methods used to document patterns and processes, asking: 1.Which species act as ecosystem engineers and with whom do they interact? 2. What are the impacts of ecosystem engineers in terrestrial habitats and how are...

Data from: High detectability with low impact: optimising large PIT tracking systems for cave-dwelling bats

Emmi Van Harten, Terry Reardon, Linda Lumsden, Noel Meyers, Thomas Prowse, John Weyland & Ruth Lawrence
Passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag technology permits the ‘resighting’ of animals tagged for ecological research without the need for physical re-trapping. While this is effective if animals pass within centimetres of tag readers, short-distance detection capabilities have prevented the use of this technology with many species. To address this problem, we optimised a large (15 m-long) flexible antenna system to provide a c. 8 m2 vertical detection plane for detecting animals in flight. We installed...

Diverse parentage relationships in paternal mouth-brooders

Janine Abecia, Alison King, Osmar Luiz, David Crook, Dion Wedd & Sam Banks
While mouthbrooding is not an uncommon parental care strategy in fishes, paternal mouthbrooding only occurs in eight fish families and little studied. The high cost of paternal mouthbrooding to the male implies a low risk of investment in another male’s offspring but genetic parentage patterns are poorly known for paternal mouthbrooders. Here we used single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genetic data to investigate parentage relationships of broods of two mouthbrooders of northern Australian rivers, mouth almighty...

Rural and regional mobilities: exploring the impact of (im)mobilities on rural and regional communities [summary report]

David Radford, Raelene Wilding, Anthony Moran & Martina Boese

Data from: The evolutionary consequences of blood-stage vaccination on the rodent malaria Plasmodium chabaudi

Victoria C. Barclay, Derek Sim, Brian H. K. Chan, Lucas A. Nell, Maia A. Rabaa, Andrew S. Bell, Robin F. Anders & Andrew F. Read
Malaria vaccine developers are concerned that antigenic escape will erode vaccine efficacy. Evolutionary theorists have raised the possibility that some types of vaccine could also create conditions favoring the evolution of more virulent pathogens. Such evolution would put unvaccinated people at greater risk of severe disease. Here we test the impact of vaccination with a single highly purified antigen on the malaria parasite Plasmodium chabaudi evolving in laboratory mice. The antigen we used, AMA-1, is...

Data from: Nonrandom, diversifying processes are disproportionately strong in the smallest size classes of a tropical forest

Peter T. Green, Kyle E. Harms & Joseph H. Connell
A variety of ecological processes influence diversity and species composition in natural communities. Most of these processes, whether abiotic or biotic, differentially filter individuals from birth to death, thereby altering species’ relative abundances. Nonrandom outcomes could accrue throughout ontogeny, or the processes that generate them could be particularly influential at certain stages. One long-standing paradigm in tropical forest ecology holds that patterns of relative abundance among mature trees are largely set by processes operating at...

Data from: Plumage color manipulation has no effect on social dominance or fitness in zebra finches

Sofia Jerónimo, Mehdi Khadraoui, Daiping Wang, Katrin Martin, John A. Lesku, Kylie A. Robert, Emmi Schlicht, Wolfgang Forstmeier & Bart Kempenaers
Colourful plumage ornaments may evolve because they play a role in mate choice or in intrasexual competition, acting as signals of species identity or of individual quality. The zebra finch (Taeniopygia guttata) is a model organism for the study of mate choice and its colourful plumage ornaments are thought to be used in both of these contexts. Numerous genetic colour variants have been described for this species, but they are rare in the wild. This...

Data from: Genetic diversity and population structure of the threatened freshwater catfish, Tandanus tandanus, in Victoria, Australia

Erin Hill, Brett A. Ingram, Meaghan Rourke, John Mitchell & Jan M. Strugnell
In Australia, many species of freshwater fish have rapidly declined following European settlement in the late eighteenth century. The freshwater catfish (Tandanus tandanus) is listed as threatened in Victoria and accordingly, broodstock management and a captive breeding program to facilitate the reintroduction of hatchery bred fish into depleted populations have been suggested. Little work has been conducted on Victorian populations of T. tandanus, despite its threatened status. This study assessed the genetic diversity and genetic...

Data from: Mating patterns and post-mating isolation in three cryptic species of the Engystomops petersi species complex

Paula A. Trillo, Andrea E. Narvaez, Santiago R. Ron & Kim L. Hoke
Determining the extent of reproductive isolation in cryptic species with dynamic geographic ranges can give us important insights into the processes that generate and maintain genetic divergence in the absence of severe geographic barriers. We studied mating patterns, propensity to crossbreed in nature and subsequent fertilization rates, as well as survival and development of hybrid F1 offspring for three species of the E. petersi species complex in Yasuní National Park, Ecuador. We found at least...

Data from: Habitat disturbance selects against both small and large species across varying climates

Heloise Gibb, Nathan J. Sanders, Robert R. Dunn, Xavier Arnan, Heraldo L. Vasconcellos, David A. Donoso, Alan N. Andersen, Rogerio R. Silva, Tom R. Bishop, Crisanto Gomez, Blair F. Grossman, Kalsum M. Yusah, Sarah H. Luke, Renata Pacheco, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Javier Retana, Melanie Tista, Catherine L. Parr & H. L. Vasconcelos
Global extinction drivers, including habitat disturbance and climate change, are thought to affect larger species more than smaller species. However, it is unclear if such drivers interact to affect assemblage body size distributions. We asked how these two key global change drivers differentially affect the interspecific size distributions of ants, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous animal groups on earth. We also asked whether there is evidence of synergistic interactions and whether effects are...

Data from: Genetic diversity, population structure and ancestral origin of Australian wheat

Reem Joukhadar, Hans D. Daetwyler, Urmil K. Bansal, Anthony R. Gendall & Matthew J. Hayden
Since the introduction of wheat into Australia by the First Fleet settlers, germplasm from different geographical origins has been used to adapt wheat to the Australian climate through selection and breeding. In this paper, we used 482 cultivars, representing the breeding history of bread wheat in Australia since 1840, to characterize their diversity and population structure and to define the geographical ancestral background of Australian wheat germplasm. This was achieved by comparing them to a...

Data from: Stress induced gene expression drives transient DNA methylation changes at adjacent repetitive elements

David Secco, Chuang Wang, Huixia Shou, Matthew D. Schultz, Serge Chiarenza, Laurent Nussaume, Joseph R. Ecker, James Whelan & Ryan Lister
Cytosine DNA methylation (mC) is a genome modification that can regulate the expression of coding and non-coding genetic elements. However, little is known about the involvement of mC in response to environmental cues. Using whole genome bisulfite sequencing to assess the spatio-temporal dynamics of mC in rice grown under phosphate starvation and recovery conditions, we identified widespread phosphate starvation-induced changes in mC, preferentially localized in transposable elements (TEs) close to highly induced genes. These changes...

Data from: Leaf nutrients, not specific leaf area, are consistent indicators of elevated nutrient inputs

Jennifer Firn, James M. McGree, Eric Harvey, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Martin Schütz, Yvonne M. Buckley, Elizabeth T. Borer, Eric W. Seabloom, Kimberly J. La Pierre, Andrew M. MacDougall, Suzanne M. Prober, Carly J. Stevens, Lauren L. Sullivan, Erica Porter, Emma Ladouceur, Charlotte Allen, Karine H. Moromizato, John W. Morgan, W. Stanley Harpole, Yann Hautier, Nico Eisenhauer, Justin P. Wright, Peter B. Adler, Carlos Alberto Arnillas, Jonathan D. Bakker … & Anita C. Risch
Leaf traits are frequently measured in ecology to provide a ‘common currency’ for predicting how anthropogenic pressures impact ecosystem function. Here, we test whether leaf traits consistently respond to experimental treatments across 27 globally distributed grassland sites across 4 continents. We find that specific leaf area (leaf area per unit mass)—a commonly measured morphological trait inferring shifts between plant growth strategies—did not respond to up to four years of soil nutrient additions. Leaf nitrogen, phosphorus...

Fire and functional traits: using functional groups of birds and plants to guide management in fire-prone, heathy woodland ecosystem

Frederick Rainsford
Aim: Many dry forests and woodlands worldwide are fire-prone and support bird and plant communities shaped by fire. Changes in fire regimes, including the time between fires, have important implications for population trajectories. We studied the responses of bird and plant communities of heathy woodlands to time since the last fire, a key measure underpinning fire management, to evaluate whether current management strategies will enhance conservation of multiple taxa. Location: Otway Ranges, south-eastern Australia. Methods:...

Prey-switching does not protect a generalist turtle from bioenergetic consequences when its preferred food is scarce

James Van Dyke, Kristen Petrov, Ricky-John Spencer, Natasha Malkiewicz, Jessica Lewis & Claudia Keitel
Background: Optimal foraging theory explains how animals make foraging decisions based on the availability, nutritional content, and handling times of different food types. Generalists solve this problem by consuming a variety of food types, and switch between them with relative ease. Specialists eat few food types, and may starve if those food types are not available. We integrated stable isotope analyses with previously-published stomach contents and environmental data to investigate how the foraging ecologies of...

Data from: Low-cost automated flight intercept trap for the temporal sub-sampling of flying insects attracted to artificial light at night

Kylie Robert, Alicia Dimovski, Joel Robert & Stephen Griffiths
Sampling methods are selected depending on the targeted species or the spatial and temporal requirements of the study. However, most methods for passive sampling of flying insects have poor temporal resolution because it is time consuming, costly and/or logistically difficult. Effective sampling of flying insects attracted to artificial light at night (ALAN) requires sampling at user-defined time points (nighttime only) across well-replicated sites resulting in major time and labor-intensive survey effort or expensive automated technologies....

MO2, behaviour data and supplementary material for the first physiological evidence of sleep in sharks

Michael Kelly, Selwyn Collins, John Lesku, Jan Hemmi, Shaun Collin & Craig Radford
Sharks represent the earliest group of jawed vertebrates and as such, they may provide original insight for understanding the evolution of sleep in more derived animals. Unfortunately, beyond a single behavioural investigation, very little is known about sleep in these ancient predators. As such, recordings of physiological indicators of sleep in sharks have never been reported. Reduced energy expenditure arising from sustained restfulness and lowered metabolic rate during sleep have given rise to the hypothesis...

Data from: Foraging by an avian ecosystem engineer extensively modifies the litter and soil layer in forest ecosystems

Alex Maisey, Angie Haslem, Steven Leonard & Andrew Bennett
Ecosystem engineers physically modify their environment, thereby altering habitats for other organisms. Increasingly, ‘engineers’ are recognised as an important focus for conservation and ecological restoration because their actions affect a range of ecosystem processes and thereby influence how ecosystems function. The superb lyrebird Menura novaehollandiae is proposed as an ecosystem engineer in forests of south-eastern Australia due to the volume of soil and litter it turns over when foraging. We measured the seasonal and spatial...

Data from: Investigation of genetic structure between deep and shallow populations of the southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii in Tasmania, Australia

Erin M. J. Morgan, Bridget S. Green, Nicholas P. Murphy & Jan M. Strugnell
The southern rock lobster, Jasus edwardsii, shows clear phenotypic differences between shallow water (red coloured) and deeper water (pale coloured) individuals. Translocations of individuals from deeper water to shallower waters are currently being trialled as a management strategy to facilitate a phenotypic change from lower value pale colouration, common in deeper waters, to the higher value red colouration found in shallow waters. Although panmixia across the J. edwardsii range has been long assumed, it is...

Data from: Predictors of Phytophthora diversity and community composition in natural areas across diverse Australian ecoregions

Treena I. Burgess, Keith L. McDougall, Peter M. Scott, Giles E. Hardy, Jeff Garnas & Giles E. StJ. Hardy
Comprehensive understanding of the patterns and drivers of microbial diversity at a landscape scale is in its infancy, despite the recent ease by which soil communities can be characterized using massively parallel amplicon sequencing. Here we report on a comprehensive analysis of the drivers of diversity distribution and composition of the ecologically and economically important Phytophthora genus from 414 soil samples collected across Australia. We assessed 22 environmental and seven categorical variables as potential predictors...

Data from: Ancient mitochondrial DNA provides high-resolution time scale of the peopling of the Americas

Bastien Llamas, Lars Fehren-Schmitz, Guido Valverde, Julien Soubrier, Swapan Mallick, Nadin Rohland, Susanne Nordenfelt, Cristina Valdiosera, Stephen M. Richards, Adam Rohrlach, Maria Inés Barreto Romero, Isabel Flores Espinoza, Elsa Tomasto Cagigao, Lucía Watson Jiménez, Krzysztof Makowski, Ilán Santiago Leboreiro Reyna, Josefina Mansilla Lory, Julio Alejandro Ballivián Torrez, Mario A. Rivera, Richard L. Burger, Maria Constanza Ceruti, Johan Reinhard, R. Spencer Wells, Gustavo Politis, Calogero M. Santoro … & Wolfgang Haak
The exact timing, route, and process of the initial peopling of the Americas remains uncertain despite much research. Archaeological evidence indicates the presence of humans as far as southern Chile by 14.6 thousand years ago (ka), shortly after the Pleistocene ice sheets blocking access from eastern Beringia began to retreat. Genetic estimates of the timing and route of entry have been constrained by the lack of suitable calibration points and low genetic diversity of Native...

Data from: Efficiency of ddRAD target enriched sequencing across spiny rock lobster species (Palinuridae: Jasus)

Carla A. Souza, Nicholas Murphy, Cecilia Villacorta-Rath, Laura N. Woodings, Irina Ilyushkina, Cristian E. Hernandez, Bridget S. Green, James J. Bell & Jan M. Strugnell
Double digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADseq) and target capture sequencing methods are used to explore population and phylogenetic questions in non-model organisms. ddRADseq offers a simple and reliable protocol for population genomic studies, however it can result in a large amount of missing data due to allelic dropout. Target capture sequencing offers an opportunity to increase sequencing coverage with little missing data and consistent orthologous loci across samples, although this approach has generally been...

Data from: Landscape context explains changes in the functional diversity of regenerating forests better than climate or species richness

Michael Sams, Hao Ran Lai, Stephen Bonser, Peter Vesk, Robert Kooyman, Daniel Metcalfe, John W. Morgan, Margaret Mayfield, M. A. Sams, D. J. Metcalfe, R. M. Kooyman & P. A. Vesk
Aim A rich literature on forest succession provides general expectations for the steps forests go through while reassembling after disturbance, yet we still have a surprisingly poor understanding of why the outcomes of forest recovery after logging (or other disturbances) vary so extensively. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that regional species pool, system productivity, climate and landscape structure are important drivers of forest reassembly outcomes. Location Transect 1,500 km in length along the...

Data from: Impact of an ivermectin mass drug administration on scabies prevalence in a remote Australian Aboriginal community

Therese M. Kearns, Linda Ward, Deborah C. Holt, Bart J. Currie, Roslyn Gundjirryirr, Leanne Bundhala, Mark Chatfield, Ross M. Andrews, Richard Speare, Allen C. Cheng, James McCarthy, Jonathan R. Carapetis & Jennifer Shield
Background: Scabies is endemic in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with 69% of infants infected in the first year of life. We report the outcomes against scabies of two oral ivermectin mass drug administrations (MDAs) delivered 12 months apart in a remote Australian Aboriginal community. Methods: Utilizing a before and after study design, we measured scabies prevalence through population census with sequential MDAs at baseline and month 12. Surveys at months 6 and...

Data from: Understanding willingness to use oral pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention among men who have sex with men in China

Xia Wang, Adam Bourne, Pulin Liu, Jiangli Sun, Thomas Cai, Gitau Mburu, Matteo Cassolato, Bangyuan Wang & Wang Zhou
Background: Oral pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is recommended as an additional prevention choice for men who have sex with men (MSM) at substantial risk of HIV. The aim of this study was to evaluate the extent, and reasons, for MSM’s willingness to use oral PrEP in Wuhan and Shanghai, China. Methods: Between May and December 2015, a cross-sectional survey was conducted among 487 MSM recruited through snowball sampling in physical locations frequented by MSM and through...

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