250 Works

Data from: Filters of floristic exchange: how traits and climate shape the rainforest invasion of Sahul from Sunda

Jia-Yee S. Yap, Maurizio Rossetto, Craig Costion, Darren Crayn, Robert M. Kooyman, James Richardson & Robert Henry
Aim To evaluate how biogeographic and ecological processes influenced species distributions and community assembly in a continental rainforest flora with mixed biogeographic origins. Location Continental Australia. Methods We identified 795 species with Sahul ancestry (Australian rainforest flora of Gondwanan origin) and 604 species with Sunda ancestry (rainforest plant lineages of Indo-Malesian origin) from a total of 1872 free-standing Australian woody rainforest taxa. We then compared the distribution of Sunda to Sahul species in relation to...

Data from: Offspring dynamics affect food provisioning, growth and mortality in a brood-caring spider

Jasmin Ruch, Marie E. Herberstein & Jutta M. Schneider
In brood-caring species, family members are faced with a conflict over resource distribution. While parents are selected to adapt the amount of care according to their offspring's needs, offspring might be selected to demand more care than optimal for parents. Recent studies on birds have shown that the social network structure of offspring affects the amount of care and thus the fitness of families. Such a network structure of repeated interactions is probably influenced by...

Data from: Species tree of a recent radiation: the subfamily Delphininae (Cetacea, Mammalia)

Ana R. Amaral, Jennifer A. Jackson, Luciana M. Moller, Luciano B. Beheregaray & M. Manuela Coelho
Lineages undergoing rapid radiations provide exceptional opportunities for studying speciation and adaptation, but also represent a challenge for molecular systematics because retention of ancestral polymorphisms and the occurrence of hybridization can obscure relationships among lineages. Dolphins in the subfamily Delphininae are one such case. Non-monophyly, rapid speciation events, and discordance between morphological and molecular characters have made the inference of phylogenetic relationships within this subfamily very difficult. Here we approach this problem by applying multiple...

Data from: Unscrambling variation in avian eggshell colour and patterning in a continent-wide study

Kiara L. L'Herpiniere, Louis G. O'Neill, Andrew F. Russell, Daisy E. Duursma & Simon C. Griffith
The evolutionary drivers underlying marked variation in the pigmentation of eggs within many avian species remains unclear. The leading hypotheses proposed to explain such variation advocate the roles of genetic differences, signalling and/or structural integrity. One means of testing amongst these hypotheses is to capitalise on museum collections of eggs obtained throughout a broad geographic range of a species to ensure sufficient variation in predictors pertaining to each hypothesis. Here we measured colouration and patterning...

Data from: Learning outdoors: Male lizards show flexible spatial learning under semi-natural conditions

Daniel W. A. Noble, Pau Carazo & Martin J. Whiting
Spatial cognition is predicted to be a fundamental component of fitness in many lizard species, and yet some studies suggest that it is relatively slow and inflexible. However, such claims are based on work conducted using experimental designs or in artificial contexts that may underestimate their cognitive abilities. We used a biologically realistic experimental procedure (using simulated predatory attacks) to study spatial learning and its flexibility in the lizard Eulamprus quoyii in semi-natural outdoor enclosures...

Data from: Abiotic and biotic predictors of macroecological patterns in bird and butterfly coloration

Rhiannon L. Dalrymple, Habacuc Flores-Moreno, Darrell J. Kemp, Thomas E. White, Shawn W. Laffan, Frank A. Hemmings, Timothy D. Hitchcock & Angela T. Moles
Animal color phenotypes are invariably influenced by both their biotic community and the abiotic environments. A host of hypotheses have been proposed for how variables such as solar radiation, habitat shadiness, primary productivity, temperature, rainfall and community diversity might affect animal color traits. However, while individual factors have been linked to coloration in specific contexts, little is known about which factors are most important across broad taxonomic and geographic scales. Using data collected from 570...

Data from: Water quality assessment of Australian ports using water quality evaluation indices

Sayka Jahan & Vladimir Strezov
Australian ports serve diverse and extensive activities, such as shipping, tourism and fisheries, which may all impact the quality of port water. In this work water quality monitoring at different ports using a range of water quality evaluation indices was applied to assess the port water quality. Seawater samples at 30 stations in the year 2016–2017 from six ports in NSW, Australia, namely Port Jackson, Botany, Kembla, Newcastle, Yamba and Eden, were investigated to determine...

Data from: Learning and robustness to catch-and-release fishing in a shark social network

Johann Mourier, Culum Brown & Serge Planes
Individuals can play different roles in maintaining connectivity and social cohesion in animal populations and thereby influence population robustness to perturbations. We performed a social network analysis in a reef shark population to assess the vulnerability of the global network to node removal under different scenarios. We found that the network was generally robust to the removal of nodes with high centrality. The network appeared also highly robust to experimental fishing. Individual shark catchability decreased...

Data from: Sexual deception in a cannibalistic mating system? testing the Femme Fatale hypothesis

Katherine L. Barry
Animal communication theory holds that in order to be evolutionarily stable, signals must be honest on average, but significant dishonesty (i.e. deception) by a subset of the population may also evolve. A typical praying mantid mating system involves active mate searching by males, which is guided by airborne sex pheromones in most species for which mate-searching cues have been studied. The Femme Fatale hypothesis suggests that female mantids may be selected to exploit conspecific males...

Data from: It’s not all black and white: investigating colour polymorphism in manta rays across Indo-Pacific populations

Stephanie Venables, Andrea Marshall, Elitza Germanov, Robert Perryman, Ricardo Tapilatu, I. Gede Hendrawan, Anna Flam, Mike Van Keulen, Joseph Tomkins & Jason Kennington
Intraspecific colour polymorphisms have been the focus of numerous studies, yet processes affecting melanism in the marine environment remain poorly understood. Arguably the most prominent example of melanism in marine species occurs in manta rays (Mobula birostris and M. alfredi). Here, we use photo identification catalogues to document the frequency variation of melanism across Indo-Pacific manta ray populations and test for evidence of selection by predation acting on colour morph variants. We use mark-recapture modeling...

A fossil-calibrated time-tree of all Australian freshwater fishes

Amy Tims, Simon Ho & Peter Unmack
Australian freshwater fishes are a relatively species-poor assemblage, comprising a small number of Gondwanan lineages and a number of groups derived from repeated freshwater invasions by marine ancestors. In addition to being a comparatively small assemblage, they are both highly endemic and highly threatened. However, a comprehensive phylogeny for these taxa is lacking, which has hampered efforts to study their phylogenetic diversity, distribution of extinction risk, speciation rate, and rates of trait evolution. Here, we...

Environmental DNA can act as a biodiversity barometer of anthropogenic pressures in coastal ecosystems

Joseph DiBattista, James Reimer, Michael Stat, Giovanni Masucci, Piera Biondi, Maarten De Brauwer, Shaun Wilkinson, Anthony Chariton & Michael Bunce
Loss of biodiversity from lower to upper trophic levels reduces overall productivity and stability of coastal ecosystems in our oceans, but rarely are these changes documented across both time and space. The characterisation of environmental DNA (eDNA) from sediment and seawater using metabarcoding offers a powerful molecular lens to observe marine biota and provides a series of ‘snapshots’ across a broad spectrum of eukaryotic organisms. Using these next-generation tools and downstream analytical innovations including machine...

The apparent exponential radiation of Phanerozoic land vertebrates is an artefact of spatial sampling biases

Roger Close, Roger Benson, John Alroy, Matthew Carrano, Terri Cleary, Emma Dunne, Philip Mannion, Mark Uhen & Richard Butler
There is no consensus about how terrestrial biodiversity was assembled through deep time, and in particular whether it has risen exponentially over the Phanerozoic. Using a database of 38,711 fossil occurrences, we show that the spatial extent of the ‘global’ terrestrial tetrapod fossil record itself expands exponentially through the Phanerozoic, and that this spatial variation explains around 75% of the variation in known fossil species counts. Controlling for this bias, we find that regional-scale terrestrial...

Data from: Unusual but consistent latitudinal patterns in macroalgal habitats and their invertebrate communities across two countries

Hannah Lloyd, Juan Cruz-Motta, Tim Glasby, Pat Hutchings & Paul Gribben
Aim: The physical characteristics of biogenic habitats and environmental conditions are important determinants of biodiversity, yet their relative importance can change across spatial scales. We aimed to understand how relationships between the physical characteristics of macroalgal habitats and their invertebrate communities varied across spatial scales and whether general ecological patterns occurred across two countries. Location: 18 sites across the temperate east coasts of Australia (over 1,300 km) and New Zealand (over 1,000 km), with the...

Urbanization and translocation disrupt the relationship between host density and parasite abundance

Jayna L. DeVore, Richard Shine & Simon Ducatez
1.) The species interactions that structure natural communities are increasingly disrupted by radical habitat change resulting from the widespread processes of urbanization and species translocations. Although many species are disadvantaged by these changes, others thrive in these new environments, achieving densities exceeding those found in natural habitats. Often the same species that benefit from urbanization are successful invaders in introduced habitats, suggesting that similar processes promote these species in both environments. 2.) Both processes may...

Kin-mediated plasticity in alternative reproductive tactics

Samuel James Lymbery, Joseph Tomkins, Bruno Buzatto & David Hosken
Conditional strategies occur when the fitness payoff an individual receives from expressing a given phenotype (from a range of two or more possible phenotypes) is contingent upon that individual’s environmental circumstances. This conditional strategy model underlies many cases of alternative reproductive tactics, in which individuals of one sex employ different means to obtain reproductive opportunities. How genetic relatedness and indirect fitness effects could affect the expression of alternative reproductive tactics remains unexplored. Here, we address...

Morphology of parotoid glands in cane toads

Richard Shine, Gregory Brown, Ryann Blennerhassett & Cameron Hudson
If optimal investment in anti-predator defences depends on predation risk, invading new regions (and thus, encountering different predators) may favour shifts in that investment. Cane toads offer an ideal system to test this prediction: expensive anti-predator toxins are stored mainly in parotoid glands whose dimensions are easy to measure, and toad invasions have changed the suites of predators they encounter. Although plasticity may influence parotoid morphology, comparisons between parents and progeny revealed that gland dimensions...

High fire frequency and the impact of the 2019–2020 megafires on Australian plant diversity

Rachael Gallagher, Stuart Allen, Berin MacKenzie, Colin Yates, Gosper Carl, David Keith, Cory Merow, Matthew White, Elizabeth Wenk, Brian Maitner, Kang He, Vanessa Adams, Tony Auld, Rachael V. Gallagher, Berin D. E. Mackenzie, Colin J. Yates, Carl R. Gosper, David A. Keith, Matthew D. White, Brian S. Maitner, Vanessa M. Adams & Tony D. Auld
This dataset details the proportion of the geographic range of 26,062 Australian plant species burnt in the 2019-2020 megafire; threatened listing status on state and Commonwealth threatened species legislation; species endemic status in each state/territory according to the Australian Plant Census; and risk ranking for exposure to high fire frequency (short intervals between fires) and cumulative impacts of fire (populations dominated by immature individuals). Further details are provided in the users should consult and cite...

Data from: Combined use of eDNA metabarcoding and video surveillance for the assessment of fish biodiversity

Michael Stat, Jeffrey John, Joseph D. DiBattista, Stephen J. Newman, Michael Bunce & Euan S. Harvey
Monitoring communities of fish is important for the management and health of fisheries and marine ecosystems. Baited remote underwater video systems (BRUVs) are one of the most effective non‐destructive techniques for sampling bony fishes and elasmobranchs (sharks, rays, and skates). However, while BRUVs can sample visually conspicuous biota, some taxa are under‐sampled or not recorded at all. Here, we compared the diversity of fishes characterised using BRUVs with metabarcoding of environmental DNA (eDNA) extracted from...

Data from: Signatures of local adaptation along environmental gradients in a range-expanding damselfly (Ischnura elegans)

Rachael Y. Dudaniec, Chuan Ji Yong, Lesley T. Lancaster, Erik I. Svensson & Bengt Hansson
Insect distributions are shifting rapidly in response to climate change and are undergoing rapid evolutionary change. We investigate the molecular signatures underlying local adaptation in the range-expanding damselfly, Ischnura elegans. Using a landscape genomic approach combined with generalized dissimilarity modelling (GDM), we detect selection signatures on loci via allelic frequency change along environmental gradients. We analyse 13,612 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs), derived from Restriction site-Associated DNA sequencing (RADseq), in 426 individuals from 25 sites spanning...

Data from: Angiosperm wood structure: global patterns in vessel anatomy and their relationship to wood density and potential conductivity

Amy E. Zanne, Mark Westoby, Daniel S. Falster, David D. Ackerly, Scott R Loarie, Sarah E. J. Arnold & David A. Coomes
Woody stems comprise a large biological carbon fraction and determine water transport between roots and leaves; their structure and function can influence both carbon and hydrological cycles. While angiosperm wood anatomy and density determine hydraulic conductivity and mechanical strength, little is known about interrelations across many species. We compiled a global dataset comprising two anatomical traits for 3005 woody angiosperms: mean vessel lumen area ( ) and number per unit area (N). From these, we...

Data from: Topology, divergence dates, and macroevolutionary inferences vary between different tip-dating approaches applied to fossil theropods (Dinosauria)

David W. Bapst, April M. Wright, Nick J. Matzke & Graeme T. Lloyd
Dated phylogenies of fossil taxa allow palaeobiologists to estimate the timing of major divergences and placement of extinct lineages, and to test macroevolutionary hypotheses. Recently developed Bayesian ‘tip-dating’ methods simultaneously infer and date the branching relationships among fossil taxa, and infer putative ancestral relationships. Using a previously published dataset for extinct theropod dinosaurs, we contrast the dated relationships inferred by several tip-dating approaches and evaluate potential downstream effects on phylogenetic comparative methods. We also compare...

Data from: Phylogenetic variation in hind-limb bone scaling of flightless theropods

Nicholas R. Chan
The robusticity of the weight-bearing limbs of large terrestrial animals is expected to increase at a more rapid rate than in their smaller relatives. This scaling has been hypothesized to allow large species to maintain stresses in the limb bones that are similar to those seen in smaller ones. Curvilinear scaling has previously been found in mammals and nonavian theropods but has not been demonstrated in birds. In this study, polynomial regressions of leg-bone length...

Data from: Detection of environmental and morphological adaptation despite high landscape genetic connectivity in a pest grasshopper (Phaulacridium vittatum)

Sonu Yadav, Adam J. Stow & Rachael Y. Dudaniec
Widespread species that exhibit both high gene flow and the capacity to occupy heterogeneous environments make excellent models for examining local selection processes along environmental gradients. Here we evaluate the influence of temperature and landscape variables on genetic connectivity and signatures of local adaptation in Phaulacridium vittatum, a widespread agricultural pest grasshopper, endemic to Australia. With sampling across a 900 km latitudinal gradient, we genotyped 185 P. vittatum from 19 sites at 11,408 single nucleotide...

Data from: Three keys to the radiation of angiosperms into freezing environments

Amy E. Zanne, David C. Tank, William K. Cornwell, Jonathan M. Eastman, Stephen A. Smith, Richard G. FitzJohn, Daniel J. McGlinn, Brian C. O'Meara, Angela T. Moles, Peter B. Reich, Dana L. Royer, Douglas E. Soltis, Peter F. Stevens, Mark Westoby, Ian J. Wright, Lonnie Aarssen, Robert I. Bertin, Andre Calaminus, Rafaël Govaerts, Frank Hemmings, Michelle R. Leishman, Jacek Oleksyn, Pamela S. Soltis, Nathan G. Swenson, Laura Warman … & Alejandro Ordonez
Early flowering plants are thought to have been woody species restricted to warm habitats1, 2, 3. This lineage has since radiated into almost every climate, with manifold growth forms4. As angiosperms spread and climate changed, they evolved mechanisms to cope with episodic freezing. To explore the evolution of traits underpinning the ability to persist in freezing conditions, we assembled a large species-level database of growth habit (woody or herbaceous; 49,064 species), as well as leaf...

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