Effective biomonitoring is critical for driving management outcomes that ensure long-term sustainability of the marine environment. In recent years environmental DNA (eDNA), coupled with metabarcoding methodologies, has emerged as a promising tool for generating biotic surveys of marine ecosystems, including those under anthropogenic pressure. However, more empirical data is needed on how to best implement eDNA field sampling approaches to maximise their utility for each specific application. The effect of the substrate chosen for eDNA...
Workshop files and notes from the 2018 November 7 Workshop
Are communities limited by biotic interactions, or are they random draws from regional species pools? One way to tell is to compare total species counts in geographic regions to average counts in ecological samples falling within those regions. If species richness is limited regionally, then the relationship should be curvilinear even in a log-log space. Local data pertaining to trees and 10 groups of animals are analyzed to test this hypothesis. Most relationships are indeed...
Understanding how organismal design evolves in response to environmental challenges is a central goal of evolutionary biology. In particular, assessing the extent to which environmental requirements drive general design features among distantly related groups is a major research question. The visual system is a critical sensory apparatus that evolves in response to changing light regimes. In vertebrates, the optic tectum is the primary visual processing center of the brain, and yet it is unclear how,...
Data from: Subsistence practices, past biodiversity, and anthropogenic impacts revealed by New Zealand-wide ancient DNA surveyFrederik V. Seersholm, Theresa L. Cole, Alicia Grealy, Nicolas J. Rawlence, Karen Greig, Michael Knapp, Michael Stat, Anders J. Hansen, Luke J. Easton, Lara Shepherd, Alan J. D. Tennyson, R. Paul Scofield, Richard Walter & Michael Bunce
New Zealand’s geographic isolation, lack of native terrestrial mammals, and Gondwanan origins make it an ideal location to study evolutionary processes. However, since the archipelago was first settled by humans (c. 1280 AD), its unique biodiversity has been under pressure, and today an estimated 49% of the terrestrial avifauna is extinct. Current efforts to conserve the remaining fauna rely on a better understanding of the composition of past ecosystems, as well as the causes and...
Data from: Recent prey capture experience and dynamic habitat quality mediate short-term foraging site fidelity in a seabirdGemma Carroll, Robert Harcourt, Benjamin J. Pitcher, David Slip & Ian Jonsen
Foraging site fidelity allows animals to increase their efficiency by returning to profitable feeding areas. However, the mechanisms underpinning why animals “stay” or “switch” sites have rarely been investigated. Here we explore how habitat quality and prior prey capture experience influence short-term site fidelity by the little penguin (Eudyptula minor). Using 88 consecutive foraging trips by 20 brooding penguins, we found that site fidelity was higher after foraging trips where environmental conditions were favourable, and...
Data from: Nest size is predicted by female identity and the local environment in the blue tit, but is not related to genetic or foster mother's nest sizeLouis G. O'Neill, Timothy H. Parker & Simon C. Griffith
The potential for animals to respond to changing climates has sparked interest in intraspecific variation in avian nest structure since this may influence nest microclimate and protect eggs and offspring from inclement weather. However, there have been relatively few large-scale attempts to examine variation in nests or the determinates of individual variation in nest structure within populations. Using a set of mostly pre-registered analyses, we studied potential predictors of variation in the size of a...
Detecting genetic variants under selection using FST outlier analysis (OA) and environmental association analyses (EAA) are popular approaches that provide insight into the genetic basis of local adaptation. Despite the frequent use of OA and EAA approaches and their increasing attractiveness for detecting signatures of selection, their application to field-based empirical data have not been synthesized. Here, we review 66 empirical studies that use Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in OA and EAA. We report trends...
Data from: Moving like a model: mimicry of hymenopteran flight trajectories by clearwing moths of Southeast Asian rainforestsMarta A. Skowron Volponi, Donald James McLean, Paolo Volponi & Robert Dudley
Clearwing moths are known for their physical resemblance to hymenopterans, but the extent of their behavioural mimicry is unknown. We describe zigzag flights of sesiid bee mimics which are nearly indistinguishable from those of sympatric bees, whereas sesiid wasp mimics display faster, straighter flights more akin to those of wasps. In particular, the flight of the sesiids Heterosphecia pahangensis, Aschistophleps argentifasciata and Pyrophleps cruentata resembles both Tetragonilla collina and T. atripes stingless bees and, to...
Data from: Predictable adaptive trajectories of sexual coloration in the wild: evidence from replicate experimental guppy populationsDarrell J. Kemp, Frana Batistic, David N. Reznick & Frana-Katica Batistic
The question of whether populations evolve predictably and consistently under similar selective regimes is fundamental to understanding how adaptation proceeds in the wild. We address this question with a replicated evolution experiment focused upon male sexual coloration in guppies (Poecilia reticulata). Fish were transplanted from a single high predation population in the Guanapo River to four replicate, guppy‐free low predation headwater streams. Two streams had their canopies thinned to adjust the setting under which male...
Data from: Social and nutritional factors shape larval aggregation, foraging, and body mass in a polyphagous flyJuliano Morimoto, Binh Nguyen, Shabnam Tarahi Tabrizi, Fleur Ponton & Phillip Taylor
The majority of insect species have a clearly defined larval stage during development. Larval nutrition is crucial for individuals’ growth and development, and larval foraging success often depends on both resource availability and competition for those resources. To date, however, little is known about how these factors interact to shape larval development and behaviour. Here we manipulated the density of larvae of the polyphagous fruit fly pest Bactrocera tryoni (‘Queensland fruit fly’), and the diet...
Data from: Incorporating non-equilibrium dynamics into demographic history inferences of a migratory marine speciesEmma L. Carroll, Rachael Alderman, John L. Bannister, Martine Bérubé, Peter B. Best, Laura Boren, C. Scott Baker, Rochelle Constantine, Ken Findlay, Robert Harcourt, Louisiane Lemaire, Per J. Palsbøll, Nathalie J. Patenaude, Victoria J. Rowntree, Jon Seger, Debbie Steel, Luciano O. Valenzuela, Mandy Watson & Oscar E. Gaggiotti
Understanding how dispersal and gene flow link geographically separated populations over evolutionary history is challenging, particularly in migratory marine species. In southern right whales (SRWs, Eubalaena australis), patterns of genetic diversity are likely influenced by the glacial climate cycle and recent history of whaling. Here we use a dataset of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences (n=1,327) and nuclear markers (17 microsatellite loci, n=222) from major wintering grounds to investigate circumpolar population structure, historical demography, and effective...
Data from: Claw morphometrics in monitor lizards: variable substrate and habitat use correlate to shape diversity within a predator guildDomenic C. D'Amore, Simon Clulow, J. Sean Doody, David Rhind & Colin R. McHenry
Numerous studies investigate morphology in the context of habitat, and lizards have received particular attention. Substrate usage is often reflected in the morphology of characters associated with locomotion, and, as a result, claws have become well‐studied ecomorphological traits linking the two. The Kimberley predator guild of Western Australia consists of 10 sympatric varanid species. The purpose of this study was to quantify claw size and shape in the guild using geometric morphometrics, and determine whether...
Data from: Evidence for local adaptation to extreme heat across populations of a widespread tree from quantitative proteomicsTimothy Maher, Mehdi Mirzaei, Dana Pascovici, Ian J. Wright, Paul A. Haynes & Rachael V. Gallagher
1. Heat waves are increasing in frequency and intensity globally with negative consequences for biological function. Assessing the effect of extreme heat on species requires an understanding of their adaptive capacity for mitigating physiological damage. Where long-term exposure to hot conditions in natural populations provides sufficient selection pressure, populations should exhibit signals of adaptive thermotolerance to temperature extremes. 2. Using quantitative proteomics, we tested this idea in the widespread and commercially-important tree species Eucalyptus grandis...
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment2
University of St Andrews2
University of Sydney2
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation2
University of Western Australia2
Newport (United States)1