173 Works

Towed video footage of the seafloor at Corner Inlet

Alex Rattray

Towed video footage of the seafloor at Granite Island, Victoria

Alex Rattray

Towed video footage of the seafloor at Aireys Inlet

Alex Rattray

Towed video footage of the seafloor at Point Henry, Blairgowrie

Alex Rattray

Connecting Practice

Kristal Buckley, Gwenaelle Bourdin & Leanna Wigboldus

Full data for: Predators, prey or temperature? Mechanisms driving niche use of a foundation plant species by specialist lizards

Kristian Bell, Timothy Doherty & Don Driscoll
Foundation species interact strongly with other species to profoundly influence communities, such as by providing food, refuge from predators, or beneficial microclimates. We tested relative support for these mechanisms using spinifex grass (Triodia spp.), which is a foundation species of arid Australia that provides habitat for diverse lizard communities. We first compared the attributes of live and dead spinifex, bare ground and a structurally similar plant (Lomandra effusa), and then tested the relative strength of...

Data for: Spontaneous choices for insect-pollinated flower shapes by wild non-eusocial halictid bees

Scarlett Howard, Kit Prendergast, Matthew Symonds, Mani Shrestha & Adrian Dyer
The majority of angiosperms require animal pollination for reproduction and insects are the dominant group of animal pollinators. Bees are considered one of the most important and abundant insect pollinators. Research into bee behaviour and foraging decisions has typically centred on managed eusocial bee species, Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris. Non-eusocial bees are understudied with respect to foraging strategies and decision-making, such as flower preferences. Understanding whether there are fundamental foraging strategies and preferences which...

Male fairy-wrens produce and maintain vibrant breeding colours irrespective of individual quality

Alexandra McQueen, Kaspar Delhey, Flavia R. Barzan, Annalise C. Naimo & Anne Peters
Conspicuous colours may signal individual quality if high-quality individuals produce more elaborate colours or have a greater capacity to invest in colour maintenance. We investigate these hypotheses using repeated within-individual observations and experimentally-induced colour production in a wild bird, the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). Male superb fairy-wrens undergo an annual moult from brown, non-breeding plumage to an ultraviolet-blue and black breeding plumage. Colour maintenance is especially relevant for this species because structural, ultraviolet-blue plumage colours...

The importance of wetland margin microhabitat mosaics; the case of shorebirds and thermoregulation

Julia Ryeland, Michael M. A Weston & Matthew R. E. Symonds
Wetlands, and the species that rely upon them, are under significant threat worldwide, with wetlands often being completely removed or drastically altered. Successful wetland management requires an understanding of the interactions between wetland species and the microhabitats they use. The use of microhabitats for thermoregulation in wetland species is poorly studied, though anthropogenic influence on wetlands can reduce the diversity of microhabitats and thus the thermoregulatory options for animals. At high ambient temperatures birds may...

Chronic insomnia and bed partner actigraphy data

Maia Angelova, Shitanshu Kusmakar, Chandan Karmakar, Ye Zhu, Sergiy Shelyag, Sean Drummond & Jason Ellis
The files contain seven nights of continuous actigraphy measurements of 40 subjects with chronic insomnia and their 40 bed partners. Wrist actigraphy was used, collected for one week using Respironics Actiwatch Spectrum Pro and Actiware software (Respironics, Bend, OR, USA), with movement counts were sampled in 60-second epochs. All recruited subjects wore the devices at all times during day and night. All subjects were free to move and were not prohibited from doing any activities...

Bisulfite sequencing (RRBS-seq): CpG methylation reports for Australian invasive cane toads

Roshmi Rekha Sarma, Michael R Crossland, Harrison J.F Eyck, Jayna L DeVore, Richard J Edwards, Michael Cocomazzo, Jia Zhou, Gregory P Brown, Richard Shine & Lee Ann Rollins
In response to novel environments, invasive populations often evolve rapidly. Standing genetic variation is an important predictor of evolutionary response but epigenetic variation may also play a role. Here we use an iconic invader, the cane toad (Rhinella marina), to investigate how manipulating epigenetic status affects phenotypic traits. We collected wild toads from across Australia, bred them, and experimentally manipulated DNA methylation of the subsequent two generations (G1, G2) through exposure to the DNA methylation...

Effectiveness of community-based health education and home support program to reduce blood pressure among patients with uncontrolled hypertension in Nepal: A cluster-randomized trial

Mahesh Kumar Khanal, Pratiksha Bhandari, Raja Ram Dhungana, Pratik Bhandari, Lal Rawal, Yadav Gurung, K. N. Paudel, Amit Singh, Surya Devkota & Barbora De Courten
Background: Hypertension is a major global public health problem. Elevated blood pressure can cause cardiovascular and kidney diseases. We assessed the effectiveness of health education sessions and home support programs in reducing blood pressure among patients with uncontrolled hypertension in a suburban community of Nepal. Methods: We conducted a community-based, open-level, parallel-group, cluster randomized controlled trial in Birendranagar municipality of Surkhet, Nepal. We randomly assigned four clusters (wards) into intervention and control arms. We provided...

Aboveground carbon stocks and dynamics in Andean forests

Alvaro Duque, Miguel Peña, Francisco Cuesta, Sebastián González-Caro, Peter Kennedy, Oliver Phillips, Marco Calderón, Cecilia Blundo, Julieta Carilla, Leslie Cayola, William Farfán-Ríos, Alfredo Fuentes, Ricardo Grau, Jürgen Homeier, María I. Loza-Rivera, Jonathan A. Myers, Oriana Osinaga-Acosta, Manuel Peralvo, Esteban Pinto, Sassan Saatchi, Miles Silman, J. Sebastián Tello, Andrea Terán-Valdez & Kenneth J. Feeley
This dataset (Andean_AGB.xlsx) has the data employed in the paper entitled Old-growth Andean forests as globally important carbon sinks and future carbon refuges. The data was compiled as the results of the work of several research teams spread out across the Andean region. The information available here has data about aboveground carbon stocks and dynamics and the main explanatory variables, such as climate and symbiotic root associations.

Bird community recovery following invasive tree removal

Roslyn Gleadow, Benjamin O'Leary, Martin Burd & Susanna Venn
Invasive plants can lead to significant changes in the abundance and diversity of the existing flora. Restoration programs, therefore, largely focus on the recovery of the vegetation. Faunal responses have received less attention. Here we examined whether or not bird communities recovered following removal of a native, invasive tree in South Eastern Australia with a view to evaluating whether this could be used as a tool for assessing the effectiveness of the remediation programs. Pittosporum...

Civil war is associated with longer escape distances among Sri Lankan birds - flight-initiation distances of Sri Lankan birds

Michael Weston & Matthew Symonds
War influences wildlife in a variety of ways but may influence their escape responses to approaching threats, including humans, because of its effect on human populations and behaviour, and landscape change. We collected 1,400 Flight-Initiation Distances (FIDs) from 157 bird species in the dry zone of Sri Lanka, where civil war raged for 26 years, ending in 2009. Accounting for factors known to influence FIDs (phylogeny, starting distance of approaches, body mass, prevailing human density,...

Data from: High fidelity: extra-pair fertilisations in eight Charadrius plover species are not associated with parental relatedness or social mating system

Kathryn H. Maher, Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips, András Kosztolányi, Natalie Dos Remedios, María Cristina Carmona-Isunza, Medardo Cruz-López, Sama Zefania, James J. H. St Clair, Monif AlRashidi, Michael A. Weston, Martín A. Serrano-Meneses, Oliver Krüger, Joseph I. Hoffmann, Tamás Székely, Terry Burke, Clemens Küpper & Joseph I. Hoffman
Extra-pair paternity is a common reproductive strategy in many bird species. However, it remains unclear why extra-pair paternity occurs and why it varies among species and populations. Plovers (Charadrius spp.) exhibit considerable variation in reproductive behaviour and ecology, making them excellent models to investigate the evolution of social and genetic mating systems. We investigated inter- and intra-specific patterns of extra-pair parentage and evaluated three major hypotheses explaining extra-pair paternity using a comparative approach based on...

Data from: Combined use of GPS and accelerometry reveals fine scale three-dimensional foraging behaviour in the short-tailed shearwater

Maud Berlincourt, Lauren P. Angel & John P. Y. Arnould
Determining the foraging behaviour of free-ranging marine animals is fundamental for assessing their habitat use and how they may respond to changes in the environment. However, despite recent advances in bio-logging technology, collecting information on both at-sea movement patterns and activity budgets still remains difficult in small pelagic seabird species due to the constraints of instrument size. The short-tailed shearwater, the most abundant seabird species in Australia (ca 23 million individuals), is a highly pelagic...

Data from: Effects of small-scale, shading-induced seagrass loss on blue carbon storage: Implications for management of degraded seagrass ecosystems

Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett, Caitlin Wessel, Just Cebrian, Peter J. Ralph, Pere Masque & Peter I. Macreadie
1. Seagrass meadows are important global ‘blue carbon’ sinks. Despite a 30% loss of seagrasses globally during the last century, there is limited empirical research investigating the effects of disturbance and loss of seagrass on blue carbon stocks. 2. In this study, we hypothesised that seagrass loss would reduce blue carbon stocks. Using shading cloth, we simulated small-scale die-offs of two subtropical seagrass species, Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum, in a dynamic northern Gulf of...

Data from: The evolutionary conservation of the A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase domain with Thrombospondin-1 motif metzincins across vertebrate species and their expression in teleost zebrafish

Frédéric G. Brunet, Fiona W. Fraser, Marley J. Binder, Adam D. Smith, Christopher Kintakas, Carolyn M. Dancevic, Alister C. Ward & Daniel R. McCulloch
Background: The A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase domain with Thrombospondin-1 motifs (ADAMTS) enzymes comprise 19 mammalian zinc-dependent metalloproteinases (metzincins) with homologues in a wide range of invertebrates. ADAMTS enzymes have a broad range of functions in development and diseases due to their extracellular matrix remodelling activity. Here, we report a detailed characterisation of their evolutionary conservation across vertebrates. Results: Using bioinformatics complemented with de novo sequencing, gene sequences for ADAMTS enzymes were obtained from a variety...

Monitoring Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax using microsatellite markers indicates limited changes in population structure after substantial transmission decline in Papua New Guinea

Johanna Kattenberg & Alyssa Barry
Monitoring the genetic structure of pathogen populations may be an economical and sensitive approach to quantify the impact of control on transmission dynamics, highlighting the need for a better understanding of changes in population genetic parameters as transmission declines. Here we describe the first population genetic analysis of the major human malaria parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and Plasmodium vivax (Pv) populations following nationwide distribution of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLIN) in Papua New Guinea (PNG)....

Data from: Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions

Thomas M. Newsome, Aaron C. Greenville, Duško Ćirović, Christopher R. Dickman, Chris N. Johnson, Miha Krofel, Mike Letnic, William J. Ripple, Euan G. Ritchie, Stoyan Stoyanov & Aaron J. Wirsing
Top predators can suppress mesopredators by killing them, competing for resources and instilling fear, but it is unclear how suppression of mesopredators varies with the distribution and abundance of top predators at large spatial scales and among different ecological contexts. We suggest that suppression of mesopredators will be strongest where top predators occur at high densities over large areas. These conditions are more likely to occur in the core than on the margins of top...

Data from: How can ten fingers shape a pot? Evidence for equivalent function in culturally distinct motor skills

Enora Gandon, Reinoud J. Bootsma, John A. Endler, Leore Grosman & Alex Mesoudi
Behavioural variability is likely to emerge when a particular task is performed in different cultural settings, assuming that part of human motor behaviour is influenced by culture. In analysing motor behaviour it is useful to distinguish how the action is performed from the result achieved. Does cultural environment lead to specific cultural motor skills? Are there differences between cultures both in the skills themselves and in the corresponding outcomes? Here we analyse the skill of...

Data from: Cover, not caging, influences chronic physiological stress in a ground-nesting bird

Laura X. L. Tan, Katherine L. Buchanan, Grainne S. Maguire & Michael A. Weston
Predator exclosures (‘nest cages’) around nests are increasingly used to enhance hatching success of declining ground-nesting birds. However, such exclosures are contentious and have been suggested to have detrimental effects on the species which they aim to protect. This study examines whether exclosures increase physiological stress of incubating birds, a hitherto unrecognised and untested potential drawback of exclosures. Red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus hatching success was radically altered and significantly higher for nests with exclosures (96.2%)...

Data from: Contrasting patterns of population connectivity between regions in a commercially important mollusc Haliotis rubra: integrating population genetics, genomics and marine LiDAR data

Adam Miller, Anthony Van Rooyen, Gordana Rasic, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Harry K. Gorfine, Robert Day, Caroline Wong, Ary A. Hoffmann & Andrew R. Weeks
Estimating contemporary genetic structure and population connectivity in marine species is challenging, often compromised by genetic markers that lack adequate sensitivity, and unstructured sampling regimes. We show how these limitations can be overcome via the integration of modern genotyping methods and sampling designs guided by LiDAR and SONAR data sets. Here we explore patterns of gene flow and local genetic structure in a commercially harvested abalone species (Haliotis rubra) from southeastern Australia, where the viability...

Data from: Mesopredator management: effects of red fox control on the abundance, diet and use of space by feral cats

Robyn Molsher, Alan E. Newsome, Thomas M. Newsome & Christopher R. Dickman
Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators - mesopredators - often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of...

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