Data from: A statistical framework to explore ontogenetic growth variation among individuals and populations: a marine fish exampleJohn R. Morrongiello & Ronald Everett Thresher
Growth is a fundamental biological process, driven by a multitude of intrinsic (within-individual) and extrinsic (environmental) factors, that underpins individual fitness and population demographics. Focussing on the comprehensive information stored in aquatic and terrestrial organism hard parts, we develop a series of increasingly complex hierarchical models to explore spatial and temporal sources of growth variation, ranging in resolution from within individuals to across a species. We apply this modelling framework to an extensive data set...
Data from: Do evolutionary constraints on thermal performance manifest at different organizational scales?Ben L. Phillips, John Llewelyn, Amberlee Hatcher, Stewart Macdonald & Craig Moritz
The two foremost hypotheses on the evolutionary constraints on an organism's thermal sensitivity – the hotter-is-better expectation, and the specialist–generalist trade-off – have received mixed support from empirical studies testing for their existence. Could these conflicting results reflect confusion regarding the organizational level (i.e. species > population > individual) at which these constraints should manifest? We propose that these evolutionary constraints should manifest at different organizational levels because of differences in their underlying causes and...
Patterns of adaptive variation within plant species are best studied through common garden experiments, but these are costly and time-consuming, especially for trees that have long generation times. We explored whether genome-wide scanning technology combined with outlier marker detection could be used to detect adaptation to climate and provide an alternative to common garden experiments. As a case study, we sampled nine provenances of the widespread forest tree species, Eucalyptus tricarpa, across an aridity gradient...
Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic relationships of many major lineages remain unresolved. We inferred the phylogeny of insects from 1478 protein-coding genes. Phylogenomic analyses of nucleotide and amino acid sequences, with site-specific nucleotide or domain-specific amino acid substitution models, produced statistically robust and congruent results resolving previously controversial phylogenetic relations hips. We dated the origin of insects to the Early Ordovician [~479 million years ago (Ma)], of insect flight...
Data from: Burning for biodiversity: highly resilient ant communities respond only to strongly contrasting fire regimes in Australia’s seasonal tropicsAlan N. Andersen, Relena R. Ribbons, Magen Pettit & Catherine L. Parr
1. According to the pyrodiversity paradigm, a wide range of fire regimes is required to maintain biodiversity in fire-prone landscapes. However, the requisite level of pyrodiversity has seldom been tested and may actually be very low. 2. Here, we examine the sensitivity of tropical savanna ants to variation in fire regimes using results from a long-term fire experiment near Darwin, Australia. Six experimental fire regimes, with varying fire frequency and seasonality, have been applied to...
The African Mocker Swallowtail, Papilio dardanus, is a textbook example in evolutionary genetics. Classical breeding experiments have shown that wing pattern variation in this polymorphic Batesian mimic is determined by the polyallelic H locus that controls a set of distinct mimetic phenotypes. Using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing, recombination analyses and comparative genomics, we show that H co-segregates with an interval of less than 500 kb that is collinear with two other Lepidoptera genomes and...
Understanding spatial patterns of biodiversity is critical for conservation planning, particularly given rapid habitat loss and human-induced climatic change. Diversity and endemism are typically assessed by comparing species ranges across regions. However, investigation of patterns of species diversity alone misses out on the full richness of patterns that can be inferred using a phylogenetic approach. Here, using Australian Acacia as an example, we show that the application of phylogenetic methods, particularly two new measures, relative...
The de novo evolution of proteins is now considered a frequented route for biological innovation, but the genetic and biochemical processes that lead to each newly created protein are often poorly documented. The common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) contains the unusual gene PawS1 (Preproalbumin with SFTI-1) that encodes a precursor for seed storage albumin; however, in a region usually discarded during albumin maturation, its sequence is matured into SFTI-1, a protease-inhibiting cyclic peptide with a motif...
Data from: Partner diversity and identity impacts on plant productivity in Acacia-rhizobial interactionsLuke G. Barrett, James D. Bever, Andrew Bissett & Peter H. Thrall
1.Genetic variation for functionally important traits is ubiquitous in communities of nitrogen-fixing rhizobia, and while some studies have described significant effects of diversity on the functioning of plant-associated microbial communities, we lack a systematic test of how rhizobial diversity influences plant productivity. 2. The complexity of potential interactions among rhizobia and plants complicates the development of general predictions regarding causal relationships between rhizobial diversity and plant productivity. For example, while rhizobial complementarity may result in...
Data from: Host ecotype generates evolutionary and epidemiological divergence across a pathogen metapopulationAnna-Liisa Laine, Jeremy J. Burdon, Adnane Nemri, Peter H. Thrall & A.-L. Laine
The extent and speed at which pathogens adapt to host resistance varies considerably. This presents a challenge for predicting when—and where—pathogen evolution may occur. While gene flow and spatially heterogeneous environments are recognized to be critical for the evolutionary potential of pathogen populations, we lack an understanding of how the two jointly shape coevolutionary trajectories between hosts and pathogens. The rust pathogen Melampsora lini infects two ecotypes of its host plant Linum marginale that occur...
Data from: How much is new information worth? Evaluating the financial benefit of resolving management uncertainty.Sean L. Maxwell, Jonathan R. Rhodes, Michael C. Runge, Hugh P. Possingham, Chooi Fei Ng & Eve McDonald-Madden
1. Conservation decision-makers face a trade-off between spending limited funds on direct management action, or gaining new information in an attempt to improve management performance in the future. Value-of-information analysis can help to resolve this trade-off by evaluating how much management performance could improve if new information was gained. Value-of-information analysis has been used extensively in other disciplines, but there are only a few examples where it has informed conservation planning, none of which have...
For sessile marine invertebrates with complex life cycles, habitat choice is directed by the larval phase. Defining which habitat-linked cues are implicated in sessile invertebrate larval settlement has largely concentrated on chemical cues which are thought to signal optimal habitat. There has been less effort establishing physical settlement cues, including the role of surface microtopography. This laboratory based study tested whether surface microtopography alone (without chemical cues) plays an important contributing role in the settlement...
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation12
University of Queensland2
Australian National University2
James Cook University2
Southern Cross University1
University of Hamburg1
The University of Texas at Austin1
Government of Western Australia1
Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig1
Johns Hopkins University1