23 Works

Data from: Female crickets assess relatedness during mate guarding and bias storage of sperm toward unrelated males

Cristina Tuni, Maxine Beveridge & Leigh W. Simmons
Recent evidence shows that females exert a post-copulatory fertilization bias in favour of unrelated males to avoid the genetic incompatibilities derived from inbreeding. One of the mechanisms suggested for fertilization biases in insects is female control over transport of sperm to the sperm-storage organs. We investigated post-copulatory inbreeding-avoidance mechanisms in females of the cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus. We assessed the relative contribution of related and unrelated males to the sperm stores of double-mated females. To demonstrate...

Data from: Contrasting responses of pre- and post-copulatory traits to variation in mating competition

Leigh W. Simmons & Bruno A. Buzatto
1. Original sperm competition theory assumed that males trade expenditure on searching for mates for expenditure on the ejaculate, and predicted that males should increase their expenditure on the ejaculate in response to increased risk of competition. A recent extension of this theory has modeled pre-copulatory expenditure in terms of direct contest competition, and predicts that when the gains from marginal investment in weaponry are large, males might be expected to allocate resources to armaments...

Data from: Experimental sexual selection and sex comb evolution in Drosophila

Rhonda R. Snook, Nelly A. Gidaszewski, Tracey Chapman & Leigh W. Simmons
Sexual selection can drive rapid evolutionary change in reproductive behaviour, morphology and physiology. This often leads to the evolution of sexual dimorphism, and continued exaggerated expression of dimorphic sexual characteristics, although a variety of other alternative selection scenarios exist. Here, we examined the evolutionary significance of a rapidly evolving, sexually dimorphic trait, sex comb tooth number, in two Drosophila species. The presence of the sex comb in both D. melanogaster and D. pseudoobscura is known...

Data from: Sex-linked and autosomal microsatellites provide new insights into island populations of the tammar wallaby

Anna J. MacDonald, Nancy N. FitzSimmons, Brian Chambers, Marilyn B. Renfree & Stephen D. Sarre
The emerging availability of microsatellite markers from mammalian sex chromosomes provides opportunities to investigate both male- and female-mediated gene flow in wild populations, identifying patterns not apparent from the analysis of autosomal markers alone. Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii), once spread over the southern mainland, have been isolated on several islands off the Western Australian and South Australian coastlines for between 10 000 and 13 000 years. Here, we combine analyses of autosomal, Y-linked and X-linked...

Data from: Sexual selection can remove an experimentally induced mutation load

Maria Almbro & Leigh W. Simmons
Sexual selection is argued to be important for the removal of deleterious mutations, promoting population fitness, accelerating adaptation, and compensating for the two-fold cost of sex. Here we induced mutations in the dung beetle Onthophagus taurus using ionizing radiation, and tested the efficacy of sexual selection in their removal. Mutations reduced male precopulatory (strength) and postcopulatory (testes mass) sexual traits. Two generations of sexual selection were sufficient to remove mutations that affected male strength, but...

Data from: Quantitative genetic insights into the coevolutionary dynamics of male and female genitalia

Jonathan P. Evans, Emile Van Lieshout & Clelia Gasparini
The spectacular variability that typically characterizes male genital traits has largely been attributed to the role of sexual selection. Among the evolutionary mechanisms proposed to account for this diversity, two processes in particular have generated considerable interest. On the one hand, females may exploit postcopulatory mechanisms of selection to favour males with preferred genital traits (cryptic female choice; CFC), while on the other hand females may evolve structures or behaviours that mitigate the direct costs...

Data from: Marine plastic pollution in waters around Australia: characteristics, concentrations, and pathways

Julia Reisser, Jeremy Shaw, Chris Wilcox, Britta Denise Hardesty, Maira Proietti, Michele Thums & Charitha Pattiaratchi
Plastics represent the vast majority of human-made debris present in the oceans. However, their characteristics, accumulation zones, and transport pathways are still poorly assessed. We characterised and estimated the concentration of marine plastics in waters around Australia using surface net tows, and inferred their potential pathways using particle-tracking models and real drifter trajectories. The 839 marine plastics recorded were predominantly small fragments (“microplastics”, median length = 2.8 mm, mean length = 4.9 mm) resulting from...

Data from: Estimating relatedness and inbreeding using molecular markers and pedigrees: the effect of demographic history

Stephen P. Robinson, Leigh W. Simmons & W. Jason Kennington
Estimates of inbreeding and relatedness are commonly calculated using molecular markers, although the accuracy of such estimates has been questioned. As a further complication, in many situations, such estimates are required in populations with reduced genetic diversity, which is likely to affect their accuracy. We investigated the correlation between microsatellite- and pedigree-based coefficients of inbreeding and relatedness in laboratory populations of Drosophila melanogaster that had passed through bottlenecks to manipulate their genetic diversity. We also...

Data from: Phylogenetic relationships within the lizard clade Xantusiidae: using trees and divergence times to address evolutionary questions at multiple levels

Brice P. Noonan, Jennifer B. Pramuk, Robert L. Bezy, Elizabeth A. Sinclair, Kevin De Queiroz, & Jack W. Sites
Xantusiidae (night lizards) is a clade of small-bodied, cryptic lizards endemic to the New World. The clade is characterized by several features that would benefit from interpretation in a phylogenetic context, including: (1) monophyletic status of extant taxa Cricosaura, Lepidophyma, and Xantusia; (2) a species endemic to Cuba (Cricosaura typica) of disputed age; (3) origins of the parthenogenetic species of Lepidophyma; (4) pronounced micro-habitat differences accompanied by distinct morphologies in both Xantusia and Lepidophyma; and...

Data from: Experimental evidence for the evolution of the mammalian baculum by sexual selection

Leigh W. Simmons & Renée Claire Firman
Male genitalia exhibit a taxonomically widespread pattern of rapid and divergent evolution. Sexual selection is generally believed to be responsible for these patterns of evolutionary divergence, although empirical support for the sexual selection hypothesis comes mainly from studies of insects. Here we show that sexual selection is responsible for an evolutionary divergence in baculum morphology among populations of house mice Mus domesticus. We sourced mice from three isolated populations known to be subject to differing...

Data from: Contrasting effects of landscape features on genetic structure in different geographical regions in the ornate dragon lizard, Ctenophorus ornatus

Esther Levy, W. Jason Kennington, Joseph L. Tomkins & Natasha R. LeBas
Habitat fragmentation can have profound effects on the distribution of genetic variation within and between populations. Previously, we showed that in the ornate dragon lizard, Ctenophorus ornatus, lizards residing on outcrops that are separated by cleared agricultural land are significantly more isolated and hold less genetic variation than lizards residing on neighbouring outcrops connected by undisturbed native vegetation. Here, we extend that fine-scale study to examine the pattern of genetic variation and population structure across...

Data from: Who’s for dinner? High-throughput sequencing reveals bat diet differentiation in a biodiversity hotspot where prey taxonomy is largely undescribed

Joanna M. Burgar, Daithi C. Murray, Michael D. Craig, James Haile, Jayne Houston, Vicki Stokes & Michael Bunce
Effective management and conservation of biodiversity requires understanding of predator–prey relationships to ensure the continued existence of both predator and prey populations. Gathering dietary data from predatory species, such as insectivorous bats, often presents logistical challenges, further exacerbated in biodiversity hot spots because prey items are highly speciose, yet their taxonomy is largely undescribed. We used high-throughput sequencing (HTS) and bioinformatic analyses to phylogenetically group DNA sequences into molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) to examine...

Data from: Experimental evolution reveals trade-offs between mating and immunity

Kathryn B. McNamara, Nina Wedell & Leigh W. Simmons
Immune system maintenance and upregulation is costly. Sexual selection intensity, which increases male investment into reproductive traits, is expected to create trade-offs with immune function. We assayed phenoloxidase (PO) and lytic activity of individuals from populations of the Indian meal moth, Plodia interpunctella, which had been evolving under different intensities of sexual selection. We found significant divergence among populations, with males from female-biased populations having lower PO activity than males from balanced sex ratio or...

Data from: Condition-dependent expression of pre- and postcopulatory sexual traits in guppies

, Jennifer L. Kelley & Jonathan P. Evans
Female choice can impose persistent directional selection on male sexually selected traits, yet such traits often exhibit high levels of phenotypic variation. One explanation for this paradox is that if sexually selected traits are costly, only the fittest males are able to acquire and allocate the resources required for their expression. Furthermore, because male condition is dependent on resource allocation, condition dependence in sexual traits is expected to underlie trade-offs between reproduction and other life-history...

Data from: Strategic adjustments in sperm production within and between two island populations of house mice

Renée Claire Firman, Ines Klemme & Leigh W. Simmons
Sperm production is physiologically costly. Consequently, males are expected to be prudent in their sperm production, and tailor their expenditure according to prevailing social conditions. Differences in sperm production have been found across island populations of house mice that differ in the level of selection from sperm competition. Here, we determined the extent to which these differences represent phenotypic plasticity and/or population divergence in sperm production. We sourced individuals from two populations at the extreme...

Data from: Ontogenetic development of intestinal length and relationships to diet in an Australasian fish family (Terapontidae)

Aaron M. Davis, Peter J. Unmack, Bradley J. Pusey, Richard G. Pearson & David L. Morgan
Background: One of the most widely accepted ecomorphological relationships in vertebrates is the negative correlation between intestinal length and proportion of animal prey in diet. While many fish groups exhibit this general pattern, other clades demonstrate minimal, and in some cases contrasting, associations between diet and intestinal length. Moreover, this relationship and its evolutionary derivation have received little attention from a phylogenetic perspective. This study documents the phylogenetic development of intestinal length variability, and resultant...

Data from: Ecological speciation in an island snail: evidence for the parallel evolution of a novel ecotype and maintenance by ecologically dependent postzygotic isolation

Sean Stankowski
Speciation is the process by which reproductive isolation evolves between populations. Two general models of speciation have been proposed: ecological speciation, where reproductive barriers evolve due to ecologically based divergent selection, and mutation-order speciation, where populations fix different mutations as they adapt to similar selection pressures. I evaluate these alternative models and determine the progress of speciation in a diverse group of land snails, genus Rhagada, inhabiting Rosemary Island. A recently derived keeled-flat morphotype occupies...

Data from: Genetic variation underlies temperature tolerance of embryos in the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma armigera

Rowan A. Lymbery & Jonathan P. Evans
Ocean warming can alter natural selection on marine systems, and in many cases, the long-term persistence of affected populations will depend on genetic adaptation. In this study, we assess the potential for adaptation in the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma armigera, an Australian endemic, that is experiencing unprecedented increases in ocean temperatures. We used a factorial breeding design to assess the level of heritable variation in larval hatching success at two temperatures. Fertilized eggs from each...

Data from: The influence of fledgling location on adult provisioning: a test of the blackmail hypothesis

Alex M. Thompson, Nichola J. Raihani, Philip A. R. Hockey, Adam Britton, Fiona M. Finch & Amanda R. Ridley
One theory to explain the existence of conspicuous solicitation is that it is a way for young to ‘blackmail’ care-givers into provisioning them, by threatening their own destruction. Fledgling birds offer a unique opportunity to investigate the ‘blackmail theory’, as their mobility enables them to influence the predation risk they face. We investigated a novel solicitation behaviour in fledgling pied babblers (Turdoides bicolor), where fledglings use their location to influence provisioning rates. We show that...

Data from: Foliar nutrient concentrations and resorption efficiency in plants of contrasting nutrient-acquisition strategies along a 2-million year dune chronosequence

Patrick Hayes, Benjamin L. Turner, Hans Lambers & Etienne Laliberté
1. Long-term pedogenesis leads to important changes in the availability of soil nutrients, especially nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Changes in the availability of micronutrients can also occur, but are less well understood. We explored whether changes in leaf nutrient concentrations and resorption were consistent with a shift from N to P limitation of plant productivity with soil age along a >2-million year dune chronosequence in south-western Australia. We also compared these traits among plants...

Data from: Maternal sexual interactions affect offspring survival and ageing

Damian K. Dowling, Belinda R. Williams & F. Garcia-Gonzalez
In many species, females exposed to increased sexual activity experience reductions in longevity. Here, in Drosophila melanogaster, we report an additional effect on females brought about by sexual interactions, an effect that spans generations. We subjected females to a sexual treatment consisting of different levels of sexual activity and then investigated patterns of mortality in their offspring. We found reduced probabilities of survival, increases in the rate of senescence and a pattern of reduced mean...

Data from: Reduction in arterial stiffness and vascular age by naltrexone-induced interruption of opiate agonism

Albert Stuart Reece & Gary Kenneth Hulse
Objective: To prospectively assess if opiate antagonist treatment or the opiate-free status could reverse opiate-related vasculopathy. Design: Longitudinal Open Observational, Serial “N of One”, over 6.5 years under various treatment conditions: opiate dependence, naltrexone and opiate-free. Setting: Primary care, Australia. Participants: 20 opiate dependent patients (16 males: 16 cases of buprenorphine 4.11+1.17mg, two of methadone 57.5+12.5mg and two of heroin 0.75+0.25g). Intervention: Studies of Central Arterial Stiffness and vascular reference age (RA) were performed longitudinally...

Data from: Delineating the roles of males and females in sperm competition

Jonathan P. Evans, Patrice Rosengrave, Clelia Gasparini & Neil J. Gemmell
Disentangling the relative roles of males, females and their interactive effects on competitive fertilization success remains a challenge in sperm competition. In this study, we apply a novel experimental framework to an ideally suited externally fertilizing model system in order to delineate these roles. We focus on the chinook salmon, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, a species in which ovarian fluid (OF) has been implicated as a potential arbiter of cryptic female choice for genetically compatible mates. We...

Registration Year

  • 2013

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Western Australia
  • Murdoch University
  • National Evolutionary Synthesis Center
  • Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
  • Aarhus University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Otago
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • University of East Anglia
  • Monash University