28 Works

Data from: Plant functional groups within a tropical forest exhibit different wood functional anatomy

Deborah M. G. Apgaua, David Y. P. Tng, Lucas A. Cernusak, Alexander W. Cheesman, Rubens M. Santos, Will J. Edwards & Susan G. W. Laurance
Understanding the anatomical basis of plant water transport in forest ecosystems is crucial for contextualizing community-level adaptations to drought, especially in life-form-rich tropical forests. To provide this context, we explored wood functional anatomy traits related to plant hydraulic architecture across different plant functional groups in a lowland tropical rain forest. We measured wood traits in 90 species from six functional groups (mature-phase, understorey and pioneer trees; understorey and pioneer shrubs; vines) and related these traits...

Data from: Maternal effects and Symbiodinium community composition drive differential patterns in juvenile survival in the coral Acropora tenuis

Kate M. Quigley, Bette L. Willis & Line K. Bay
Coral endosymbionts in the dinoflagellate genus Symbiodinium are known to impact host physiology and have led to the evolution of reef-building, but less is known about how symbiotic communities in early life-history stages and their interactions with host parental identity shape the structure of coral communities on reefs. Differentiating the roles of environmental and biological factors driving variation in population demographic processes, particularly larval settlement, early juvenile survival and the onset of symbiosis is key...

Data from: Social complexity influences brain investment and neural operation costs in ants

J. Frances Kamhi, Wulfila Gronenberg, Simon K.A. Robson, James F.A. Traniello, Simon K. A. Robson & James F. A. Traniello
The metabolic expense of producing and operating neural tissue required for adaptive behaviour is considered a significant selective force in brain evolution. In primates, brain size correlates positively with group size, presumably owing to the greater cognitive demands of complex social relationships in large societies. Social complexity in eusocial insects is also associated with large groups, as well as collective intelligence and division of labour among sterile workers. However, superorganism phenotypes may lower cognitive demands...

Data from: Ecomorphological convergence in planktivorous surgeonfishes

Sarah T. Friedman, Samantha A. Price, Andrew S. Hoey & Peter C. Wainwright
Morphological convergence plays a central role in the study of evolution. Often induced by shared ecological specialization, homoplasy hints at underlying selective pressures and adaptive constraints that deterministically shape the diversification of life. Though midwater zooplanktivory has arisen in adult surgeonfishes (family Acanthuridae) at least four independent times, it represents a clearly specialized state, requiring the capacity to swiftly swim in midwater locating and sucking small prey items. While this diet has commonly been associated...

Data from: Ocean acidification alters predator behaviour and reduces predation rate

Sue-Ann Watson, Jennifer B. Fields & Philip L. Munday
Ocean acidification poses a range of threats to marine invertebrates; however, the emerging and likely widespread effects of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels on marine invertebrate behaviour are still little understood. Here, we show that ocean acidification alters and impairs key ecological behaviours of the predatory cone snail Conus marmoreus. Projected near-future seawater CO2 levels (975 µatm) increased activity in this coral reef molluscivore more than threefold (from less than 4 to more than 12...

Data from: Genetic and paleomodelling evidence of the population expansion of the cattle egret Bubulcus ibis in Africa during the climatic oscillations of the Late Pleistocene

Carlos Congrains, Antônio F. Carvalho, , Graeme S. Cumming, Dominic A. W. Henry, Shiiwua A. Manu, Jacinta Abalaka, Cristiano D. Rocha, Moussa S. Diop, Joãozinho Sá, Hamilton Monteiro, Lars H. Holbech, Francis Gbogbo & Silvia N. Del Lama
Increasing aridity during glacial periods produced the retraction of forests and the expansion of arid and semi-arid environments in Africa, with consequences for birds. Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) is a dispersive species that prefers semiarid environments and requires proximity to bodies of water. We expected that climatic oscillations led to the expansion of the range of the cattle egret during arid periods, such as the Last Maximum Glacial (LGM) and contraction of distribution during the...

Data from: Selective logging in tropical forests decreases the robustness of liana-tree interaction networks to the loss of host tree species

Ainhoa Magrach, Rebecca A. Senior, Andrew Rogers, Deddy Nurdin, Suzan Benedick, William F. Laurance, Luis Santamaría & David P. Edwards
Selective logging is one of the major drivers of tropical forest degradation, causing important shifts in species composition. Whether such changes modify interactions between species and the networks in which they are embedded remain fundamental questions to assess the ‘health’ and ecosystem functionality of logged forests. We focus on interactions between lianas and their tree hosts within primary and selectively logged forests in the biodiversity hotspot of Malaysian Borneo. We found that lianas were more...

Data from: Fine tuning for the tropics: application of eDNA technology for invasive fish detection in tropical freshwater ecosystems.

Heather L. A. Robson, Tansyn H. Noble, Richard J. Saunders, Simon K. A. Robson, Damien W. Burrows & Dean R. Jerry
Invasive species pose a major threat to aquatic ecosystems. Their impact can be particularly severe in tropical regions, like those in northern Australia, where >20 invasive fish species are recorded. In temperate regions, environmental DNA (eDNA) technology is gaining momentum as a tool to detect aquatic pests, but the technology’s effectiveness has not been fully explored in tropical systems with their unique climatic challenges (i.e. high turbidity, temperatures and ultra-violet light). In this study, we...

Data from: Morphological and taxonomic demarcation of Brachionus asplanchnoidis Charin within the Brachionus plicatilis cryptic species complex (Rotifera, Monogononta)

Evangelia Michaloudi, Scott Mills, Spiros Papakostas, Claus-Peter Stelzer, Alexander Triantafyllidis, Ilias Kappas, Kalliopi Vasileiadou, Konstantinos Proios & Theodore John Abatzopoulos
Three well-defined groups, consisting of 15 species, have recently been ascribed to organisms historically identified as the Brachionus plicatilis species complex. One of these groups, the Large-clade is composed of two named species (Brachionus plicatilis s.s. and Brachionus manjavacas) and two species identifiers (B. 'Nevada' and B. 'Austria'). B. 'Austria' has been confirmed to be B. asplanchnoidis. As no type specimen exists for this species, and the original taxonomic description is lacking in detail, we...

Data from: Global ecological success of Thalassoma fishes in extreme coral reef habitats

Christopher J. Fulton, Peter C. Wainwright, Andrew S. Hoey & David R. Bellwood
Phenotypic adaptations can allow organisms to relax abiotic selection and facilitate their ecological success in challenging habitats, yet we have relatively little data for the prevalence of this phenomenon at macroecological scales. Using data on the relative abundance of coral reef wrasses and parrotfishes (f. Labridae) spread across three ocean basins and the Red Sea, we reveal the consistent global dominance of extreme wave-swept habitats by fishes in the genus Thalassoma, with abundances up to...

Data from: Low-cost fluctuating-temperature chamber for experimental ecology

Sasha E. Greenspan, Wayne Morris, Russell Warburton, Lexie Edwards, Richard Duffy, David A. Pike, Lin Schwarzkopf & Ross A. Alford
Commercially available fluctuating-temperature chambers are large and costly. This poses a challenge to experimental ecologists endeavouring to recreate natural temperature cycles in the laboratory because the large number of commercial chambers required for replicated study designs is prohibitively expensive to purchase, requires a large amount of space and consumes a great deal of energy. We developed and validated a design for economical, programmable fluctuating-temperature chambers based on a relatively small (23 L) commercially manufactured constant...

Data from: Sperm dispersal distances estimated by parentage analysis in a brooding scleractinian coral

Patricia Warner, Bette Willis, Madeleine Van Oppen, Madeleine J. H. Van Oppen, Patricia A. Warner & Bette L. Willis
Within populations of brooding sessile corals, sperm dispersal constitutes the mechanism by which gametes interact and mating occurs, and forms the first link in the network of processes that determine species-wide connectivity patterns. However, almost nothing is known about sperm dispersal for any internally fertilizing coral. In this study, we conducted a parentage analysis on coral larvae collected from an area of mapped colonies, in order to measure the distance sperm disperses for the first...

Data from: Incomplete offspring sex bias in Australian populations of the butterfly Eurema hecabe

Darrell J. Kemp, Fiona E. Thomson, Will Edwards & Iñaki Iturbe-Ormaetxe
Theory predicts unified sex ratios for most organisms, yet biases may be engendered by selfish genetic elements such as endosymbionts that kill or feminize individuals with male genotypes. Although rare, feminization is established for Wolbachia-infected Eurema butterflies. This paradigm is presently confined to islands in the southern Japanese archipelago, where feminized phenotypes produce viable all-daughter broods. Here, we characterize sex bias for E. hecabe in continental Australia. Starting with 186 wild-caught females, we reared >6000...

Data from: Ecological outsourcing: a pitcher plant benefits from transferring pre-digestion of prey to a bat mutualist

Caroline R. Schöner, Michael G. Schöner, T. Ulmar Grafe, Charles M. Clarke, Linda Dombrowski, Moi Chan Tan & Gerald Kerth
Mutualisms are interspecific interactions where each of the species involved gains net benefits from the other(s). The exchange of resources and/or services between mutualistic partners often involves tasks that species originally accomplished themselves but which have been taken over by or transferred to the more efficient partner during the evolution of the mutualism. Such ‘ecological outsourcing’ can be seen, for example, in several carnivorous plants that have transferred prey capture and digestion to animal partners....

Data from: Rare species contribute disproportionately to the functional structure of species assemblages

Rafael P. Leitão, Jansen Zuanon, Sebastien Villeger, Stephen E. Williams, Christopher Baraloto, Claire Fortunel, Fernando P. Mendonça & David Mouillot
There is broad consensus that the diversity of functional traits within species assemblages drives several ecological processes. It is also widely recognized that rare species are the first to go extinct following human-induced disturbances. Surprisingly, however, the functional importance of rare species is still poorly understood, particularly in tropical species-rich assemblages where the majority of species are rare and the rate of species extinction can be high. Here we investigated the consequences of local and...

Data from: Transgenerational plasticity of reproduction depends on rate of warming across generations

Jennifer M. Donelson, Marian Wong, David J. Booth & Philip L. Munday
Predicting the impacts of climate change to biological systems requires an understanding of the ability for species to acclimate to the projected environmental change through phenotypic plasticity. Determining the effects of higher temperatures on individual performance is made more complex by the potential for environmental conditions experienced in previous and current generations to independently affect phenotypic responses to high temperatures. We used a model coral reef fish (Acanthochromis polyacanthus) to investigate the influence of thermal...

Data from: Biotic and abiotic variables influencing plant litter breakdown in streams: a global study

Luz Boyero, Richard Pearson, Cang Hui, Mark Gessner, Javier Perez, Markos Alexandrou, Manuel Graça, Bradley Cardinale, Ricardo Albariño, M. Arunachalam, Leon Barmuta, Andrew Boulton, Andreas Bruder, Marcos Callisto, Eric Chauvet, Russell Death, David Dudgeon, Andrea Encalada, Veronica Ferreira, Ricardo Figueroa, Alex Flecker, , Julie Helson, Tomoya Iwata, Tajang Jinggut … & Catherine Yule
Plant litter breakdown is a key ecological process in terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems. Streams and rivers, in particular, have high rates of carbon dioxide evasion and they contribute substantially to global carbon fluxes. However, there is little information available on the relative roles of different drivers of plant litter breakdown in fresh waters, particularly at large scales. We present a global-scale study of litter breakdown in streams to compare the roles of biotic, climatic and...

Data from: Congruent patterns of connectivity can inform management for broadcast spawning corals on the Great Barrier Reef

Lukoschek Vimoksalehi, Cynthia Riginos, Madeleine J.H. Van Oppen, Madeleine J. H. Van Oppen & Vimoksalehi Lukoschek
Connectivity underpins the persistence and recovery of marine ecosystems. The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is the world's largest coral reef ecosystem and managed by an extensive network of no-take zones; however, information about connectivity was not available to optimize the network's configuration. We use multivariate analyses, Bayesian clustering algorithms and assignment tests of the largest population genetic data set for any organism on the GBR to date (Acropora tenuis, >2500 colonies; >50 reefs, genotyped for...

Data from: Large-scale, multi-directional larval connectivity among coral reef fish populations in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

David H. Williamson, Hugo B. Harrison, Glenn R. Almany, Michael L. Berumen, Michael Bode, Mary C. Bonin, Severine Choukroun, Peter J. Doherty, Ashley J. Frisch, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo & Geoffrey P. Jones
Larval dispersal is the key process by which populations of most marine fishes and invertebrates are connected and replenished. Advances in larval tagging and genetics have enhanced our capacity to track larval dispersal, assess scales of population connectivity, and quantify larval exchange among no-take marine reserves and fished areas. Recent studies have found that reserves can be a significant source of recruits for populations up to 40 km away, but the scale and direction of...

Data from: Global terrestrial Human Footprint maps for 1993 and 2009

Oscar Venter, Eric W. Sanderson, Ainhoa Magrach, James R. Allan, Jutta Beher, Kendall R. Jones, Hugh P. Possingham, William F. Laurance, Peter Wood, Balázs M. Fekete, Marc A. Levy & James E.M. Watson
Remotely-sensed and bottom-up survey information were compiled on eight variables measuring the direct and indirect human pressures on the environment globally in 1993 and 2009. This represents not only the most current information of its type, but also the first temporally-consistent set of Human Footprint maps. Data on human pressures were acquired or developed for: 1) built environments, 2) population density, 3) electric infrastructure, 4) crop lands, 5) pasture lands, 6) roads, 7) railways, and...

Data from: Mixed population genomics support for the central marginal hypothesis across the invasive range of the cane toad (Rhinella marina) in Australia

Daryl R. Trumbo, Brendan Epstein, Paul A. Hohenlohe, Ross A. Alford, Lin Schwarzkopf & Andrew Storfer
Understanding factors that cause species' geographic range limits is a major focus in ecology and evolution. The central marginal hypothesis (CMH) predicts that species cannot adapt to conditions beyond current geographic range edges because genetic diversity decreases from core to edge due to smaller, more isolated edge populations. We employed a population genomics framework using 24 235–33 112 SNP loci to test major predictions of the CMH in the ongoing invasion of the cane toad...

Data from: Restricted grouper reproductive migrations support community-based management

Peter A. Waldie, Glenn R. Almany, Tane H. Sinclair-Taylor, Richard J. Hamilton, Tapas Potuku, Mark A. Priest, Kevin L. Rhodes, Jan Robinson, Joshua E. Cinner & Michael L. Berumen
Conservation commonly requires trade-offs between social and ecological goals. For tropical small-scale fisheries, spatial scales of socially appropriate management are generally small—the median no-take locally managed marine area (LMMA) area throughout the Pacific is less than 1 km2. This is of particular concern for large coral reef fishes, such as many species of grouper, which migrate to aggregations to spawn. Current data suggest that the catchment areas (i.e. total area from which individuals are drawn)...

Data from: Unexpected high vulnerability of functions in wilderness areas: evidence from coral reef fishes

Stephanie D'agata, Laurent Vigliola, Nickolas A.J. Graham, Laurent Wantiez, Valeriano Parravicini, Sébastien Villéger, Gérard Mou-Tham, Phillipe Frolla, Alan M. Friedlander, Michel Kulbicki, David Mouillot & Nicholas A. J. Graham
High species richness is thought to support the delivery of multiple ecosystem functions and services under changing environments. Yet, some species might perform unique functional roles while others are redundant. Thus, the benefits of high species richness in maintaining ecosystem functioning are uncertain if functions have little redundancy, potentially leading to high vulnerability of functions. We studied the natural propensity of assemblages to be functionally buffered against loss prior to fishing activities, using functional trait...

Data from: Basking behavior predicts the evolution of heat tolerance in Australian rainforest lizards

Martha M. Muñoz, Gary M. Langham, Matthew C. Brandley, Dan Rosauer, Stephen E. Williams, Craig Moritz & Dan F. Rosauer
There is pressing urgency to understand how tropical ectotherms can behaviorally and physiologically respond to climate warming. We examine how basking behavior and thermal environment interact to influence evolutionary variation in thermal physiology of multiple species of lygosomine rainforest skinks from the Wet Tropics of northeastern Queensland, Australia (AWT). These tropical lizards are behaviorally specialized to exploit canopy or sun, and are distributed across steep thermal clines in the AWT. Using phylogenetic analyses, we demonstrate...

Data from: High adult mortality in disease-challenged frog populations increases vulnerability to drought

Benjamin C. Scheele, David A. Hunter, Sam C. Banks, Jennifer C. Pierson, Lee F. Skerratt, Rebecca Webb, Don A. Driscoll & Ben C. Scheele
Pathogen emergence can drive major changes in host population demography, with implications for population dynamics and sensitivity to environmental fluctuations. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in the severe decline of over 200 amphibian species. In species that have declined but not become extinct, Bd persists and can cause substantial ongoing mortality. High rates of mortality associated with Bd may drive major changes in host...

Registration Year

  • 2016

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • James Cook University
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  • University of Queensland
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Australian National University
  • University of Melbourne
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • University of Tasmania
  • University of Montpellier
  • University of the Basque Country