41 Works

Household relocation and recovery following the 2017 Edgecumbe flooding: results of a survey

Finn R. Scheele, Lucy H. Kaiser & Ryan Paulik
In April 2017, the Rangitāiki River breached a stopbank, resulting in widespread flooding within the town of Edgecumbe, Bay of Plenty. The evacuation of the town and damage to homes led to major disruption for residents. The relocation of households, both temporary and permanent, had long-lasting effects on the community. A questionnaire to gather residents’ experiences during the event and subsequent recovery was hand-delivered to residential addresses in Edgecumbe in November 2020. Topics included housing...

Data from: Mitochondrial DNA (COI) analyses reveal that amphipod diversity is associated with environmental heterogeneity in deep-sea habitats

Matthew Knox, Ian Hogg, Conrad Pilditch, Anne-Nina Lörz, Paul Hebert, Dirk Steinke, Matthew A. Knox, Ian D. Hogg, Conrad A. Pilditch & Paul D. N. Hebert
The relationship between species diversity and environmental parameters is poorly understood for the mobile macrofauna of deep-sea habitats due to under-sampling and subsequent lack of accurate taxonomic information. To redress this, cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) DNA sequences were used to estimate species diversity and to compare phoxocephalid amphipod assemblages among 20 stations encompassing a range of environmental conditions. Two regions, east (Chatham Rise) and west (Challenger Plateau) of New Zealand were sampled to...

Data from: Disturbance-mediated consumer assemblages determine fish community structure and moderate top-down influences through bottom-up constraints

Phillip Jellyman & Angus R. McIntosh
Disturbance is a strong structuring force that can influence the strength of species interactions at all trophic levels, but controls on the contributions to community structure of top-down and bottom-up processes across such gradients remain poorly understood. Changes in the composition of predator and consumer assemblages, and their associated traits, across gradients of environmental harshness (e.g., flooding) are likely to be a particularly important influence on the strength of top-down control and may drive bottom-up...

Model choice effects on ecological modelling in Mataura River: SAM Programme 2018

Simon W. Howard, J. Griffiths, Christian Zammit & Helen Rouse
This report presents the application of the River HYdraulic HABitat SIMulation (RHYHABSIM) model coupled to the suite of hydrological models considered in the Smart models for Aquifer Management (SAM) research programme. Led by GNS Science, the SAM programme aimed to investigate the implications of model simplification on prediction uncertainty, and decision-making in water resource management. Investigation is carried out through inter-comparison of different model uncertainty, in relation to key decision variables, for pre- (a priori)...

Data for: Warming temperatures limit the maximum body length of teleost fishes across a latitudinal gradient in Norwegian waters

Charles P. Lavin, Cesc Gordó-Vilaseca, Mark John Costello, Zhiyuan Shi, Fabrice Stephenson & Arnaud Grüss
As the majority of marine organisms are water-breathing ectotherms, temperature and dissolved oxygen are key environmental variables that influence their fitness and geographic distribution. In line with the gill-oxygen limitation theory (GOLT), the maximum asymptotic body size of water-breathing ectotherms is limited by an insufficient amount of oxygen that is supplied to meet metabolic demand once a threshold of gill surface area to body weight ratio is surpassed. Here we employed generalised additive models (GAMs)...

Marine soundscape variation reveals insights into baleen whales and their environment: a case study in central New Zealand

Victoria Warren, Craig McPherson, Giacomo Giorli, Kimberly Goetz & Craig Radford
Baleen whales reliably produce stereotyped vocalizations, enabling their spatio-temporal distributions to be inferred from acoustic detections. Soundscape analysis provides an integrated approach whereby vocal species, such as baleen whales, are sampled holistically with other acoustic contributors to their environment. Acoustic elements that occur concurrently in space, time and/or frequency can indicate overlaps between free-ranging species and potential stressors. Such information can inform risk assessment framework models. Here, we demonstrate the utility of soundscape monitoring in...

Data from: Phylogeography of the Cran’s bully Gobiomorphus basalis (Gobiiformes: Eleotridae) and an analysis of species boundaries within the New Zealand radiation of Gobiomorphus

James Shelley, Bruno David, Christine Thacker, Andy Hicks, Matt Jarvis & Peter Unmack
New Zealand has a complex recent history of climatic and tectonic change that has left variable signatures in the geographic distribution and genetic structure of the region’s flora and fauna. To identify concordant patterns, a broad range of taxa must be examined and compared. In New Zealand’s North Island, a consensus is forming as to the dominant biogeographic barriers in the region although obligate freshwater taxa have not been considered in this framework. We use...

Sex-specific foraging of an apex predator puts females at risk of human-wildlife conflict

Hendrik Schultz, Kevin Chang, Sarah Bury, Anne Gaskett, Todd Dennis, Stefanie Ismar-Rebitz, Ian Southey, Rebecca Hohnhold & Craig Millar
Urbanisation and anthropogenic alteration of ecosystems has led to conflict between humans and wildlife. Such conflict is often observed in apex predators. Although human-wildlife conflict has been extensively studied, male/female differences in behaviour are rarely considered. We investigated male/female differences in foraging behaviour of the predatory/scavenging brown skua Catharacta antarctica lonnbergi breeding on a New Zealand island nature reserve in proximity to farmland. These skuas are subject to culling, when perceived as a threat to...

Data from: Functional innovation through vestigialisation in a modular marine invertebrate

Michelle C. Carter, Scott Lidgard, Dennis P. Gordon & Jonathan P. A. Gardner
Few studies show how morphological vestigialisation may facilitate functional innovation. Fewer still describe the co-occurrence of the derived and more ancestral structures in the same genetic individual. Here we explore that rare instance in a modular (colonial) marine invertebrate. Using laser scanning confocal microscopy with fluorescent staining and behavioural observations, we describe homologous structures in polymorphic modules (zooids) in the bryozoan Bugula flabellata and document the occurrence of previously unreported retractor and circular muscles in...

Data from: Changes in the location of biodiversity–ecosystem function hot spots across the seafloor landscape with increasing sediment nutrient loading

Simon F. Thrush, Judi E. Hewitt, Casper Kraan, A. M. Lohrer, Conrad A. Pilditch & Emily Douglas
Declining biodiversity and loss of ecosystem function threatens the ability of habitats to contribute ecosystem services. However, the form of the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem function (BEF) and how relationships change with environmental change is poorly understood. This limits our ability to predict the consequences of biodiversity loss on ecosystem function, particularly in real-world marine ecosystems that are species rich, and where multiple ecosystem functions are represented by multiple indicators. We investigated spatial variation...

New Zealand Community Fault Model - version 1.0

Hannu Seebeck, Russ J. Van Dissen, Nicola J. Litchfield, P. M. Barnes, Andy Nicol, Rob M. Langridge, David J. A. Barrell, Pilar Villamor, Susan M. Ellis & Mark S. Rattenbury
Fault models developed by the scientific community aim to provide a consistent and broadly agreed-upon representation of faults in a region for such societally important endeavours as seismic hazard assessment (e.g. national seismic hazard models), strong ground-motion predictions and physics-based fault systems modelling. The New Zealand Community Fault Model (NZ CFM) is a two- and three-dimensional representation of fault zones associated with the New Zealand plate boundary for which Quaternary activity has been established (or...

A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology

Ana P. B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Steffen Oppel, Thomas A. Clay, Richard A. Phillips, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, Ross M. Wanless, Edward Abraham, Yvan Richard, Joel Rice, Jonathan Handley, Tammy E. Davies, Ben J. Dilley, Peter G. Ryan, Cleo Small, Javier Arata, John P. Y. Arnould, Elizabeth Bell, Leandro Bugoni, Letizia Campioni, Paulo Catry, Jaimie Cleeland, Lorna Deppe, Graeme Elliott, Amanda Freeman … & Maria P. Dias
1. The identification of geographic areas where the densities of animals are highest across their annual cycles is a crucial step in conservation planning. In marine environments, however, it can be particularly difficult to map the distribution of species, and the methods used are usually biased towards adults, neglecting the distribution of other life-history stages even though they can represent a substantial proportion of the total population. 2. Here we develop a methodological framework for...

Data from: Phylogeny of Tetillidae (Porifera, Demospongiae, Spirophorida) based on three molecular markers

Amir Szitenberg, Leontine E. Becking, Sergio Vargas, Júlio C. C. Fernandez, Nadiezhda Santodomingo, Gert Wörheide, Micha Ilan, Michelle Kelly & Dorothée Huchon
Tetillidae are spherical to elliptical cosmopolitan demosponges. The family comprises eight genera: namely, Acanthotetilla Burton, 1959, Amphitethya Lendenfeld, 1907, Cinachyra Sollas, 1886, Cinachyrella Wilson, 1925, Craniella Schmidt, 1870, Fangophilina Schmidt, 1880, Paratetilla Dendy, 1905, and Tetilla Schmidt, 1868. These genera are characterized by few conflicting morphological characters, resulting in an ambiguity of phylogenetic relationships. The phylogeny of tetillid genera was investigated using the cox1, 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA (C1-D2 domains) genes in 88 specimens...

Data from: A global perspective on the functional responses of stream communities to flow intermittence

Julie Crabot, Cédric P. Mondy, Philippe Usseglio-Polatera, Ken M. Fritz, Paul J. Wood, Michelle J. Greenwood, Michael T. Bogan, Elisabeth I. Meyer & Thibault Datry
The current erosion of biodiversity is a major concern that threatens the ecological integrity of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide. Due to global change, an increasing proportion of river networks are drying and changes from perennial to non-perennial flow regimes represent dramatic ecological shifts with potentially irreversible alterations of community and ecosystem dynamics. However, there is minimal understanding of how biological communities respond functionally to drying. Here, we highlight the taxonomic and functional...

Data from: The multiple roles of β–diversity help untangle community assembly processes affecting recovery of temperate rocky shores

Mariachiara Chiantore, Simon F. Thrush, Valentina. Asnaghi, Judi E. Hewitt & Valentina Asnaghi
Metacommunity theory highlights the potential of β–diversity as a useful link to empirical research, especially in diverse systems where species exhibit a range of stage-dependent dispersal characteristics. To investigate the importance of different components and scales of β–diversity in community assembly we conducted a large-scale disturbance experiment and compared relative recovery across multiple sites and among plots within sites on the rocky shore. Six sites were spread along 80 km of coastline and, at each...

Data from: The prevention and detection of human error in ecological stable isotope analysis

David J. Hawke, Julie C.S. Brown, Sarah J. Bury & Julie C. S. Brown
1. Stable isotope analysis (SIA) is widely used in ecology, but samples are usually analysed in specialist facilities. Like any complex process, SIA is susceptible to human error. Despite the best efforts of the SIA laboratory, errors may occasionally remain in results released to clients. 2. We used our experiences as ecologists and laboratory analysts to identify human error scenarios to which SIA performed anywhere might be susceptible. These scenarios ran from sample selection and...

Data from: Population genetic structure and connectivity of deep-sea stony corals (Order Scleractinia) in the New Zealand region: implications for the conservation and management of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems

Cong Zeng, Ashley A. Rowden, Malcolm R. Clark, Jonathan P.A. Gardner & Jonathan P. A. Gardner
Deep-sea stony corals, which can be fragile, long-lived, late to mature and habitat-forming, are defined as vulnerable marine ecosystem indicator taxa. Under United Nations resolutions these corals require protection from human disturbance such as fishing. To better understand the vulnerability of stony corals (Goniocorella dumosa, Madrepora oculata, Solenosmilia variabilis) to disturbance within the New Zealand region, and to guide marine protected area design, genetic structure and connectivity were determined using microsatellite loci and DNA sequencing....

Data from: Template for using biological trait groupings when exploring large-scale variation in seafloor multifunctionality

Anna Villnäs, Judi Hewitt, Martin Snickars, Mats Westerbom & Alf Norkko
Understanding large-scale spatial variation in ecosystem properties and associated functionality is key for successful conservation of ecosystems. This study provides a template for how to estimate differences in ecosystem functionality over large spatial scales by using groupings of biological traits. We focus on trait groupings that describe three important benthic ecosystem properties, namely bioturbation, community stability and juvenile dispersal. Recognizing that groups of traits interact and are constrained within an organism, we statistically define important...

Data from: Pre-domestication bottlenecks of the cultivated seaweed Gracilaria chilensis

Oscar R. Huanel, Suany Quesada-Calderón, Cristian Ríos, Saraí Morales-González, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Wendy A. Nelson, Natalia Arakaki, Stéphane Mauger, Sylvain Faugeron & Marie-Laure Guillemin
Gracilaria chilensis is the main cultivated seaweed in Chile. The low genetic diversity observed in the Chilean population has been associated with the over-exploitation of natural beds and/or the founder effect that occurred during the post-glacial colonization from New Zealand. How these processes have affected its evolutionary trajectory before farming and incipient domestication is poorly understood. In this study, we used 2,232 SNPs to assess how the species' evolutionary history in New Zealand (its region...

Primary detection records for aquatic nonindigenous species in global estuarine and marine ecosystems and the Great Lakes

Sarah Bailey, Lyndsay Brown, Marnie Campbell, João Canning-Clode, James Carlton, Nuno Castro, Paula Chainho, Farrah Chan, Joel Creed, Amelia Curd, John Darling, Paul Fofonoff, Bella Galil, Chad Hewitt, Graeme Inglis, Inti Keith, Nicholas Mandrak, Agnese Marchini, Cynthia McKenzie, Anna Occhipinti-Ambrogi, Henn Ojaveer, Larissa Pires-Teixeira, Tamara Robinson, Gregory Ruiz, Kimberley Seaward … & Aibin Zhan
Aim The introduction of aquatic non-indigenous species (ANS) has become a major driver for global changes in species biogeography. We examined spatial patterns and temporal trends of ANS detections since 1965 to inform conservation policy and management. Location Global Methods We assembled an extensive dataset of first records of detection of ANS (1965-2015) across 49 aquatic ecosystems, including the i) year of first collection, ii) population status and iii) potential pathway(s) of introduction. Data were...

A broadly resolved molecular phylogeny of New Zealand cheilostome bryozoans as a framework for hypotheses of morphological evolution

Russell Orr, E. Di Martino, D.P. Gordon, M.H. Ramsfjell, H.L. Mello, A.M. Smith & L.H. Liow
Larger and larger molecular phylogenies based on ever more genes are becoming commonplace with the advent of cheaper and more streamlined sequencing and bioinformatics pipelines. However, many groups of inconspicuous but no less evolutionarily or ecologically important marine invertebrates are still neglected in the quest for understanding species- and higher-level phylogenetic relationships using high-throughput sequencing approaches. Here, we alleviate this issue by presenting a 17 gene phylogeny of >200 newly sequenced cheilostome bryozoan species, mainly...

Te Tai-o-Rēhua – Silent Tsunami: voyage report R/V Tangaroa TAN2205, 17 March – 7 April 2022, Wellington–Wellington

Jess I. T. Hillman, S. J. Watson, Suzanne Bull, Malcolm J. Arnot, A. Pallentin, W. Quinn, E. Spain, Suzi Woelz, S. Coursey, G. Warren, F. Warnke & D. Krylova
This report documents the voyage objectives, outcomes and preliminary results of the GNS-Science-led R/V Tangaroa voyage TAN2205, which took place from 15 March to 7 April 2022 in the eastern Tasman Sea (Deepwater Taranaki Basin). The over-arching aim of the voyage was to acquire new information to help progress our understanding of the link between submarine landslides and tsunami in the Tasman Sea. The voyage is part of the 2021 Ministry of Business, Innovation &...

Data from: Glyphosate redirects wetland vegetation trajectory following willow invasion

Olivia R. Burge, Kerry A. Bodmin, Beverley R. Clarkson, Scott Bartlam, Corinne H. Watts & Chris C. Tanner
Aims: Aerially applied glyphosate is an economic tool to deal with large areas of invasive plants. However, there are few studies investigating non-target effects or rates of reinvasion, particularly over multi-year timeframes. The aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of aerial application of glyphosate for control of dense stands of the invasive grey willow Salix cinerea, and determine the vegetation trajectory over the subsequent two years. Location: Whangamarino Wetland, Waikato, New Zealand. Methods: A before-after...

Data from: The scaling of population persistence with carrying capacity does not asymptote in populations of a fish experiencing extreme climate variability

Richard S.A. White, Brendan A. Wintle, Peter A. McHugh, Douglas J. Booker, Angus R. McIntosh & Richard S. A. White
Despite growing concerns regarding increasing frequency of extreme climate events and declining population sizes, the influence of environmental stochasticity on the relationship between population carrying capacity and time-to-extinction has received little empirical attention. While time-to-extinction increases exponentially with carrying capacity in constant environments, theoretical models suggest increasing environmental stochasticity causes asymptotic scaling, thus making minimum viable carrying capacity vastly uncertain in variable environments. Using empirical estimates of environmental stochasticity in fish metapopulations, we showed that...

Data from: Phylogenetic distribution of a male pheromone that may exploit a nonsexual preference in lampreys

Tyler J. Buchinger, Ugo Bussy, Ke Li, Huiyong Wang, Mar Huertas, Cindy F. Baker, Liang Jia, Michael C. Hayes, Weiming Li & Nicholas S. Johnson
Pheromones are among the most important sexual signals used by organisms throughout the animal kingdom. However, few are identified in vertebrates, leaving the evolutionary mechanisms underlying vertebrate pheromones poorly understood. Pre-existing biases in receivers’ perceptual systems shape visual and auditory signaling systems, but studies on how receiver biases influence the evolution of pheromone communication remain sparse. The lamprey Petromyzon marinus uses a relatively well-understood suite of pheromones and offers a unique opportunity to study the...

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