56 Works

Loss of ecologically important genetic variation in late generation hybrids reveals links between adaptation and speciation

Greg Walter, Thomas Richards, Melanie Wilkinson, Mark Blows, J. Aguirre & Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos
Adaptation to contrasting environments occurs when advantageous alleles accumulate in each population, but it remains largely unknown whether these same advantageous alleles create genetic incompatibilities that can cause intrinsic reproductive isolation leading to speciation. Identifying alleles that underlie both adaptation and reproductive isolation is further complicated by factors such as dominance and genetic interactions among loci, which can affect both processes differently and obscure potential links between adaptation and speciation. Here, we use a combination...

The extensibility of the plantar fascia influences the windlass mechanism during human running

Lauren Welte, Luke Kelly, Sarah Kessler, Daniel Lieberman, Susan D'Andrea, Glen Lichtwark & Michael Rainbow
The arch of the human foot is unique among hominins as it is compliant at ground-contact but sufficiently stiff to enable push-off. These behaviours are partly facilitated by the ligamentous plantar fascia whose role is central to two mechanisms. The ideal windlass mechanism assumes that the plantar fascia has a nearly constant length to directly couple toe dorsiflexion with a change in arch shape. However, the plantar fascia also stretches and then shortens throughout gait...

Sedimentation and overfishing drive changes in early succession and coral recruitment (Palau, Micronesia)

George Roff, Ama Wakwella & Peter Mumby
Sedimentation and overfishing are important local stressors on coral reefs that can independently result in declines in coral recruitment and shifts to algal dominated states. However, the role of herbivory in driving recovery across environmental gradients is often unclear. Here we investigate early successional benthic communities and coral recruitment across a sediment gradient in Palau, Micronesia over a 12-month period. Total sedimentation rates measured by ‘TurfPods’ varied from 0.03 ± 0.1 SE mg cm-2 day-1...

Data from: Greater agility increases probability of survival in the endangered northern quoll

Miranda Rew-Duffy, Skye Cameron, Natalie Freeman, Rebecca Wheatley, Jessica Latimer & Robbie Wilson
Introduced predators combined with habitat loss and modification are threatening biodiversity worldwide, particularly the ‘critical weight range’ (CWR) mammals of Australia. In order to mitigate the impacts of invasive predators on native species in different landscapes, we must understand how the prey's morphology and performance determine their survival. Here we evaluate how phenotypic traits related to escape performance predict the probability of survival for an endangered CWR mammal, the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus). We measured...

An invasive grass species has both local and broad-scale impacts on diversity: Potential mechanisms and implications

Gabrielle Lebbink, John Dwyer & Rod Fensham
Questions The impact of invasive plant species on native diversity varies with spatial scale, with some invaders leading to broad-scale diversity declines and others only local declines. These discrepancies may reflect the invaders capacity to reduce niche opportunities across spatial scales which can be associated with their functional traits. We investigated impact-scale relationships and trait-based mechanisms, in areas invaded by the exotic perennial grass species, Bothriochloa pertusa. We examine root traits specifically, as belowground competition...

Experimental evidence of warming-induced disease emergence and its prediction by a trait-based mechanistic model

Devin Kirk, Pepijn Luijckx, Natalie Jones, Leila Krichel, Clara Pencer, Peter Molnar & Martin Krkosek
Predicting the effects of seasonality and climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious disease remains difficult, in part because of poorly understood connections between warming and the mechanisms driving disease. Trait-based mechanistic models combined with thermal performance curves arising from the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) have been highlighted as a promising approach going forward; however, this framework has not been tested under controlled experimental conditions that isolate the role of gradual temporal...

Coastal urbanization influences human pathogens and microdebris contamination in seafood

Raechel Littman, Evan Fiorenza, Amelia Wenger, Kathryn Berry, Jeroen Van De Water, Lily Nguyen, Soe Tint Aung, Daniel Parker, Douglas Rader, C. Drew Harvell & Joleah Lamb
Seafood is one of the leading imported products implicated in foodborne outbreaks worldwide. Coastal marine environments are being increasingly subjected to reduced water quality from urbanization and leading to contamination of important fishery species. Given the importance of seafood exchanged as a global protein source, it is imperative to maintain seafood safety worldwide. To illustrate the potential health risks associated with urbanization in a coastal environment, we use next-generation high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the 16S...

Support for the habitat amount hypothesis from a global synthesis of species density studies

James Watling, Víctor Arroyo-Rodríguez, Marion Pfeifer, Lander Baeten, Cristina Banks-Leite, Laura Cisneros, Rebecca Fang, Caroli Hamel-Leigue, Thibault Lachat, Inara Leal, Luc Lens, Hugh Possingham, Dinarzarde Raheem, Danilo Ribeiro, Eleanor Slade, Nicolas Urbina-Cardona, Eric Wood & Lenore Fahrig
Decades of research suggest that species richness depends on spatial characteristics of habitat patches, especially their size and isolation. In contrast, the habitat amount hypothesis predicts that: 1) species richness in plots of fixed size (species density) is more strongly and positively related to the amount of habitat around the plot than to patch size or isolation; 2) habitat amount better predicts species density than patch size and isolation combined, 3) there is no effect...

Evolutionary constraints and adaptation shape the size and colour of rain forest fruits and flowers at continental scale

Robert M. Kooyman, Chloé E. L. Delmas & Maurizio Rossetto
Aim: Large-scale patterns in flower and fruit traits provide critical insights into selection processes and the evolutionary history of plant lineages. To isolate and identify the role of selective pressures including different plant-animal interactions, and the factors driving trait evolution, we investigate convergence and divergence between flower and fruit traits in shared environments. Location: Australia to Southeast Asia. Time period: Eocene (~45 My) to Present. Major taxa studied: Woody angiosperm rainforest species (2248 species, 133...

Underwater caustics disrupt prey detection by a reef fish

Samuel Matchette, Innes Cuthill, Karen Cheney, Justin Marshall & Nicholas Scott-Samuel
Natural habitats contain dynamic elements, such as varying local illumination: can such features mitigate the salience of organism movement? Dynamic illumination is particularly prevalent in coral reefs, where reticulate patterns known as ‘water caustics’ play chaotically in the shallows. In behavioural experiments with a wild-caught reef fish, the Picasso triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), we demonstrate that the presence of dynamic water caustics negatively affects the detection of moving prey items, as measured by attack latency. Manipulating...

Coral restoration – a systematic review of current methods, successes, failures and future directions

Lisa Boström-Einarsson, Russell C. Babcock, Elisa Bayraktarov, Daniela Ceccarelli, Nathan Cook, Sebastian C. A. Ferse, Boze Hancock, Peter Harrison, Margaux Hein, Elizabeth Shaver, Adam Smith, David Suggett, Phoebe J. Stewart-Sinclair, Tali Vardi & Ian M. McLeod
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef managers and scientists has resulted in a disjointed field where it is difficult to gain an overview of existing knowledge. To address this, we aimed to synthesise the...

Data from: Sierra Nevada mountain lake microbial communities are structured by temperature, resources, and geographic location

Marika Schulhof, Andrew Allen, Eric Allen, Natalie Mladenov, John McCrow, Natalie Jones, Jessica Blanton, Hamanda Badona Cavalheri, Drishti Kaul, Celia Symons & Jonathan Shurin
Warming, eutrophication (nutrient fertilization) and brownification (increased loading of allochthonous organic matter) are three global trends impacting lake ecosystems. However, the independent and synergistic effects of resource addition and warming on autotrophic and heterotrophic microorganisms are largely unknown. In this study, we investigate the independent and interactive effects of temperature, dissolved organic carbon (DOC, both allochthonous and autochthonous), and nitrogen (N) supply, in addition to the effect of spatial variables, on the composition, richness, and...

Data from: Australian rodents reveal conserved craniofacial evolutionary allometry across 10 million years of murid evolution

Ariel Emily Marcy, Thomas Guillerme, Emma Sherratt, Kevin C. Rowe, Matthew J. Phillips & Vera Weisbecker
Among vertebrates, placental mammals are particularly variable in the covariance between cranial shape and body size (allometry), with rodents a major exception. Australian murid rodents allow an assessment of the cause of this anomaly because they radiated on an ecologically diverse continent notably lacking other terrestrial placentals. Here we use 3D geometric morphometrics to quantify species-level and evolutionary allometries in 38 species (317 crania) from all Australian murid genera. We ask if ecological opportunity resulted...

Habitat features and performance interact to determine the outcomes of terrestrial predator-prey pursuits

Rebecca Wheatley, Theodore Pavlic, Ofir Levy & Robbie Wilson
1. Animals are responsive to predation risk, often seeking safer habitats at the cost of foraging rewards. Although previous research has examined how habitat features affect detection by predators, little is known about how the interaction of habitat features, sensory cues, and physical performance capabilities affect prey escape performance once detected. 2. To investigate how specific habitat features affect predation risk, we developed an individual-based model of terrestrial predator–prey pursuits in habitats with programmable features....

The evolution of phenotypic novelty through the genetic assimilation of broken symmetry

Joseph Tomkins, Robert Dugand & Danica McCorquodale
Most animals are symmetrical; however, widespread and impressive cases occur where symmetry has been broken. Breaks in symmetry can occur as anti-symmetry, where 50% of the population have the left side enlarged and 50% the right, or through directional asymmetry where the entire population is biased either to the left or the right. Such broken symmetry represents a novel phenotype that is challenging to explain from an evolutionary perspective, given that it has ultimately evolved...

The utilization of micro-mesoporous carbon-based filler in the P84 hollow fiber membrane for gas separation

Nurul Widiastuti, Triyanda Gunawan, Hamzah Fansuri, Wan Norharyati Wan Salleh, Ahmad Fauzi Ismail, Rijia Lin, Juliuz Motuzas & Simon Smart
This research carried out a unique micro-mesoporous carbon particle incorporation into P84 co-polyimide membrane for improved gas separation performance. The carbon filler was prepared using a hard template method from zeolite and called as zeolite templated carbon (ZTC). This research aims to study the loading amount of ZTC into P84 co-polyimide toward the gas separation performance. The ZTC was prepared using simple impregnation method of sucrose into hard template of zeolite Y. The SEM result...

Data: Experimental evidence of warming-induced disease emergence and its prediction by a trait-based mechanistic model

Devin Kirk, Pepijn Luijckx, Natalie Jones, Leila Krichel, Clara Pencer, Peter Molnár & Martin Krkosek
Predicting the effects of seasonality and climate change on the emergence and spread of infectious disease remains difficult, in part because of poorly understood connections between warming and the mechanisms driving disease. Trait-based mechanistic models combined with thermal performance curves arising from the Metabolic Theory of Ecology (MTE) have been highlighted as a promising approach going forward; however, this framework has not been tested under controlled experimental conditions that isolate the role of gradual temporal...

Combined effects of climate change and the herbicide diuron on the coral Acropora millepora (NESP 2.1.6 and NESP TWQ 5.2, AIMS)

Flores Florita, Sven Uthicke, Frances Patel, Andrew Negri, Joseanne Marques & Kaserzon Sarit

Data from: Aridity drives coordinated trait shifts but not decreased trait variance across the geographic range of eight Australian trees

Leander Anderegg, Xingwen Loy, Ian Markham, Christina Elmer, Mark Hovenden, Janneke HilleRisLambers & Margaret Mayfield
Large intraspecific functional trait variation strongly impacts many aspects of communities and ecosystems, and is the medium upon which evolution works. Yet intraspecific trait variation is inconsistent and hard to predict across traits, species, and locations. We measured within-species variation in leaf mass per area (LMA), leaf dry matter content (LDMC), branch wood density (WD), and allocation to stem area vs. leaf area in branches (branch Huber value, HV) across the aridity range of seven...

Data for: Angels in disguise: Sympatric hybridization in the marine angelfishes is widespread and occurs between deeply divergent lineages

Yi-Kai Tea, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Federico Vitelli, Joseph DiBattista, Simon Ho & Nathan Lo
Hybridization is not uncommon in marine environments where physical barriers are attenuated. Research conducted on hybridization in coral reefs has grown rapidly, but the majority of studies have focused on parapatric species along biogeographical suture zones. Comparatively little attention has been directed towards sympatric hybridization on coral reefs, despite the large amount of biogeographical overlap that occurs among coral reef species. Here we investigate if the propensity for hybridization along suture zones represents a general...

Data from: Conservation concern among Australian undergraduates is associated with childhood socio-cultural experiences

Jessica Pinder, Kelly Fielding & Richard A. Fuller
Fostering widespread concern for conservation problems requires a robust understanding of the life experiences that positively contribute to an individual's conservation attitudes and behaviours. However, few studies have assessed a comprehensive range of social and experiential predictors of conservation concern. Using survey responses from 391 undergraduate students enrolled in various course disciplines across Australia, we describe the relationship between five major constructs of early-life experiences and two measures of conservation concern: a preference for conservation...

Change in terrestrial human footprint drives continued loss of intact ecosystems

Brooke Williams, Oscar Venter, James Allan, Scott Atkinson, Jose Rehbein, Michelle Ward, Moreno Di Marco, Hedley Grantham, Jamison Ervin, Scott Goetz, Andrew Hansen, Patrick Jantz, Rajeev Pillay, Susana Rodríguez-Buriticá, Christina Supples, Anne Virnig & James Watson
Human pressure mapping is important for understanding humanity's role in shaping Earth’s patterns and processes. Our ability to map this influence has evolved, thanks to powerful computing, earth observing satellites, and new bottom-up census and crowd-sourced data. Here, we provide the latest temporally inter-comparable maps of the terrestrial human footprint, and assessment of change in human pressure at global, biome, and ecoregional scales. In 2013, 42% of terrestrial Earth could be considered relatively free of...

Data from: Longevity, body dimension and reproductive mode drive differences in aquatic versus terrestrial life history strategies

Pol Capdevila, Maria Beger, Simone Blomberg, Bernat Hereu, Cristina Linares & Roberto Salguero-Gómez
1. Aquatic and terrestrial environments display stark differences in key environmental factors and phylogenetic composition but their consequences for the evolution of species’ life history strategies remain poorly understood. 2. Here, we examine whether and how life history strategies vary between terrestrial and aquatic species. We use demographic information for 685 terrestrial and 122 aquatic animal and plant species to estimate key life history traits. We then use phylogenetically corrected least squares regression to explore...

Data from: Predators drive community reorganization during experimental range shifts

Natalie Jones
1. Increased global temperatures caused by climate change are causing species to shift their ranges and colonize new sites, creating novel assemblages that have historically not interacted. Species interactions play a central role in the response of ecosystems to climate change, but the role of trophic interactions in facilitating or preventing range expansions are largely unknown. 2. The goal of our study was to understand how predators influence the ability of range-shifting prey to successfully...

Aggressive interactions between cavity nesting birds in SE QLD Australia

Andrew Rogers
1. Context: A mechanistic understanding of the drivers of competition between species at a community level can improve invasive species management by helping identify where and when impacts are likely to be greatest. Invasive cavity-breeding birds provide a way to test shared traits and resource requirements are related to intensity of competition. Australia is home to one of the richest cavity-nesting communities globally with over 100 native and introduced bird species requiring hollows: but the...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • University of Queensland
  • University of Washington
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • University of Tasmania
  • Monash University
  • Curtin University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • University of California, Irvine
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, San Diego