21 Works

Data from: Creating virtual species to test species distribution models: The importance of landscape structure, dispersal and population processes

Liam Grimmett
The use of virtual species to test species distribution models is important for understanding how aspects of the model development process influence model performance. Typically, virtual species are simulated by defining its niche as a function of environmental variables and simulate occurrence probabilistically via Bernoulli trials. This approach ignores endogenous processes known to drive species distribution like dispersal and population dynamics. To understand whether these processes are important for simulating virtual species we compared the...

Data from: Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition

Daniel S. Karp, Rebecca Chaplin-Kramer, Timothy D. Meehan, Emily A. Martin, Fabrice DeClerck, Heather Grab, Claudio Gratton, Lauren Hunt, Ashley E. Larsen, Alejandra Martínez-Salinas, Megan E. O’Rourke, Adrien Rusch, Katja Poveda, Mattias Jonsson, Jay A. Rosenheim, Nancy A. Schellhorn, Teja Tscharntke, Stephen D. Wratten, Wei Zhang, Aaron L. Iverson, Lynn S. Adler, Matthias Albrecht, Audrey Alignier, Gina M. Angelella, Muhammad Zubair Anjum … & Yi Zou
The idea that noncrop habitat enhances pest control and represents a win–win opportunity to conserve biodiversity and bolster yields has emerged as an agroecological paradigm. However, while noncrop habitat in landscapes surrounding farms sometimes benefits pest predators, natural enemy responses remain heterogeneous across studies and effects on pests are inconclusive. The observed heterogeneity in species responses to noncrop habitat may be biological in origin or could result from variation in how habitat and biocontrol are...

Data from: Evolutionary factors affecting the cross-species utility of newly developed microsatellite markers in seabirds

Yoshan Moodley, Juan F. Masello, Gopi K. Munimanda, Theresa L. Cole, Marco R. Thali, Rachael Alderman, Richard J. Cuthbert, Manuel Marin, Melanie Massaro, Joan Navarro, Richard A. Phillips, Peter G. Ryan, Cristián G. Suazo, Yves Cherel, Henri Weimerskirch, Petra Quillfeldt & Luciano Calderon
Microsatellite loci are ideal for testing hypotheses relating to genetic segregation at fine spatio-temporal scales. They are also conserved among closely related species, making them potentially useful for clarifying interspecific relationships between recently diverged taxa. However, mutations at primer binding sites may lead to increased nonamplification, or disruptions that may result in decreased polymorphism in nontarget species. Furthermore, high mutation rates and constraints on allele size may also with evolutionary time, promote an increase in...

Data from: Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia

Hayley Davis, Euan G. Ritchie, Sarah Avitabile, Tim Doherty & Dale G. Nimmo
Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of...

Taxonomic revision reveals potential impacts of Black Summer megafires on a cryptic species

Chris Jolly, Harry Moore, Mitchell Cowan, Teigan Cremona, Judy Dunlop, Sarah Legge, Grant Linley, Vivianna Miritis, John Woinarski & Dale Nimmo
Context: Sound taxonomy is the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. Without a fundamental understanding of species delimitations, as well as their distributions and ecological requirements, our ability to conserve them is drastically impeded. Cryptic species – two or more distinct species currently classified as a single species – present a significant challenge to biodiversity conservation. How do we assess the conservation status and address potential drivers of extinction if we are unaware of a species’ existence?...

Facultative hyperthermia during a heatwave delays injurious dehydration of an arboreal marsupial

James Turner
Heatwaves negatively impact wildlife populations and their effects are predicted to worsen with ongoing global warming. Animal mass mortality at extremely high ambient temperature (Ta) is evidence for physiological dysfunction and, to aid conservation efforts, improving our understanding of animal responses to environmental heat is crucial. To address this, I measured the water loss, body temperature and metabolism of an Australian marsupial during a simulated heatwave. The body temperature of the common ringtail possum Pseudocheirus...

Data from: Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide

Yuanzhi Li, Bill Shipley, Jodi N. Price, Vinícius De L. Dantas, Riin Tamme, Mark Westoby, Andrew Siefert, Brandon S. Schamp, Marko J. Spasojevic, Vincent Jung, Daniel C. Laughlin, Sarah J. Richardson, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Christian Schöb, Antonio Gazol, Honor C. Prentice, Nicolas Gross, Jacob Overton, Marcus V. Cianciaruso, Frédérique Louault, Chiho Kamiyama, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka, Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi … & Marco A. Batalha
How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness...

Data from: Compact cities or sprawling suburbs? optimising the distribution of people in cities to maximise species diversity

Andrew Geschke, Simon James, Andrew F. Bennett & Dale G. Nimmo
1. Conservation of biodiversity in urban environments depends on the responses of species to the intensity of urban development. ‘Land sharing’ and ‘land sparing’ represent alternate ends of a gradient that conceptualises a trade-off between the human population and biodiversity. We used a linear optimisation procedure to 1) identify the optimal allocation of land for people and nature, 2) assess whether the optimal allocation is more similar to land sparing or land sharing, and 3)...

Data from: Artificial refuges to combat habitat loss for an endangered marsupial predator: how do they measure up?

Mitchell Cowan, Judy Dunlop, James Turner, Harry Moore & Dale Nimmo
One technique used to combat the growing global species extinction crisis has been to create artificial refuges—human-made replacements for natural refuges destroyed during habitat modification. However, there is limited knowledge of how closely artificial refuges replicate the natural refuges they seek to replace. Mining threatens many species worldwide through large-scale habitat modification, and artificial refuges have been proposed as a method to offset the resulting habitat loss. Here, we examined the microclimatic, physical, and biotic...

Opposing community assembly patterns for dominant and non-dominant plant species in herbaceous ecosystems globally

Carlos Alberto Arnillas, Elizabeth Borer, Eric Seabloom, Juan Alberti, Selene Baez, Jonathon Bakker, Elizabeth Boughton, Yvonne Buckley, Miguel Bugalho, Ian Donohue, John Dwyer, Jennifer Firn, Riley Gridzak, Nicole Hagenah, Yann Hautier, Aveliina Helm, Anke Jentsch, , Kimberly Komatsu, Lauri Laanisto, Ramesh Laungani, Rebecca McCulley, Joslin Moore, John Morgan, Pablo Peri … & Marc Cadotte
Biotic and abiotic factors interact with dominant plants —the locally most frequent or with the largest coverage— and non-dominant plants differently, partially because dominant plants modify the environment where non-dominant plants grow. For instance, if dominant plants compete strongly, they will deplete most resources, forcing non-dominant plants into a narrower niche space. Conversely, if dominant plants are constrained by the environment, they might not exhaust available resources but instead may ameliorate environmental stressors that usually...

Data from: Energetic fitness: field metabolic rates assessed via 3D accelerometry complement conventional fitness metrics

David Gremillet, Amelie Lescroel, Grant Ballard, Katie M. Dugger, Melanie Massaro, Elizabeth L. Porzig & David G. Ainley
1) Evaluating the fitness of organisms is an essential step towards understanding their responses to environmental change. Connections between energy expenditure and fitness have been postulated for nearly a century. However, testing this premise among wild animals is constrained by difficulties in measuring energy expenditure while simultaneously monitoring conventional fitness metrics such as survival and reproductive output. 2) We addressed this issue by exploring the functional links between field metabolic rate (FMR), body condition, sex,...

Predator responses to fire: a global systematic review and meta-analysis

William Geary, Tim Doherty, Dale Nimmo, Ayesha Tulloch & Euan Ritchie
1. Knowledge of how disturbances such as fire shape habitat structure and composition, and affect animal interactions, is fundamental to ecology and ecosystem management. Predators also exert strong effects on ecological communities, through top-down regulation of prey and competitors, which can result in trophic cascades. Despite their ubiquity, ecological importance and potential to interact with fire, our general understanding of how predators respond to fire remains poor, hampering ecosystem management. 2. To address this important...

Data from: Religion does matter for climate change attitudes and behavior

Mark Morrison, Roderick Duncan & Kevin Parton
Little research has focused on the relationship between religion and climate change attitudes and behavior. Further, while there have been some studies examining the relationship between environmental attitudes and religion, most are focused on Christian denominations and secularism, and few have examined other religions such as Buddhism. Using an online survey of 1,927 Australians we examined links between membership of four religious groupings (Buddhists, Christian literalists and non-literalists, and Secularists) and climate change attitudes and...

Molecular gut content analysis indicates the inter- and intra-guild predation patterns of spiders in conventionally managed vegetable fields

Hafiz Sohaib Ahmed Saqib, Pingping Liang, Minsheng You & Geoff M. Gurr
Inter- and intra-guild interactions are important in the coexistence of predators and their prey, especially in highly disturbed vegetable cropping systems with sporadic food resources. Assessing the dietary range of a predator taxon characterized by diverse foraging behavior using conventional approaches, such as visual observation and conventional molecular approaches for prey detection, has serious logistical problems. In this study, we investigated the trophic interactions of a functionally diverge group of predators -spiders- to accomplish the...

Fire, drought and flooding rains: the effect of climatic extremes on bird species’ responses to time since fire

Jemima Connell, Mark Hall, Dale Nimmo, Simon Watson & Michael Clarke
Aim: Climatic extremes and fire affect ecosystems across the globe, yet our understanding of how species are influenced by the interaction of these broad-scale ecological drivers is poorly understood. Using a ten-year dataset, we tested how extreme drought and rainfall interacted with time since fire (TSF) to shape bird species’ distributions. Location: Semi-arid mallee woodlands of south-eastern Australia. Methods: We quantified the effects of climatic extremes on bird species’ occurrence, species richness and incidence at...

Data from: Increasing belief but issue fatigue: changes in Australian Household Climate Change Segments between 2011 and 2016

Mark Morrison, Kevin Parton, Don W. Hine & Donald W. Hine
We applied the segmentation methodology developed by Leiserowitz, Maibach, and Roser-Renouf (2009) to national Australian samples collected in 2011 (n=1927) and 2016 (n=2503). In both samples we identified six Australian household segments which we labelled alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful and dismissive. Between the two periods, we found the proportion of households in the alarmed and concerned segments was stable; however there was a decrease (28% to 20%) in the proportion of households in the...

Data from: Ecological correlates of Himalayan musk deer Moschus leucogaster

Paras Bikram Singh, Pradip Saud, Kumar Mainali, Doug Cram, Arjun Thapa, Nar Bahadur Chhetri, Laxman P. Poudyal, Hem Sagar Baral, Zhigang Jiang & Douglas Cram
Himalayan musk deer (Moschus leucogaster; hereafter musk deer) are endangered as a result of poaching and habitat loss. The species is nocturnal, crepuscular and elusive, making direct observation of habitat use and behavior difficult. However, musk deer establish and repeatedly use the same latrines for defecation. To quantify musk deer habitat correlates, we used observational spatial data based on presence-absence of musk deer latrines, as well as a range of fine spatial-scale ecological covariates. To...

Data from: Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape

Ine Dorresteijn, Jannik Schultner, Dale G. Nimmo, Joern Fischer, Jan Hanspach, Tobias Kuemmerle, Laura Kehoe & Euan G. Ritchie
Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated...

Data from: Incorporating disturbance into trophic ecology: fire history shapes mesopredator suppression by an apex predator

William L. Geary, Euan G. Ritchie, Jessica A. Lawton, Thomas R. Healey & Dale G. Nimmo
1.Apex predators can suppress smaller bodied ‘mesopredators’. In doing so, they can provide refuge to species preyed upon by mesopredators, which is particularly important in regions where mesopredators are invasive. While most studies of mesopredator suppression focus on the response of mesopredators to human control of apex predators, other factors –including natural and anthropogenic disturbance – also drive the occurrence of apex predators and, in doing so, might shape spatial patterns of mesopredator suppression. 2.We...

Attributes of rock-dwelling reptiles within the Australian wheat-sheep zone

Damian Michael
Rocky environments host rich levels of biodiversity, and provide vital habitat for specialised organisms, range-restricted species, and a broad range of ectotherms adapted to saxicoline environments. In Australia, rock habitat is being destroyed during soil amelioration practices associated with agricultural intensification. Advances in rock crushing technology, developed to expand or increase crop yields and efficiency, pose an undocumented threat to biodiversity, especially reptiles dependent on non-renewable rock habitat in agricultural landscapes worldwide. Rock removal is...

Irreproducibility in searches of scientific literature: a comparative analysis

Gabor Pozsgai, Gabor Lövei, Liette Vasseur, Geoff Gurr, Péter Batáry, Janos Korponai, Nick Littlewood, Jian Liu, Arnold Móra, John Obrycki, Olivia Reynolds, Jenni Stockan, Heather VanVolkenburg, Jie Zhang, Wenwu Zhou & Minsheng You
1. Repeatability is the cornerstone of science and it is particularly important for systematic reviews. However, little is known on how researchers’ choice of database and search platform influence the repeatability of systematic reviews. Here, we aim to unveil how the computer environment and the location where the search was initiated from influence hit results. 2. We present a comparative analysis of time-synchronized searches at different institutional locations in the world, and evaluate the consistency...

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