50 Works

Data from: Mesoscale activity facilitates energy gain in a top predator

Briana Abrahms, Kylie L. Scales, Elliott L. Hazen, Steven J. Bograd, Robert S. Schick, Patrick W. Robinson & Daniel P. Costa
How animal movement decisions interact with the distribution of resources to shape individual performance is a key question in ecology. However, links between spatial and behavioural ecology and fitness consequences are poorly understood because the outcomes of individual resource selection decisions, such as energy intake, are rarely measured. In the open ocean, mesoscale features (~10-100 km) such as fronts and eddies can aggregate prey and thereby drive the distribution of foraging vertebrates through bottom-up biophysical...

Data from: Invasive pathogen drives host population collapse: effects of a travelling wave of sarcoptic mange on bare-nosed wombats

Alynn M. Martin, Christopher P. Burridge, Janeane Ingram, Tamieka A. Fraser & Scott Carver
1.Emerging and invasive pathogens can have long-lasting impacts on susceptible wildlife populations, including localised collapse and extirpation. Management of threatening disease is of widespread interest and requires knowledge of spatiotemporal patterns of pathogen spread. 2.Theory suggests disease spread often occurs via two patterns: homogenous mixing and travelling waves. However, high resolution empirical data demonstrating localised (within population) disease spread patterns are rare. 3.This study examined the spread of sarcoptic mange (aetiological agent Sarcoptes scabiei) in...

Data from: Maternal nesting behaviour in city dragons: a species with temperature-dependent sex determination

Nicola Kent, Romane H. Cristescu, Carme Piza-Roca, Bethan L. Littleford-Colquhoun, Kasha Strickland & Céline H. Frère
Urban environments present some of the greatest challenges to species survival. This is particularly true for species that exhibit thermally sensitive traits, such as temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). This is because urban environments not only present species with entirely novel ecosystems, but species will also experience increased temperatures. These temperature increases may result not only in offspring mortality, but also skewed population sex ratios. To persist in cities, urban dwellers with TSD will therefore need...

Data from: Genome-wide scans reveal cryptic population structure in a dry-adapted eucalypt

Dorothy A. Steane, Brad M. Potts, Elizabeth McLean, Lesley Collins, Suzanne M. Prober, William D. Stock, René E. Vaillancourt & Margaret Byrne
Genome-wide DArTseq scans of 268 individuals of Eucalyptus salubris, distributed along an aridity gradient in southwestern Australia, revealed cryptic population structure that appears to signal hitherto unappreciated ecotypic differentiation and barriers to gene flow. Genome-wide scans were undertaken on 30 wild-sampled individuals from each of nine populations; 10 individuals per population were measured for habit and functional traits. DArTseq generated 16,122 high-quality markers, of which 56.3 % located to E. grandis chromosomes. Genetic affinities of...

Data from: Mitochondrial genome fragmentation unites the parasitic lice of eutherian mammals

Fan Song, Hu Li, Guo-Hua Liu, Wei Wang, Peter James, Douglas D. Colwell, Anette Tran, Siyu Gong, Wanzhi Cai & Renfu Shao
Organelle genome fragmentation has been found in a wide range of eukaryotic lineages; however, its use in phylogenetic reconstruction has not been demonstrated. We explored the use of mitochondrial (mt) genome fragmentation in resolving the controversial suborder-level phylogeny of parasitic lice (order Phthiraptera). There are ~5,000 species of parasitic lice in four suborders (Amblycera, Ischnocera, Rhyncophthirina and Anoplura), which infest mammals and birds. The phylogenetic relationships among these suborders are unresolved despite decades of studies....

Collision between biological process and statistical analysis revealed by mean-centering

David Westneat, Yimen Araya-Ajoy, Hassen Allegue, Barbara Class, Niels Dingemanse, Ned Dochtermann, Laszlo Garamszegi, Julien Martin, Shinichi Nakagawa, Denis Reale & Holger Schielzeth
1. Animal ecologists often collect hierarchically-structured data and analyze these with linear mixed-effects models. Specific complications arise when the effect sizes of covariates vary on multiple levels (e.g., within vs among subjects). Mean-centering of covariates within subjects offers a useful approach in such situations, but is not without problems. 2. A statistical model represents a hypothesis about the underlying biological process. Mean-centering within clusters assumes that the lower level responses (e.g. within subjects) depend on...

Using genomics to optimise and evaluate the performance of underwater forest restoration

Georgina Wood, Ezequiel M. Marzinelli, Adriana Verges, Alexandra Campbell, Peter Steinberg & Melinda Coleman
1. Restoration is an emerging intervention to reverse the degradation and loss of marine habitat-formers and the ecosystem services they underpin. Current best practice seeks to restore populations by transplanting donor individuals chosen to replicate genetic diversity and structure of extant, nearby populations. However, genetic characteristics are rarely empirically examined across generations, despite their potential role in influencing restoration success. 2. We used genomics to design a restoration program for lost underwater forests of Phyllospora...

Higher sociability leads to lower reproductive success in female kangaroos

Alecia Carter, Clementine Menz, Best Emily, Natalie Freeman, Ross Dwyer, Simone Blomberg & Anne Goldizen
In social mammals, social integration is generally assumed to improve females’ reproductive success. Most species demonstrating this relationship exhibit complex forms of social bonds and interactions. However, female eastern grey kangaroos (Macropus giganteus) exhibit social preferences, yet do not appear to cooperate directly. It is unclear what the fitness consequences of sociability could be in species that do not exhibit obvious forms of cooperation. Using four years of life history, spatial, and social data from...

Drivers of soil microbial community assembly during recovery from selective logging and clear cutting

Jie Chen, Robin L. Chazdon, Nathan Swenson, Han Xu & Tushou Luo
Despite important progress in understanding the impacts of forest clearing and logging on aboveground communities, how these disturbances affect soil microbial β-diversity and the ecological processes driving microbial assemblages are poorly understood. Further, whether and how the microbial shifts affect vegetation composition and diversity during recovery of post-logged forests remain elusive. 2. Using a spatial grid experiment design in a primary tropical forest intermixed with post-logged patches naturally recovered for half century in Hainan Island,...

Host genetics, phenotype and geography structure the microbiome of a foundational seaweed

Georgina Wood, Georgina Wood, Peter Steinberg, Alexandra Campbell, Adriana Verges, Melinda Coleman & Ezequiel Marzinelli
Interactions between hosts and their microbiota are critical to the functioning and resilience of eukaryotic macro-organisms. Critically, for hosts that play foundational roles in communities, understanding what drives these interactions is essential for informing restoration and conservation of entire ecosystems. Here, we investigated the relative influence of host traits and the surrounding environment on microbial communities associated with the foundational seaweed Phyllospora comosa. We collected data on 16 morphological and functional phenotypic traits, host genetics...

Data from: A framework for the identification of long-term social avoidance in longitudinal datasets

Kasha Strickland, Alexis Levengood, Vivienne Foroughirad, Janet Mann, Ewa Krzyszczyk & Celine H. Frere
Animal sociality is of significant interest to evolutionary and behavioural ecologists, with efforts focused on the patterns, causes and fitness outcomes of social preference. However, individual social patterns are the consequence of both attraction to (preference for) and avoidance of conspecifics. Despite this, social avoidance has received far less attention than social preference. Here, we detail the necessary steps to generate a spatially explicit, iterative null model which can be used to identify non-random social...

Data from: Archipelagos of the Anthropocene: rapid and extensive differentiation of native terrestrial vertebrates in a single metropolis

Bethan L. Littleford-Colquhoun, Christofer Clemente, Martin J. Whiting, Daniel Ortiz-Barrientos & Celine H. Frère
Some of the best evidence for rapid evolutionary change comes from studies of archipelagos and oceanic islands. City parks are analogous systems as they create geographically isolated green spaces that differ in size, structure, and complexity. Very little, however, is known about whether city parks in single urban centres drive selection and result in the diversification of native species. Here, we provide evidence for the rapid genetic and morphological differentiation of a native lizard (Intellagama...

Data from: Quality and quantity of genetic relatedness data affect the analysis of social structure

Vivienne Foroughirad, Alexis Levengood, Janet Mann & Celine H. Frère
Kinship plays a fundamental role in the evolution of social systems and is considered a key driver of group living. To understand the role of kinship in the formation and maintenance of social bonds, accurate measures of genetic relatedness are critical. Genotype-by-sequencing technologies are rapidly advancing the accuracy and precision of genetic relatedness estimates for wild populations. The ability to assign kinship from genetic data varies depending on a species’ or population’s mating system and...

Data from: How sexual and natural selection shape sexual size dimorphism: evidence from multiple evolutionary scales

Bethan Littleford-Colquhoun, Christofer Clemente, Graham Thompson, Romane Cristescu, Nicola Peterson, Kasha Strickland, Devi Stuart-Fox & Celine Frere
1. Sexual size dimorphism (SSD) is pervasive across taxa and reflects differences in the effects of sexual and natural selection on body size between the sexes. However, disentangling the complex eco-evolutionary interactions between these two mechanisms remains a major challenge for biologists. 2. Here, we combine macro-evolutionary (between-species), local evolutionary (between-population) and fine-scale evolutionary (within-population) patterns of SSD to explore how sexual and natural selection interact and shape the evolution of SSD in Australian agamid...

Data from: A phylogenetically controlled meta-analysis of biologging device effects on birds: deleterious effects and a call for more standardized reporting of study data

Thomas W. Bodey, Ian R. Cleasby, Fraser Bell, Nicole Parr, Anthony Schultz, Stephen C. Votier & Stuart Bearhop
1.The use of biologging devices continues to increase, with technological advances yielding remarkable ecological insights and generating new research questions. However, as devices develop and are deployed more widely, there is a need to update our knowledge of the potential ethical impacts to allow scientists to balance these against the knowledge gained. 2.We employed a suite of phylogenetically controlled meta-analyses on a dataset comprising more than 450 published effect sizes across 214 different studies to...

Data from: Predictable males and unpredictable females: repeatability of sociability in eastern water dragons

Kasha Strickland & Celine H. Frère
There is growing evidence for consistent among-individual variation in individual sociability (e.g., tendency to be sociable) in a number of species. However, sexes often differ in their social behaviors, as well as the selection pressures which they experience. This may translate into differences in repeatability of sociability, although this has not yet been tested. Here, we investigated whether eastern water dragons (Intellegama leseurii) exhibited evidence of consistent among-individual variation (i.e., repeatability) in 4 different measurements...

Data from: Fresh Is best: accurate SNP genotyping from koala scats

Anthony J. Schultz, Romane H. Cristescu, Bethan L. Littleford-Colquhoun, Damian Jaccoud & Celine H. Frere
Maintaining genetic diversity is a crucial component in conserving threatened species. For the iconic Australian koala, there is little genetic information on wild populations that is not either skewed by biased sampling methods (e.g. sampling effort skewed towards urban areas) or of limited usefulness due to low numbers of microsatellites used. The ability to genotype DNA extracted from koala scats using next-generation sequencing technology will not only help resolve location sample bias but also improve...

Data from: Presence of kin-biased social associations in a lizard with no parental care

Carmen Piza Roca, Kasha Strickland, Nicola Kent & Celine H. Frere
Numerous studies have observed kin-biased social associations in a variety of species. Many of these studies have focussed on species exhibiting parental care, which may facilitate the transmission of the social environment from parents to offspring. This becomes problematic when disentangling whether kin-biased associations are driven by kin recognition, or are a product of transmission of the social environment during ontogeny, or a combination of both. Studying kin-biased associations in systems that lack parental care...

Inbreeding and disease avoidance in a free‐ranging koala population

Anthony Schultz, Romane H. Cristescu, Jon Hanger, Jo Loader & Celine H. Frère
Habitat destruction and fragmentation are increasing globally, forcing surviving species into small, isolated populations. Isolated populations typically experience heightened inbreeding risk, and associated inbreeding depression and population decline; although individuals in these populations may mitigate these risks through inbreeding avoidance strategies. For koalas, as dietary specialists already under threat in the northern parts of their range, increased habitat fragmentation and associated inbreeding costs are of great conservation concern. Koalas are known to display passive inbreeding...

Genomic evidence of introgression and adaptation in a model subtropical tree species, Eucalyptus grandis

Marja Mostert-O'Neill, Sharon Reynolds, Juan Acosta, David Lee, Justin Borevitz & Alexander Myburg
The genetic consequences of adaptation to changing environments can be deciphered using landscape genomics, which may help predict species’ responses to global climate change. Towards this, we used genome-wide SNP marker analysis to determine population structure and patterns of genetic differentiation in terms of neutral and adaptive genetic variation in the natural range of Eucalyptus grandis, a widely cultivated subtropical and temperate species, serving as genomic reference for the genus. We analysed introgression patterns at...

Forest diversity and structure in regenerating secondary forests after shifting cultivation abandonment in the Philippines uplands

Sharif Mukul, John Herbohn & Jennifer Firn
We investigated parameters of forest diversity and structure along a fallow age gradient in secondary forests regenerating after shifting cultivation abandonment. We first measured the tree diversity and forest structure indices in regenerating secondary forests and old-growth forest. We then measured the recovery of tree diversity and forest structure parameters in relation to the old-growth forest. Finally, using linear mixed effect models (LMM), we assessed the effect of different environmental variables on the recovery of...

Data from: Crocodile social environments dictated by male philopatry

Cameron Baker, Céline Frère, Craig Franklin, Hamish Campbell, Terri Irwin & Ross Dwyer
Examining the social behaviors of solitary species can be challenging due to the rarity in which interactions occur and the large and often inaccessible areas which these animals inhabit. As shared space-use is a prerequisite for the expression of social behaviors, we can gain insights into the social environments of solitary species by examining the degree of spatial overlap between individuals. Over a 10-year period, we examined how spatial overlap amongst 105 estuarine crocodiles Crocodylus...

Alien insect dispersal mediated by the global movement of commodities

Gyda Fenn-Moltu, Gyda Fenn-Moltu, Sébastien Ollier, Barney Caton, Andrew Liebhold, Helen Nahrung, Deepa Pureswaran, Rebecca Turner, Takehiko Yamanaka & Cleo Bertelsmeier
Globalization and economic growth are recognized as key drivers of biological invasions. Alien species have become a feature of almost every biological community worldwide, and rates of new introductions continue to rise as the movement of people and goods accelerates. Insects are among the most numerous and problematic alien organisms, and are mainly introduced unintentionally with imported cargo or arriving passengers. However, the processes occurring prior to insect introductions remain poorly understood. We used a...

Underlying data for 'Rapid molecular assays for the detection of the four dengue viruses in infected mosquitoes'

Joanne Macdonald, Madeeha Ahmed, Nina Pollak, Andrew Van Den Hurk, Leon Hugo & Jody Hobson-Peters
The pantropic emergence of severe dengue disease can partly be attributed to the co-circulation of different dengue viruses (DENVs) in the same geographical location. Effective monitoring for circulation of each of the four DENVs is critical to inform disease mitigation strategies. In low resource settings, this can be effectively achieved by utilizing inexpensive, rapid, sensitive and specific assays to detect viruses in mosquito populations. In this study, we developed four rapid DENV tests with direct...

Floral attraction and flower visitors of a subcanopy tropical rainforest tree, F. picrosperma_Data

Elektra Grant, Helen Wallace, Peter Brooks, Chris Burwell, Paul Reddell & Steven Ogbourne
1. Flowering plants in tropical rainforests rely heavily on pollen vectors for successful reproduction. Research into pollination systems in tropical rainforests is dominated by canopy species, while subcanopy plant-pollinator interactions remain under-represented. The microclimate beneath the rainforest canopy is characterised by low light levels and is markedly different from the canopy environment that receives more light energy. 2. We studied the floral attractants and floral visitors of a dioecious, subcanopy tree, Fontainea picrosperma (Euphorbiaceae) in...

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