407 Works

Data from: Source population characteristics affect heterosis following genetic rescue of fragmented plant populations

Melinda Pickup, David L. Field, David M. Rowell & Andrew G. Young
Understanding the relative importance of heterosis and outbreeding depression over multiple generations is a key question in evolutionary biology and is essential for identifying appropriate genetic sources for population and ecosystem restoration. Here we use 2455 experimental crosses between 12 population pairs of the rare perennial plant Rutidosis leptorrhynchoides (Asteraceae) to investigate the multi-generational (F1, F2, F3) fitness outcomes of inter-population hybridisation. We detected no evidence of outbreeding depression, with inter-population hybrids and backcrosses showing...

Data from: Selection on an antagonistic behavioral trait can drive rapid genital coevolution in the burying beetle, Nicrophorus vespilloides

Paul Edward Hopwood, Megan L. Head, Eleanor J. Jordan, Mauricio J. Carter, Emma Davey, Allen J. Moore & Nick J. Royle
Male and female genital morphology varies widely across many taxa, and even among populations. Disentangling potential sources of selection on genital morphology is problematic because each sex is predicted to respond to adaptations in the other due to reproductive conflicts of interest. To test how variation in this sexual conflict trait relates to variation in genital morphology we used our previously developed artificial selection lines for high and low repeated mating rates. We selected for...

Data from: Species co-occurrence networks show reptile community reorganization under agricultural transformation

Geoffrey M. Kay, Ayesha Tulloch, Philip S. Barton, Saul A. Cunningham, Don A. Driscoll & David B. Lindenmayer
Agricultural transformation represents one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, causing degradation and loss of habitat, leading to changes in the richness and composition of communities. These changes in richness and composition may, in turn, lead to altered species co-occurrence, but our knowledge of this remains limited. We used a novel co-occurrence network approach to examine the impact of agricultural transformation on reptile community structure within two large (> 172 000 km2; 224 sites) agricultural...

Data from: The role of phylogeny and ecology in shaping morphology in 21 genera and 127 species of Australo-Papuan myobatrachid frogs

M. Vidal-García, P. G. Byrne, J. D. Roberts & J. S. Keogh
Body shape is predicted to differ among species for functional reasons and in relation to environmental niche and phylogenetic history. We quantified morphological differences in shape and size among 98.5% of the 129 species and all 21 genera of the Australo-Papuan endemic myobatrachid frogs to test the hypothesis that habitat type predicts body shape in this radiation. We tested this hypothesis in a phylogenetic context at two taxonomic levels: across the entire radiation and within...

Data from: Is specialization an evolutionary dead-end? Testing for differences in speciation, extinction and trait transition rates across diverse phylogenies of specialists and generalists.

Emma Day, Xia Hua, Lindell Bromham & E. H. Day
Specialization has often been claimed to be an evolutionary dead end, with specialist lineages having a reduced capacity to persist or diversify. In a phylogenetic comparative framework, an evolutionary dead end may be detectable from the phylogenetic distribution of specialists, if specialists rarely give rise to large, diverse clades. Previous phylogenetic studies of the influence of specialization on macroevolutionary processes have demonstrated a range of patterns, including examples where specialists have both higher and lower...

Data from: The local-clock permutation test: a simple test to compare rates of molecular evolution on phylogenetic trees

Robert Lanfear
Rates of molecular evolution vary substantially between lineages, and a growing research effort is directed at uncovering the causes and consequences of this variation. Comparing local-clocks (rates of molecular evolution estimated from sets of branches of a phylogenetic tree) is a common tool in this research effort. Here, I show that a commonly used test (the Likelihood Ratio Test, LRT) will not be statistically valid for comparing local-clocks in most cases. Instead, I propose the...

Data from: Bet hedging via multiple mating: a meta-analysis

Luke Holman
Polyandry has been hypothesized to allow females to “bet hedge” against mating only with unsuitable mates, reducing variance in offspring fitness between members of a polyandrous lineage relative to a single-mating one. Theoretically, this reduction in fitness variance could select for polyandrous genotypes even when polyandry carries a direct cost, especially in small populations. However, this hypothesis is controversial and difficult to test empirically. Here, I apply a novel simulation model to 49 published empirical...

Data from: Effects of vicariant barriers, habitat stability, population isolation and environmental features on species divergence in the south-western Australian coastal reptile community

Danielle L. Edwards, J. Scott Keogh & L. Lacey Knowles
Identifying explicit hypotheses regarding the factors determining genetic structuring within species can be difficult, especially in species distributed in historically dynamic regions. To contend with these challenges, we use a framework that combines species distribution models, environmental data and multi-locus genetic data to generate and explore phylogeographic hypotheses for reptile species occupying the coastal sand-dune and sand-plain habitats of the south-western Australian biodiversity hotspot; a community which has both a high diversity of endemics and...

Data from: Predictions of single-nucleotide polymorphism differentiation between two populations in terms of mutual information

Roderick C Dewar, William B Sherwin, Emma Thomas, Clare E Holleley & Richard A Nichols
Mutual information (I) provides a robust measure of genetic differentiation for the purposes of estimating dispersal between populations. At present, however, there is little predictive theory for I. The growing importance in population biology of analyses of single-nucleotide and other single feature polymorphisms (SFPs) is a potent reason for developing an analytic theory for I with respect to a single locus. This study represents a first step towards such a theory. We present theoretical predictions...

Data from: Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: from theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians

Stefano Canessa, Claudio Bozzuto, Evan H. Campbell Grant, Sam S. Cruickshank, Matthew C. Fisher, Jacob C. Koella, Stefan Lötters, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Benjamin C. Scheele, Annemarieke Spitzen-Van Der Sluijs, Sebastian Steinfartz, Benedikt R. Schmidt & Ben C. Scheele
1.Conservation science can be most effective in its decision-support role when seeking answers to clearly formulated questions of direct management relevance. Emerging wildlife diseases, a driver of global biodiversity loss, illustrate the challenges of performing this role: in spite of considerable research, successful disease mitigation is uncommon. Decision analysis is increasingly advocated to guide mitigation planning, but its application remains rare. 2.Using an integral projection model, we explored potential mitigation actions for avoiding population declines...

Data from: New information on Brindabellaspis stensioi Young, 1980, highlights morphological disparity in Early Devonian placoderms

Benedict King, Gavin C. Young & John A. Long
Acid prepared specimens of the placoderm Brindabellaspis stensioi (Early Devonian of New South Wales, Australia) revealed placoderm endocranial anatomy in unprecedented detail. Brindabellaspis has become a key taxon in discussions of early gnathostome phylogeny, and the question of placoderm monophyly versus paraphyly. The anterior orientation of the facial nerve and related hyoid arch structures in this taxon resemble fossil osteostracans (jawless vertebrates) rather than other early gnathostomes. New specimens of Brindabellaspis now reveal the previously...

Data from: Prolific observer bias in the life sciences: why we need blind data recording

Luke Holman, Megan L. Head, Robert Lanfear & Michael D. Jennions
Observer bias and other “experimenter effects” occur when researchers’ expectations influence study outcome. These biases are strongest when researchers expect a particular result, are measuring subjective variables, and have an incentive to produce data that confirm predictions. To minimize bias, it is good practice to work “blind,” meaning that experimenters are unaware of the identity or treatment group of their subjects while conducting research. Here, using text mining and a literature review, we find evidence...

Data from: Nuclear DNA based species delineations of Coccus scale insects in symbiosis with plants and ants, and the role of plant epicuticular wax in structuring associations

Swee-Peck Quek, Shouhei Ueda, Penny J. Gullan, Takumasa Kondo, Mitsuru Hattori, Takao Itioka, Kaori Murase & Takao Itino
We undertook phylogenetic analysis of nuclear DNA to elucidate species boundaries in the symbiotic Coccus scale insects associated with mutualistic Crematogaster ants and Macaranga plants occurring in the ever-wet forests of Southeast Asia. The coccid specimens clustered into ten lineages, each corresponding to a morphospecies assignment. The lineage identified as C. secretus was separated from the Main Clade by an outgroup. We also examined all pairwise associations among the three symbiont guilds to understand how...

Data from: Artificial selection on male genitalia length alters female brain size

Severine D. Buechel, Isobel Booksmythe, Alexander Kotrschal, Michael D. Jennions, Kolm Niclas & Niclas Kolm
Male harassment is a classic example of how sexual conflict over mating leads to sex-specific behavioural adaptations. Females often suffer significant costs from males attempting forced copulations, and the sexes can be in an arms race over male coercion. Yet, despite recent recognition that divergent sex-specific interests in reproduction can affect brain evolution, sexual conflict has not been addressed in this context. Here, we investigate whether artificial selection on a correlate of male success at...

Data from: What controls variation in carbon use efficiency among Amazonian tropical forests?

Christopher E. Doughty, Gregory R. Goldsmith, Nicolas Raab, Cecile A. J. Girardin, Filio Farfan-Amezquita, Walter Huaraca Huasco, Javier E. Silva-Espejo, Alejandro Araujo-Murakami, Antonio C. L. Da Costa, Wanderley Rocha, David Galbraith, Patrick Meir, Dan B. Metcalfe, Yadvinder Malhi & Walter Huaraca-Huasco
Why do some forests produce biomass more efficiently than others? Variations in Carbon Use Efficiency (CUE: total Net Primary Production (NPP)/ Gross Primary Production (GPP)) may be due to changes in wood residence time (Biomass/NPPwood), temperature, or soil nutrient status. We tested these hypotheses in 14, one ha plots across Amazonian and Andean forests where we measured most key components of net primary production (NPP: wood, fine roots, and leaves) and autotrophic respiration (Ra; wood,...

Data from: Delimiting species in the genus Otospermophilus (Rodentia: Sciuridae) using genetics, ecology, and morphology

Mark A. Phuong, Marisa C. W. Lim, Daniel R. Wait, Kevin C. Rowe & Craig Moritz
We apply an integrative taxonomy approach to delimit species of ground squirrels in the genus Otospermophilus because the diverse evolutionary histories of organisms shape the existence of taxonomic characters. Previous studies of mitochondrial DNA from this group recovered three divergent lineages within Otospermophilus beecheyi separated into northern, central, and southern geographical populations, with Otospermophilus atricapillus nested within the southern lineage of O. beecheyi. To further evaluate species boundaries within this complex, we collected additional genetic...

Data from: Egg size investment in superb fairy-wrens: helper effects are modulated by climate

Naomi E. Langmore, Liam D. Bailey, Robert G. Heinsohn, Andrew F. Russell & Rebecca M. Kilner
Natural populations might exhibit resilience to changing climatic conditions if they already show adaptive flexibility in their reproductive strategies. In cooperative breeders, theory predicts that mothers with helpers should provide less care when environmental conditions are favourable, but maintain high investment when conditions are challenging. Here, we test for evidence of climate-mediated flexibility in maternal investment in the cooperatively breeding superb fairy-wren Malurus cyaneus. We focus on egg size because in this species egg size...

Data from: Condition-dependent trade-offs between sexual traits, body condition and immunity: the effect of novel habitats

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Megan Head, Michael Jennions & Carlos Cabido
Background: The optimal allocation of resources to sexual signals and other life history traits is usually dependent on an individual's condition, while variation in the expression of sexual traits across environments depends on the combined effects of local adaptation, mean condition, and phenotypic responses to environment-specific cues that affect resource allocation. A clear contrast can often be drawn between natural habitats and novel habitats, such as forest plantations and urban areas. In some species, males...

Data from: Bayesian estimation of the global biogeographical history of the Solanaceae

Julia Dupin, Nicholas J. Matzke, Tiina Särkinen, Sandra Knapp, Richard G. Olmstead, Lynn Bohs & Stacey D. Smith
Aim: The tomato family Solanaceae is distributed on all major continents except Antarctica and has its centre of diversity in South America. Its worldwide distribution suggests multiple long-distance dispersals within and between the New and Old Worlds. Here, we apply maximum likelihood (ML) methods and newly developed biogeographical stochastic mapping (BSM) to infer the ancestral range of the family and to estimate the frequency of dispersal and vicariance events resulting in its present-day distribution. Location:...

Data from: Do evolutionary constraints on thermal performance manifest at different organizational scales?

Ben L. Phillips, John Llewelyn, Amberlee Hatcher, Stewart Macdonald & Craig Moritz
The two foremost hypotheses on the evolutionary constraints on an organism's thermal sensitivity – the hotter-is-better expectation, and the specialist–generalist trade-off – have received mixed support from empirical studies testing for their existence. Could these conflicting results reflect confusion regarding the organizational level (i.e. species > population > individual) at which these constraints should manifest? We propose that these evolutionary constraints should manifest at different organizational levels because of differences in their underlying causes and...

Data from: Why does noise reduce response to alarm calls? Experimental assessment of masking, distraction and greater vigilance in wild birds

You Zhou, Andrew N. Radford & Robert D. Magrath
1. Environmental noise from anthropogenic and other sources affects many aspects of animal ecology and behaviour, including acoustic communication. Acoustic masking is often assumed in field studies to be the cause of compromised communication in noise, but other mechanisms could have similar effects. 2. We tested experimentally how background noise disrupted the response to conspecific alarm calls in wild superb fairy-wrens, Malurus cyaneus, assessing the effects of acoustic masking, distraction and changes in vigilance. We...

Data from: Epiphytes improve host plant water use by microenvironment modification

Daniel E. Stanton, Jackelyn Huallpa Chávez, Luis Villegas, Francisco Villasante, Juan Armesto, Lars O. Hedin & Henry Horn
1. Epiphytes have the potential to modify the canopy environments in which they grow. Accurately evaluating the impact of epiphytes can be challenging, since plants without epiphytes may also otherwise differ from host plants, and experimental removal is impractical and difficult to replicate in many forests. 2. We studied the impacts of epiphytes (primarily fruticose lichens and Tillandsia spp.) on host plants (Eulychnia saint-pieana and Caesalpinia spinosa) in two fog ecosystems in Chile (Pan de...

Data from: Pollinator specificity drives strong prepollination reproductive isolation in sympatric sexually deceptive orchids

Michael Whitehead, Rod Peakall & Michael R. Whitehead
Few studies have quantified the full range of pre– and postzygotic barriers that limit introgression between closely related plant species. Here we assess the strength of four isolating mechanisms operating between two morphologically similar and very closely related sympatric orchid taxa, Chiloglottis valida and C. aff. jeanesii. Each taxon sexually attracts its specific wasp pollinator via distinct floral volatile chemistry. Behavioral experiments with flowers and synthetic versions of their floral volatiles confirmed that very strong...

Data from: Clock model makes a large difference to age estimates of long-stemmed clades with no internal calibration: a test using Australian grasstrees

Michael D. Crisp, Nate B. Hardy & Lyn G. Cook
Background: Estimating divergence times in phylogenies using a molecular clock depends on accurate modeling of nucleotide substitution rates in DNA sequences. Rate heterogeneity among lineages is likely to affect estimates, especially in lineages with long stems and short crowns (“broom” clades) and no internal calibration. We evaluate the performance of the random local clocks model (RLC) and the more routinely employed uncorrelated lognormal relaxed clock model (UCLN) in situations in which a significant rate shift...

Data from: Disentangling the costs of male harassment and the benefits of polyandry for females

Rebecca J. Fox, Megan L. Head & Michael D. Jennions
Many studies quantify how polyandry affects female fitness by allowing females to mate with one or several males. But even if the number of matings is standardised, such studies conflate any costs of interacting with males with potential benefits of receiving sperm from multiple mates, obscuring the benefits of polyandry. We conducted a 2x2 factorial experiment on the mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki to quantify the independent effects of male harassment and polyandry. We artificially inseminated virgin...

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