50 Works

South Queensland Eastern Australia Linkage - ARC Discovery Grant DP120103673

This array is part of the WOMBAT rolling array. This array was completed in 2 parts. 47 instruments were installed in the eastern half of the array from 2012 and 52 instruments were installed in 2013 over the western half of the array. Instruments were short-period (Lennartz 3D-Lite MkII) seismometers and LPR200 recorders. Station spacing is approximately 50 km. Funding was provided by the Australian Research Council as part of a Discovery Project DP120103673 and...

Using different body size measures can lead to different conclusions about the effects of climate change

Liam Bailey, Loeske Kruuk, Richard Allen, Mark Clayton, John Stein & Janet Gardner
Aim: Declining animal body size has been proposed as a general response to increasing global temperatures that should be observed across a broad biogeographical scale. However, published studies have shown large variation in both the magnitude and direction of body size trends. We aim to investigate how the way body size is measured (body mass, structural size, body condition) may contribute to differences in body size trends between studies. Location: Semi-arid Australia. Taxon: White-plumed honeyeater...

Reduced avian body condition due to global warming has little reproductive or population consequences

Nina McLean, Henk Van Der Jeugd, Chris Van Turnhout, Jonathan Lefcheck & Martijn Van De Pol
Climate change has strong effects on traits such as phenology and physiology. Studies typically assume that climate-induced trait changes will have consequences for population dynamics, but explicit tests are rare. Body condition reflects energy storage and may directly affect how much can be invested in reproduction and survival. However, the causal pathway by which decreased body condition impacts population dynamics has never been quantified across multiple populations and species. Therefore, we lack a general understanding...

Speedy revelations: how alarm calls can convey rapid, reliable information about urgent danger

Jessica McLachlan & Robert Magrath
In the perpetual struggle between high-speed predators and their prey, individuals need to react in the blink of an eye to avoid capture. Alarm calls that warn of danger therefore need to do so sufficiently rapidly that listeners can escape in time. Paradoxically, many species produce more elements in their alarm calls when signalling about more immediate danger, thereby increasing the reliability of transmission of critical information but taking longer to convey the urgent message....

Data from: Ageing and senescence across reproductive traits and survival in superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus)

Eve Cooper
Why do senescence rates of fitness-related traits often vary dramatically? By considering the full ageing trajectories of multiple traits we can better understand how a species’ life-history shapes the evolution of senescence within a population. Here, we examined age-related changes in sex-specific survival, reproduction, and several components of reproduction using a long-term study of a cooperatively-breeding songbird, the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). We compared ageing patterns between traits by estimating standardized rates of maturation, the...

Data from: Amelioration of ocean acidification and warming effects through physiological buffering of a macroalgae

Steve Doo, Aero Leplastrier, Alexia Graba-Landry, Januar Harianto, Ross Coleman & Maria Byrne
Concurrent anthropogenic global climate change and ocean acidification is expected to have a negative impact on calcifying marine organisms. While knowledge of biological responses of organisms to oceanic stress has emerged from single species experiments, these do not capture ecologically relevant scenarios where the potential for multi-organism physiological interactions is assessed. Marine algae provide an interesting case study, as their photosynthetic activity elevates pH in the surrounding microenvironment, potentially buffering more acidic conditions for associated...

Evolving thermal thresholds explain the distribution of temperature sex reversal in an Australian dragon lizard

Meghan Castelli, Arthur Georges, Caitlin Cherryh, Dan Rosauer, Stephen Sarre, Isabella Contador-Kelsall & Clare Holleley
Aim: Species with temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) are particularly vulnerable to climate change because a resultant skew in population sex ratio can have severe demographic consequences and increase vulnerability to local extinction. The Australian central bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps) has a thermosensitive ZZ male/ZW female system of genetic sex determination (GSD). High incubation temperatures cause reversal of the ZZ genotype to a viable female phenotype. Nest temperatures in the wild are predicted to vary on...

Data from: Small tropical forest trees have a greater capacity to adjust carbon metabolism to long‐term drought than large canopy trees

David Bartholomew, Paulo Bittencourt, Antonio Da Costa, Lindsay Banin, Patrícia Costa, Sarah Coughlin, Tomas Domingues, Leandro Ferreira, André Giles, Maurizio Mencuccini, Lina Mercado, Raquel Miatto, Alex Oliveira, Rafael Oliveira, Patrick Meir & Lucy Rowland
The response of small understory trees to long‐term drought is vital in determining the future composition, carbon stocks and dynamics of tropical forests. Long‐term drought is, however, also likely to expose understory trees to increased light availability driven by drought‐induced mortality. Relatively little is known about the potential for understory trees to adjust their physiology to both decreasing water and increasing light availability. We analysed data on maximum photosynthetic capacity (J max, V cmax), leaf...

The response of carbon assimilation and storage to long-term drought in tropical trees is dependent on light availability

Lucy Rowland, Antonio Da Costa, Rafael Oliveira, Paulo Bittencourt, André Giles, Ingrid Coughlin, David Bartholomew, Tomas Ferreira Domingues, Raquel Miatto, Leandro Ferreira, Steel Vasconcelos, Joao Junior, Alex Oliveira, Maurizio Mencuccini & Patrick Meir
1) Whether tropical trees acclimate to long-term drought stress remains unclear. This uncertainty is amplified if drought stress is accompanied by changes in other drivers such as the increases in canopy light exposure that might be induced by tree mortality or other disturbances. 2) Photosynthetic capacity, leaf respiration, non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) storage and stomatal conductance were measured on 162 trees at the world’s longest running (15 yr) tropical forest drought experiment. We test whether surviving...

Data from: Phylogenomics, biogeography and morphometrics reveal rapid phenotypic evolution in pythons after crossing Wallace’s line

Damien Esquerre, Stephen Donnellan, Ian Brennan, Alan Lemmon, Emily Lemmon, Hussam Zaher, Felipe Grazziotin & Scott Keogh
Ecological opportunities can be provided to organisms that cross stringent biogeographic barriers towards environments with new ecological niches. Wallace’s and Lyddeker’s lines are arguably the most famous biogeographic barriers, separating the Asian and Australo-Papuan biotas. One of the most ecomorphologically diverse groups of reptiles, the pythons, is distributed across these lines, and are remarkably more diverse in phenotype and ecology east of Wallace’s line in Australo-Papua. We used an anchored hybrid enrichment approach, with near...

Data from: Cost of an elaborate trait: a tradeoff between attracting females and maintaining a clean ornament

Erin McCullough, Chun-Chia Chou & Patricia Backwell
Many sexually selected ornaments and weapons are elaborations of an animal’s outer body surface, including long feathers, colorful skin, and rigid outgrowths. The time and energy required to keep these traits clean, attractive, and in good condition for signaling may represent an important, but understudied cost of bearing a sexually selected trait. Male fiddler crabs possess an enlarged and brightly colored claw that is used both as a weapon to fight with rival males and...

Morphology and locomotor performance of cane toads, Rhinella marina

Richard Shine, Cameron Hudson, Marta Vidal-Garcia & Trevor Murray
As is common in biological invasions, the rate at which cane toads (Rhinella marina) have spread across tropical Australia has accelerated through time. Individuals at the invasion-front travel further than range-core conspecifics, and exhibit distinctive morphologies that may facilitate rapid dispersal. However, the links between these morphological changes and locomotor performance have not been clearly documented. We used raceway trials and high-speed videography to document locomotor traits (e.g. hop distances, heights, velocities, and angles of...

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...

Limited mass-independent individual variation in resting metabolic rate in a wild population of snow voles (Chionomys nivalis)

Andres Hagmayer, Glauco Camenisch, Cindy Canale, Erik Postma & Timothée Bonnet
Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is a potentially important axis of physiological adaptation to the thermal environment. However, our understanding of the causes and consequences of individual variation in RMR in the wild is hampered by a lack of data, as well as analytical challenges. RMR measurements in the wild are generally characterized by large measurement errors and a strong dependency on mass. The latter is problematic when assessing the ability of RMR to evolve independently...

An experimental test to separate the effects of male age and mating history on female mate choice

Upama Aich, Timothee Bonnet, Rebecca Bathgate & Michael Jennions
Should females prefer older males as mates? Male survival to old age might indicate the presence of fitness-enhancing genes that increase offspring fitness. However, many correlational studies show that mating with older males can lower female fecundity, and even reduce offspring fitness due to epigenetic or germline mutation effects. One problem in quantifying female choice based on male age is that age is usually confounded with mating history. This begs a question: Do females choose...

Complex effects of helper relatedness on female extra-pair reproduction in a cooperative breeder

Gabriela Karolina Hajduk, Andrew Cockburn, Helen Osmond & Loeske Kruuk
In cooperatively-breeding species, the presence of male helpers in a group often reduces the breeding female’s fidelity to her social partner, possibly because there is more than one potential sire in the group. Using a long-term study of cooperatively-breeding superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus) and records of paternity in 1936 broods, we show that the effect of helpers on rates of extra-pair paternity varied according to the helpers’ relatedness to the breeding female. The presence of...

Modifying plant photosynthesis and growth via simultaneous chloroplast transformation of Rubisco large and small subunits

Elena Martin-Avila, Yi-Leen Lim, Rosemary Birch, Lynnette Dirk, Sally Buck, Timothy Rhodes, Robert Sharwood, Maxim Kapralov & Spencer Whitney
Engineering improved Rubisco poses a crucial strategy for enhancing photosynthesis but is challenged by the alternate locations of the plastome rbcL gene and nuclear RbcS genes. Here we develop a RNAi-RbcS Nicotiana tabacum (tobacco) master-line, tobRrΔS, amenable to rbcL-rbcS co-engineering by chloroplast transformation. Four tobacco genotypes coding alternative rbcS genes and adjoining 5ˈ-intergenic sequences revealed Rubisco production was highest in the lines incorporating a rbcS gene whose codon use and 5ˈUTR matched rbcL. These lines...

Under the karst: detecting hidden subterranean assemblages using eDNA metabarcoding in the caves of Christmas Island, Australia

Katrina West, Zoe Richards, Euan Harvey, Robert Susac, Alicia Grealy & Michael Bunce
Subterranean ecosystems are understudied and challenging to conventionally survey given the inaccessibility of underground voids and networks. In this study, we conducted a eukaryotic environmental (eDNA) metabarcoding survey across the karst landscape of Christmas Island, (Indian Ocean, Australia) to evaluate the utility of this non-invasive technique to detect subterranean aquatic ‘stygofauna’ assemblages. Three metabarcoding assays targeting the mitochondrial 16S rRNA and nuclear 18S genes were applied to 159 water and sediment samples collected from 23...

Assessing confidence in root placement on phylogenies: an empirical study using non-reversible models for Mammals

Suha Naser-Khdour, Bui Quang Minh & Robert Lanfear
Using time-reversible Markov models is a very common practice in phylogenetic analysis, because although we expect many of their assumptions to be violated by empirical data, they provide high computational efficiency. However, these models lack the ability to infer the root placement of the estimated phylogeny. In order to compensate for the inability of these models to root the tree, many researchers use external information such as using outgroup taxa or additional assumptions such as...

Overlap in the wing shape of migratory, nomadic and sedentary grass parrots

Dejan Stojanovic, Teresa Neeman & Robert Heinsohn
Bird wing shape is highly correlated with mobility, and vagile species have more pointed wing tips than sedentary ones. Most studies of bird wing shape are biased to the northern hemisphere, and consider only two migratory syndromes (north-south migrants or sedentary species). There are major gaps in knowledge about the wing shapes of different taxa with other movement strategies (e.g. nomads) in the southern hemisphere. Parrots are a prominent southern hemisphere bird order with complex...

South West Australia Network

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The new deployment of ~25 broadband seismometers will provide the opportunity to dramatically improve the rendering of 3-D seismic structure in the crust and mantle lithosphere. The objective of this work is to provide a compilation of 3-D models, which will be an effective characterisation of the structure of the craton and its margins. These data and models will provide improved information for enhanced assessment of seismic ground shaking from regional earthquakes and facilitate an...

The ‘algebra of evolution’: the Robertson-Price identity and viability selection for body mass in a wild bird population

Gabrielle Hajduk, Craig Walling, Andrew Cockburn & Loeske Kruuk
By the Robertson-Price Identity, the change in a quantitative trait due to selection is equal to the trait’s covariance with relative fitness. We used a long-term study of superb fairy-wrens Malurus cyaneus to consider phenotypic and genetic change within a generation due to juvenile viability selection. Mortality in the four-week period between fledging and independence was 40%, and heavier nestlings were more likely to survive, but why? There was additive genetic variance for both nestling...

Effects of plant functional group removal on CO2 fluxes and belowground C stocks across contrasting ecosystems

Roger Grau-Andrés, David Wardle, Michael Gundale, Claire Foster & Paul Kardol
Changes in plant communities can have large effects on ecosystem carbon (C) dynamics and long-term C stocks. However, how these effects are mediated by environmental context or vary among ecosystems is not well understood. To study this, we used a long-term plant removal experiment set up across 30 forested lake islands in northern Sweden which collectively represent a strong gradient of soil fertility and ecosystem productivity. We measured forest floor CO2 exchange and aboveground and...

Data from: The effects of competition on fitness depend on the sex of both competitors

Megan Head, Samuel Brookes, Maider Iglesias Carrasco & Loeske Kruuk
In intraspecific competition, the sex of competing individuals is likely to be important in determining the consequences of competition, both for the immediate outcome of competitive interactions, and for long-term effects of competition during development on adult fitness traits. Previous studies have explored differences between males and females in their response to intraspecific competition. However, few have tested how the sex of the competitors, or any interactions between focal and competitor sex, influence the nature...

Data from: Oxidative stress delays development and alters gene expression in the agricultural pest moth, Helicoverpa armigera

, Bill James, Karl Gordon, Tom Walsh & Angela McGaughran
Stress is a widespread phenomenon that all organisms must endure. Common in nature is oxidative stress, which can interrupt cell homeostasis to cause cell damage and may be derived from respiration or from environmental exposure through diet. As a result of the routine exposure from respiration, many organisms can mitigate the effects of oxidative stress, but less is known about responses to oxidative stress from other sources. Helicoverpa armigera is a major agricultural pest moth...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Australian National University
  • University of Exeter
  • Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi
  • University of Sao Paulo
  • Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
  • Australian National University (ANU, Australia)
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Federal University of Para