50 Works

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Data from: Shifts in reproductive investment in response to competitors lowers male reproductive success

Foteini Spagopoulou, Regina Vega-Trejo, Megan L. Head & Michael D. Jennions
In many species, males exhibit phenotypic plasticity in sexually selected traits when exposed to social cues about the intensity of sexual competition. To date, however, few studies have tested how this plasticity affects male reproductive success. We initially tested whether male mosquitofish, Gambusia holbrooki (Poeciliidae), change their investment in traits under pre- and post- copulatory sexual selection depending on the social environment. Focal males were exposed, for a full spermatogenesis cycle, to visual and chemical...

Data from: Breaking Barriers? Ethnicity and socioeconomic background impact on early career progression in the fields of ecology and evolution

Klara M. Wanelik, Joanne S. Griffin, Megan L. Head, Fiona C. Ingleby & Zenobia Lewis
The academic disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) have long suffered from a lack of diversity. While in recent years there has been some progress in addressing the underrepresentation of women in STEM subjects, other characteristics that have the potential to impact on equality of opportunity have received less attention. In this study, we surveyed 188 early career scientists (ECRs), defined as within ten years of completing their PhD, in the fields of...

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...

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...

South West Australia Network

, , , , &
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...

Traits data from trees exposed to a 50% reduction in canopy throughfall for 14 years in Caxiuanã, Brazil, September to October 2016

L. Rowland, R.S. Oliveira, P.R.L. Bittencourt, A.L. Giles, I. Coughlin, P. De Britto Costa, T. Domingues, L.V. Ferreira, S.S. Vasconcelos, J.A.S. Junior, A.A.R. Oliveira, A.C.L. Da Costa, P. Meir & M. Mencuccini
Data comprise tree trait data collected during September and October 2016 (the peak dry season), in the Caxiuanã National Forest Reserve, eastern Amazon, Brazil. 17 traits (including plot type, tree species name, diameter at breast height, tree light score, carboxylation capacity, electron transport capacity, leaf respiration in the dark, stomatal conductance, stem CO2 efflux, leaf mass per area, leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content, branch wood density, leaf water potential, xylem pressure, lumen conductance, percentage loss...

Bentheimer Sandstone for Analyzing Wetting Phenomena

Chenhao Sun, James McClure, Peyman Mostaghimi, Anna Herring, Steffen Berg & Ryan Armstrong
The micro-CT image data of Bentheimer sandstone used in characterizing its wettability. The primary drainage and imbibition experiments were performed by using air and brine. The images were acquired at irreducible air saturation Sw=94%. This dataset is used to characterize wetting in complex subsurface multiphase systems by using principles of topology and integral geometry.

Survival and home ranges of woodland birds in restoration plantings

Donna Belder, David Lindenmayer, Jennifer Pierson & Ashwin Rudder
Woodland birds are a species assemblage of conservation concern, and their persistence in fragmented agricultural landscapes is dependent on both the preservation of existing woodland remnants and the implementation of restoration plantings. However, little is known about the habitat-use and persistence of birds in fragmented agricultural landscapes. We present a detailed, population-oriented study of woodland birds in temperate eucalypt woodland restoration plantings and remnant woodland patches in the South-west Slopes bioregion of New South Wales,...

Can evolutionary theories of dispersal and senescence predict postrelease survival, dispersal, and body condition of a reintroduced threatened mammal?

Natasha M. Robinson
Theories of dispersal and senescence (or ageing) predict that dispersal, and ongoing survival and body condition, are influenced by evolutionary drivers, along with intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Such theories are relevant to translocations of animals where high mortality, loss of body condition, and dispersal beyond the area of release are commonly reported. However, these theories have rarely been tested using data from translocations. We explore whether theories of dispersal and senescence, together with biological knowledge...

Genetic barcoding of museum eggshell improves data integrity of avian biological collections

Alicia Grealy, Naomi Langmore, Leo Joseph & Clare Holleley
Natural history collections are often plagued by missing or inaccurate metadata for collection items, particularly for specimens that are difficult to verify or rare. Avian eggshell in particular can be challenging to identify due to extensive morphological ambiguity among taxa. Species identifications can be improved using DNA extracted from museum eggshell; however, the suitability of current methods for use on small museum eggshell specimens has not been rigorously tested, hindering uptake. In this study, we...

What factors influence the extent of midstorey development in Mountain Ash forests?

David Lindenmayer, Wade Blanchard, Lachlan McBurney, Kita Ashman, Elle Bowd & Blair David
The midstorey is a critical component of the structure of many kinds of forest globally. We constructed statistical models of the factors influencing the percentage cover of two dominant Acacia spp. (Montane Wattle [Acacia frigiscens]) and Silver Wattle [Acacia dealbata]) in the midstorey of Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) forests in mainland south-eastern Australia. We modelled the influence on the percentage cover of two these two species of Acacia of : (1) the age of the...

Phylogenomics of monitor lizards and the role of competition in dictating body size disparity

Ian Brennan, Alan R. Lemmon, Emily Moriarty Lemmon, Daniel M. Portik, Valter Weijola, Luke Welton, Stephen C. Donnellan & J. Scott Keogh
Organismal interactions drive the accumulation of diversity by influencing species ranges, morphology, and behavior. Interactions vary from agonistic to cooperative and should result in predictable patterns in trait and range evolution. However, despite a conceptual understanding of these processes, they have been difficult to model, particularly on macroevolutionary timescales and across broad geographic spaces. Here we investigate the influence of biotic interactions on trait evolution and community assembly in monitor lizards (Varanus). Monitors are an...

Spatiophylogenetic modelling of extinction risk reveals evolutionary distinctiveness and brief flowering period as threats in a hotspot plant genus

Russell Dinnage, Alexander Skeels & Marcel Cardillo
Comparative models used to predict species threat status can help to identify diagnostic features of species at risk. Such models often combine variables measured at the species level with spatial variables, causing multiple statistical challenges, including phylogenetic and spatial non-independence. We present a novel Bayesian approach for modelling threat status that simultaneously deals with both forms of non-independence and estimates their relative contribution, and we apply the approach to modelling threat status in the Australian...

Experimental vacancies do not induce settlement despite habitat saturation in a cooperative breeder

Lyanne Brouwer & Andrew Cockburn
The paradox of cooperative breeding ­whereby individuals assist others instead of reproducing independently­ is generally explained through ecological constraints, but experimental evidence is scant. Here we performed the crucial test of the role of habitat saturation through experimental creation of vacancies and find that despite abundant presence of potential mates, subordinates are reluctant to disperse into suitable vacant habitat where conspecifics are absent. We argue that sudden disappearance of multiple group members might indicate a...

Combined effects of rearing and testing temperatures on sperm traits

Megan Head, Maider Iglesias-Carrasco, Lauren Harrison & Michael Jennions
Temperature experienced during early development can affect a range of adult life history traits. Animals often show seemingly adaptive developmental plasticity – with animals reared at certain temperatures performing better as adults at those temperatures. The extent to which this type of adaptive response occurs in gonadal tissue that affect sperm traits is, however, poorly studied. We initially reared male mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) at either 18oC or 30oC, and then measured their sperm reserves as...

Data from: An environmental impact assessment of different management regimes in eucalypt plantations in southern China using Landscape Function Analysis

David Freudenberger
There are global concerns regarding the detrimental environmental impacts of industrial forest plantations developed over the past 30 years. To address this concern, the Landscape Function Analysis methodology was used to rapidly assess indices of soil stability, water infiltration, and nutrient cycling within eucalypt plantations at different growth stages and under different management regimes in Guangxi Province, China. Results showed that these plantations under both regimes were approaching an ecologically functional state by the time...

Stress in the city: meta-analysis indicates no overall evidence for stress in urban vertebrates

Maider Iglesias-Carrasco
As cities continue to grow it is increasingly important to understand the long-term responses of wildlife to urban environments. There have been increased efforts to determine whether urbanization imposes chronic stress on wild animals, but empirical evidence is mixed. Here we conduct a meta-analysis to test whether there is, on average, a detrimental effect of urbanisation based on baseline and stress-induced glucocorticoid levels of wild vertebrates. We found no effect of urbanisation on glucocorticoid levels,...

Geographic locations of presence points and the size of 14 skull measurements

Rasoul Khosravi, Mahmoud-Reza Hemami, Colin Groves & Mohsen Ahmadi
The phylogeny and species boundaries of Gazella subgutturosa and G. marica have been long debated. The achievements of past conservation efforts have been compromised by a lack of knowledge about the phylogeny and taxonomic status of different populations. We integrated the recent genetic findings by previous studies with morphometric analyses and ecological niche modelling (ENM) to assess discreteness among populations of these gazelle species in Asia. Taxonomic diversity of gazelles was investigated by using principal...

Genetic data improves niche model discrimination and alters the direction and magnitude of climate change forecasts

Helen Bothwell, Luke Evans, Erika Hersch-Green, Scott Woolbright, Gerard Allan & Thomas Whitham
Ecological niche models (ENMs) have classically operated under the simplifying assumptions that there are no barriers to gene flow, species are genetically homogeneous (i.e., no population-specific local adaptation), and all individuals share the same niche. Yet, these assumptions are violated for most broadly distributed species. Here we incorporate genetic data from the widespread riparian tree species narrowleaf cottonwood (Populus angustifolia) to examine whether including intraspecific genetic variation can alter model performance and predictions of climate...

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