56 Works

Plant traits measured for Australian alpine plants

Meena Sivagowre Sritharan
Rapid evolution is likely to be an important mechanism allowing native species to adapt to changed environmental conditions. Many northern hemisphere species have undergone substantial recent changes in phenology and morphology. However, we have little information about how native species in the southern hemisphere are responding to climate change. We used herbarium specimens from 21 native alpine plant species in Kosciuszko National Park, Australia to make over 1500 measurements of plant size, leaf thickness, leaf...

Prioritising source populations for supplementing genetic diversity of reintroduced southern brown bandicoots Isoodon obesulus obesulus

Natasha M. Robinson & Sam C. Banks
Reintroduction programs can benefit from optimisation of source populations to maximise genetic diversity. Here, we report an approach to guide genetic supplementation of founder individuals to maximise genetic diversity in a reintroduction program for a nationally threatened Australian ground-dwelling marsupial, the southern brown bandicoot (eastern subspecies), Isoodon obesulus obesulus. Following local extinction ~ 100 years earlier, founding individuals were reintroduced to Booderee National Park in south-eastern Australia over three years from the nearest viable wild...

High-resolution scans of Bentheimer sandstone core for imbibition experiments

Ruotong Huang, Anna Herring & Adrian Sheppard
Scans of strongly-wet Bentheimer sandstone core acquired during primary imbibition experiments at voxel size equal to 0.001657314 mm=1.657314 micron. The dimension of all the data set is 1200 voxel*1200 voxel*5000 voxel, corresponding to a physical volume of 32.77 mm^3. A total of four sets of tomographic data are presented in this project, including a 'dry scan' acquired before the water-flooding experiment, and three sets of 'wet scan' acquired during the primary imbibition experiment, with the...

Data from: Model-based ordination for species with unequal niche widths

Bert Van Der Veen, Francis K.C. Hui, Knut A. Hovstad, Erik B. Solbu & Robert B. O'Hara
It is common practice for ecologists to examine species niches in the study of community composition. The response curve of a species in the fundamental niche is usually assumed to be quadratic. The center of a quadratic curve represents a species' optimal environmental conditions, and the width its ability to tolerate deviations from the optimum. Most multivariate methods assume species respond linearly to the environment of the niche, or with a quadratic curve that is...

Poor quality monitoring data underestimate the impact of Australia’s megafires on a critically endangered songbird

Ross Crates, Laura Rayner, Dejan Stojanovic, Ben Scheele, Jason Mackenzie, Adam Ross & Robert Heinsohn
Aim: Catastrophic events such as south-eastern Australia’s 2019/20 megafires are predicted to increase in frequency and severity under climate change. Rapid, well-informed conservation prioritisation will become increasingly crucial for minimising biodiversity losses resulting from megafires. However, such assessments are susceptible to bias, because the quality of monitoring data underpinning knowledge of species’ distributions is highly variable and they fail to account for differences in life-history traits such as aggregative breeding. We aimed to assess how...

Rapid radiation and rampant reticulation: Phylogenomics of South American Liolaemus lizards

Damien Esquerre, Scott Keogh, Diego Demangel, Mariana Morando, Luciano Avila, Francisco Ferri-Yáñez & Adam Leaché
Understanding the factors that cause heterogeneity among gene trees can increase the accuracy of species trees. Discordant signals across the genome are commonly produced by incomplete lineage sorting (ILS) and introgression, which in turn can result in reticulate evolution. Species tree inference using the multispecies coalescent is designed to deal with ILS and is robust to low levels of introgression, but extensive introgression violates the fundamental assumption that relationships are strictly bifurcating. In this study,...

Temperature predicts the rate of molecular evolution in Australian Eugongylinae skinks

Jeremias Ivan, Craig Moritz, Sally Potter, Jason Bragg, Rust Turakulov & Xia Hua
Temperature differences over time and space has been hypothesized to cause variation in the rate of molecular evolution of species, but empirical evidence is mixed. To further test this hypothesis, we utilized a large exon-capture sequence data of Australian Eugongylinae skinks, exemplifying a radiation of temperature-sensitive ectotherms spanning a large latitudinal gradient. The association between temperature (and other species traits) and long-term substitution rate was assessed based on 1268 sequenced exons of 44 species pairs...

Disentangling the effects of male age and mating history: contrasting effects of mating history on pre-copulatory mating behaviour and paternity success

Upama Aich
Many studies ask whether older males are better at acquiring mates. Even so, how age affects reproductive success is still poorly understood because male age and mating history are confounded in most studies: older males usually have more mating experience. To what extent does mating history rather than age explain variation in male mating success? And how do mating history and male age determine paternity when there is also post-copulatory sexual selection? Here we experimentally...

Swift parrot data including the sex of offspring and their hatch order

Robert Heinsohn
Most species produce equal numbers of sons and daughters, and sex differences in survival after parental care do not usually affect this pattern. Temporary overproduction of the scarcer sex can be adaptive when generations overlap, the sexes differ in life history expectations, and parents can anticipate future mating opportunities. However an alternative strategy of maximising the competitiveness of the more abundant sex in these circumstances remains unexplored. We develop theory showing how mothers can maximise...

Data from: Motherly love curbs harm: maternal effects modulate sexual conflict

Pau Carazo, Roberto García-Roa, Gonçalo Faria & Daniel Noble
Strong sexual selection frequently favours males that increase their reproductive success by harming females, with potentially negative consequences for population growth. Understanding what factors modulate conflict between the sexes is hence critical to understand both the evolution male and female phenotypes and the viability of populations in the wild. Studies addressing the evolution of sexual conflict have so far considered direct effects on male and female reproductive success along with indirect genetic benefits (e.g. good...

Data from: Disturbance alters the forest soil microbiome

Elle Bowd
Billions of microorganisms perform critical below-ground functions in all terrestrial ecosystems. While largely invisible to the naked eye, they support all higher lifeforms, form symbiotic relationships with ~90% of terrestrial plant species, stabilize soils, and facilitate biogeochemical cycles. Global increases in the frequency of disturbances are driving major changes in the structure and function of forests. However, despite their functional significance, the disturbance responses of forest microbial communities are poorly understood. Here we explore the...

Table of C4 model equations used to explore the effect of irradiance, CO2 and temperature on C4 photosynthesis

Susanne Von Caemmerer
C4 plants play a key role in world agriculture. For example, C4 crops such as maize and sorghum are major contributors to both first and third world food production and the C4 grasses sugarcane, miscanthus and switchgrass are major plant sources of bioenergy. In the challenge to manipulate and enhance C4 photosynthesis, steady state models of leaf photosynthesis provide an important tool for gas exchange analysis and thought experiments that can explore photosynthetic pathway changes....

Ecological interactions shape the evolution of flower colour in communities across a temperate biodiversity hotspot

Alexander Skeels, Russell Dinnage, Iliana Medina & Marcel Cardillo
Processes driving the divergence of floral traits may be integral to the extraordinary richness of flowering plants and the assembly of diverse plant communities. Several models of pollinator-mediated floral evolution have been proposed; floral divergence may (i) be directly involved in driving speciation or may occur after speciation driven by (ii) drift or local adaptation in allopatry or (iii) negative interactions between species in sympatry. Here, we generate predictions for patterns of trait divergence and...

Synergistic impacts of aggressive species on small birds in a fragmented landscape

Martin Westgate, Mason Crane, Daniel Florance & David Lindenmayer
1. Attempts to conserve threatened species in fragmented landscapes are often challenging because factors such as habitat loss, habitat degradation and dominant species interact to reduce threatened species’ capacity to survive and reproduce. Understanding how threatening and mitigating processes interact is critical if conservation measures are to be effective. 2. We used data from long-term monitoring of bird populations and multivariate latent variable models to quantify how Australian woodland birds respond to the presence of...

Sex- and trait-specific silver-spoon effects of developmental environments, on ageing

Krish Sanghvi, Felix Zajitschek, Maider Iglesias-Carrasco & Megan L. Head
AbstractThe environment organisms experience during development can have effects which carry over into their adult lives. These developmental environments may not only affect adult traits at a given point in time, but also how these traits change with age. Generally, stressful developmental environments can lead to sub-optimal adult fitness traits and a faster deterioration of these traits with age. But whether these environments affect how performance traits change with age or whether they affect males...

Male age alone predicts paternity success under sperm competition when effects of age and past mating effort are experimentally separated

Upama Aich
Older males often perform poorly under post-copulatory sexual selection. It is unclear, however, whether reproductive senescence is due to male age itself or the accumulated costs of the higher lifetime mating effort that is usually associated with male age. To date, very few studies have accounted for mating history and sperm storage when testing the effect of male age on sperm traits, and none test how age and past mating history influence paternity success under...

Direct and indirect disturbance impacts in forests

Elle Bowd
Human and natural disturbances are key drivers of change in forest ecosystems. Yet, the direct and indirect mechanisms which underpin these changes remain poorly understood at the ecosystem level. Here, using structural equation modelling across a 150+ year chronosequence, we disentangle the direct and indirect effects of major disturbances in a temperate forest ecosystem. We show that wildfires, logging and post-fire (salvage) logging can affect plant and microbial communities and abiotic soil properties both directly...

Visual obstruction, but not moderate traffic noise, increases reliance on heterospecific alarm calls

Chaminda Ratnayake, You Zhou, Francesca Dawson Pell, Dominique Potvin, Andrew Radford & Robert Magrath
Animals rely on both personal and social information about danger to minimise risk, yet environmental conditions constrain information. Both visual obstructions and background noise can reduce detectability of predators, which may increase reliance on social information, such as from alarm calls. Furthermore, a combination of visual and auditory constraints might greatly increase reliance on social information, because the loss of information from one source cannot be compensated by the other. Testing these possibilities requires manipulating...

Vegetation survey data to understand drivers of plant rarity

Meena Sritharan
Determining the drivers of plant rarity is a major challenge in ecology. Analysing spatial associations between different plant species can provide an exploratory avenue for understanding the ecological drivers of plant rarity. Here, we examined the different types of spatial associations between rare and common plants to determine if they influence the occurrence patterns of rare species. We completed vegetation surveys at 86 sites in woodland, forest, and heath communities in south-east Australia. We also...

Phylogeography, historical demography and systematics of the world’s smallest pythons (Pythonidae, Antaresia)

Damien Esquerré, Stephen Donnellan, Carlos Pavón-Vázquez, Jéssica Fenker & Scott Keogh
Advances from empirical studies in phylogeography, systematics and species delimitation highlight the importance of integrative approaches for quantifying taxonomic diversity. Genomic data have greatly improved our ability to discern both systematic diversity and evolutionary history. Here we combine analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequences, thousands of genome-wide SNPs and linear and geometric morphometrics on Antaresia, a clade of four currently recognised dwarf pythons from Australia and New Guinea (Antaresia childreni, A. stimsoni, A. maculosa and A....

Why signal if you are not attractive? Courtship synchrony in a fiddler crab

Lauren Harrison, Gabriela Melo, Daniela Perez & Patricia Backwell
Synchronised male courtship signals are puzzling because males generally compete with each other for females. Male Austruca mjoebergi fiddler crabs wave in synchrony to attract females, but, all else being equal, females have a strong preference for ‘leader’ males that can produce waves before other males (‘followers’). So why do followers participate in synchrony? Here, we experimentally investigate three explanations for why followers might wave in synchrony: 1) followers obtain a small proportion of matings,...

Priority effects alter interaction outcomes in a legume-rhizobium mutualism

Julia Boyle, Anna Simonsen, Megan Frederickson & John Stinchcombe
Priority effects occur when the order of species arrival affects final community structure. Mutualists often interact with multiple partners in different orders, but if or how priority effects alter interaction outcomes is an open question. In the field, we paired the legume Medicago lupulina with two nodulating strains of Ensifer bacteria that vary in nitrogen-fixing ability. We inoculated plants with strains in different orders and measured interaction outcomes. The first strain to arrive primarily determined...

Discriminating between similar alarm calls of contrasting function

Natalie T. Tegtman & Robert D. Magrath
In a pioneering study of signal design, Marler (Marler 1955 Nature 176, 6–8; Marler 1957 Behav. 11, 13–37) argued that the contrasting acoustic design of hawk (seet) and mobbing alarm calls of European passerines reflected their contrasting function. Hawk alarms were high-frequency tones, warning con- specifics to flee but making localization difficult for predators, while mobbing calls were broadband and harsh, allowing easy localization and approach. Contrasting signal features are also consistent with signal detec-...

A multi-tiered sequence capture strategy spanning broad evolutionary scales: application for phylogenetic and phylogeographic studies of orchids

Rod Peakall
With over 25,000 species, the drivers of diversity in the Orchidaceae remain to be fully understood. Here we outline a multi-tiered sequence capture strategy aimed at capturing 100’s of loci to enable phylogenetic resolution from subtribe to subspecific levels in orchids of the tribe Diurideae. For the probe design, we mined subsets of 18 transcriptomes, to give five target sequence sets aimed at the tribe (Sets 1 & 2), subtribe (Set 3), and within subtribe...

pgHMA: Application of the Heteroduplex mobility assay analysis in phylogenetics and population genetics

Teng Li, Thomas Wong, Louis Ranjard & Allen Rodrigo
The Heteroduplex mobility assay (HMA) has proven to be a robust tool for the detection of genetic variation. Here, we describe a simple and rapid application of the HMA by microfluidic capillary electrophoresis, for phylogenetics and population genetic analyses (pgHMA). We show how commonly applied techniques in phylogenetics and population genetics have equivalents with pgHMA: phylogenetic reconstruction with bootstrapping, skyline plots, and mismatch distribution analysis. We assess the performance and accuracy of pgHMA by comparing...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • Australian National University
  • Charles Darwin University
  • University of Tasmania
  • Macquarie University
  • Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
  • Western Sydney University
  • Department of Planning and Environment
  • University of Washington
  • Guangxi Institute of Botany
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor