273 Works

Extreme rainfall events and cooling of sea turtle clutches: implications in the face of climate warming

Jacques-Olivier Laloë, Jamie N. Tedeschi, David T. Booth, Ian Bell Bell, Andy Dunstan, Richard D. Reina & Graeme C. Hays
Understanding how climate change impacts species and ecosystems is integral to conservation. When studying impacts of climate change, warming temperatures are a research focus, with much less attention given to extreme weather events and their impacts. Here we show how localized, extreme rainfall events can have a major impact on a species that is endangered in many parts of its range. We report incubation temperatures from the world’s largest green sea turtle rookery, during a...

Parallel flowering time clines in native and introduced ragweed populations are likely due to adaptation

Brechann McGoey, Kathryn Hodgins & John Stinchcombe
As introduced species expand their ranges, they often encounter differences in climate which are often correlated with geography. For introduced species, encountering a geographically variable climate sometimes leads to the re-establishment of clines seen in the native range. However, clines can also be caused by neutral processes, and so it is important to gather additional evidence that population differentiation is the result of selection as opposed to non-adaptive processes. Here, we examine phenotypic and genetic...

Clinician-researcher’s perspectives on clinical research during the COVID-19 pandemic

Sarah Silverberg, Lisa Puchalski-Ritchie, Nina Gobat, Alistair Nichol & Srinavas Murthy
Objectives: The outcome of well-performed clinical research is essential for evidence-based patient management during pandemics. However, conducting clinical research amidst a pandemic requires researchers to balance clinical and research demands. We seek to understand the values, experiences, and beliefs of physicians working at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to inform clinical research planning. We aim to understand whether pandemic settings affect physician comfort with research practices, and how physician experiences shape their...

Data from: Why does offspring size affect performance? Integrating metabolic scaling with life-history theory

Amanda K. Pettersen, Craig R. White & Dustin J. Marshall
Within species, larger offspring typically outperform smaller offspring. While the relationship between offspring size and performance is ubiquitous, the cause of this relationship remains elusive. By linking metabolic and life-history theory, we provide a general explanation for why larger offspring perform better than smaller offspring. Using high-throughput respirometry arrays, we link metabolic rate to offspring size in two species of marine bryozoan. We found that metabolism scales allometrically with offspring size in both species: while...

Mother’s curse and indirect genetic effects: do males matter to mitochondrial genome evolution?

Thomas Keaney, Heidi Wong, Damian Dowling, Theresa Jones & Luke Holman
Maternal inheritance of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was originally thought to prevent any response to selection on male phenotypic variation attributable to mtDNA, resulting in a male-biased mtDNA mutation load (‘mother’s curse’). However, the theory underpinning this claim implicitly assumes that a male’s mtDNA has no effect on the fitness of females he comes into contact with. If such ‘mitochondrially-encoded indirect genetics effects’ (mtIGEs) do in fact exist, and there is relatedness between the mitochondrial genomes...

Field-realistic antidepressant exposure disrupts group foraging dynamics in mosquitofish

Jake Martin, Minna Saaristo, Hung Tan, Michael Bertram, Venkatesh Nagarajan-Radha, Damian Dowling & Bob Wong
Psychoactive pollutants, such as antidepressants, are increasingly detected in the environment. Mounting evidence suggests that such pollutants can disrupt the behaviour of non-target species. Despite this, few studies have considered how the response of exposed organisms might be mediated by social context. To redress this, we investigated the impacts of two environmentally realistic concentrations of a pervasive antidepressant pollutant, fluoxetine, on foraging behaviour in fish (Gambusia holbrooki), tested individually or in a group. Fluoxetine did...

Data from: Integrating thermal physiology within a syndrome: locomotion, personality and habitat selection in an ectotherm

Marcus Michelangeli, Celine T. Goulet, Hee S. Kang, Bob B.M. Wong, David G. Chapple & Bob B. M. Wong
1. Physiology and temperature can both have a profound influence on behaviour and metabolism. Despite this, thermal physiology has rarely been considered within the animal personality framework, but could be an inherent mechanism maintaining consistent individual differences in behaviour, particularly in species that need to thermoregulate (i.e. ectotherms). 2. Here, we present evidence for a thermal-behavioural syndrome and detail how it is linked to variation in habitat selection in an Australian lizard, the delicate skink,...

Data from: Honeybees (Apis mellifera) learn color discriminations via differential conditioning independent of long wavelength (green) photoreceptor modulation

David H. Reser, Randika Witharanage Wijesekara, Marcello G. P. Rosa & Adrian G. Dyer
BACKGROUND: Recent studies on colour discrimination suggest that experience is an important factor in how a visual system processes spectral signals. In insects it has been shown that differential conditioning is important for processing fine colour discriminations. However, the visual system of many insects, including the honeybee, has a complex set of neural pathways, in which input from the long wavelength sensitive (‘green’) photoreceptor may be processed either as an independent achromatic signal or as...

Data from: Intergenomic interactions between mitochondrial and Y-linked genes shape male mating patterns and fertility in Drosophila melanogaster

Winston K. W. Yee, Björn Rogell, Bernardo Lemos, Damian K. Dowling & Winston K.W. Yee
Under maternal inheritance, mitochondrial genomes are prone to accumulate mutations that exhibit male-biased effects. Such mutations should, however, place selection on the nuclear genome for modifier adaptations that mitigate mitochondrial-incurred male harm. One gene region that might harbor such modifiers is the Y-chromosome, given the abundance of Y-linked variation for male fertility, and because Y-linked modifiers would not exert antagonistic effects in females because they would be found only in males. Recent studies in Drosophila...

Data from: Herbivore release drives parallel patterns of evolutionary divergence in invasive plant phenotypes

Akane Uesugi & André Kessler
1. Herbivory can drive rapid evolution of plant chemical traits mediating defensive and competitive ability. At a geographic scale, plant populations that escape selection from their ancestral herbivores may evolve decreased defense and increased competitiveness. While contrasts between native and invasive populations of plants lend support to this hypothesis, such experiments cannot establish causal links between herbivory and evolved invasive phenotypes. 2. Here, we conducted geographic contrasts, and coupled these with long-term selection experiments that...

Data from: Evolution under dietary restriction increases male reproductive performance without survival cost

Felix Zajitschek, Susanne R. K. Zajitschek, Cindy Canton, Grigorios Georgolopoulos, Urban Friberg & Alexei A. Maklakov
Dietary restriction (DR), a reduction in nutrient intake without malnutrition, is the most reproducible way to extend lifespan in a wide range of organisms across the tree of life, yet the evolutionary underpinnings of the DR effect on lifespan are still widely debated. The leading theory suggests that this effect is adaptive and results from reallocation of resources from reproduction to somatic maintenance in order to survive periods of famine in nature. However, such response...

Data from: How the litter-feeding bioturbator Orchestia gammarellus promotes late successional salt marsh vegetation

Maarten Schrama, Lotte A. Van Boheemen, Han Olff & Matty P. Berg
1.Traditionally, studies on vegetation succession have focused either on plant-plant interactions, or on interactions between plants and their physical environment, e.g. through organic matter build-up and increased nutrient cycling. These interactions can change conditions for macrodetritivores that feed on plant litter, but their role in vegetation succession is rarely studied. In this paper we explore whether the bioturbating crustacean macrodetritivore Orchestia gammarellus alters soil conditions in a salt marsh ecosystem in such a way that...

Data from: A 20-year investigation of declining leatherback hatching success: implications of climate variation

Anthony R. Rafferty, Christopher P. Johnstone, Jeanne A. Garner & Richard D. Reina
Unprecedented increases in air temperature and erratic precipitation patterns are predicted throughout the 21st century as a result of climate change. A recent global analysis of leatherback turtle hatchling output predicts that the nesting site at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (SPNWR) will experience the most significant regional climate alterations. We aimed to identify how local air temperatures and precipitation patterns influenced within nest mortality and overall hatchling output at this site between 1990 –...

Data from: Transgenerational effects of sexual interactions and sexual conflict: non-sires boost the fecundity of females in the following generation

Francisco Garcia-Gonzalez & Damian K. Dowling
The consequences of sexual interactions extend beyond the simple production of offspring. These interactions typically entail direct effects on female fitness, but may also impact the life histories of later generations. Evaluating the cross-generational effects of sexual interactions provides insights into the dynamics of sexual selection and conflict. Such studies can elucidate whether offspring fitness optima diverge across sexes upon heightened levels of sexual interaction among parents. Here, we found that, in Drosophila melanogaster, components...

Data from: Modularity of genes involved in local adaptation to climate despite physical linkage

Katie E. Lotterhos, Sam Yeaman, Jon Degner, Sally Aitken & Kathryn A. Hodgins
Background: Linkage among genes experiencing different selection pressures can make natural selection less efficient. Theory predicts that when local adaptation is driven by complex and non-covarying stresses, increased linkage is favored for alleles with similar pleiotropic effects, with increased recombination favored among alleles with contrasting pleiotropic effects. Here, we introduce a framework to test these predictions with a co-association network analysis, which clusters loci based on differing associations. We use this framework to study the...

Data from: The statistical mechanics of human weight change

John C. Lang, Hans De Sterck & Daniel M. Abrams
Over the past 35 years there has been a near doubling in the worldwide prevalence of obesity. Body Mass Index (BMI) distributions in high-income societies have increasingly shifted rightwards, corresponding to increases in average BMI that are due to well-studied changes in the socioeconomic environment. However, in addition to this shift, BMI distributions have also shown marked changes in their particular shape over time, exhibiting an ongoing right-skewed broadening that is not well understood. Here,...

Data from: Impact of an ivermectin mass drug administration on scabies prevalence in a remote Australian Aboriginal community

Therese M. Kearns, Linda Ward, Deborah C. Holt, Bart J. Currie, Roslyn Gundjirryirr, Leanne Bundhala, Mark Chatfield, Ross M. Andrews, Richard Speare, Allen C. Cheng, James McCarthy, Jonathan R. Carapetis & Jennifer Shield
Background: Scabies is endemic in many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, with 69% of infants infected in the first year of life. We report the outcomes against scabies of two oral ivermectin mass drug administrations (MDAs) delivered 12 months apart in a remote Australian Aboriginal community. Methods: Utilizing a before and after study design, we measured scabies prevalence through population census with sequential MDAs at baseline and month 12. Surveys at months 6 and...

Data from: Sex and genotype effects on nutrient-dependent fitness landscapes in Drosophila melanogaster

M. Florencia Camus, Kevin Fowler, Matthew W.D. Piper, Max Reuter & Matthew W. D. Piper
The sexes perform different reproductive roles and have evolved sometimes strikingly different phenotypes. One focal point of adaptive divergence occurs in the context of diet and metabolism, and males and females of a range of species have been shown to require different nutrients to maximize their fitness. Biochemical analyses in Drosophila melanogaster have confirmed that dimorphism in dietary requirements is associated with molecular sex differences in metabolite titres. In addition, they also showed significant within-sex...

Data from: Assessment of dynamic material properties of intact rocks using seismic wave attenuation: an experimental study

W.A.M. Wanniarachchi, P.G. Ranjith, M.S.A. Perera, Tharaka D. Rathnaweera, Qiao Lyu, Bankim Mahanta, M. S. A. Perera, P. G. Ranjith & W. A. M. Wanniarachchi
The mechanical properties of any substance are essential facts to understand its behaviour and make the maximum use of the particular substance. Rocks are indeed an important substance, as they are of significant use in the energy industry, specifically for fossil fuels and geothermal energy. Attenuation of seismic waves is a non-destructive technique to investigate mechanical properties of reservoir rocks under different conditions. The attenuation characteristics of five different rock types, siltstone, shale, Australian sandstone,...

Data from: Spatial and temporal patterns of nest distribution influences sexual selection in a marine fish

Bob B.M. Wong, Topi K. Lehtonen, Kai Lindström & Bob B. M. Wong
In many species, the natural distribution of material resources important for reproduction can profoundly impact reproductive success among individuals and, hence, the opportunity and intensity of sexual selection. Here, we report on a field-based experiment investigating the effects of nest aggregation on sexual selection in a fish, the sand goby (Pomatoschistus minutus). We found that the distribution of potential nests (sparse versus aggregated nest treatments) affected patterns of nest colonization and reproductive success. Specifically, in...

Data from: The influence of balanced and imbalanced resource supply on biodiversity-functioning relationship across ecosystems

Aleksandra M. Lewandowska, Antje Biermann, Elizabeth T. Borer, Miguel A. Cebrian-Piqueras, Steven A. J. Declerck, Luc De Meester, Ellen Van Donk, Lars Gamfeldt, Daniel S. Gruner, Nicole Hagenah, W. Stanley Harpole, Kevin P. Kirkman, Christopher A. Klausmeier, Michael Kleyer, Johannes M. H. Knops, Pieter Lemmens, Eric M. Lind, Elena Litchman, Jasmin Mantilla-Contreras, Koen Martens, Sandra Meier, Vanessa Minden, Joslin L. Moore, Harry Olde Venterink, Eric W. Seabloom … & Helmut Hillebrand
Numerous studies show that increasing species richness leads to higher ecosystem productivity. This effect is often attributed to more efficient portioning of multiple resources in communities with higher numbers of competing species, indicating the role of resource supply and stoichiometry for biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Here, we merged theory on ecological stoichiometry with a framework of biodiversity–ecosystem functioning to understand how resource use transfers into primary production. We applied a structural equation model to define patterns...

Data from: How do different aspects of biodiversity change through time? A case study on an Australian bird community

Jian D. L. Yen, James R. Thomson, Jonathan M. Keith, David M. Paganin & Ralph Mac Nally
The study of ecological communities through time can reveal fundamental ecological processes and is key to understanding how natural and human pressures will affect biodiversity. Most studies of ecological communities through time consider only one or a few summary measures (e.g. species richness, total abundance), which might neglect important aspects of community structure or function. We studied temporal variation in several measures of species diversity, size diversity, and species composition in an intensively sampled bird...

Data from: Flower signal variability overwhelms receptor-noise and requires plastic color learning in bees

Jair E Garcia, Mani Shrestha & Adrian G. Dyer
Color discrimination thresholds proposed by receptor-noise type models are frequently used in animal vision studies to predict a precise limit on the capacity of an animal to discriminate between stimuli. Honeybees and bumblebees are two closely related hymenopteran species for which precise data on photoreceptor sensitivities and receptor noise exist, enabling accurate testing on how their vision conforms to model predictions. Color vision has been proven in these species, and they are known to predominantly...

Data from: The distribution of fitness effects in an uncertain world

Tim Connallon & Andrew G. Clark
The distribution of fitness effects (DFE) among new mutations plays a critical role in adaptive evolution and the maintenance of genetic variation. While fitness landscape models predict several key features of the DFE, most theory to date focuses on predictable environmental conditions, while ignoring stochastic environmental fluctuations that feature prominently in the ecology of many organisms. Here, we derive an extension of Fisher's geometric model that incorporates two common effects of environmental variation: (1) non-adaptive...

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  • Monash University
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