150 Works

Counting the bodies: estimating the numbers and spatial variation of Australian reptiles, birds and mammals killed by two invasive mesopredators

Alyson Stobo-Wilson, Brett Murphy, Sarah Legge, Hernan Caceres-Escobar, David Chapple, Heather Crawford, Stuart Dawson, Chris Dickman, Tim Doherty, Patricia Fleming, Stephen Garnett, Matthew Gentle, Thomas Newsome, Russell Palmer, Matthew Rees, Euan Ritchie, James Speed, John-Michael Stuart, Andres Suarez-Castro, Eilysh Thompson, Ayesha Tulloch, Jeff Turpin & John Woinarski
Aim: Introduced predators negatively impact biodiversity globally, with insular fauna often most severely affected. Here, we assess spatial variation in the number of terrestrial vertebrates (excluding amphibians) killed by two mammalian mesopredators introduced to Australia, the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus). We aim to identify prey groups that suffer especially high rates of predation, and regions where losses to foxes and/or cats are most substantial. Location: Australia Methods: We draw information...

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...

The importance of wetland margin microhabitat mosaics; the case of shorebirds and thermoregulation

Julia Ryeland, Michael M. A Weston & Matthew R. E. Symonds
Wetlands, and the species that rely upon them, are under significant threat worldwide, with wetlands often being completely removed or drastically altered. Successful wetland management requires an understanding of the interactions between wetland species and the microhabitats they use. The use of microhabitats for thermoregulation in wetland species is poorly studied, though anthropogenic influence on wetlands can reduce the diversity of microhabitats and thus the thermoregulatory options for animals. At high ambient temperatures birds may...

Data from: High fidelity: extra-pair fertilisations in eight Charadrius plover species are not associated with parental relatedness or social mating system

Kathryn H. Maher, Luke J. Eberhart-Phillips, András Kosztolányi, Natalie Dos Remedios, María Cristina Carmona-Isunza, Medardo Cruz-López, Sama Zefania, James J. H. St Clair, Monif AlRashidi, Michael A. Weston, Martín A. Serrano-Meneses, Oliver Krüger, Joseph I. Hoffmann, Tamás Székely, Terry Burke, Clemens Küpper & Joseph I. Hoffman
Extra-pair paternity is a common reproductive strategy in many bird species. However, it remains unclear why extra-pair paternity occurs and why it varies among species and populations. Plovers (Charadrius spp.) exhibit considerable variation in reproductive behaviour and ecology, making them excellent models to investigate the evolution of social and genetic mating systems. We investigated inter- and intra-specific patterns of extra-pair parentage and evaluated three major hypotheses explaining extra-pair paternity using a comparative approach based on...

Data from: Combined use of GPS and accelerometry reveals fine scale three-dimensional foraging behaviour in the short-tailed shearwater

Maud Berlincourt, Lauren P. Angel & John P. Y. Arnould
Determining the foraging behaviour of free-ranging marine animals is fundamental for assessing their habitat use and how they may respond to changes in the environment. However, despite recent advances in bio-logging technology, collecting information on both at-sea movement patterns and activity budgets still remains difficult in small pelagic seabird species due to the constraints of instrument size. The short-tailed shearwater, the most abundant seabird species in Australia (ca 23 million individuals), is a highly pelagic...

Data from: The evolutionary conservation of the A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase domain with Thrombospondin-1 motif metzincins across vertebrate species and their expression in teleost zebrafish

Frédéric G. Brunet, Fiona W. Fraser, Marley J. Binder, Adam D. Smith, Christopher Kintakas, Carolyn M. Dancevic, Alister C. Ward & Daniel R. McCulloch
Background: The A Disintegrin-like and Metalloproteinase domain with Thrombospondin-1 motifs (ADAMTS) enzymes comprise 19 mammalian zinc-dependent metalloproteinases (metzincins) with homologues in a wide range of invertebrates. ADAMTS enzymes have a broad range of functions in development and diseases due to their extracellular matrix remodelling activity. Here, we report a detailed characterisation of their evolutionary conservation across vertebrates. Results: Using bioinformatics complemented with de novo sequencing, gene sequences for ADAMTS enzymes were obtained from a variety...

Data from: Contrasting patterns of population connectivity between regions in a commercially important mollusc Haliotis rubra: integrating population genetics, genomics and marine LiDAR data

Adam Miller, Anthony Van Rooyen, Gordana Rasic, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Harry K. Gorfine, Robert Day, Caroline Wong, Ary A. Hoffmann & Andrew R. Weeks
Estimating contemporary genetic structure and population connectivity in marine species is challenging, often compromised by genetic markers that lack adequate sensitivity, and unstructured sampling regimes. We show how these limitations can be overcome via the integration of modern genotyping methods and sampling designs guided by LiDAR and SONAR data sets. Here we explore patterns of gene flow and local genetic structure in a commercially harvested abalone species (Haliotis rubra) from southeastern Australia, where the viability...

Data from: The molecular biogeography of the Indo-Pacific: testing hypotheses with multispecies genetic patterns

Eric D. Crandall, Cynthia Riginos, Chris E. Bird, Libby Liggins, Eric Treml, Maria Beger, Paul H. Barber, Sean R. Connolly, Peter F. Cowman, Joseph D. Dibattista, Jeff A. Eble, Sharon F. Magnuson, John B. Horne, Marc Kochzius, Harilaos A. Lessios, Shang Yin Vanson Liu, William B. Ludt, Hawis Madduppa, John M. Pandolfi, Robert R. Toonen, Contributing Members Of Diversity Of The Indo-Pacific Network & Michelle R. Gaither
Aim: To test hypothesized biogeographic partitions of the tropical Indo-Pacific Ocean with phylogeographic data from 56 taxa, and to evaluate the strength and nature of barriers emerging from this test. Location: The Indo-Pacific Ocean. Time Period: Pliocene through the Holocene. Major Taxa Studied: 56 marine species. Methods: We tested eight biogeographic hypotheses for partitioning of the Indo-Pacific using a novel modification to analysis of molecular variance. Putative barriers to gene flow emerging from this analysis...

Data from: Rare long-distance dispersal of a marine angiosperm across the Pacific Ocean

Timothy M. Smith, Paul H. York, Bernardo R. Broitman, Martin Thiel, Graeme C. Hays, Erik Van Sebille, Nathan F. Putman, Peter I. Macreadie & Craig D. H. Sherman
Aim: Long-distance dispersal (LDD) events occur rarely but play a fundamental role in shaping species biogeography. Lying at the heart of island biogeography theory, LDD relies on unusual events to facilitate colonisation of new habitats and range expansion. Despite the importance of LDD, it is inherently difficult to quantify due to the rarity of such events. We estimate the probability of LDD of the seagrass Heterozostera nigricaulis, a common Australian species, across the Pacific Ocean...

Data from: Effects of small-scale, shading-induced seagrass loss on blue carbon storage: Implications for management of degraded seagrass ecosystems

Stacey M. Trevathan-Tackett, Caitlin Wessel, Just Cebrian, Peter J. Ralph, Pere Masque & Peter I. Macreadie
1. Seagrass meadows are important global ‘blue carbon’ sinks. Despite a 30% loss of seagrasses globally during the last century, there is limited empirical research investigating the effects of disturbance and loss of seagrass on blue carbon stocks. 2. In this study, we hypothesised that seagrass loss would reduce blue carbon stocks. Using shading cloth, we simulated small-scale die-offs of two subtropical seagrass species, Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum, in a dynamic northern Gulf of...

Data from: Incorporating disturbance into trophic ecology: fire history shapes mesopredator suppression by an apex predator

William L. Geary, Euan G. Ritchie, Jessica A. Lawton, Thomas R. Healey & Dale G. Nimmo
1.Apex predators can suppress smaller bodied ‘mesopredators’. In doing so, they can provide refuge to species preyed upon by mesopredators, which is particularly important in regions where mesopredators are invasive. While most studies of mesopredator suppression focus on the response of mesopredators to human control of apex predators, other factors –including natural and anthropogenic disturbance – also drive the occurrence of apex predators and, in doing so, might shape spatial patterns of mesopredator suppression. 2.We...

Data from: Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape

Ine Dorresteijn, Jannik Schultner, Dale G. Nimmo, Joern Fischer, Jan Hanspach, Tobias Kuemmerle, Laura Kehoe & Euan G. Ritchie
Apex predators perform important functions that regulate ecosystems worldwide. However, little is known about how ecosystem regulation by predators is influenced by human activities. In particular, how important are top-down effects of predators relative to direct and indirect human-mediated bottom-up and top-down processes? Combining data on species' occurrence from camera traps and hunting records, we aimed to quantify the relative effects of top-down and bottom-up processes in shaping predator and prey distributions in a human-dominated...

Data from: Mesopredator management: effects of red fox control on the abundance, diet and use of space by feral cats

Robyn Molsher, Alan E. Newsome, Thomas M. Newsome & Christopher R. Dickman
Apex predators are subject to lethal control in many parts of the world to minimize their impacts on human industries and livelihoods. Diverse communities of smaller predators - mesopredators - often remain after apex predator removal. Despite concern that these mesopredators may be 'released' in the absence of the apex predator and exert negative effects on each other and on co-occurring prey, these interactions have been little studied. Here, we investigate the potential effects of...

Data from: Eggs brought in from afar: Svalbard-breeding pink-footed geese can fly their eggs across the Barents Sea

Marcel Klaassen, Steffen Hahn, Harry Korthals & Jesper Madsen
Many Arctic-breeding waterbirds are thought to bring nutrients for egg production from southern latitudes to allow early breeding. It has proved problematic to quantify the extent of such capital breeding and identify whether nutrients for egg production are brought in from nearby or from afar. Before reaching their breeding grounds on Svalbard, pink-footed geese Anser brachyrhynchus fly ∼ 1100 km across the Barents Sea from Norway. Using abdominal profile indexing (API) we scored body stores...

Data from: Top predators constrain mesopredator distributions

Thomas M. Newsome, Aaron C. Greenville, Duško Ćirović, Christopher R. Dickman, Chris N. Johnson, Miha Krofel, Mike Letnic, William J. Ripple, Euan G. Ritchie, Stoyan Stoyanov & Aaron J. Wirsing
Top predators can suppress mesopredators by killing them, competing for resources and instilling fear, but it is unclear how suppression of mesopredators varies with the distribution and abundance of top predators at large spatial scales and among different ecological contexts. We suggest that suppression of mesopredators will be strongest where top predators occur at high densities over large areas. These conditions are more likely to occur in the core than on the margins of top...

Data from: How can ten fingers shape a pot? Evidence for equivalent function in culturally distinct motor skills

Enora Gandon, Reinoud J. Bootsma, John A. Endler, Leore Grosman & Alex Mesoudi
Behavioural variability is likely to emerge when a particular task is performed in different cultural settings, assuming that part of human motor behaviour is influenced by culture. In analysing motor behaviour it is useful to distinguish how the action is performed from the result achieved. Does cultural environment lead to specific cultural motor skills? Are there differences between cultures both in the skills themselves and in the corresponding outcomes? Here we analyse the skill of...

Data from: Cover, not caging, influences chronic physiological stress in a ground-nesting bird

Laura X. L. Tan, Katherine L. Buchanan, Grainne S. Maguire & Michael A. Weston
Predator exclosures (‘nest cages’) around nests are increasingly used to enhance hatching success of declining ground-nesting birds. However, such exclosures are contentious and have been suggested to have detrimental effects on the species which they aim to protect. This study examines whether exclosures increase physiological stress of incubating birds, a hitherto unrecognised and untested potential drawback of exclosures. Red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus hatching success was radically altered and significantly higher for nests with exclosures (96.2%)...

Full data for: Predators, prey or temperature? Mechanisms driving niche use of a foundation plant species by specialist lizards

Kristian Bell, Timothy Doherty & Don Driscoll
Foundation species interact strongly with other species to profoundly influence communities, such as by providing food, refuge from predators, or beneficial microclimates. We tested relative support for these mechanisms using spinifex grass (Triodia spp.), which is a foundation species of arid Australia that provides habitat for diverse lizard communities. We first compared the attributes of live and dead spinifex, bare ground and a structurally similar plant (Lomandra effusa), and then tested the relative strength of...

Male fairy-wrens produce and maintain vibrant breeding colours irrespective of individual quality

Alexandra McQueen, Kaspar Delhey, Flavia R. Barzan, Annalise C. Naimo & Anne Peters
Conspicuous colours may signal individual quality if high-quality individuals produce more elaborate colours or have a greater capacity to invest in colour maintenance. We investigate these hypotheses using repeated within-individual observations and experimentally-induced colour production in a wild bird, the superb fairy-wren (Malurus cyaneus). Male superb fairy-wrens undergo an annual moult from brown, non-breeding plumage to an ultraviolet-blue and black breeding plumage. Colour maintenance is especially relevant for this species because structural, ultraviolet-blue plumage colours...

Data for: Spontaneous choices for insect-pollinated flower shapes by wild non-eusocial halictid bees

Scarlett Howard, Kit Prendergast, Matthew Symonds, Mani Shrestha & Adrian Dyer
The majority of angiosperms require animal pollination for reproduction and insects are the dominant group of animal pollinators. Bees are considered one of the most important and abundant insect pollinators. Research into bee behaviour and foraging decisions has typically centred on managed eusocial bee species, Apis mellifera and Bombus terrestris. Non-eusocial bees are understudied with respect to foraging strategies and decision-making, such as flower preferences. Understanding whether there are fundamental foraging strategies and preferences which...

Data from: Unveiling the diversification dynamics of Australasian predaceous diving beetles in the Cenozoic

Emmanuel F. A. Toussaint, Fabien L. Condamine, Oliver Hawlitschek, Chris H. S. Watts, Lars Hendrich, Michael Balke, Emmanuel F.A. Toussaint, Chris H. Watts & Nick Porch
During the Cenozoic, Australia experienced major climatic shifts that have had dramatic ecological consequences for the modern biota. Mesic tropical ecosystems were progressively restricted to the coasts and replaced by arid-adapted floral and faunal communities. Whilst the role of aridification has been investigated in a wide range of terrestrial lineages, the response of freshwater clades remains poorly investigated. To gain insights into the diversification processes underlying a freshwater radiation, we studied the evolutionary history of...

Data from: Tracing the rise of malignant cell lines: distribution, epidemiology and evolutionary interactions of two transmissible cancers in Tasmanian devils

Samantha James, Geordie Jennings, Young Mi Kwon, Maximilian Stammnitz, Alexandra Fraik, Andrew Storfer, Sebastien Comte, David Pemberton, Samantha Fox, Bill Brown, Ruth Pye, Gregory Woods, Bruce Lyons, Paul Hohenlohe, Hamish McCallum, Hannah V. Siddle, Frederic Thomas, Beata Ujvari, Elizabeth P. Murchison, Menna Jones & Rodrigo Hamede
Emerging infectious diseases are rising globally and understanding host-pathogen interactions during the initial stages of disease emergence is essential for assessing potential evolutionary dynamics and designing novel management strategies. Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) are endangered due to a transmissible cancer – devil facial tumour disease (DFTD) – that since its emergence in the 1990’s, has affected most populations throughout Tasmania. Recent studies suggest that devils are adapting to the DFTD epidemic and that disease-induced extinction...

Bisulfite sequencing (RRBS-seq): CpG methylation reports for Australian invasive cane toads

Roshmi Rekha Sarma, Michael R Crossland, Harrison J.F Eyck, Jayna L DeVore, Richard J Edwards, Michael Cocomazzo, Jia Zhou, Gregory P Brown, Richard Shine & Lee Ann Rollins
In response to novel environments, invasive populations often evolve rapidly. Standing genetic variation is an important predictor of evolutionary response but epigenetic variation may also play a role. Here we use an iconic invader, the cane toad (Rhinella marina), to investigate how manipulating epigenetic status affects phenotypic traits. We collected wild toads from across Australia, bred them, and experimentally manipulated DNA methylation of the subsequent two generations (G1, G2) through exposure to the DNA methylation...

Aboveground carbon stocks and dynamics in Andean forests

Alvaro Duque, Miguel Peña, Francisco Cuesta, Sebastián González-Caro, Peter Kennedy, Oliver Phillips, Marco Calderón, Cecilia Blundo, Julieta Carilla, Leslie Cayola, William Farfán-Ríos, Alfredo Fuentes, Ricardo Grau, Jürgen Homeier, María I. Loza-Rivera, Jonathan A. Myers, Oriana Osinaga-Acosta, Manuel Peralvo, Esteban Pinto, Sassan Saatchi, Miles Silman, J. Sebastián Tello, Andrea Terán-Valdez & Kenneth J. Feeley
This dataset (Andean_AGB.xlsx) has the data employed in the paper entitled Old-growth Andean forests as globally important carbon sinks and future carbon refuges. The data was compiled as the results of the work of several research teams spread out across the Andean region. The information available here has data about aboveground carbon stocks and dynamics and the main explanatory variables, such as climate and symbiotic root associations.

Bird community recovery following invasive tree removal

Roslyn Gleadow, Benjamin O'Leary, Martin Burd & Susanna Venn
Invasive plants can lead to significant changes in the abundance and diversity of the existing flora. Restoration programs, therefore, largely focus on the recovery of the vegetation. Faunal responses have received less attention. Here we examined whether or not bird communities recovered following removal of a native, invasive tree in South Eastern Australia with a view to evaluating whether this could be used as a tool for assessing the effectiveness of the remediation programs. Pittosporum...

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  • Deakin University
  • Monash University
  • Macquarie University
  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Sydney
  • Australian National University
  • University of Queensland
  • French National Centre for Scientific Research
  • UNSW Sydney
  • Charles Sturt University