156 Works

Fidelity to foraging sites after long migrations

Takahiro Shimada, Colin Limpus, Mark Hamann, Ian Bell, Nicole Esteban, Rachel Groom & Graeme Hays
1. Patterns of animal movement associated with foraging lie at the heart of many ecological studies and often animals face decisions of staying in an environment they know, versus relocating to new sites. 2. The lack of knowledge of new foraging sites means there is risk associated with a decision to relocate (e.g. poor foraging) as well as a potential benefit (e.g. improved foraging). 3. Using a unique long-term satellite tracking dataset for several sea...

Local thermal adaptation and limited gene flow constrain future climate responses of a marine ecosystem engineer

Adam Miller
Rising ocean temperatures and extreme temperature events have precipitated declines and local extinctions in many marine species globally, but patterns of loss are often uneven across species ranges for reasons that are poorly understood. Knowledge of the extent of local adaptation and gene flow may explain such patterns and help predict future trajectories under scenarios of climate change. We test the extent to which local differentiation in thermal tolerance is influenced by gene flow and...

Spatial-numerical associations in humans

Luke Greenacre, Jair E. Garcia, Eugene Chan, Scarlett R. Howard & Adrian G. Dyer
Number sense requires an ability to estimate values and respective differences - although how brains most efficiently processes information remains unknown. We tested if participants demonstrate processing preferences for horizontal or vertical representations during paired number comparisons. For numbers above the subitizing range of 1-4 with the largest number positioned upwards, participants demonstrated significantly faster and more accurate responses.

Data for: Mapping the evolution of accurate Batesian mimicry of social wasps in hoverflies

Alice Leavey, Christopher Taylor, Matthew Symonds, Francis Gilbert & Tom Reader
Hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) provide an excellent opportunity to study the evolution of Batesian mimicry, where defenceless prey avoid predation by evolving to resemble defended ‘model’ species. While some hoverflies beautifully resemble their hymenopteran models, others seem to be poor mimics or are apparently non-mimetic. The reasons for this variation are still enigmatic despite decades of research. Here, we address this issue by mapping social-wasp mimicry across the phylogeny of Holarctic hoverflies. Using the ‘distance transform’...

Whole genome resequencing reveals signatures of rapid selection in a virus affected commercial fishery

Owen Holland, Madeline Toomey, Collin Ahrens, Ary Hoffman, Larry Croft, Craig Sherman & Adam Miller
Infectious diseases are recognised as one of the greatest global threats to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Consequently, there is a growing urgency to understand the speed at which adaptive phenotypes can evolve and spread in natural populations to inform future management. Here we provide evidence of rapid genomic changes in wild Australian blacklip abalone (Haliotis rubra) following a major population crash associated with an infectious disease. Genome scans on H. rubra were performed using pooled...

Barriers to restoration: Pollution alters nurse effects for an ecosystem engineer

Hayley Cameron, Michael Amor & Alecia Bellgrove
Nurse plants modify the environment to facilitate the recruitment of propagules, and are potentially valuable tools for ecological restoration. Yet empirical tests, particularly in polluted environments, remain rare. The few studies that have examined nurse-effects in polluted environments report exclusively positive effects, but most tests have focused on pollution-tolerant species in metal contaminated environments. Biotic interactions are highly context-dependent, however, such that extrapolations to other suites of species and pollutant types appear premature. We examined...

Australian fur seal foraging consistency data

Cassie Speakman, John Arnould, Sebastian Lloyd, Elodie Camprasse, Andrew Hoskins, Mark Hindell, Daniel Costa & John Arnould
Substantial variation in foraging strategies can exist within populations, even those typically regarded as generalists. Specialisations arise from the consistent exploitation of a narrow behavioural, spatial or dietary niche over time, which may reduce intra-specific competition and influence adaptability to environmental change. However, few studies have investigated whether behavioural consistency confers benefits at the individual and/or population level. While still recovering from commercial sealing over-exploitation, Australian fur seals (AUFS; Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) represent the largest...

Larger cells have relatively smaller nuclei across the Tree of Life

Martino E. Malerba
Larger cells have larger nuclei, but the precise relationship between cell size and nucleus size remains unclear, and the evolutionary forces that shape this relationship are debated. We compiled data for almost 900 species – from yeast to mammals – at three scales of biological organisation: among‐species, within‐species, and among‐lineages of a species that was artificially selected for cell size. At all scales, we showed that the ratio of nucleus size to cell size (the...

Data from: Male courtship decisions are influenced by light environment and female receptivity

Gemma L. Cole & John A. Endler
The appearance of animal colour signals depends jointly upon the ambient light spectrum and the signal's reflectance spectra. Light environment heterogeneity might, therefore, allow individuals to enhance their signal by signalling in an environment that increases signal efficacy. We tested this hypothesis by providing male guppies (Poecilia reticulata), a choice of three light environments in which to display their colour signal to females: green, lilac, and clear. We paired males with both receptive and non-receptive...

Data from: Retracted: Experimental evidence that maternal corticosterone controls adaptive offspring sex ratios

Sarah R. Pryke, Lee A. Rollins, Simon C. Griffith, Buttemer A. William & William A. Buttemer
THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN RETRACTED 1. Sex allocation theory has received considerable attention, yet the mechanism(s) by which mothers skew offspring sex ratios remain unknown. In birds, females are the heterogametic sex, which potentially gives them control of whether gametes will be male or female. How females might control the sex of the gamete is unclear, but one possibility is that variation in steroid hormones may mediate this process. 2. We experimentally altered circulating levels...

Data from: Multiple dispersal vectors drive range expansion in an invasive marine species

Mark F. Richardson, Craig D. H. Sherman, Randall S. Lee, Nathan J. Bott & Alastair J. Hirst
The establishment and subsequent spread of invasive species is widely recognized as one of the most threatening processes contributing to global biodiversity loss. This is especially true for marine and estuarine ecosystems, which have experienced significant increases in the number of invasive species with the increase in global maritime trade. Understanding the rate and mechanisms of range expansion is therefore of significant interest to ecologists and conservation managers alike. Using a combination of population genetic...

Data from: Three molecular markers show no evidence of population genetic structure in the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae)

Peri E. Bolton, Andrea J. West, Adam P. A. Cardilini, Jenna A Clark, Kimberley L. Maute, Sarah Legge, James Brazill-Boast, Simon C. Griffith, Lee A. Rollins & Jennalee A. Clark
Assessment of genetic diversity and connectivity between regions can inform conservation managers about risk of inbreeding, potential for adaptation and where population boundaries lie. The Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae) is a threatened species in northern Australia, occupying the savannah woodlands of the biogeographically complex monsoon tropics. We present the most comprehensive population genetic analysis of diversity and structure the Gouldian finch using 16 microsatellite markers, mitochondrial control region and 3,389 SNPs from genotyping-by-sequencing. Mitochondrial diversity...

Data from: Is behavioural plasticity consistent across different environmental gradients and through time?

David J. Mitchell & Peter A. Biro
Despite accumulating evidence for individual variation in behavioural plasticity, there is currently little understanding of the causes and consequences of this variation. An outstanding question is whether individual reaction norm (RN) slopes are consistent across different environmental variables – that is, whether an individual that is highly responsive to one environmental variable will be equally responsive to a second variable. Another important and related question is whether RNs are themselves consistently expressed through time or...

Data from: Juvenile social experience affects pairing success at adulthood: congruence with the loser effect?

Mylene M. Mariette, Charlène Cathaud, Rémi Chambon & Clémentine Vignal
Social interactions with adults are often critical for the development of mating behaviours. However, the potential role of other primary social partners such as juvenile counterparts is rarely considered. Most interestingly, it is not known whether interactions with juvenile females improve males’ courtship and whether, similar to the winner and loser effects in a fighting context—outcome of these interactions shapes males’ behaviour in future encounters. We investigated the combined effects of male quality and juvenile...

Data from: Transfer of maternal antibodies against avian influenza virus in mallards (Anas platyrhynchos)

Jacintha G. B. Van Dijk, A. Christa Mateman & Marcel Klaassen
Maternal antibodies protect chicks from infection with pathogens early in life and may impact pathogen dynamics due to the alteration of the proportion of susceptible individuals in a population. We investigated the transfer of maternal antibodies against avian influenza virus (AIV) in a key AIV host species, the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos). Combining observations in both the field and in mallards kept in captivity, we connected maternal AIV antibody concentrations in eggs to (i) female body...

Data from: Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia

Hayley Davis, Euan G. Ritchie, Sarah Avitabile, Tim Doherty & Dale G. Nimmo
Fire shapes the composition and functioning of ecosystems globally. In many regions, fire is actively managed to create diverse patch mosaics of fire-ages under the assumption that a diversity of post-fire age classes will provide a greater variety of habitats, thereby enabling species with differing habitat requirements to coexist, and enhancing species diversity (the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis). However, studies provide mixed support for this hypothesis. Here, using termite communities in a semi-arid region of...

Data from: High adult mortality in disease-challenged frog populations increases vulnerability to drought

Benjamin C. Scheele, David A. Hunter, Sam C. Banks, Jennifer C. Pierson, Lee F. Skerratt, Rebecca Webb, Don A. Driscoll & Ben C. Scheele
Pathogen emergence can drive major changes in host population demography, with implications for population dynamics and sensitivity to environmental fluctuations. The amphibian disease chytridiomycosis, caused by infection with the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is implicated in the severe decline of over 200 amphibian species. In species that have declined but not become extinct, Bd persists and can cause substantial ongoing mortality. High rates of mortality associated with Bd may drive major changes in host...

Data from: Early social experience shapes female mate choice in guppies

Alessandro Macario, Darren P. Croft, John A. Endler & Safi K. Darden
Mating decisions are often plastic and individuals adjust their decisions depending on the social and ecological environment. Although the implications of the social environment on mate choice has been well studied in species with parental care, surprisingly little research has examined the role played by the social environment experienced during ontogeny in species lacking parental care. We used guppies to test the hypothesis that females alter their mate choice in response to variation in the...

Data from: The influence of environmental gradients on individual behaviour: individual plasticity is consistent across risk and temperature gradients

Tomas O. Cornwell, Ian D. McCarthy, C. Richard A. Snyder & Peter A. Biro
1. The expression of individual behaviour as a function of environmental variation (behavioural plasticity) is recognised as a means for animals to modify their phenotypes in response to changing conditions. Plasticity has been studied extensively in recent years, leading to an accumulation of evidence for behavioural plasticity within natural populations. 2. Despite the recent attention given to studying individual variation in behavioural plasticity, there is still a lack of consensus regarding its causes and constraints....

Data from: Visual effects in great bowerbird sexual displays and their implications for signal design

John A. Endler, Julie Gaburro & Laura A. Kelley
It is often assumed that the primary purpose of a male's sexual display is to provide information about quality, or to strongly stimulate prospective mates, but other functions of courtship displays have been relatively neglected. Male great bowerbirds (Ptilonorhynchus nuchalis) construct bowers that exploit the female's predictable field of view (FOV) during courtship displays by creating forced perspective illusions, and the quality of illusion is a good predictor of mating success. Here, we present and...

Data from: Antitropicality and convergent evolution: a case study of Permian neospiriferine brachiopods

Sangmin Lee, Guang Rong Shi, Heeju Park & Jun-Ichi Tazawa
Antitropical distribution is a biogeographical pattern characterized by natural occurrences of the same species or members of the same clade in the middle- or middle-to-high-latitudinal habitats of both hemispheres, either on land or in marine environments, without appearing in the intervening tropical environments. For most of the noted examples of Permian antitropical distribution, particularly in marine invertebrates, the causes of disjunctions have been mainly linked to either dispersal or vicariance models. Little attention has been...

The Trump effect in miniature: a case study of Geelong, Australia

Andrew Vandenberg, Amy Nethery, Philip David Marshall & Maria Rae

Data from: Accelerometers can measure total and activity-specific energy expenditure in free-ranging marine mammals only if linked to time-activity budgets

Tiphaine Jeanniard-Du-Dot, Christophe Guinet, John P. Y. Arnould, John R. Speakman, Andrew W. Trites & John P.Y. Arnould
Energy expenditure is an important component of foraging ecology, but is extremely difficult to estimate in free-ranging animals and depends on how animals partition their time between different activities during foraging. Acceleration data have emerged as a new way to determine energy expenditure at a fine scale but this needs to be tested and validated in wild animals. This study investigated whether vectorial dynamic body acceleration (VeDBA) could accurately predict the energy expended by marine...

Data from: Covariation in life-history traits: differential effects of diet on condition, hormones, behavior and reproduction in genetic finch morphs

Sarah R. Pryke, Lee B. Astheimer, Simon C. Griffith & William A. Buttemer
The relative contribution of genetic and environmental factors in determining variation in life-history traits is of central interest to evolutionary biologists, but the physiological mechanisms underlying these traits are still poorly understood. Here we experimentally demonstrate opposing effects of nutritional stress on immune function, endocrine physiology, parental care and reproduction between red and black head-color morphs of the Gouldian finch (Erythrura gouldiae). Although body condition of black morphs was largely unaffected by diet manipulation, red...

Data from: Morphology and geography predict the use of heat conservation behaviours across birds

Gabrielle Pavlovic, Michael A. Weston & Matthew R. E. Symonds
1. Heat conservation behaviours in birds in part involve postural adjustments to regulate the area of exposed body surfaces. However, the occurrence of these behaviours across birds, and the factors that explain their use across bird species, remain poorly known. 2. We examined the occurrence of three distinctive bird behaviours - back rest (where the bill is tucked into the plumage), standing on one leg, and sitting - across 852 bird species using a Bayesian...

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