153 Works

Transmissible cancer influences immune gene expression in an endangered marsupial, the Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii)

Nynke Raven, Beata Ujvari, Marcel Klaassen, Rodrigo Hamede, Fred Thomas & Thomas Madsen
Understanding wildlife diseases’ effects on populations requires insight into local environmental conditions, host defence mechanisms, host life-history trade-offs, pathogen population dynamics, and their interactions. The survival of Tasmanian devils (Sarcophilus harrisii) is challenged by a novel, fitness limiting pathogen, Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), a clonally transmissible, contagious cancer. In order to understand the devils’ capacity to respond to DFTD, it is crucial to gain information on factors influencing the devils’ immune system. By...

Data from: Plover parents care more for young of the opposite sex

Daniel Lees, Craig D.H. Sherman, Kristal Kostoglou, Laura X.L. Tan, Grainne S. Maguire, Peter Dann, Michael A. Weston, Craig D H Sherman & Laura X L Tan
Within some socially monogamous species, the relative contribution of care provided by each parent varies substantially, from uniparental to equitable biparental care. The provision of care is influenced by its costs and benefits, which may differ between parents (leading to inter-parental “conflict”) and are expected to change in relation to the needs of young (which vary with age) and potentially to traits such as their sex. If the fitness benefits to parents differ with the...

Data from: Migration strategy and pathogen risk: non-breeding distribution drives malaria prevalence in migratory waders

Nicholas J. Clark, Sonya M. Clegg & Marcel Klaassen
Pathogen exposure has been suggested as one of the factors shaping the myriad of migration strategies observed in nature. Two hypotheses relate migration strategies to pathogen infection: the ‘avoiding the tropics hypothesis’ predicts that pathogen prevalence and transmission increase with decreasing non-breeding (wintering) latitude, while the “habitat selection hypothesis” predicts lower pathogen prevalence in marine than in freshwater habitats. We tested these scarcely investigated hypotheses by screening wintering and resident wading shorebirds (Charadriiformes) for avian...

Data from: Causes of male sexual trait divergence in introduced populations of guppies

Anna K. Lindholm, Megan L. Head, Robert C. Brooks, Lee A. Rollins, Fiona C. Ingleby & Susanne R. K. Zajitschek
Males from different populations of the same species often differ in their sexually selected traits. Variation in sexually selected traits can be attributed to sexual selection if phenotypic divergence matches the direction of sexual selection gradients among populations. However, phenotypic divergence of sexually selected traits may also be influenced by other factors, such as natural selection and genetic constraints. Here, we document differences in male sexual traits among six introduced Australian populations of guppies and...

Data from: Experimental reduction in dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids depresses sperm competitiveness

, Clelia Gasparini, Giovanni M. Turchini & Jonathan P. Evans
The health benefits of diets containing rich sources of long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n-3 LC-PUFA) are well documented and include reductions in the risk of several diseases typical of Western societies. The dietary intake of n-3 LC-PUFA has also been linked to fertility, and there is abundant evidence that a range of ejaculate traits linked to fertility in humans, livestock and other animals depend on an adequate intake of n-3 LC-PUFA from dietary sources....

Data from: Curvilinear telomere length dynamics in a squamate reptile

Beata Ujvari, Peter A. Biro, Jordan E. Charters, Gregory Brown, Kim Heasman, Christa Beckman, Thomas Madsen & Christa Beckmann
The lack of consensus concerning the impact of telomere length (TL) dynamics on survival emphasizes the need for additional studies to evaluate the effect of TL on key life-history processes. Using both cross-sectional and longitudinal data, we therefore explored age-specific TL dynamics in a squamate reptile: the frillneck lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingii). Our cross-sectional analyses revealed that young lizards had short TL, TL increased in medium-aged lizards, but TL decreased in older age cohorts, revealing a...

Data from: Indirect legacy effects of an extreme climactic event on a marine megafaunal community

Robert Nowicki, Michael Heithaus, Jordan Thomson, Derek Burkholder, Kirk Gastrich & Aaron Wirsing
While extreme climactic events (ECEs) are predicted to become more frequent, reliably predicting their impacts on consumers remains challenging– particularly for large consumers in marine environments. Many studies that do evaluate ECE effects focus primarily on direct effects, though indirect effects can be equally or more important. Here, we investigate the indirect impacts of the 2011 “Ningaloo Niño” marine heatwave ECE on a diverse megafauna community in Shark Bay, Western Australia. We use an 18...

Data from: Developmental stress can uncouple relationships between physiology and behaviour

Vincent Careau, William A. Buttemer & Katherine L. Buchanan
Phenotypic correlations (rP) have frequently been observed between physiological and behavioural traits, and the nature of these associations has been shown to be modulated by a range of environmental stressors. Studies to date have examined the effects of acute stressors on physiology–behaviour interrelations, but the potential for permanent changes induced by exposure to stress during development remains unexplored. We exposed female zebra finches to dietary restriction during the nestling stage and tested how this affected...

Data from: Behavioral, energetic, and color trait integration in guppies: testing the melanocortin hypothesis

Francesca Santostefano, Kerry Fanson, John Endler & Peter Biro
Individuals of the same population differ consistently from each other in the average expression of behavioral and physiological traits. Often, such traits are integrated and thus correlated with each other. However, the underlying proximate mechanisms generating and maintaining this among-individual covariation are still poorly understood. The melanocortin hypothesis suggests that the melanocortin pathway can have pleiotropic effects linking the expression of melanin-based coloration with physiological and behavioral traits. In the present study, we test this...

Data from: Detecting elusive aspects of wildlife ecology using drones: new insights on the mating dynamics and operational sex ratios of sea turtles

Gail Schofield, Kostas A. Katselidis, Martin K. S. Lilley, Richard D. Reina & Graeme C. Hays
Offspring and breeding (operational) sex ratios (OSR) are a key component of demographic studies. While offspring sex ratios are often relatively easy to measure, measuring OSRs is often far more problematic. Yet highly skewed OSRs, and a lack of male-female encounters, may be an important extinction driver. Using loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) as a case study, we showed the utility of drones, i.e. unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to distinguish adult males and females in...

Data from: Palaeobiogeographical distribution of Orbiculoidea (Brachiopoda, Discinoidea) responding to global climatic and geographical changes during the Palaeozoic

Yang Zhang, Sangmin Lee, Hui-Ting Wu & Wei-Hong He
The Palaeozoic Era is a particularly interesting period of Earth history, as it includes the formation and northward movement of a supercontinent (Pangea), dramatic climatic changes and global biotic catastrophes. Here, we analyse the palaeobiogeographical distribution of the discinid brachiopod genus Orbiculoidea and discuss its distributional patterns in light of the environmental changes that occurred throughout the Palaeozoic and the Triassic. Our results indicate that the distribution of the genus seems to have been controlled...

Data from: High atmospheric temperatures and ‘ambient incubation’ drive embryonic development and lead to earlier hatching in a passerine bird

Simon C. Griffith, Enrico Sorato, Mark C. Mainwaring & Christa Beckmann
Tropical and subtropical species typically experience relatively high atmospheric temperatures during reproduction, and are subject to climate-related challenges that are largely unexplored, relative to more extensive work conducted in temperate regions. We studied the effects of high atmospheric and nest temperatures during reproduction in the zebra finch. We characterized the temperature within nests in a subtropical population of this species in relation to atmospheric temperature. Temperatures within nests frequently exceeded the level at which embryo’s...

Data from: Predation risk for reptiles is highest at remnant edges in agricultural landscapes

Nicole A. Hansen, Chloe F. Sato, Damian R. Michael, David B. Lindenmayer & Don A. Driscoll
Preventing biodiversity loss in fragmented agricultural landscapes is a global problem. The persistence of biodiversity within remnant vegetation can be influenced by an animal's ability to move through the farmland matrix between habitat patches. Yet, many of the mechanisms driving species occurrence within these landscapes are poorly understood, particularly for reptiles. We used scented and unscented plasticine lizard models and wildlife cameras to (a) estimate predation risk of reptiles in four farmland types (crop field,...

Data from: The colour of paternity: extra-pair paternity in the wild Gouldian finch does not appear to be driven by genetic incompatibility between morphs

Peri E. Bolton, Lee Ann Rollins, James Brazill-Boast, Kang-Wook Kim, Terry Burke, Simon C. Griffith & K-W. Kim
In socially monogamous species, individuals can use extra-pair paternity and offspring sex allocation as adaptive strategies to ameliorate costs of genetic incompatibility with their partner. Previous studies on domesticated Gouldian finches (Erythrura gouldiae) demonstrated a genetic incompatibility between head colour morphs, the effects of which are more severe in female offspring. Domesticated females use differential sex allocation, and extra-pair paternity with males of compatible head colour, to reduce fitness costs associated with incompatibility in mixed-morph...

Data from: Regional drivers of clutch loss reveal important trade-offs for beach-nesting birds

Brooke Maslo, Thomas A. Schlacher, Weston A. Michael, Chantal M. Huijbers, Chris Anderson, Ben L. Gilby, Andrew D. Olds, Rod M. Connolly, David S. Schoeman & Michael A. Weston
Coastal birds are critical ecosystem constituents on sandy shores, yet are threatened by depressed reproductive success resulting from direct and indirect anthropogenic and natural pressures. Few studies examine clutch fate across the wide range of environments experienced by birds; instead, most focus at the small site scale. We examine survival of model shorebird clutches as an index of true clutch survival at a regional scale (∼200 km), encompassing a variety of geomorphologies, predator communities, and...

Data from: Blue Carbon stocks of Great Barrier Reef deep-water seagrasses

Paul York, Peter I. Macreadie & Michael A. Rasheed
Shallow-water seagrasses capture and store globally-significant quantities of organic carbon (OC), often referred to as ‘Blue Carbon’; however, data is lacking on the importance of deep-water (>15 m) seagrasses as Blue Carbon sinks. We compared OC stocks from deep-, mid- and shallow-water seagrasses at Lizard Island within the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon. We found deep-water seagrasses (Halophila species) contained similar levels of OC as shallow-water species (e.g Halodule uninervis) (0.64 ± 0.08% and 0.9 ±...

Randomised trials in maternal and perinatal health in low- and middle-income countries from 2010 to 2019: A systematic scoping review

Alexander Eggleston, Annabel Richards, Elise Farrington, Wai Chung Tse, Jack Williams, Ayeshini Sella Hewage, Steve McDonald, Tari Turner & Joshua Vogel
Objectives: To identify and map all trials in maternal health conducted in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) over the 10-year period 2010-2019, to identify geographical and thematic trends, as well as compare to global causes of maternal death and pre-identified priority areas. Design: Systematic scoping review. Primary and secondary outcome measures: Extracted data included location, study characteristics and whether trials corresponded to causes of mortality and identified research priority topics. Results: Our search identified 7,269...

Consequences of information suppression in ecological and conservation sciences

Don Driscoll, Georgia Garrard, Alexander Kusmanoff, Steven Dovers, Martine Maron, Noel Preece, Bob Pressey & Euan Ritchie

Does varying the ingestion duration of sodium citrate influence blood alkalosis and gastrointestinal symptoms?

Charles Urwin
Objectives: To compare blood alkalosis, gastrointestinal symptoms and indicators of strong ion difference after ingestion of 500 mg.kg-1 BM sodium citrate over four different durations. Methods: Sixteen healthy and active participants ingested 500 mg.kg-1 BM sodium citrate in gelatine capsules over a 15, 30, 45 or 60 min period using a randomized cross-over experimental design. Gastrointestinal symptoms questionnaires and venous blood samples were collected before ingestion, immediately post-ingestion, and every 30 min for 480 min...

Explaining species diversity in a fractal world

Barbara Downes, Rebecca Lester, Georgia Dwyer, Stephen Rice, Caroline Lancaster, Lewis Slater & Courtney Cummings
We investigated emergent rock (ER) distributions from two sets of streams in SE Scotland and SE Australia. ER were counted and channel morphology noted in contiguous 5-m segments along the study lengths (685 - 1000 m of each stream). ER of the Scottish streams were originally surveyed by Lancaster et al. [2010] and the Australian streams were surveyed during the Austral summer (December - February) of 2016/17. ER were defined as any rock protruding above...

Data from: Environmental heterogeneity amplifies behavioural response to a temporal cycle

Alice M. Trevail, Jonathan A. Green, Jonathan Sharples, Jeff A. Polton, John P.Y. Arnould, Samantha C. Patrick & Jonathan P. Y. Arnould
Resource acquisition is integral to maximise fitness, however in many ecosystems this requires adaptation to resource abundance and distributions that seldom stay constant. For predators, prey availability can vary at fine spatial and temporal scales as a result of changes in the physical environment, and therefore selection should favour individuals that can adapt their foraging behaviour accordingly. The tidal cycle is a short, yet predictable, temporal cycle, which can influence prey availability at temporal scales...

Data from: Cost of reproduction in the Queensland fruit fly: Y-model vs. lethal protein hypothesis

Benjamin G. Fanson, Kerry V. Fanson & Phillip W. Taylor
The trade-off between lifespan and reproduction is commonly explained by differential allocation of limited resources. Recent research has shown that the ratio of protein to carbohydrate (P:C) of a fly's diet mediates the lifespan/reproduction trade-off, with higher P:C diets increasing egg production but decreasing lifespan. To test if this P:C effect is due to changing allocation strategies (Y-model hypothesis) or detrimental effects of protein ingestion on lifespan (lethal protein hypothesis), we measured lifespan and egg...

Data from: Reproductive success is energetically linked to foraging efficiency in Antarctic fur seals

Tiphaine Jeanniard-Du-Dot, Andrew W. Trites, John P.Y. Arnould, Christophe Guinet & John P. Y. Arnould
The efficiency with which individuals extract energy from their environment defines their survival and reproductive success, and thus their selective contribution to the population. Individuals that forage more efficiently (i.e., when energy gained exceeds energy expended) are likely to be more successful at raising viable offspring than individuals that forage less efficiently. Our goal was to test this prediction in large long-lived mammals under free-ranging conditions. To do so, we equipped 20 lactating Antarctic fur...

Data from: Optimal soil carbon sampling designs to achieve cost-effectiveness: a case study in blue carbon ecosystems

Mary A. Young, Peter I. Macreadie, Clare Duncan, Paul E. Carnell, Emily Nicholson, Oscar Serrano, Carlos M. Duarte, Glenn Shiell, Jeff Baldock & Daniel Ierodiaconou
Researchers are increasingly studying carbon (C) storage by natural ecosystems for climate mitigation, including coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems. Unfortunately, little guidance on how to achieve robust, cost-effective estimates of blue C stocks to inform inventories exists. We use existing data (492 cores) to develop recommendations on the sampling effort required to achieve robust estimates of blue C. Using a broad-scale, spatially explicit dataset from Victoria, Australia, we applied multiple spatial methods to provide guidelines for...

Data from: Body shrinkage due to Arctic warming reduces red knot fitness in tropical wintering range

Jan A. Van Gils, Simeon Lisovski, Tamar Lok, Włodzimierz Meissner, Agnieszka Ożarowska, Jimmy De Fouw, Eldar Rakhiemberdiev, Mikhail Y. Soloviev, Theunis Piersma & Marcel Klaassen
Reductions in body size are increasingly being identified as a response to climate warming. Here we present evidence for a case of such body shrinkage, potentially due to malnutrition in early life. We show that an avian long-distance migrant (red knot, Calidris canutus canutus), which is experiencing globally unrivaled warming rates at its high-Arctic breeding grounds, produces smaller offspring with shorter bills during summers with early snowmelt. This has consequences half a world away at...

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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