153 Works

The role of boundary length and adjacent patch contrast in guppy mate choice: Dataset, Matlab and R codes

Adelaide Sibeaux, Thomas Camduras & John A. Endler
The presence of various combinations of adjacent colours within polymorphic species’ colour pattern could have a major impact on mate choice. We studied the role of pattern geometry in predicting mate choice in guppies using boundary strength analysis (BSA). BSA estimates the visual contrast intensity between two adjacent colour patches (ΔS) weighted by the lengths of the boundaries between these adjacent colour patches. We measured both the chromatic (hue and saturation) and achromatic (luminance) ΔS...

Data from: Optimising sample sizes for animal distribution analysis using tracking data

Takahiro Shimada, Michele Thums, Mark Hamann, Colin Limpus, Graeme Hays, Nancy FitzSimmons, Natalie Wildermann, Carlos Duarte & Mark Meekan
1. Knowledge of the spatial distribution of populations is fundamental to management plans for any species. When tracking data are used to describe distributions, it is sometimes assumed that the reported locations of individuals delineate the spatial extent of areas used by the target population. 2. Here, we examine existing approaches to validate this assumption, highlight caveats, and propose a new method for a more informative assessment of the number of tracked animals (i.e. sample...

A blueprint for securing Brazil's marine biodiversity and supporting the achievement of global conservation goals

Rafael A. Magris, Micheli D. P. Costa, Carlos E. L. Ferreira, Ciro C. Vilar, Jean-Christophe Joyeux, Joel C. Creed, Margareth S. Copertino, Paulo Horta, Paulo Y. G. Sumida, Ronaldo Francini-Filho & Sergio R. Floeter
Aim: As a step towards providing support for an ecological approach to strengthening marine protected areas (MPAs) and meeting international commitments, this study combines cumulative impact assessment and conservation planning approach to undertake a large-scale spatial prioritisation. Location: Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Brazil, Southwest Atlantic Ocean Methods: We developed a prioritisation approach to protecting different habitat types, threatened species ranges, and ecological connectivity, while also mitigating the impacts of multiple threats on biodiversity. When...

Far Eastern Curlew and Whimbrel prefer flying low: wind support and good visibility appear only secondary factors in determining migratory flight altitude

Batbayar Galtbalt, Amanda Lilleyman, Jonathan T Coleman, Chuyu Cheng, Zhijun Ma, Danny I Rogers, Bradley K Woodworth, Richard A Fuller, Stephen T Garnett & Marcel Klaassen
Background: In-flight conditions are hypothesized to influence the timing and success of long-distance migration. Wind assistance and thermal uplift are thought to reduce the energetic costs of flight, humidity, air pressure and temperature may affect the migrants’ water balance, and clouds may impede navigation. Recent advances in animal-borne long-distance tracking enable evaluating the importance of these factors in determining animals’ flight altitude. Methods: Here we determine the effects of wind, humidity, temperature, cloud cover, and...

Do epigenetic changes drive corticosterone responses to alarm cues in larvae of an invasive amphibian?

Roshmi Sarma, Richard Edwards, Ondi Crino, Harrison Eyck, Paul Waters, Michael Crossland, Richard Shine & Lee Rollins
The developmental environment can exert powerful effects on animal phenotype. Recently epigenetic modifications have emerged as one mechanism that can modulate developmentally plastic responses to environmental variability. For example, the DNA methylation profile at promoters of hormone receptor genes can affect their expression and patterns of hormone release. Across taxonomic groups, epigenetic alterations have been linked to changes in glucocorticoid (GC) physiology. GCs are metabolic hormones that influence growth, development, transitions between life-history stages, and...

A Bayesian optimal escape model reveals bird species differ in their capacity to habituate to humans

Nicholas Sutton, Michael Weston, Patrick Guay, Jenna Tregoweth & James O'Dwyer
The capacity to habituate to, or tolerate, the close proximity of humans varies among wildlife species and may mediate population and species viability. Some species readily habituate to human proximity while others remain sensitive. These differences are important for predicting human impact on wildlife, but can be difficult to quantify given wildlife responses are highly idiosyncratic and are often context-dependent. A general method for assimilating multiple sources of information and variation in individual responses is...

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...

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: 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: Citizen science program shows urban areas have lower occurrence of frog species, but not accelerated declines

Martin J. Westgate, Ben C. Scheele, Karen Ikin, Anke Maria Hoefer, R. Matthew Beaty, Murray Evans, Will Osborne, David Hunter, Laura Rayner & Don A. Driscoll
Understanding the influence of landscape change on animal populations is critical to inform biodiversity conservation efforts. A particularly important goal is to understand how urban density affects the persistence of animal populations through time, and how these impacts can be mediated by habitat provision; but data on this question are limited for some taxa. Here, we use data from a citizen science monitoring program to investigate the effect of urbanization on patterns of frog species...

Data from: The influence of herbivores on primary producers can vary spatially and interact with disturbance

Paul E. Carnell & Michael J. Keough
Identifying the major drivers of ecosystem change remains a central area of ecological research. Although top–down drivers of change have received particular focus, we still have little understanding of how consistently these factors control an ecosystem's shift in both directions, between different ecosystem states. Using a crossed experiment in a shallow embayment in southeastern Australia, we investigated the roles of disturbance (kelp removal) and sea urchin herbivory (via increased density) to determine their contributions to...

Data from: The bright incubate at night: sexual dichromatism and adaptive incubation division in an open-nesting shorebird

Kasun B. Ekanayake, Michael A. Weston, Dale G. Nimmo, Grainne S. Maguire, John A. Endler & Clemens Kupper
Ornamentation of parents poses a high risk for offspring because it reduces cryptic nest defence. Over a century ago, Wallace proposed that sexual dichromatism enhances crypsis of open-nesting females although subsequent studies found that dichromatism per se is not necessarily adaptive. We tested whether reduced female ornamentation in a sexually dichromatic species reduces the risk of clutch depredation and leads to adaptive parental roles in the red-capped plover Charadrius ruficapillus, a species with biparental incubation....

Data from: Exploring mechanisms and origins of reduced dispersal in island Komodo dragons

Tim S. Jessop, Achmad Arieifandy, Deni Purwandana, Claudio Ciofi, Jeri Imansyah, Yunias Jackson Benu, Damien A. Fordham, David M. Forsyth, Raoul A. Mulder, Benjamin L. Phillips & Achmad Ariefiandy
Loss of dispersal typifies island biotas, but the selective processes driving this phenomenon remain contentious. This is because selection via, both indirect (e.g. relaxed selection or island syndromes) and direct (e.g. natural selection or spatial sorting) processes may be involved, and no study has yet convincingly distinguished between these alternatives. Here we combined observational and experimental analyses of an island lizard, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis, the world’s largest lizard), to provide evidence for the...

Data from: A bust but no boom: responses of floodplain bird assemblages during and after prolonged drought

Katherine E. Selwood, Rohan H. Clarke, Shaun C. Cunningham, Hania Lada, Melodie A. McGeoch & Ralph Mac Nally
1. Climate change alters the frequency and severity of extreme events, such as drought. Such events will be increasingly important in shaping communities as climate change intensifies. The ability of species to withstand extreme events (resistance) and to recover once adverse conditions abate (resilience) will determine their persistence. 2. We estimated the resistance and resilience of bird species during and after a 13-year drought (the ‘Big Dry’) in floodplain forests in south-eastern Australia. 3. We...

Data from: Juveniles and migrants as drivers for seasonal epizootics of avian influenza virus

Jacintha G. B. Van Dijk, Bethany J. Hoye, Josanne H. Verhagen, Bart A. Nolet, Ron A. M. Fouchier & Marcel Klaassen
1. Similar to other infectious diseases, the prevalence of low pathogenic avian influenza viruses (LPAIV) has been seen to exhibit marked seasonal variation. However, mechanisms driving this variation in wild birds have yet to be tested. We investigated the validity of three previously suggested drivers for the seasonal dynamics in LPAIV infections in wild birds: (1) host density, (2) immunologically-naïve young, and (3) increased susceptibility in migrants. 2. To address these questions, we sampled a...

Data from: Colour change on different body regions provides thermal and signalling advantages in bearded dragon lizards

Kathleeen R. Smith, Viviana Cadena, John A. Endler, Warren P. Porter, Michael R. Kearney, Devi Stuart-Fox & Kathleen R. Smith
Many terrestrial ectotherms are capable of rapid colour change, yet it is unclear how these animals accommodate the multiple functions of colour, particularly camouflage, communication and thermoregulation, especially when functions require very different colours. Thermal benefits of colour change depend on an animal's absorptance of solar energy in both UV–visible (300–700 nm) and near-infrared (NIR; 700–2600 nm) wavelengths, yet colour research has focused almost exclusively on the former. Here, we show that wild-caught bearded dragon...

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: Mating success and body condition not related to foraging specializations in male fur seals

Laëtitia Kernaléguen, Yves Cherel, Christophe Guinet & John Arnould
Individual specialization is widespread among wild populations. While its fitness consequences are central in predicting the ecological and evolutionary trajectories of populations, they remain poorly understood. Long-term individual foraging specializations occur in male Antarctic (Arctocephalus gazella) and Australian (A. pusillus doriferus) fur seals. Strong selective pressure is expected in these highly dimorphic and polygynous species, raising the question of the fitness payoffs associated with different foraging strategies. We investigated the relationship between individual isotopic niche...

Data from: Environmental and genetic control of brain and song structure in the zebra finch

Joseph Luke Woodgate, Katherine L. Buchanan, Andrew T. D. Bennett, Clive K. Catchpole, Roswitha Brighton, Stefan Leitner & Andrew T.D. Bennett
Birdsong is a classic example of a learned trait with cultural inheritance, with selection acting on trait expression. To understand how song responds to selection, it is vital to determine the extent to which variation in song learning and neuroanatomy is attributable to genetic variation, environmental conditions, or their interactions. Using a partial cross fostering design with an experimental stressor, we quantified the heritability of song structure and key brain nuclei in the song control...

Data from: Change in male colouration associated with artificial selection on foraging colour preference

Gemma L. Cole & John A. Endler
Sensory drive proposes that natural selection on non‐mating behaviours (e.g. foraging preferences) alters sensory system properties and results in a correlated effect on mating preferences and subsequently sexual traits. In colour‐based systems, we can test this by selecting on non‐mating colour preferences and testing for responses in colour‐based female preferences and male sexual colouration. In guppies (Poecilia reticulata), individual functional links of sensory drive have been demonstrated providing an opportunity to test the process over...

Data from: Introgression of domesticated alleles into a wild trout genotype and the impact on seasonal survival in natural lakes

Wendy Vandersteen, Peter Biro, Les Harris & Robert Devlin
We tested the fitness consequences of introgression of fast-growing domesticated fish into a wild population. Fry from wild and domesticated rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) crosses, F1 hybrids, and first- and second-generation backcrosses were released into two natural lakes. Parentage analysis using microsatellite loci facilitated the identification of survivors so fitness was estimated in nature from the first-feeding stage. Results indicated that under certain conditions domesticated fish survived at least as well as wild fish within...

Data from: Boundary strength analysis: combining colour pattern geometry and coloured patch visual properties for use in predicting behaviour and fitness

John A. Endler, Gemma L. Cole & Alexandrea M. Kranz
1.Colour patterns are used by many species to make decisions that ultimately affect their Darwinian fitness. Colour patterns consist of a mosaic of patches that differ in geometry and visual properties. Although traditionally pattern geometry and colour patch visual properties are analysed separately, these components are likely to work together as a functional unit. Despite this, the combined effect of patch visual properties, patch geometry, and the effects of the patch boundaries on animal visual...

Data from: From cryptic to colourful: evolutionary decoupling of larval and adult colour in butterflies

Iliana Medina, Regina Vega-Trejo, Thomas Wallenius, Matthew Symonds & Devi Stuart-Fox
Many animals undergo complete metamorphosis, where larval forms change abruptly in adulthood. Colour change during ontogeny is common, but there is little understanding of evolutionary patterns in these changes. Here we use data on larval and adult colour for 246 butterfly species (61% of all species in Australia) to test whether the evolution of colour is coupled between life stages. We show that adults are more variable in colour across species than caterpillars and that...

Foraging niche overlap during chick-rearing in the sexually dimorphic Westland petrel

Timothee Poupart, Susan Waugh, Akiko Kato & John Arnould
Most Procellariform seabirds are pelagic, breed in summer when prey availability peaks, and migrate for winter. They also display a dual foraging strategy (short and long trips) and sex-specific foraging. The Westland petrel Procellaria westlandica, a New Zealand endemic, is one of the rare seabirds breeding in winter. Preliminary findings on this large and sexually-dimorphic petrel suggest a foraging with no evidence of a dual strategy, within a narrow range and with shared areas between...

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