56 Works

Climate influences the value of a plant structural defence against browsing

Christopher H. Lusk, Susan K. Wiser & Daniel C. Laughlin
The circumstances that select for plant anti-herbivore defences are not well understood. In New Zealand, the “divaricate” cage-like architecture of many woody plants may have arisen as a defence against avian browsing; it also has some ability to deter browsing by introduced deer. Its prominence on alluvial soils in frosty and droughty areas led us to hypothesize that structural defences are of most value where fertile soils coincide with climatic constraints that prevent plants from...

Data from: Megaphylogeny resolves global patterns of mushroom evolution

Torda Varga, Krisztina Krizsán, Csenge Földi, Bálint Dima, Marisol Sánchez-García, Santiago Sánchez-Ramírez, Gergely J. Szöllősi, János G. Szarkándi, Viktor Papp, László Albert, William Andreopoulos, Claudio Angelini, Vladimír Antonín, Kerrie W. Barry, Neale L. Bougher, Peter Buchanan, Bart Buyck, Viktória Bense, Pam Catcheside, Mansi Chovatia, Jerry Cooper, Wolfgang Dämon, Dennis Desjardin, Péter Finy, József Geml … & László G. Nagy
Mushroom-forming fungi (Agaricomycetes) have the greatest morphological diversity and complexity of any group of fungi. They have radiated into most niches and fulfill diverse roles in the ecosystem, including wood decomposers, pathogens or mycorrhizal mutualists. Despite the importance of mushroom-forming fungi, large-scale patterns of their evolutionary history are poorly known, in part due to the lack of a comprehensive and dated molecular phylogeny. Here, using multigene and genome-based data, we assemble a 5,284-species phylogenetic tree...

Data from: Creating new evolutionary pathways through bio-invasion: the population genetics of brushtail possums in New Zealand

Stephen D. Sarre, Nicola Aitken, Aaron T. Adamack, Anna J. MacDonald, Bernd Gruber & Phil Cowan
Rapid increases in global trade and human movement have created novel mixtures of organisms bringing with them the potential to rapidly accelerate the evolution of new forms. The common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), introduced into New Zealand from Australia in the 19th Century, is one such species having been sourced from multiple populations in its native range. Here, we combine microsatellite DNA and GIS-based spatial data to show that T.vulpecula originating from at least two...

Data from: Concerted versus independent evolution and the search for multiple refugia: comparative phylogeography of four forest beetles

Katharine Ann Marske, Richard A. B. Leschen & Thomas R. Buckley
Phylogeographic structure and its underlying causes are not necessarily shared among community members, with important implications for using individual organisms as indicators for ecosystem evolution, such as the identification of forest refugia. We used mitochondrial DNA (COI), Bayesian coalescent ancestral state reconstruction (implemented in BEAST) and ecological niche models (ENMs) to construct geo-spatial histories for four co-distributed New Zealand forest beetles (Leiodidae, Nitidulidae, Staphylinidae, Zopheridae) to examine the extent to which they have tracked environmental...

Data from: Species radiation by niche shifts in New Zealand’s rockcresses (Pachycladon, Brassicaceae)

Simon Joly, Peter B. Hennan & Peter J. Lockhart
Adaptive radiations such as the Darwin finches in the Galapagos or the cichlid fishes from the Eastern African Great Lakes have been a constant source of inspiration for biologists and a stimulus for evolutionary thinking. A central concept behind adaptive radiation is that of evolution by niche shifts, or ecological speciation. Evidence for adaptive radiations generally requires a strong correlation between phenotypic traits and the environment. But adaptive traits are often cryptic, hence making this...

Data from: Spatial heterogeneity of plant-soil feedbacks increases per capita reproductive biomass of species at an establishment disadvantage

Jean H. Burns, Angela J. Brandt, Jennifer E. Murphy, Angela M. Kaczowka & David J. Burke
Plant–soil feedbacks have been widely implicated as a driver of plant community diversity, and the coexistence prediction generated by a negative plant–soil feedback can be tested using the mutual invasibility criterion: if two populations are able to invade one another, this result is consistent with stable coexistence. We previously showed that two co-occurring Rumex species exhibit negative pairwise plant–soil feedbacks, predicting that plant–soil feedbacks could lead to their coexistence. However, whether plants are able to...

Data from: Glyphosate redirects wetland vegetation trajectory following willow invasion

Olivia R. Burge, Kerry A. Bodmin, Beverley R. Clarkson, Scott Bartlam, Corinne H. Watts & Chris C. Tanner
Aims: Aerially applied glyphosate is an economic tool to deal with large areas of invasive plants. However, there are few studies investigating non-target effects or rates of reinvasion, particularly over multi-year timeframes. The aims were to evaluate the effectiveness of aerial application of glyphosate for control of dense stands of the invasive grey willow Salix cinerea, and determine the vegetation trajectory over the subsequent two years. Location: Whangamarino Wetland, Waikato, New Zealand. Methods: A before-after...

A spatially explicit model to simulate the population dynamics of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar)

Mandy C. Barron, Andrew M. Liebhold, John M. Kean, Brian Richardson & Eckehard G. Brockerhoff
Removal of host plants is a 'tool' that can be used for the eradication of invasive alien plant pests. We developed a spatially explicit agent-based population model to simulate the population dynamics of the European strain of gypsy moth, Lymantria dispar, based on Robinet et al. (2008 - Journal of Animal Ecology 77, 966–973. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2656.2008.01417.x). The model was coded in the R language (R Core Team, 2017) and is deposited in this Dryad record. A...

Data from: Habitat filtering determines the functional niche occupancy of plant communities worldwide

Yuanzhi Li, Bill Shipley, Jodi N. Price, Vinícius De L. Dantas, Riin Tamme, Mark Westoby, Andrew Siefert, Brandon S. Schamp, Marko J. Spasojevic, Vincent Jung, Daniel C. Laughlin, Sarah J. Richardson, Yoann Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Christian Schöb, Antonio Gazol, Honor C. Prentice, Nicolas Gross, Jacob Overton, Marcus V. Cianciaruso, Frédérique Louault, Chiho Kamiyama, Tohru Nakashizuka, Kouki Hikosaka, Takehiro Sasaki, Masatoshi Katabuchi … & Marco A. Batalha
How the patterns of niche occupancy vary from species-poor to species-rich communities is a fundamental question in ecology that has a central bearing on the processes that drive patterns of biodiversity. As species richness increases, habitat filtering should constrain the expansion of total niche volume, while limiting similarity should restrict the degree of niche overlap between species. Here, by explicitly incorporating intraspecific trait variability, we investigate the relationship between functional niche occupancy and species richness...

Data from: Analysis of the genome of the New Zealand giant collembolan (Holacanthella duospinosa) sheds light on hexapod evolution

Chen Wu, Melissa D. Jordan, Richard D. Newcomb, Neil J. Gemmell, Sarah Bank, Karen Meusemann, Peter K. Dearden, Elizabeth J. Duncan, Sefanie Grosser, Kim Rutherford, Paul P. Gardner, Ross N. Crowhurst, Bernd Steinwender, Leah K. Tooman, Mark I. Stevens & Thomas R. Buckley
Background: The New Zealand collembolan genus Holacanthella contains the largest species of springtails (Collembola) in the world. Using Illumina technology we have sequenced and assembled a draft genome and transcriptome from Holacanthella duospinosa (Salmon). We have used this annotated assembly to investigate the genetic basis of a range of traits critical to the evolution of the Hexapoda, the phylogenetic position of H. duospinosa and potential horizontal gene transfer events. Results: Our genome assembly was ~375...

Supporting data from: The distribution of leaf form among indigenous woody angiosperms in New Zealand

Tammo Reichgelt & William Lee
New Zealand’s woody indigenous eudicot flora comprises a variety of leaf shapes and features and occupies environments extending from subtropical to cold temperate climates. We used a dataset of over 300,000 occurrences of 557 indigenous woody eudicot species to investigate patterns and trends in the occurrence of six leaf features (leaf pubescence, leaf margin teeth, leaf size, leaf apex and base shape, and leaf length to width ratio) along critical climate gradients. Major climate variables...

Data from: Severity of impacts of an introduced species corresponds with regional eco-evolutionary experience

Kimberley T. Davis, Ragan M. Callaway, Alex Fajardo, Anibal Pauchard, Martin A Nunez, Rob W Brooker, Bruce D. Maxwell, Romina D Dimarco, Duane A Peltzer, Bill Mason, Seppo Ruotsalainen, Anne C S McIntosh, Robin J Pakeman, Alyssa Laney Smith & Michael Gundale
Invasive plant impacts vary widely across introduced ranges. We tested the hypothesis that differences in the eco-evolutionary experience of native communities with the invader correspond with the impacts of invasive species on native vegetation, with impacts increasing with ecological novelty. We compared plant species richness and composition beneath Pinus contorta to that in adjacent vegetation and other P. contorta stands across a network of sites in its native (Canada and USA) and non-native (Argentina, Chile,...

Does ant-plant mutualism have spillover effects on the non-partner ant community?

Marion Donald & Tom EX Miller
Mutualism benefits partner species and theory predicts these partnerships can affect the abundance, diversity, and composition of partner and non-partner species. We used 16 years of monitoring data to determine the ant partner species of tree cholla cacti (Cylindriopuntia imbricata), which reward ants with extrafloral nectar in exchange for anti-herbivore defense. This long-term data revealed one dominant ant partner (Liometopum apiculatum) and two less common partners (Crematogaster opuntiae and Forelius pruinosus. We then used short-term...

Moths and butterflies on alien shores – global biogeography of non-native Lepidoptera

Richard Mally, Rebecca M. Turner, Rachael E. Blake, Gyda Fenn-Moltu, Cleo Bertelsmeier, Eckehard G. Brockerhoff, Robert J. B. Hoare, Helen F. Nahrung, Alain Roques, Deepa S. Pureswaran, Takehiko Yamanaka & Andrew M. Liebhold
Lepidoptera is a highly diverse, predominantly herbivorous insect order, with species transported to outside their native range largely facilitated by the global trade of plants and plant-based goods. Analogous to island disharmony, we examine invasion disharmony, where species filtering during invasions increases systematic compositional differences between native and non-native species assemblages, and test whether some families are more successful at establishing in non-native regions than others. We compared numbers of non-native, unintentionally introduced Lepidoptera species...

Data for: Social learning in a nocturnal marsupial: Is it a possum-ability?

Emma Godfrey, Elissa Cameron & Graham Hickling
Social learning can reduce the costs associated with trial-and-error learning. There is speculation that social learning could contribute to trap and bait avoidance in invasive species like the Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) – a marsupial for which social learning has not previously been investigated. In large outdoor pens, we presented wild-caught ‘demonstrator’ possums with puzzle devices containing an attractive food reward; 2 of 8 demonstrators accessed the reward the first night the puzzle was...

Resilience of a tropical montane pine forest to fire and severe droughts

Daniel Swann, Peter Bellingham & Patrick Martin
1. Higher temperatures, declining precipitation, changing cloud cover, and increased wildfires threaten tropical montane pine forests by overriding the environmental heterogeneity that typically buffers these systems from catastrophic fires. Severe fires threaten to overwhelm forest resilience and tip this biome into alternate vegetation states. 2. This study focused on long-term dynamics of montane Pinus occidentalis forests in the Cordillera Central, Dominican Republic, after a ~1000 km2 fire in 2005, the largest since 1965. We used...

Data from: Systematics and ecology of the Australasian genus Empodisma (Restionaceae) and description of a new species from peatlands in northern New Zealand

Steven J. Wagstaff, Beverly R. Clarkson & Beverly Clarkson
The genus Empodisma comprises two species that are ecologically important in wetland habitats. Empodisma gracillimum is restricted to south-western Australia, whereas Empodisma minus is found in Tasmania, eastern Australia and New Zealand. We sequenced three cpDNA genes for 15 individuals of Empodisma sampled from throughout the range of the species. The results support an Australian origin for Empodisma sometime during the late Oligocene to early Miocene with more recent dispersal, colonization and diversification in New...

Data from: Soil-mediated effects of invasive ungulates on native tree seedlings

Paul Kardol, Ian A. Dickie, Mark G. St. John, Sean W. Husheer, Karen I. Bonner, Peter J. Bellingham & David A. Wardle
1. Invasive browsing ungulates can have strong impacts on the structure and composition of forest ecosystems, particularly where ungulates are not native ecosystem components as in New Zealand. Ungulate impacts on plant communities have been considered mostly from an above-ground perspective. However, understanding below-ground effects of these invasive herbivores is critical as they may drive feedbacks to above-ground ecosystem components. 2. We measured growth responses of seedlings of five common tree species in a greenhouse...

Data from: Parallel molecular routes to cold adaptation in eight genera of New Zealand stick insects

Alice B. Dennis, Luke T. Dunning, Brent J. Sinclair & Thomas R. Buckley
The acquisition of physiological strategies to tolerate novel thermal conditions allows organisms to exploit new environments. As a result, thermal tolerance is a key determinant of the global distribution of biodiversity, yet the constraints on its evolution are not well understood. Here we investigate parallel evolution of cold tolerance in New Zealand stick insects, an endemic radiation containing three montane-occurring species. Using a phylogeny constructed from 274 orthologous genes, we show that stick insects have...

Data from: Cost-effective large-scale occupancy–abundance monitoring of invasive brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) on New Zealand’s Public Conservation Land

Andrew M. Gormley, David M. Forsyth, Elaine F. Wright, John Lyall, Mike Elliott, Mark Martini, Benno Kappers, Mike Perry & Meredith McKay
There is interest in large-scale and unbiased monitoring of biodiversity status and trend, but there are few published examples of such monitoring being implemented. The New Zealand Department of Conservation is implementing a monitoring program that involves sampling selected biota at the vertices of an 8-km grid superimposed over the 8.6 million hectares of public conservation land that it manages. The introduced brushtail possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula) is a major threat to some biota and is...

Data from: Novel interactions between non-native mammals and fungi facilitate establishment of invasive pines

Jamie R. Wood, Ian A. Dickie, Holly V. Moeller, Duane A. Peltzer, Karen I. Bonner, Gaye Rattray & Janet M. Wilmshurst
1. The role of novel ecological interactions between mammals, fungi and plants in invaded ecosystems remains unresolved, but may play a key role in the widespread successful invasion of pines and their ectomycorrhizal fungal associates, even where mammal faunas originate from different continents to trees and fungi as in New Zealand. 2. We examine the role of novel mammal associations in dispersal of ectomycorrhizal fungal inoculum of North American pines (Pinus contorta, Pseudotsuga menziesii), and...

Data from: De novo transcriptome analysis of the common New Zealand stick insect Clitarchus hookeri (Phasmatodea) reveals genes involved in olfaction, digestion and sexual reproduction

Chen Wu, Ross N Crowhurst, Alice B. Dennis, Victoria G. Twort, Shanlin Liu, Richard D. Newcomb, Howard A. Ross & Thomas R. Buckley
Phasmatodea, more commonly known as stick insects, have been poorly studied at the molecular level for several key traits, such as components of the sensory system and regulators of reproduction and development, impeding a deeper understanding of their functional biology. Here, we employ de novo transcriptome analysis to identify genes with primary functions related to female odour reception, digestion, and male sexual traits in the New Zealand common stick insect Clitarchus hookeri (White). The female...

Data from: The Trojan Female Technique for pest control: a candidate mitochondrial mutation confers low male fertility across diverse nuclear backgrounds in Drosophila melanogaster

Damian K. Dowling, Daniel M. Tompkins & Neil J. Gemmell
Pest species represent a major ongoing threat to global biodiversity. Effective management approaches are required that regulate pest numbers, while minimizing collateral damage to nontarget species. The Trojan Female Technique (TFT) was recently proposed as a prospective approach to biological pest control. The TFT draws on the evolutionary hypothesis that maternally inherited mitochondrial genomes are prone to the accumulation of male, but not female, harming mutations. These mutations could be harnessed to provide trans-generational fertility-based...

Data from: Differences in endophyte communities of introduced trees depend on the phylogenetic relatedness of the receiving forest

Michael J. Gundale, Juan P. Almeida, Håkan Wallander, David A. Wardle, Paul Kardol, Marie-Charlotte Nilsson Hegethorn, Alex Fajardo, Anibal Pauchard, Duane A. Peltzer, Seppo Ruotsalainen, Bill Mason, Nicholas Rosenstock & Marie-Charlotte Nilsson
Plant species sometimes perform extraordinarily well when introduced to new environments, through achieving higher growth rates, individual biomasses or higher densities in their receiving communities compared to their native range communities. One hypothesis proposed to explain enhanced performance in species’ new environments is that their soil microbial communities may be different and provide greater benefit than microbial communities encountered in species’ native environments. However, detailed descriptions of soil biota associated with species in both their...

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