22 Works

Speciation in the abyss - genomics and morphology reveal a new species of beaked whale

Emma L. Carroll, Michael R. McGowen, Morgan L. McCarthy, Felix G. Marx, Natacha Aguilar De Soto, Merel L. Dalebout, Sascha Dreyer, Oscar E. Gaggiotti, Sabine S. Hansen, Anton Van Helden, Aubrie B. Onoufriou, Robin W. Baird, C. Scott Baker, Simon Berrow, Danielle Cholewiak, Diane Claridge, Rochelle Constantine, Nicholas J. Davison, Catarina Eira, R. Ewan Fordyce, John Gatesy, G. J. Greg Hofmeyr, Vidal Martin, James G. Mead, Antonio A. Mignucci-Giannoni … & Morten T. Olsen
Earth’s deep oceans remains less well understood than the surface of Mars. Beaked whales (ziphiids) are among the most visible inhabitants of the abyss, due to their large size and worldwide distribution, yet their diversity and ecology remain obscure. We combine genomic and morphometric analyses to reveal a new Southern Hemisphere ziphiid species, Ramari’s beaked whale, Mesoplodon eueu, whose name is linked to the Indigenous people of the lands from which the species holotype and...

Data from: Severe inbreeding depression and no evidence of purging in an extremely inbred wild species - the Chatham Island black robin

Euan S. Kennedy, Catherine E. Grueber, Richard P. Duncan & Ian G. Jamieson
Although evidence of inbreeding depression in wild populations is well established, the impact of genetic purging in the wild remains controversial. The contrasting effects of inbreeding depression, fixation of deleterious alleles by genetic drift and the purging of deleterious alleles via natural selection mean that predicting fitness outcomes in populations subjected to prolonged bottlenecks is not straightforward. We report results from a long-term pedigree study of arguably the world's most inbred wild species of bird:...

Data from: Genetic consequences of a century of protection: serial founder events and survival of the little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii)

Kristina M. Ramstad, Rogan M. Colbourne, Hugh A. Robertson, Fred W. Allendorf & Charles H. Daugherty
We present the outcome of a century of post-bottleneck isolation of a long-lived species, the little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii, LSK) and demonstrate that profound genetic consequences can result from protecting few individuals in isolation. LSK were saved from extinction by translocation of five birds from South Island, New Zealand to Kapiti Island 100 years ago. The Kapiti population now numbers some 1200 birds and provides founders for new populations. We used 15 microsatellite loci...

Data from: Designing monitoring protocols to measure population trends of threatened insects: a case study of the cryptic, flightless grasshopper Brachaspis robustus

Jennifer C. Schori, Tammy E. Steeves & Tara J. Murray
Statistically robust monitoring of threatened populations is essential for effective conservation management because the population trend data that monitoring generates is often used to make decisions about when and how to take action. Despite representing the highest proportion of threatened animals globally, the development of best practice methods for monitoring populations of threatened insects is relatively uncommon. Traditionally, population trend data for the Nationally Endangered New Zealand grasshopper Brachaspis robustus has been determined by counting...

Data from: Analyses of phenotypic differentiations among South Georgian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus) populations reveal an undescribed and highly endangered species from New Zealand

Johannes H. Fischer, Igor Debski, Colin M. Miskelly, Charles A. Bost, Aymeric Fromant, Alan J. D. Tennyson, Jake Tessler, Rosalind Cole, Johanna H. Hiscock, Graeme A. Taylor & Heiko U. Wittmer
Unresolved taxonomy of threatened species is problematic for conservation as the field relies on species being distinct taxonomic units. Differences in breeding habitat and results from a preliminary molecular analysis indicated that the New Zealand population of the South Georgian Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides georgicus) was a distinct, yet undescribed, species. We measured 11 biometric characters and scored eight plumage characters in 143 live birds and 64 study skins originating from most populations of P. georgicus,...

Data from: Low spatial genetic differentiation associated with rapid recolonization in the New Zealand fur seal Arctocephalus forsteri

Nicolas Dussex, Bruce C. Robertson, Alexander T. Salis, Aleksandr Kalinin, Hugh Best & Neil J. Gemmell
Population declines resulting from anthropogenic activities are of major consequence for the long-term survival of species because the resulting loss of genetic diversity can lead to extinction via the effects of inbreeding depression, fixation of deleterious mutations, and loss of adaptive potential. Otariid pinnipeds have been exploited commercially to near extinction with some species showing higher demographic resilience and recolonization potential than others. The New Zealand fur seal (NZFS) was heavily impacted by commercial sealing...

Data from: The evolutionary root of flowering plants

Vadim V. Goremykin, Svetlana V. Nikiforova, Patrick J. Biggs, Bojian Zhong, Peter DeLange, William Martin, Stefan Woetzel, Robin A. Atherton, Patricia McLenachan, Peter James Lockhart & Patricia A. Mclenachan
Correct rooting of the angiosperm radiation is both challenging and necessary for understanding the origins and evolution of physiological and phenotypic traits in flowering plants. The problem is known to be difficult due to the large genetic distance separating flowering plants from other seed plants and the sparse taxon sampling among basal angiosperms. Here we provide further evidence for concern over substitution model misspecification in analyses of chloroplast DNA sequences. We show that support for...

Persisting in a glaciated landscape: Pleistocene microrefugia evidenced by the tree wētā Hemideina maori in central South Island, New Zealand

Keith King, Debbie Lewis, Jonathan Waters & Graham Wallis
Aim: Repeated cycles of Pleistocene glaciation have influenced phylogeographic structure of taxa on New Zealand’s South Island. Many taxa became restricted to refugia at either end of the island during glaciation, resulting in an area of low endemicity in central South Island. This area of low endemism is typified by the so-called beech (or biotic) gap, where the absence of Nothofagus forest (and many other plant and invertebrate taxa) has been attributed to repeated glaciation....

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: Heterozygote advantage at MHC DRB may influence response to infectious disease epizootics

Amy J. Osborne, John Pearson, Sandra S. Negro, B. Louise Chilvers, Martin A. Kennedy & Neil J. Gemmell
The effect of MHC polymorphism on individual fitness variation in the wild remains equivocal; however, much evidence suggests that heterozygote advantage is a major determinant. To understand the contribution of MHC polymorphism to individual disease resistance or susceptibility in natural populations, we investigated two MHC class II B loci, DQB and DRB, in the New Zealand sea lion (NZSL, Phocarctos hookeri). The NZSL is a threatened species which is unusually susceptible to death by bacterial...

Data from: Evidence for Bergmann's rule and not allopatric subspeciation in the threatened kaka (Nestor meridionalis)

Nic Dussex, James Sainsbury, Ron Moorhouse, Ian G. Jamieson & Bruce C. Robertson
Species of conservation concern characterized by small and declining populations greatly benefit from proactive management approaches such as population translocations. Because they often show intra-specific genetic and phenotypic variation, which can result from drift or differential selective pressures between habitats, understanding the distribution of such variation and its underlying processes is a prerequisite to develop effective management guidelines. Indeed, translocations among genetically differentiated populations potentially locally adapted are discouraged in order to avoid outbreeding depression,...

Data from: Cryptic inbreeding depression in a growing population of a long-lived species

Helen R. Taylor, Rogan M. Colbourne, Hugh A. Robertson, Nicola J. Nelson, Fred W. Allendorf & Kristina M. Ramstad
Genetic effects are often overlooked in endangered species monitoring, and populations showing positive growth are often assumed to be secure. However, the continued reproductive success of a few individuals may mask issues such as inbreeding depression, especially in long-lived species. Here, we test for inbreeding depression in little spotted kiwi (Apteryx owenii) by comparing a population founded with two birds to one founded with 40 birds, both from the same source population and both showing...

Data from: Spending limited resources on de-extinction could lead to net biodiversity loss

Joseph R. Bennett, Richard F. Maloney, Tammy E. Steeves, James Brazill-Boast, Hugh P. Possingham & Phillip J. Seddon
There is contentious debate surrounding the merits of de-extinction as a biodiversity conservation tool. Here, we use extant analogues to predict conservation actions for potential de-extinction candidate species from New Zealand and the Australian state of New South Wales, and use a prioritization protocol to predict the impacts of reintroducing and maintaining populations of these species on conservation of extant threatened species. Even using the optimistic assumptions that resurrection of species is externally sponsored, and...

A framework for mapping the distribution of seabirds by integrating tracking, demography and phenology

Ana P. B. Carneiro, Elizabeth J. Pearmain, Steffen Oppel, Thomas A. Clay, Richard A. Phillips, Anne-Sophie Bonnet-Lebrun, Ross M. Wanless, Edward Abraham, Yvan Richard, Joel Rice, Jonathan Handley, Tammy E. Davies, Ben J. Dilley, Peter G. Ryan, Cleo Small, Javier Arata, John P. Y. Arnould, Elizabeth Bell, Leandro Bugoni, Letizia Campioni, Paulo Catry, Jaimie Cleeland, Lorna Deppe, Graeme Elliott, Amanda Freeman … & Maria P. Dias
1. The identification of geographic areas where the densities of animals are highest across their annual cycles is a crucial step in conservation planning. In marine environments, however, it can be particularly difficult to map the distribution of species, and the methods used are usually biased towards adults, neglecting the distribution of other life-history stages even though they can represent a substantial proportion of the total population. 2. Here we develop a methodological framework for...

Hybridisation in kiwi (Apteryx; Apterygidae) requires taxonomic revision for great spotted kiwi

Lara Shepherd, Alan Tennyson, Hugh Robertson, Rogan Colbourne & Kristina Ramstad
We review hybridisation in kiwi (Apteryx spp.) and present new genetic data examining the extent of hybridisation between rowi (A. rowi) and little spotted kiwi (A. owenii) at Okarito, the location of the only remaining natural population of the threatened rowi. We find evidence of recurrent hybridisation between these two species over the last 150 years, including one F1 hybrid found in the last 15 years, despite little spotted kiwi’s likely extinction on the mainland...

Data from: A worldwide perspective on the population structure and genetic diversity of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in New Zealand

Gabriela Tezanos-Pinto, Charles S Baker, Kirsty Russell, Karen Martien, Robin Baird, Alistair Hutt, Gregory Stone, Antonio A Mignucci-Giannoni, Susana Caballero, Tetsuya Endo, Shane Lavery, Marc Oremus, Carlos Olavarria & Claire Garrigue
Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occupy a wide range of coastal and pelagic habitats throughout tropical and temperate waters worldwide. In some regions, "inshore" and "offshore" forms or ecotypes differ genetically and morphologically, despite no obvious boundaries to interchange. Around New Zealand, bottlenose dolphins inhabit 3 coastal regions: Northland, Marlborough Sounds, and Fiordland. Previous demographic studies showed no interchange of individuals among these populations. Here, we describe the genetic structure and diversity of these populations using...

Data from: Unexpected positive and negative effects of continuing inbreeding in one of the world’s most inbred wild animals

Emily L. Weiser, Catherine E. Grueber, Euan S. Kennedy & Ian G. Jamieson
Inbreeding depression, the reduced fitness of offspring of related individuals, is a central theme in evolutionary biology. Inbreeding effects are influenced by the genetic makeup of a population, which is driven by any history of genetic bottlenecks and genetic drift. The Chatham Island black robin represents a case of extreme inbreeding following two severe population bottlenecks. We tested whether inbreeding measured by a 20-year pedigree predicted variation in fitness among individuals, despite the high mean...

Data from: Genetic analyses reveal hybridization but no hybrid swarm in one of the world's rarest birds

Tammy E Steeves, Richard F Maloney, Marie L Hale, Jason M Tylianakis & Neil J Gemmell
Abstract: Hybridization facilitated by human activities has dramatically altered the evolutionary trajectories of threatened taxa around the globe. Whereas introduced mammalian predators and widespread habitat loss and degradation clearly imperil the recovery and survival of the New Zealand endemic black stilt or kakī (Himantopus novaezelandiae), the risk associated with hybridization between this critically endangered endemic and its self-introduced congener, the pied stilt or poaka (H. himantopus leucocephalus) is less clear. Here we combine Bayesian admixture...

Data from: Biodiversity gains from efficient use of private sponsorship for flagship species conservation

Joseph R. Bennett, Richard Maloney & Hugh P. Possingham
To address the global extinction crisis, both efficient use of existing conservation funding and new sources of funding are vital. Private sponsorship of charismatic ‘flagship’ species conservation represents an important source of new funding, but has been criticized as being inefficient. However, the ancillary benefits of privately sponsored flagship species conservation via actions benefiting other species have not been quantified, nor have the benefits of incorporating such sponsorship into objective prioritization protocols. Here, we use...

Data from: Too hard to swallow: a secret secondary defence of an aposematic insect

Lu-Yi Wang, Wen-San Huang, Hsin-Chieh Tang, Lung-Chun Huang & Chung-Ping Lin
Anti-predator strategies are significant components of adaptation in prey species. Aposematic prey are expected to possess effective defences that have evolved simultaneously with their warning colours. This study tested the hypothesis of the defensive function and ecological significance of the hard body in aposematic Pachyrhynchus weevils pioneered by Alfred Russel Wallace nearly 150 years ago. We used predation trials with Japalura tree lizards to assess the survivorship of ‘hard’ (mature) vs. ‘soft’ (teneral) and ‘clawed’...

Data from: Extensive variation at MHC DRB in the New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri) provides evidence for balancing selection

Amy J. Osborne, Monika Zavodna, B. L. Chilvers, Bruce C. Robertson, Sandra S. Negro, Martin A. Kennedy & Neil J. Gemmell
Marine mammals are often reported to possess reduced variation of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes compared with their terrestrial counterparts. We evaluated diversity at two MHC class II B genes, DQB and DRB, in the New Zealand sea lion (Phocarctos hookeri, NZSL) a species that has suffered high mortality owing to bacterial epizootics, using Sanger sequencing and haplotype reconstruction, together with next-generation sequencing. Despite this species’ prolonged history of small population size and highly restricted...

How functionally diverse are fish in the deep? A comparison of fish communities in deep and shallow‐water systems

Victoria Grace Carrington, Yvan Papa, Jessica Hall, Monique A. Ladds, Alice Rogers, Peter Horn, Raphaël Covain & Chelsey M. Beese
Aim: Functional diversity metrics inform how species’ traits relate to ecosystem functions, useful for quantifying how exploitation and disturbance impact ecosystems. We compare the functional diversity of entire fish communities in a shallow-water region with a deep-sea region for further insight into the differences between these ecosystem types. Location: The regions compared in this study were selected to represent a shallow-water coastal region, Tasman and Golden Bays (TBGB), and a deep-sea region, Chatham Rise (CR),...

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Affiliations

  • Department of Conservation
    22
  • University of Otago
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  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa
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  • University of Montana
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  • University of South Carolina Aiken
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