68 Works

Using Environmental DNA to detect a dangerous carnivore

Alea Rose, Yusuke Fukuda & Hamish Campbell
Negative human-wildlife interactions can be better managed by early detection of the wildlife species involved. However, many animals that pose a threat to humans are highly cryptic and detecting their presence before the interaction occurs can be challenging. Here we describe a method whereby the presence of a dangerous animal, the estuarine crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) was detected using traces of DNA shed into the water, known as environmental DNA (eDNA). The estuarine crocodile is present...

Landscape layer for resistance

Yusuke Fukuda & Sam Banks
This is raster file (base_cats_new3.asc) that was used to generate the environmental resistance surface with the ResistanceGA R package (Peterman, 2018) to evaluate models of environmental resistance to between-population movement of saltwater crocodiles Crocodylus porosus in the Northern Territory of Australia, represented by individual pairwise genetic distances among individuals. ResistanceGA models pairwise genetic distances in response to pairwise ‘ecological distances’ using linear mixed effects models with a maximum-likelihood population effects (MLPE) random effects structure (Clarke,...

Unburnt habitat patches are critical for survival and in situ population recovery in a small mammal after fire

Robyn E Shaw, Alex James, Katherine Tuft, Sarah Legge, Geoffrey J Cary, Rod Peakall & Sam C Banks
Fire drives animal population dynamics across many ecosystems. Yet, we still lack an understanding of how most species recover from fire and the effects of fire severity and patchiness on recovery processes. This information is crucial for fire-mediated biodiversity conservation, particularly as fire regimes change globally. We conducted an experiment to test whether post-fire recovery is driven by in situ survival or recolonisation, and to determine whether this varies with fires of increasing percentage area...

Data from: A study of bacteria adhesion and microbial corrosion on different stainless steels in environment containing Desulfovibrio vulgaris manuscript

Tien Tran Thi Thuy
Stainless steel is an important material used in many applications due to its mechanical strength and corrosion resistant properties. The high corrosion resistance of stainless steel is provided by the passive film. Different stainless steels have different alloy elements and surface properties which could have a significant influence on bacterial attachment to the surface and thus might result in different microbial corrosion behaviours. In this study, the effect of adhesion of sulphate reducing bacteria (SRB)...

Data from: Inferring contemporary and historical genetic connectivity from juveniles

Pierre Feutry, Oliver Berry, Peter M. Kyne, Richard D. Pillans, Rich Hillary, Peter M. Grewe, James R. Marthick, Grant Johnson, Rasanthi M. Gunasekera, Nicholas J. Bax, Mark Bravington & Richard M. Hillary
Measuring population connectivity is a critical task in conservation biology. While genetic markers can provide reliable long-term historical estimates of population connectivity, scientists are still limited in their ability to determine contemporary patterns of gene flow, the most practical time frame for management. Here, we tackled this issue by developing a new approach that only requires juvenile sampling at a single time period. To demonstrate the usefulness of our method, we used the Speartooth shark...

Data from: An experimental test of whether pyrodiversity promotes mammal diversity in a northern Australian savanna

Hugh F. Davies, Michael A. McCarthy, Willie Rioli, José Puruntatameri, Willie Roberts, Colin Kerinaiua, Vivian Kerinauia, Kim Brooks Womatakimi, Alan N. Andersen & Brett P. Murphy
1. The increasing awareness that a fire regime that promotes biodiversity in one system can threaten biodiversity in another has resulted in a shift away from fire management based on vague notions of maximising pyrodiversity, towards determining the optimal fire regime based on the demonstrated requirements of target species. 2. We utilised a long-running, replicated fire experiment on Melville Island, the largest island off the northern Australian coast, to test the importance of pyrodiversity for...

Using dietary metabarcoding analyses to characterise waterbirds-agriculture interactions

Amelie Corriveau, Marcel Klaassen, Stephen Garnett, Mirjam Kaestli, Matthew Power, Mahsa Mousavi-Derazmahalleh, Megan Coghlan, Keith Christian, Michael Bunce & Hamish Campbell
Globally, the use of agricultural fields by waterbirds has increased, resulting in conflicts with farmers. Designing effective management strategies to resolve these conflicts requires understanding the species’ resource use. Dietary analyses can shed light on the extent of consumption of agricultural crops and surrounding natural resources, as well as the potential relationship between diet and an individual’s body condition and ultimately its fitness. We examined the dietary composition of the tropical magpie goose (Anseranas semipalmata),...

Data from: Recent rapid speciation and ecomorph divergence in Indo-Australian sea snakes

Kate L. Sanders, Arne R. Rasmussen, , Johan Elmberg, Anslem De Silva, Michael L. Guinea, Michael S.Y. Lee & Michael S. Y. Lee
The viviparous sea snakes (Hydrophiinae) are a young radiation of at least 62 species that display spectacular morphological diversity and high levels of local sympatry. To shed light on the mechanisms underlying sea snake diversification, we investigated recent speciation and eco-morphological differentiation in a clade of four nominal species with overlapping ranges in Southeast Asia and Australia. Analyses of morphology and stomach contents identified the presence of two distinct ecomorphs: a ‘macrocephalic’ ecomorph that reaches...

Data from: Patterns and drivers of aquatic invertebrate diversity across an arid biome

Jenny Davis, Lien Sim, Ross M. Thompson, Adrian Pinder, Jayne Brim Box, Nick P. Murphy, Fran Sheldon, Alejandra Morán-Ordóñez, Paul Sunnucks & Nicholas P. Murphy
Managing and restoring faunal diversity across large areas requires an understanding of the roles of connectivity and dispersal in driving community patterns. We sought to determine the influence of connectivity, water regime, water source, geographical location, and dispersal traits on patterns of aquatic invertebrate diversity across a continent-wide arid biome. We compiled data on freshwater invertebrate assemblages from sites spanning the breadth of arid Australia. Univariate analyses (analysis of variance and rarefaction) revealed that alpha...

Eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) reintroduced to Mulligan's Flat Woodland Sanctuary and Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve: DArT SNPs + individual information

Brittany Brockett, Adrian Manning, Sam Banks, Linda Neaves, Iain Gordon & Jennifer Pierson
Incorporating genetic data into conservation programmes improves management outcomes, but the impact of different sample-grouping methods on genetic diversity analyses is poorly understood. To this end, the multi-source reintroduction of the eastern bettong (Bettongia gaimardi) was used as a long-term case study to investigate how sampling regimes may affect common genetic metrics, and hence management decisions. The dataset comprised 5307 SNPs sequenced across 263 individuals. Samples included 45 founders from five genetically distinct Tasmanian source...

Data for: Substantial intraspecific trait variation across a hydrological gradient in northern Australian fishes

Osmar Luiz, Julian Olden, Mark Kennard, David Crook, Michael Douglas, Thor Saunders, Dion Wedd, Brendan Adair & Alison King
Trait-based models of ecological communities and ecosystem functioning often fail to account for intraspecific variation in functional traits, assuming that intraspecific variability is negligible compared to interspecific variability. However, this assumption remains poorly tested across vertebrate animals where past studies routinely describe species according to mean trait values without explicit consideration of individual trait variability. We assessed nine functional traits for 4,254 individuals belonging to 15 freshwater fish species from 11 families in Northern Australia,...

Data from: Identifying error and accurately interpreting eDNA metabarcoding results: a case study to detect vertebrates at arid zone waterholes

Elise M. Furlan, Jenny Davis & Richard P. Duncan
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding surveys enable rapid, non-invasive identification of taxa from trace samples with wide-ranging applications from characterising local biodiversity to identifying food-web interactions. However, the technique is prone to error from two major sources: i) contamination through foreign DNA entering the workflow, and ii) misidentification of DNA within the workflow. Both types of error have the potential to obscure true taxon presence or to increase taxonomic richness by incorrectly identifying taxa as present...

Population genomics and conservation management of a declining tropical rodent

Brenton Von Takach
Conservation management is improved by incorporating information about the spatial distribution of population genetic diversity into planning strategies. Northern Australia is the location of some of the world’s most severe ongoing declines of endemic mammal species, yet we have little genetic information from this regional mammal assemblage to inform a genetic perspective on conservation assessment and planning. We used next-generation sequencing data from remnant populations of the threatened brush-tailed rabbit-rat (Conilurus penicillatus) to compare patterns...

Scale-dependent signatures of local adaptation in a widespread foundation tree species

Brenton Von Takach
Understanding local adaptation is critical for conservation management under rapidly changing environmental conditions. Local adaptation inferred from genotype-environment associations may show different genomic patterns depending on the spatial scale of sampling, due to differences in the slope of environmental gradients and the level of gene flow. We compared signatures of local adaptation across the genome of mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans) at two spatial scales: a species-wide dataset and a topographically-complex sub-regional dataset. We genotyped 367...

Taxonomic revision reveals potential impacts of Black Summer megafires on a cryptic species

Chris Jolly, Harry Moore, Mitchell Cowan, Teigan Cremona, Judy Dunlop, Sarah Legge, Grant Linley, Vivianna Miritis, John Woinarski & Dale Nimmo
Context: Sound taxonomy is the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation. Without a fundamental understanding of species delimitations, as well as their distributions and ecological requirements, our ability to conserve them is drastically impeded. Cryptic species – two or more distinct species currently classified as a single species – present a significant challenge to biodiversity conservation. How do we assess the conservation status and address potential drivers of extinction if we are unaware of a species’ existence?...

R code, spatial and tabular data to fully reproduce STEPS simulations of population change for common brushtail possum, grassland melomys and northern brown bandicoot in northern Australia

Casey Visintin & Hugh Davies
The development of effective fire management for biodiversity conservation is a global challenge. The highly dynamic nature of fire, the difficulty in replicating ‘real-world’ fire experiments, and the need to understand population changes at large spatiotemporal scales make computer simulations particularly useful for identifying optimal fire management regimes for biodiversity conservation. We aimed to develop a flexible modelling approach with which to investigate how the spatiotemporal application of fire (i.e. management scenarios) influences savanna biodiversity....

Data from: Plant protection services mediated by extrafloral nectaries decline with aridity but are not influenced by chronic anthropogenic disturbance in Brazilian Caatinga

Fernanda Oliveira, Talita Câmara, José Israel Durval, Caroline Oliveira, Xavier Arnan, Alan Andersen, Elâine Dos Santos Ribeiro & Inara Leal
1. Most terrestrial species occur in human-modified landscapes that are experiencing climate change. In addition to direct impacts on species, both anthropogenic disturbance and climate change can have important effects through changes in species interactions, including the disruption of ecological services provided by them. 2. Here we investigate how chronic anthropogenic disturbance (CAD) and aridity affect the effectiveness of plant protection services provided by ants to plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs). 3. The study was...

Data from: Body condition indices predict reproductive success but not survival in a sedentary, tropical bird

Olga Milenkaya, Daniel H. Catlin, Sarah Legge & Jeffrey R. Walters
Body condition may predict individual fitness because those in better condition have more resources to allocate towards improving their fitness. However, the hypothesis that condition indices are meaningful proxies for fitness has been questioned. Here, we ask if intraspecific variation in condition indices predicts annual reproductive success and survival. We monitored a population of Neochmia phaeton (crimson finch), a sedentary, tropical passerine, for reproductive success and survival over four breeding seasons, and sampled them for...

Data from: Technical note: rapid image-based field methods improve the quantification of termite mound structures and greenhouse-gas fluxes

Philipp A. Nauer, Eleonora Chiri, David De Souza, Lindsay B. Hutley & Stefan K. Arndt
Termite mounds (TMs) mediate biogeochemical processes with global relevance, such as turnover of the important greenhouse gas methane (CH4). However, the complex internal and external morphology of TMs impede an accurate quantitative description. Here we present two novel field methods, photogrammetry (PG) and cross-section image analysis, to quantify TM external and internal mound structure of 29 TMs of three termite species. Photogrammetry was used to measure epigeal volume (VE), surface area (AE) and mound basal...

Data from: Pervasive admixture between eucalypt species has consequences for conservation and assisted migration

Brenton Von Takach Dukai, Cameron Jack, Justin Borevitz, David B. Lindenmayer & Sam C. Banks
Conservation management often uses information on genetic population structure to assess the importance of local provenancing for ecological restoration and reintroduction programs. For species that do not exhibit complete reproductive isolation, the estimation of population genetic parameters may be influenced by the extent of admixture. Therefore, to avoid perverse outcomes for conservation, genetically-informed management strategies must determine whether hybridisation between species is relevant, and the extent to which observed population genetic patterns are shaped by...

Data from: Using citizen-collected wildlife sightings to predict traffic strike hotspots for threatened species: a case study on the southern cassowary

Hamish A. Campbell, Luke Carpenter-Bundhoo, Ross G. Dwyer & Craig E. Franklin
Assessing the causal factors underpinning the distribution and abundance of wildlife road-induced mortality can be challenging. This is particularly ubiquitous for rare or elusive species, because traffic strikes occur infrequently for these populations and information about localized abundance, distribution, and movements are generally lacking. Here we assessed if citizen-collected sightings data may serve as a low cost and efficient means of gathering long-term animal road-side presence and road crossing information, which could then be used...

Data from: Dynamics of bird assemblages in response to temporally and spatially variable resources in arid Australia

Christine Schlesinger & Bruce Pascoe
Bird assemblages in arid Australia are often characterised as being highly variable through time in response to boom and bust dynamics, although the importance of habitat in structuring assemblages at a local scale is also recognised. We use a novel approach to investigate the importance of rainfall variability in structuring bird assemblages in a resource-limited environment. Monthly bird surveys were conducted at ten plots for eight years at a botanical and zoological park in central...

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