79 Works

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: 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...

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...

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...

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....

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...

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...

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?...

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,...

Long non-coding RNA LINC00649 regulates YES-associated protein 1 (YAP1)/Hippo pathway to accelerate gastric cancer (GC) progression via sequestering miR-16-5p

Hongyan Wang, Xin Di, Yingjie Bi, Shidong Sun & Tao Wang
Although long non-coding RNA (LncRNA) LINC00649 is reported to be closely associated with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), prostate cancer and colorectal cancer, its role in regulating other types of cancer, such as gastric cancer (GC), has not been studied. This study analyzed the expression status of LINC00649 in GC tissues and cells by performing Real-Time qPCR analysis, and we found that LINC00649 tended to be enriched in cancerous tissues and cells but not in their...

Data from: Low inter-basin connectivity in a facultatively diadromous fish: evidence from genetics and otolith chemistry

Jane M. Hughes, Daniel J. Schmidt, Jed I. Macdonald, Joel A. Huey & David A. Crook
Southern smelts (Retropinna spp.) in coastal rivers of Australia are facultatively diadromous, with populations potentially containing individuals with diadromous or wholly freshwater life-histories. The presence of diadromous individuals is expected to reduce genetic structuring between river basins due to larval dispersal via the sea. We use otolith chemistry to distinguish between diadromous and non-diadromous life-histories and population genetics to examine inter-basin connectivity resulting from diadromy. Otolith strontium isotope (87Sr:86Sr) transects identified three main life history...

Data from: Supporting local diversity of habitats and species on farmland: a comparison of three wildlife-friendly schemes

Chloe J. Hardman, Dominic P. G. Harrison, Pete J. Shaw, Tim D. Nevard, Brin Hughes, Simon G. Potts, Ken Norris & Dominic P.G. Harrison
Restoration and maintenance of habitat diversity have been suggested as conservation priorities in farmed landscapes, but how this should be achieved and at what scale are unclear. This study makes a novel comparison of the effectiveness of three wildlife-friendly farming schemes for supporting local habitat diversity and species richness on 12 farms in England. The schemes were: (i) Conservation Grade (Conservation Grade: a prescriptive, non-organic, biodiversity-focused scheme), (ii) organic agriculture and (iii) a baseline of...

Data from: Strong population structure deduced from genetics, otolith chemistry and parasite abundances explains vulnerability to localised fishery collapse in a large Sciaenid fish, Protonibea diacanthus

Laura Taillebois, Diane P. Barton, David A. Crook, Thor Saunders, Jonathan Taylor, Mark Hearnden, Richard J. Saunders, Stephen J. Newman, Michael J. Travers, David J. Welch, Alan Greig, Christine Dudgeon, Safia Maher & Jennifer R. Ovenden
As pressure on coastal marine resources is increasing globally, the need to quantitatively assess vulnerable fish stocks is crucial in order to avoid the ecological consequences of stock depletions. Species of Sciaenidae (croakers, drums) are important components of tropical and temperate fisheries and are especially vulnerable to exploitation. The black-spotted croaker, Protonibea diacanthus, is the only large sciaenid in coastal waters of northern Australia where it is targeted by commercial, recreational and indigenous fishers due...

Data from: Evolutionary relationships among pollinators and repeated pollinator sharing in sexually deceptive orchids

Ryan D. Phillips, Graham R. Brown, Kingsley W. Dixon, Christine Hayes, Celeste C. Linde & Rod Peakall
The mechanism of pollinator attraction is predicted to strongly influence both plant diversification and the extent of pollinator sharing between species. Sexually deceptive orchids rely on mimicry of species-specific sex pheromones to attract their insect pollinators. Given that sex pheromones tend to be conserved among related species, we predicted that in sexually deceptive orchids, (i) pollinator sharing is rare, (ii) closely related orchids use closely related pollinators and (iii) there is strong bias in the...

Data from: Locomotor performance of cane toads differs between native-range and invasive populations

Georgia Kosmala, Gregory Brown, Keith Christian & Richard Shine
Invasive species provide a robust opportunity to evaluate how animals deal with novel environmental challenges. Shifts in locomotor performance—and thus the ability to disperse—(and especially, the degree to which it is constrained by thermal and hydric extremes) are of special importance, because they might affect the rate that an invader can spread. We studied cane toads (Rhinella marina) across a broad geographical range: two populations within the species' native range in Brazil, two invasive populations...

Data from: Habitat disturbance selects against both small and large species across varying climates

Heloise Gibb, Nathan J. Sanders, Robert R. Dunn, Xavier Arnan, Heraldo L. Vasconcellos, David A. Donoso, Alan N. Andersen, Rogerio R. Silva, Tom R. Bishop, Crisanto Gomez, Blair F. Grossman, Kalsum M. Yusah, Sarah H. Luke, Renata Pacheco, Jessica Pearce-Duvet, Javier Retana, Melanie Tista, Catherine L. Parr & H. L. Vasconcelos
Global extinction drivers, including habitat disturbance and climate change, are thought to affect larger species more than smaller species. However, it is unclear if such drivers interact to affect assemblage body size distributions. We asked how these two key global change drivers differentially affect the interspecific size distributions of ants, one of the most abundant and ubiquitous animal groups on earth. We also asked whether there is evidence of synergistic interactions and whether effects are...

The interplay of color and bioacoustic traits in the differentiation of a Southeast Asian songbird complex

Chyi Yin Gwee, Qiao Le Lee, Simon Mahood, Le Manh Hung, Robert Tizard, Krairat Eiamampai, Philip Round & Frank Rheindt
Morphological traits have served generations of biologists as a taxonomic indicator, and have been the main basis for defining and classifying species diversity for centuries. A quantitative integration of behavioural characters, such as vocalizations, in studies on biotic differentiation has arisen more recently, and the relative importance of these different traits in the diversification process remains poorly understood. To provide a framework within which to interpret the evolutionary interplay between morphological and behavioral traits, we...

Data from: One panel to rule them all: DArTcap genotyping for population structure, historical demography, and kinship analyses, and its application to a threatened shark

Pierre Feutry, Floriaan Devloo-Delva, Adrien Tran Lu Y, Stefano Mona, Rasanthi Gunasekera, Grant Johnson, Richard Pillans, Damian Jaccoud, Andrzej Kilian, David Morgan, Thor Saunders, Nicholas Bax & Peter Kyne
With recent advances in sequencing technology, genomic data are changing how important conservation management decisions are made. Applications such as Close-Kin Mark-Recapture demand large amounts of data to estimate population size and structure, and their full potential can only be realised through ongoing improvements in genotyping strategies. Here we introduce DArTcap, a cost-efficient method that combines DArTseq and sequence capture, and illustrate its use in a high resolution population analysis of Glyphis garricki, a rare,...

Vertical niche and elevation range size in tropical ants: implications for climate resilience

Lily Leahy, Brett R. Scheffers, Alan N. Andersen, Ben T. Hirsch & Stephen E. Williams
Aim: We propose that forest trees create a vertical dimension for ecological niche variation that generates different regimes of climatic exposure, which in turn drives species elevation distributions. We test this hypothesis by statistically modelling the vertical and elevation distributions and microclimate exposure of rainforest ants. Location: Wet Tropics Bioregion, Australia Methods: We conducted 60 ground-to-canopy surveys to determine the vertical (tree) and elevation distributions, and microclimate exposure of ants (101 species) at 15 sites...

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...

Arboreality drives heat tolerance while elevation drives cold tolerance in tropical rainforest ants

Lily Leahy, Brett Scheffers, Stephen Williams & Alan Andersen
Determining how species thermal limits correlate with climate is important for understanding biogeographic patterns and assessing vulnerability to climate change. Such analyses need to consider thermal gradients at multiple spatial scales. Here we relate thermal traits of rainforest ants to microclimate conditions from ground to canopy (microgeographic scale) along an elevation gradient (mesogeographic scale) and calculate warming tolerance in the Australian Wet Tropics Bioregion. We test the thermal adaptation and thermal niche asymmetry hypotheses to...

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