33 Works

Skin hydrophobicity as an adaptation for self-cleaning in geckos

Jendrian Riedel, Matthew Vucko, Lin Schwarzkopf & Simone Blomberg
Hydrophobicity is common in plants and animals, typically caused by high relief microtexture functioning to keep the surface clean. Although the occurrence and physical causes of hydrophobicity are well understood, ecological factors promoting its evolution are unclear. Geckos have highly hydrophobic integuments. We predicted that, because the ground is dirty and filled with pathogens, high hydrophobicity should coevolve with terrestrial microhabitat use. Advancing contact angle (ACA) measurements of water droplets were used to quantify hydrophobicity...

Plant evolution can mediate negative effects from honey bees on wild pollinators

James Milner, Tobin Northfield, Elias Bloom & David Crowder
1. Pollinators are introduced to agroecosystems to provide pollination services. Introductions of managed pollinators often promote ecosystem services, but it remains largely unknown whether they also affect evolutionary mutualisms between wild pollinators and plants. 2. Here we developed a model to assess effects of managed honey bees on mutualisms between plants and wild pollinators. Our model tracked how interactions among wild pollinators and honey bees affected pollinator and plant populations. 3. We show that when...

Data from: A treasure from the past: former sperm whale distribution in Indonesian waters unveiled using distribution models and historical whaling data

Achmad Sahri, Mochamad Iqbal Herwata Putra, Putu Liza Kusuma Mustika & Albertinka J. Murk
Aim: This study is the first in Indonesia to assess historical sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) seasonal distributions by combining historical whaling data with environmental factors associated with sperm whale habitat preferences. Since current records of whale occurrence covering the whole of Indonesian waters are incomplete, we used historical whaling data summarized by Charles Haskins Townsend in 1935 to model its potential distribution for each season. Location: Indonesian waters (92-143E, 9N-14S) Taxa: Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus)...

Ecological and social constraints combine to promote evolution of non-breeding strategies in clownfish

Rebecca Branconi, Tina Barbasch, Robin Francis, Maya Srinivasan, Geoffrey Jones & Peter Buston
Individuals that forgo their own reproduction in animal societies represent an evolutionary paradox because it is not immediately apparent how natural selection can preserve the genes that underlie non-breeding strategies. Cooperative breeding theory provides a solution to the paradox: non-breeders benefit by helping relatives and/or inheriting breeding positions; non-breeders do not disperse to breed elsewhere because of ecological constraints. However, the question of why non-breeders do not contest to breed within their group has rarely...

Dataset from: Positive indirect effects of top-predators on the survival and behaviour of juvenile fishes

Maria Palacios & Mark McCormick
Top-predators can suppress mesopredator behaviour through risk effects. However, there is limited understanding of whether such behavioural suppression can dampen the lethal and sub-lethal effects of mesopredators on bottom level prey. Here, we document a field experiment that examines whether the presence of top-predator cues (visual and chemical stimuli from a coral trout) can cascade to indirectly influence the behaviour and survival of juvenile fish prey of different species (Pomacentrus amboinensis and P. chrysurus) and...

Seagrass mapping synthesis: A resource for coastal management in the Great Barrier Reef

Alex Carter, Catherine Collier, Skye McKenna, Michael Rasheed, Roland Pitcher, Len McKenzie & Rob Cole

Coral restoration – a systematic review of current methods, successes, failures and future directions

Lisa Boström-Einarsson, Russell C. Babcock, Elisa Bayraktarov, Daniela Ceccarelli, Nathan Cook, Sebastian C. A. Ferse, Boze Hancock, Peter Harrison, Margaux Hein, Elizabeth Shaver, Adam Smith, David Suggett, Phoebe J. Stewart-Sinclair, Tali Vardi & Ian M. McLeod
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef managers and scientists has resulted in a disjointed field where it is difficult to gain an overview of existing knowledge. To address this, we aimed to synthesise the...

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...

Isotopic and morphologic proxies for reconstructing light environment from fossil leaves: a modern calibration in the Daintree Rainforest, Australia

Alexander Cheesman, Heather Duff, Kathryn Hill, Lucas Cernusak & Francesca McInerney
Premise: Within closed canopy forests, vertical gradients of light and atmospheric CO 2 drive variations in leaf carbon isotope ratios, leaf mass per area (LMA), and the micromorphology of leaf epidermal cells. Variations in such traits observed in preserved or fossilized leaves could enable inferences of past forest canopy closure and the habitat of individual taxa. However, as yet no calibration study has examined how multiple traits in combination reflect position within a modern closed...

Data from: Decreased bioefficacy of long-lasting insecticidal nets and the resurgence of malaria in Papua New Guinea

Stephan Karl, Rebecca Vinit, Lincoln Timinao, Nakei Bubun, Michelle Katusele, Leanne J. Robinson, Peter Kaman, Muker Sakur, Leo Makita, Lisa Reimer, Louis Schofield, William Pomat, Ivo Mueller, Moses Laman & Tim Freeman
Papua New Guinea (PNG) has the highest malaria transmission outside of Africa. Long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) are believed to have helped to reduce average malaria prevalence in PNG from 15.7% in 2008 to 1% in 2014. Since 2015 malaria indicators in PNG have risen significantly. In the present study, we observed a drastically decreased bioefficacy of unused LLINs with manufacturing dates between 2013 and 2019 collected from villages and LLIN distributors in PNG. Specifically, of...

Emerging challenges for sustainable development and forest conservation in Sarawak, Borneo

Mohammed Alamgir, Mason J. Campbell, Sean Sloan, Jayden Engert, Jettie Word & William F. Laurance
The forests of Borneo—the third largest island on the planet—sustain some of the highest biodiversity and carbon storage in the world. The forests also provide vital ecosystem services and livelihood support for millions of people in the region, including many indigenous communities. The Pan-Borneo Highway and several hydroelectric dams are planned or already under construction in Sarawak, a Malaysian state comprising part of the Borneo. This development seeks to enhance economic growth and regional connectivity,...

Data from: Minimum size limits and the reproductive value of numerous, young, mature female fish

Charles Lavin, Geoffrey Jones, David Williamson & Hugo Harrison
Fisheries management relies on various catch and effort controls to preserve spawning stock biomass and maximise sustainable yields while limiting fishery impacts on marine ecosystems. These include species-specific minimum or maximum size limits to protect either small non-reproductive sub-adults, a portion of reproductively mature adults, or large highly fecund individuals. Protecting size classes of mature fish is expected to yield a viable source of larvae for replenishing populations and reduce the risk of recruitment overfishing,...

Data from: Infection dynamics, dispersal, and adaptation: understanding the lack of recovery in a remnant frog population following a disease outbreak

Donald McKnight, Leah Carr, Deborah Bower, Lin Schwarzkopf, Ross Alford & Kyall Zenger
Emerging infectious diseases can cause dramatic declines in wildlife populations. Sometimes these declines are followed by recovery, but many populations do not recover. Studying differential recovery patterns may yield important information for managing disease-afflicted populations and facilitating population recoveries. In the late1980s, a chytridiomycosis outbreak caused multiple frog species in Australia's Wet Tropics to decline. Populations of some species (e.g., Litoria nannotis) subsequently recovered, while others (e.g., Litoria dayi) did not. We examined the population...

Data from: Development and validation of a RAD-Seq target-capture based genotyping assay for routine application in advanced black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) breeding programs

Jarrod L. Guppy, David B. Jones, Shannon R. Kjeldsen, Agnes Le Port, Mehar S. Khatkar, Nicholas M. Wade, Melony J. Sellars, Eike J. Steinig, Herman W. Raadsma, Dean R. Jerry & Kyall R. Zenger
Background The development of genome-wide genotyping resources has provided terrestrial livestock and crop industries with the unique ability to accurately assess genomic relationships between individuals, uncover the genetic architecture of commercial traits, as well as identify superior individuals for selection based on their specific genetic profile. Utilising recent advancements in de-novo genome-wide genotyping technologies, it is now possible to provide aquaculture industries with these same important genotyping resources, even in the absence of existing genome...

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...

Data from: The fading of fear effects due to coral degradation is modulated by community composition

Maud Ferrari, Mark McCormick, Eric Fakan, Randall Barry & Douglas Chivers
An increasing number of coral reefs throughout the world have become degraded as a result of climate change. This degradation has resulted in a significant decline in local biodiversity. Studies have shown that some fishes (non-responders) within these altered habitats are not able to adequately access olfactory cues, specifically chemical alarm cues that are crucial in mediating predation risk. We propose that the inability to access this crucial information is a potential mechanism for increased...

Data from: Fishes alleviate the impacts of sediments on host corals

Tory J. Chase, Morgan S. Pratchett, Michael J. McWilliam, Margaux Y. Hein, Sterling B. Tebbett & Mia O. Hoogenboom
Mutualisms play a critical role in ecological communities, however the importance and prevalence of mutualistic associations can be modified by external stressors. On coral reefs, elevated sediments are a major stressor, reducing the health of corals and damaging reef resilience. Here, we investigated the influence of sediment stress on the mutualistic relationship between small damselfishes (Dascyllus aruanus and Pomacentrus moluccensis) and their coral host (Pocillopora damicornis). In an aquaria experiment, corals were exposed to sedimentation...

Population genomic response to geographic gradients by widespread and endemic fishes of the Arabian Peninsula

Joseph DiBattista, Pablo Saenz-Agudelo, Marek Piatek, Fernando Cagua, Brian Bowen, John Choat, Luiz Rocha, Michelle Gaither, Jean-Paul Hobbs, Tane Sinclair-Taylor, Jennifer McIlwain, Mark Priest, Camrin Braun, Nigel Hussey, Steven Kessel & Michael Berumen
Genetic structure within marine species may be driven by local adaptation to their environment, or alternatively by historical processes, such as geographic isolation. The gulfs and seas bordering the Arabian Peninsula offer an ideal setting to examine connectivity patterns in coral reef fishes with respect to environmental gradients and vicariance. The Red Sea is characterized by a unique marine fauna, historical periods of desiccation and isolation, as well as environmental gradients in salinity, temperature, and...

Data from: Natal philopatry increases relatedness within groups of coral reef cardinalfish

Theresa Rueger, Hugo Harrison, Peter Buston, Naomi Gardiner, Michael Berumen & Geoffrey Jones
A central issue in evolutionary ecology is how patterns of dispersal influence patterns of relatedness in populations. In terrestrial organisms, limited dispersal of offspring leads to groups of related individuals. In contrast, for most marine organisms, larval dispersal in open waters is thought to minimise kin associations within populations. However, recent molecular evidence and theoretical approaches have shown that limited dispersal, sibling cohesion, and/or differential reproductive success can lead to kin-association and elevated relatedness. Here,...

Data from: Gene expression correlates of social evolution in coral reef butterflyfishes

Jessica Nowicki, Morgan Pratchett, Stefan Walker, Darren Coker & Lauren O'Connell
Animals display remarkable variation in social behavior. However, outside of rodents, little is known about the neural mechanisms of social variation, and whether they are shared across species and sexes, limiting our understanding of how sociality evolves. Using coral reef butterflyfishes, we examined gene expression correlates of social variation (i.e., pair bonding vs. solitary living) within and between species and sexes. In several brain regions, we quantified gene expression of receptors important for social variation...

Data from: Amelioration of ocean acidification and warming effects through physiological buffering of a macroalgae

Steve Doo, Aero Leplastrier, Alexia Graba-Landry, Januar Harianto, Ross Coleman & Maria Byrne
Concurrent anthropogenic global climate change and ocean acidification is expected to have a negative impact on calcifying marine organisms. While knowledge of biological responses of organisms to oceanic stress has emerged from single species experiments, these do not capture ecologically relevant scenarios where the potential for multi-organism physiological interactions is assessed. Marine algae provide an interesting case study, as their photosynthetic activity elevates pH in the surrounding microenvironment, potentially buffering more acidic conditions for associated...

Integrating dynamic processes into waterfowl conservation prioritization tools

Kaylan Kemink, Vanessa Adams & Bob Pressey
Aim: Traditional approaches for including species’ distributions in conservation planning have presented them as long-term averages of variation. Like these approaches, the main waterfowl conservation targeting tool in the United States Prairie Pothole Region (US PPR) is based primarily on long-term averaged distributions of breeding pairs. While this tool has supported valuable conservation, it does not explicitly consider spatiotemporal changes in spring wetland availability and does not assess wetland availability during the brood rearing period....

An endangered bird calls less when invasive birds are calling

Jaimie Hopkins, Will Edwards, Juan Mula-Laguna & Lin Schwarzkopf
Novel noises can affect various animal behaviours, and changes to vocal behaviour are some of the most documented. The calls of invasive species are an important source of novel noise, yet their effects on native species are poorly understood. We examined the effects of invasive bird calls on the vocal activity of an endangered Australian finch to investigate whether: (i) native finch calling behaviour was affected by novel invasive bird calls, and (ii) the calls...

Critical thermal maxima of early life stages of three tropical fishes: effects of rearing temperature and experimental heating rate

Björn Illing, Adam T. Downie, Mahaut Beghin & Jodie L. Rummer
Marine ectotherms are often sensitive to thermal stress, and certain life stages can be particularly vulnerable (e.g., larvae or spawners). In this study, we investigated the critical thermal maxima (CTmax) of larval and early juvenile life stages of three tropical marine fishes (Acanthochromis polyacanthus, Amphiprion melanopus, and Lates calcarifer). We tested for potential effects of developmental acclimation, life stage, and experimental heating rates, and we measured metabolic enzyme activities from aerobic (citrate synthase, CS) and...

Data from: An enhanced target-enrichment bait set for Hexacorallia provides phylogenomic resolution of the staghorn corals (Acroporidae) and close relatives

Peter Cowman, Andrea Quattrini, Thomas Bridge, Greg Watkins-Colwell, Nur Fadli, Mila Grinblat, Thomas Edward Roberts, Catherine McFadden, David Miller & Andrew Baird
Targeted enrichment of genomic DNA can profoundly increase the phylogenetic resolution of clades and inform taxonomy. Here, we redesign a custom bait set previously developed for the cnidarian class Anthozoa to more efficiently target and capture ultraconserved elements (UCEs) and exonic loci within the subclass Hexacorallia. We test this enhanced bait set (targeting 2,476 loci) on 99 specimens of scleractinian corals spanning both the “complex” (Acroporidae, Agariciidae) and “robust” (Fungiidae) clades.Focused sampling in the staghorn...

Registration Year

  • 2020

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • James Cook University
  • King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  • University of Queensland
  • ARC Centre of Excellence For Coral Reef Studies
  • University of Oxford
  • University of Washington
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Deakin University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Sydney