27 Works

Data from: Passive acoustics and sound recognition provide new insights on status and resilience of an iconic endangered marsupial (koala Phascolarctos cinereus) to timber harvesting

Bradley S. Law, Traecey Brassil, Leroy Gonsalves, Paul Roe, Anthony Truskinger & Anna McConville
Retention forestry aims to mitigate impacts of native forestry on biodiversity, but data are limited on its effectiveness for threatened species. We used acoustics to investigate the resilience of a folivorous marsupial, the koala Phascolarctos cinereus, to timber harvesting where a key mitigation practice is landscape exclusion of harvesting. We deployed acoustic recorders at 171 sites to record male bellows (~14,640 hours) for use in occupancy modelling and for comparisons of bellow rate (bellows night-1)....

Data from: Differential proteomic responses of selectively bred and wild Sydney rock oyster populations exposed to elevated CO2

Emma L. Thompson, Wayne O'Connor, Laura Parker, Pauline Ross & David A. Raftos
Previous work suggests that larvae from Sydney rock oysters that have been selectively bred for fast growth and disease resistance are more resilient to the impacts of ocean acidification than nonselected, wild-type oysters. In this study, we used proteomics to investigate the molecular differences between oyster populations in adult Sydney rock oysters and to identify whether these form the basis for observations seen in larvae. Adult oysters from a selective breeding line (B2) and nonselected...

Data from: Retracing the routes of introduction of invasive species: the case of the Sirex noctilio woodwasp.

Emilie Boissin, Brett Hurley, Michael J. Wingfield, Rimvydas Vasaitis, Jan Stenlid, Chuck Davis, Peter De Groot, Rodrigo Ahumeda, Angus Carnegie, Arturo Goldarazena, Paula Klasmer, Beat Wermelinger & Bernard Slippers
Understanding the evolutionary histories of invasive species is critical to adopt appropriate management strategies, but this process can be exceedingly complex to unravel. As illustrated in this study of the worldwide invasion of the woodwasp Sirex noctilio, population genetic analyses using coalescent-based scenario testing together with Bayesian clustering and historical records provide opportunities to address this problem. The pest spread from its native Eurasian range to the Southern Hemisphere in the 1900’s and recently to...

The use of environmental DNA to monitor impacted coastal estuaries

Joseph DiBattista, Ashley Fowler, Indiana Riley, Sally Reader, Amanda Hay, Kerryn Parkinson & Jean-Paul Hobbs
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding is increasingly being used to assess community composition in coastal ecosystems. In this study, we chose to examine temporal and spatial changes in the aquatic community of Manly Lagoon – one of the most heavily developed and polluted estuaries in eastern Australia. Based on metabarcoding of the 16S mitochondrial gene (for fish) and the 18S nuclear gene (for macroinvertebrates), we identified seasonal differences in fish and macroinvertebrate community composition as well...

Split sex ratio due to maternal condition

Alihan Katlav, Duong Nguyen, James Cook & Markus Riegler
In females of haplodiploid animals, female production requires fertilisation, whereas male production does not. Therefore, haplodiploid species can display extraordinary sex ratios. Constrained sex allocation occurs when a female cannot produce daughters. This can be due to virginity but may also occur after mating due to insemination failure, selfish genetic elements or physiological constraints. Here, we investigated the mechanism underlying constrained sex allocation in Pezothrips kellyanus. In this species some mated females produce highly female-biased...

Using genomics to optimise and evaluate the performance of underwater forest restoration

Georgina Wood, Ezequiel M. Marzinelli, Adriana Verges, Alexandra Campbell, Peter Steinberg & Melinda Coleman
1. Restoration is an emerging intervention to reverse the degradation and loss of marine habitat-formers and the ecosystem services they underpin. Current best practice seeks to restore populations by transplanting donor individuals chosen to replicate genetic diversity and structure of extant, nearby populations. However, genetic characteristics are rarely empirically examined across generations, despite their potential role in influencing restoration success. 2. We used genomics to design a restoration program for lost underwater forests of Phyllospora...

Data from: Bat communities respond positively to large-scale thinning of forest regrowth

Rachel V. Blakey, Brad S. Law, Richard T. Kingsford, Jakub Stoklosa, Patrick Tap & Kelly Williamson
Over half of the world's forests are secondary regrowth and support considerable biodiversity. Thinning of these forests is a widespread management practice that can affect forest species, including echolocating bats and their prey. We compared total activity of 11 bat taxa, foraging activity of six bat guilds and biomass of 11 insect orders across four forest thinning categories in managed remnant eucalypt forests in south-eastern Australia: unthinned regrowth, forest thinned recently (0–4 years) and in...

Data from: The density and spatial arrangement of the invasive oyster Crassostrea gigas determines its impact on settlement of native oyster larvae

Emma M. Wilkie, Melanie J. Bishop & Wayne A. O'Connor
Understanding how the density and spatial arrangement of invaders is critical to developing management strategies of pest species. The Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, has been translocated around the world for aquaculture and in many instances has established wild populations. Relative to other species of bivalve, it displays rapid suspension feeding, which may cause mortality of pelagic invertebrate larvae. We compared the effect on settlement of Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata, larvae of manipulating the spatial...

Data from: Exploring mechanisms and origins of reduced dispersal in island Komodo dragons

Tim S. Jessop, Achmad Arieifandy, Deni Purwandana, Claudio Ciofi, Jeri Imansyah, Yunias Jackson Benu, Damien A. Fordham, David M. Forsyth, Raoul A. Mulder, Benjamin L. Phillips & Achmad Ariefiandy
Loss of dispersal typifies island biotas, but the selective processes driving this phenomenon remain contentious. This is because selection via, both indirect (e.g. relaxed selection or island syndromes) and direct (e.g. natural selection or spatial sorting) processes may be involved, and no study has yet convincingly distinguished between these alternatives. Here we combined observational and experimental analyses of an island lizard, the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis, the world’s largest lizard), to provide evidence for the...

Data from: Unusual but consistent latitudinal patterns in macroalgal habitats and their invertebrate communities across two countries

Hannah Lloyd, Juan Cruz-Motta, Tim Glasby, Pat Hutchings & Paul Gribben
Aim: The physical characteristics of biogenic habitats and environmental conditions are important determinants of biodiversity, yet their relative importance can change across spatial scales. We aimed to understand how relationships between the physical characteristics of macroalgal habitats and their invertebrate communities varied across spatial scales and whether general ecological patterns occurred across two countries. Location: 18 sites across the temperate east coasts of Australia (over 1,300 km) and New Zealand (over 1,000 km), with the...

Warren and entrance detections by thermal imager

Tarnya Cox
Thermal imaging technology is a developing field in wildlife management. Most thermal imaging work in wildlife science has been limited to larger ungulates and surface-dwelling mammals. Little work has been undertaken on the use of thermal imagers to detect fossorial animals and/or their burrows. Survey methods such as white-light spotlighting can fail to detect the presence of burrows (and therefore the animals within), particularly in areas where vegetation obscures burrows. Thermal imagers offer opportunity to...

Predicting habitat suitability for wild deer in relation to threatened ecological communities in south-eastern New South Wales, Australia

Heather Burns, Philip Gibbons, Andrew Claridge & David McCreery
Context. High density deer populations can cause ecological damage, yet their distribution and impacts are poorly known across much of Australia. As a result, land managers rely on anecdotal reports to make decisions about management and control measures. Aims. We aimed to model habitat suitability for deer in the South Coast of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, to be used as a baseline for future management and identify which threatened ecological communities (TECs) in the...

Data from: Upgrades of coastal protection infrastructure affect benthic communities

Lea Mamo, Augustine Porter, Alejandro Tagliafico, Melinda Coleman, Stephen Smith, Will Figueira & Brendan Kelaher
Sea level rise, storm surges, aging and wear are forcing upgrades to breakwaters and seawalls to protect coastal areas from erosion and inundation. Such upgrades involve the introduction of new material which may consequently act as an ecological disturbance that can alter established marine communities and ecosystem function. Mitigating ecological impacts requires an understanding of how species assemblages are affected by such works. Here, we use the major upgrade of a regularly wave-overtopped breakwater as...

Mini-acoustic sensors reveal occupancy and threats to koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus) in private native forests

Brad Law, Isobel Kerr, Leroy Gonsalves, Traecey Brassil, Philip Eichinski, Anthony Truskinger & Paul Roe
1. Forests on private land have a wide range of uses that span activities such as recreation, primary production and nature conservation. Traditionally, it has been difficult for researchers to access private land to undertake systematic surveys. We used mini-acoustic sensors (Audiomoth) mailed via the postal service to overcome landholder concerns about researchers accessing private property, with a focus on properties used for private native forestry. 2. We surveyed koalas, an iconic threatened marsupial, in...

Gut microbiota composition does not associate with Toxoplasma infection in rats

Patrick Taggart
Toxoplasma infection in intermediate host species closely associates with inflammation. This association has led to suggestions that the behavioural changes associated with infection may be indirectly driven by the resulting sustained inflammation rather than a direct behavioural manipulation by the parasite. If this is correct, sustained inflammation in chronically infected rodents should present as widespread changes in the gastrointestinal microbiota due to the dependency between the composition of these microbiota and sustained inflammation. We conducted...

A genetically isolated dingo population in western Victoria, Australia, reveals greater structuring of the Australian dingo

Danielle Stephens, Peter J.S. Fleming, Emma Sawyers & Tim P. Mayr
The Australian dingo is a relatively recent anthropogenic addition to the Australian fauna, which spread rapidly across the continent and has since widely interbred with modern dogs. Genetic studies of dingoes have given rise to speculation about their entry to the continent and subsequent biogeographic effects, but few studies of their contemporary population structure have been conducted. Here we investigated the dingo ancestry and population structure of free-living dogs in western Victoria and contrasted it...

Data from: Ecological disturbance influences adaptive divergence despite high gene flow in golden perch (Macquaria ambigua): implications for management and resilience to climate change

Catherine R.M. Attard, Chris J. Brauer, Jonathan Sandoval-Castillo, Leanne K. Faulks, Peter Unmack, Dean M. Gilligan, Luciano B. Beheregaray, Peter J. Unmack & Catherine R. M. Attard
Populations that are adaptively divergent but maintain high gene flow may have greater resilience to environmental change as gene flow allows the spread of alleles that have already been tested elsewhere. In addition, populations naturally subjected to ecological disturbance may already hold resilience to future environmental change. Confirming this necessitates ecological genomic studies of high dispersal, generalist species. Here we perform one such study on golden perch (Macquaria ambigua) in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB), Australia...

Data from: Disentangling synergistic disease dynamics: Implications for the viral biocontrol of rabbits

Konstans Wells, Damien A. Fordham, Barry W. Brook, Phillip Cassey, Tarnya Cox, Robert B. O’Hara, Nina I. Schwensow & Robert B. O'Hara
European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) have been exposed to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) and myxoma virus (MYXV) in their native and invasive ranges for decades. Yet, the long‐term effects of these viruses on rabbit population dynamics remain poorly understood. In this context, we analysed 17 years of detailed capture–mark–recapture data (2000–2016) from Turretfield, South Australia, using a probabilistic state‐space hierarchical modelling framework to estimate rabbit survival and epidemiological dynamics. While RHDV infection and disease‐induced death...

Data from: Interactions between ecological factors in the developmental environment modulate pupal and adult traits in a polyphagous fly

Binh Nguyen, Fleur Ponton, Anh Than, Phillip W. Taylor, Toni Chapman & Juliano Morimoto
1. In holometabolous insects, adult fitness depends on the quantity and quality of resource acquired at the larval stage. Diverse ecological factors can influence larval resource acquisition, but little is known about how these factors in the larval environment interact to modulate larval development and adult traits. 2. Here, we addressed this gap by considering how key ecological factors of larval density, diet nutritional composition, and microbial growth interact to modulate pupal and adult traits...

Data from: Transgenerational plasticity responses of oysters to ocean acidification differ with habitat

Laura Parker, Elliot Scanes, Wayne O'Connor & Pauline Ross
This dataset contains data from a two-part experiment described in the paper: Transgenerational plasticity responses of oysters to ocean acidification differ with habitat, J Exp Biol jeb.239269. This paper assessed the role of tidal habitat on the existing and transgenerational response of larvae of the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata to ocean acidification caused by elevated carbon dioxide (CO2). In experiment 1, gravid Sydney rock oysters were collected from the subtidal and high intertidal zone...

The burden of size and growth for the juveniles of large mammalian herbivores: structural and functional constraints in the feeding biology of juveniles relative to adults in red kangaroos, Osphranter rufus

Terence Dawson, Melinda Norton, Suzette Rodoreda, Sarah Abbott & Steven McLeod
Juvenile mammals in their post weaning developmental stages face many challenges in transitioning to adulthood. Among large grazing species such as ruminant bovids and cervids an overarching challenge is acquiring and processing sufficient nutrients to survive and grow, with a gut that may not yet be fully developed. Marsupial kangaroos of Australia face similar challenges; they also digest vegetation by fermentation in a large foregut. In red kangaroos, Osphranter rufus (= Macropus rufus), the dominant...

Belowground ecosystem engineers enhance biodiversity and function in a polluted ecosystem

Ana Bugnot, Paul Gribben, Wayne O'Connor, Katherine Erickson, Ross Coleman & Katherine Dafforn
Many important ecosystem functions are underpinned by belowground biodiversity and processes. Marine sediments, one of the most abundant habitats on earth, are essential to the mineralisation of organic matter. However, they are increasingly polluted by urban activities leading to the loss of biodiversity and the functions they provide. While traditional sediment remediation strategies are focussed on microbial and engineering solutions, we propose that the reintroduction of belowground ecosystem engineers (bioturbators) is important to rehabilitate polluted...

Secondary predation constrains DNA-based diet reconstruction in two threatened shark species

Mark De Bruyn, Matteo Barbato, Joseph D. DiBattista & Matt K. Broadhurst
Increasing fishing effort, including bycatch and discard practices, are impacting marine biodiversity, particularly among slow-to-reproduce taxa such as elasmobranchs, and specifically sharks. While some fisheries involving sharks are sustainably managed, collateral mortalities continue, contributing towards > 35% of species being threatened with extinction. To effectively manage shark stocks, life-history information, including resource use and feeding ecologies is pivotal, especially among those species with wide-ranging distributions. Two cosmopolitan sharks bycaught off eastern Australia are the common...

Data from: Genotype-environment mismatch of kelp forests under climate change

Sofie Vranken, Thomas Wernberg, Armin Scheben, Anita Severn-Ellis, Jacqueline Batley, Philipp Emanuel Bayer, David Edwards, David Wheeler & Melinda Ann Coleman
Climate change is increasingly impacting ecosystems globally. Understanding adaptive genetic diversity and whether it will keep pace with projected climatic change is necessary to assess species’ vulnerability and design efficient mitigation strategies such as assisted adaptation. Kelp forests are the foundations of temperate reefs globally but are declining in many regions due to climate stress. A lack of knowledge of kelps’ adaptive genetic diversity hinders assessment of vulnerability under extant and future climates. Using 4245...

Host genetics, phenotype and geography structure the microbiome of a foundational seaweed

Georgina Wood, Georgina Wood, Peter Steinberg, Alexandra Campbell, Adriana Verges, Melinda Coleman & Ezequiel Marzinelli
Interactions between hosts and their microbiota are critical to the functioning and resilience of eukaryotic macro-organisms. Critically, for hosts that play foundational roles in communities, understanding what drives these interactions is essential for informing restoration and conservation of entire ecosystems. Here, we investigated the relative influence of host traits and the surrounding environment on microbial communities associated with the foundational seaweed Phyllospora comosa. We collected data on 16 morphological and functional phenotypic traits, host genetics...

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Affiliations

  • New South Wales Department of Primary Industries
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