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South Brisbane, Australia

Dudaniec R.Y.,University of Queensland | Rhodes J.R.,University of Queensland | Worthington Wilmer J.,Natural Environments Program | Lyons M.,University of Queensland | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2013

Landscape genetics offers a powerful approach to understanding species' dispersal patterns. However, a central obstacle is to account for ecological processes operating at multiple spatial scales, while keeping research outcomes applicable to conservation management. We address this challenge by applying a novel multilevel regression approach to model landscape drivers of genetic structure at both the resolution of individuals and at a spatial resolution relevant to management (i.e. local government management areas: LGAs) for the koala (Phascolartos cinereus) in Australia. Our approach allows for the simultaneous incorporation of drivers of landscape-genetic relationships operating at multiple spatial resolutions. Using microsatellite data for 1106 koalas, we show that, at the individual resolution, foliage projective cover (FPC) facilitates high gene flow (i.e. low resistance) until it falls below approximately 30%. Out of six additional land-cover variables, only highways and freeways further explained genetic distance after accounting for the effect of FPC. At the LGA resolution, there was significant variation in isolation-by-resistance (IBR) relationships in terms of their slopes and intercepts. This was predominantly explained by the average resistance distance among LGAs, with a weaker effect of historical forest cover. Rates of recent landscape change did not further explain variation in IBR relationships among LGAs. By using a novel multilevel model, we disentangle the effect of landscape resistance on gene flow at the fine resolution (i.e. among individuals) from effects occurring at coarser resolutions (i.e. among LGAs). This has important implications for our ability to identify appropriate scale-dependent management actions. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Hoskin C.J.,James Cook University | Couper P.J.,Natural Environments Program
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Tropical rainforest is largely restricted in Australia to the fairly continuous Wet Tropics region and disconnected patches to the north on Cape York. The Wet Tropics is relatively well explored and studied, whereas the rainforests of Cape York have received less attention due to their remoteness. Here we describe two new species of Glaphyromorphus skinks from rainforest areas on Cape York. The two new species are most similar to each other and to G. fuscicaudis and G. nigricaudis, but both are readily diagnosed on numerous traits. Glaphyromorphus othelarrni sp. nov. is diagnosed from all similar species by its supralabial count (typically 8 vs 7), high number of subdigital lamellae beneath the 4th finger (14 -15 vs < 14), and its relatively longer limbs. Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov. is diagnosed from all similar species by its small body size (max SVL = 54 mm vs > 85 mm) and slender body shape, low number of subdigital lamellae beneath the 4thtoe (17-20 vs generally 20 or more), and head and body pattern. Both species also differ from each other and similar congeners in other aspects of body shape, scalation and colour pattern. Glaphyromorphus othelarrni sp. nov. is restricted to boulder-strewn rainforest of the Melville Range, whilst Glaphyromorphus nyanchupinta sp. nov. is known only from upland rainforest in the Mcllwraith Range. We discuss patterns of rainforest vertebrate endemism on Cape York, and the importance of lithorefugia in generating these. © 2014 Magnolia Press.

A survey of the myxosporean fauna of Australian marine fishes revealed the presence of three previously unreported species of Unicapsula (Multivalvulida: Trilosporidae) from sites off Southeast Queensland, off Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and from Jurien Bay in Western Australia. Morphometric data (spore, polar capsule and caudal appendage dimensions) combined with Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood analyses of small subunit (SSU) and large subunit (LSU) ribosomal DNA (rDNA) were used for species identification and to explore relationships among these taxa. The four species of Unicapsula for which DNA data are now available for comparative purposes (Unicapsula andersenae n. sp., Unicapsula pflugfelderi, Unicapsula seriolae and Unicapsula pyramidata) formed a well-supported monophyletic sister clade to the other major multivalvulidan group, the Kudoidae. The combined morphometric and genetic diagnostic approach identified an undescribed taxon, U. andersenae n. sp., from the muscle of Argyrosomus japonicus, Acanthopagrus australis and Eleutheronema tetradactylum off the Southeast Queensland coast and in Lutjanus russellii and Sillago ciliata off Lizard Island. Intra-specific variation within U. andersenae n. sp. varied from 2-4 (0.2-0.4 %) nucleotides over the SSU region to 2-20 (0.3-3.2 %) over the LSU region. Inter-specific variation between U. andersenae n. sp. and the other three species for which genetic sequence data are now available ranged from 15-66 (3-6.5 %) nucleotides over the SSU region to 103-120 (17.6-21.2 %) nucleotides over the LSU region. The host distribution observed here for U. andersenae n. sp. (five fish species from five different fish families) represents the broadest specificity known for a single species of Unicapsula. U. pyramidata Naidjenova & Zaika 1970, whose spore morphology and presence of caudal appendages immediately distinguish it from other species, was recovered from the nemipterid, Scolopsis monogramma, off Lizard Island. U. seriolae Lester 1982 is reported here from Yellowtail Kingfish, Seriola lalandi, from sites off Queensland and from Jurien Bay, Western Australia. Comparative genetic analyses also revealed that an unidentified species of Unicapsula from Epinephelus septemfasciatus off Japan whose rDNA sequence data are available on GenBank is consistent with U. seriolae. This suggests that U. seriolae may also exhibit low host specificity and may be distributed widely throughout the Indo-West Pacific region. In comparison to other myxozoan genera, it is clear that the species richness of Unicapsula spp. falls well below that displayed by either Ceratomyxa spp. or Kudoa spp. The discovery of a further new species of Unicapsula in Australia now brings the total worldwide number of formally described Unicapsula species to a modest 11. Nonetheless, this taxon remains of significant interest to commercial and recreational fisheries through the potential production of macroscopic pseudocysts in fish muscle and post-mortem muscle liquefaction, both of which can render fish fillets unpalatable and unmarketable. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Adlard R.D.,Natural Environments Program | Miller T.L.,James Cook University | Smit N.J.,North West University South Africa
Trends in Parasitology | Year: 2015

Aquatic wildlife is increasingly subjected to emerging diseases often due to perturbations of the existing dynamic balance between hosts and their parasites. Accelerating changes in environmental factors, together with anthropogenic translocation of hosts and parasites, act synergistically to produce hard-to-predict disease outcomes in freshwater and marine systems. These outcomes are further complicated by the intimate links between diseases in wildlife and diseases in humans and domestic animals. Here, we explore the interactions of parasites in aquatic wildlife in terms of their biodiversity, their response to environmental change, their emerging diseases, and the contribution of humans and domestic animals to parasitic disease outcomes. This work highlights the clear need for interdisciplinary approaches to ameliorate disease impacts in aquatic wildlife systems. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Dietz L.,Ruhr University Bochum | Krapp F.,Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum | Hendrickx M.E.,National Autonomous University of Mexico | Arango C.P.,Natural Environments Program | And 3 more authors.
Organisms Diversity and Evolution | Year: 2013

Within the Pycnogonida, genetic studies have revealed that Colossendeis megalonyx Hoek (Challenger Report, Zoology, 3(X), 1-167, 1881), consists of a complex of several cryptic or overlooked species. Colossendeis megalonyx is a typical Southern Hemisphere species complex distributed primarily on the continental shelves in the Antarctic and Subantarctic. However, a different Colossendeis species with a completely different geographic distribution range, Colossendeis tenera Hilton (Journal of Entomology and Zoology, Pomona College, Claremont, 35(1), 2-4, 1943), was considered a subspecies of Colossendeis megalonyx by Turpaeva (Trudy Instituta Okeanology "P. P. Shirshova", Akademy Nauk SSSR, 103, 230-246, 1975). Colossendeis tenera occurs predominantly along the Pacific Coast of North America from the Bering Sea to central California. Prominent differences between these two currently distinct species are found in body proportions and other characters that were interpreted by Turpaeva as a possible case of pedomorphosis induced by deep-sea conditions. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that Colossendeis tenera belongs to the Colossendeis megalonyx complex by analyzing available and novel sequence data (CO1 and H3) of both Colossendeis megalonyx and Colossendeis tenera as well as a similar, apparently closely related species, Colossendeis angusta Sars (Archiv for Mathematik og Naturvidenskab, 2, 237-271, 1877). We compared morphometric data and SEM of the ovigera of these species. Our results clearly indicate that Colossendeis tenera and Colossendeis angusta are not a part of the Colossendeis megalonyx complex. A sister-group relationship of Colossendeis tenera and Colossendeis angusta is strongly supported, but Colossendeis tenera is not clearly resolved as monophyletic with respect to Colossendeis angusta. This work highlights the need for further examination of the variation found in the tenera-angusta clade. It also gives a first hint of the phylogenetic affinities of species within Colossendeis. © 2013 Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik.

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