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Unmack P.J.,University of Canberra | Sandoval-Castillo J.,Flinders University | Hammer M.P.,Natural science | Adams M.,University of Adelaide | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2017

Conflicting results from different molecular datasets have long confounded our ability to characterise species boundaries. Here we use genome-wide SNP data and an expanded allozyme dataset to resolve conflicting systematic hypotheses on an enigmatic group of fishes (Gadopsis, river blackfishes, Percichthyidae) restricted to southeastern Australia. Previous work based on three sets of molecular markers: mtDNA, nuclear intron DNA and 51 allozyme loci was unable to clearly resolve the status of a putative fifth candidate species (SWV) within Gadopsis marmoratus. Resolving the taxonomic status of candidate species SWV is particularly critical as based on IUCN criteria this taxon would be considered Critically Endangered. After all filtering steps we retained a subset of 10,862 putatively unlinked SNP loci for population genetic and phylogenomic analyses. Analyses of SNP loci based on maximum likelihood, fastSTRUCTURE and DAPC were all consistent with the previous and updated allozyme results supporting the validity of the candidate Gadopsis species SWV. Immediate conservation actions should focus on preventing take by anglers, protection of water resources to sustain perennial reaches and drought refuge pools, and aquatic and riparian habitat protection and improvement. In addition, a formal morphological taxonomic review of the genus Gadopsis is urgently required. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


News Article | December 1, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Bolivia has more species of birds than any other land-locked country in the world. It is sixth in the world in terms of diversity of bird species, which is notable given that it has no marine birds. LSU Museum of Natural Science researchers and research collaborators in Bolivia have authored the first field guide book to birds of Bolivia. "Bolivia is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity," said LSU Museum of Natural Science Curator of Birds and John S. McIlhenny Distinguished Professor J.V. Remsen, who is a co-author of Birds of Bolivia. The LSU Museum of Natural Science has the world's largest collection of Bolivian birds, which is the backbone of data for the book and its illustrations. The field guide illustrates all 1,425 bird species of Bolivia and provides a concise synopsis of distribution, habitat, feeding behavior and diet, plumage variations, vocalizations, and behavior for each species, much of which was previously unpublished. Birds of Bolivia is also the first field guide to birds to apply computer algorithms called "ecological niche modeling" to map species distributions. These maps are more precise and objective than those in traditional field guides. The book is the culmination of decades of research by LSU Museum of Natural Science researchers. Remsen began LSU's field program in Bolivia in 1979. He and LSU Museum of Natural Science staff and students have added 111 bird species to the list of species known from Bolivia. "LSU museum staff and students typically spent two to three months each year from 1979 through 1993 conducting fieldwork in Bolivia," Remsen said. "LSU doctoral candidate and field guide co-author Ryan Terrill has rejuvenated the fieldwork in Bolivia and led the project for the past six years." LSU's recent fieldwork in Bolivia is made possible by support from the Coypu Foundation and other private donors. The nine-person international author team includes two Bolivian researchers. Two of the guide book artists are also Bolivian. "I am proud to be part of one of the only bird field guides to a Latin American country that was written and illustrated in part by home-grown talent," said Remsen, who emphasized the importance of developing in-country resources for the future of ornithology and conservation in Bolivia. Remsen and Terrill also predict that the new field guide will catalyze an increase in ecotourism in Bolivia by visiting bird-watchers. "Guidebooks like this put a lifetime of research into the hands of nature enthusiasts," said LSU Museum of Natural Science Director Robb Brumfield, who has made two research trips to Bolivia. "Natural science research collections make work like this possible, providing opportunities to discover new species, study our planet's rich biodiversity, share this rich knowledge with the public and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards." All proceeds from the book sales will go directly toward bird conservation, ecotourism capacity building and raising environmental awareness in Bolivia through Asociación Armonía, which is the leading bird conservation organization in Bolivia and is committed to protecting the country's most endangered species.


Wright V.P.,Natural science | Cherns L.,University of Cardiff
Journal of the Geological Society | Year: 2016

Ordovician change in the nature of seafloor carbonates saw rapid decline of previously widespread flat pebble conglomerates and the Palaeozoic peak abundance of hardgrounds. The effective disappearance of flat pebble conglomerates, widely attributed to physical disruption of substrate by bioturbation, is reinterpreted as reflecting increased depth of carbonate precipitation below the Taphonomically Active Zone such that early lithified carbonates were less frequently reworked by scour. With deeper, more stable zones of cementation, exhumed limestones formed hardgrounds, whose mid-Ordovician acme supported rapid increase in epizoan diversity. Further deepening of cementation to below normal scour accompanied post-Ordovician decline in submarine hardgrounds. © 2016 The Author(s). Published by The Geological Society of London. All rights reserved.


LSU Museum of Natural Science researchers and research collaborators in Bolivia have authored the first field guide book to birds of Bolivia. Credit: Asociación Armonía Bolivia has more species of birds than any other land-locked country in the world. It is sixth in the world in terms of diversity of bird species, which is notable given that it has no marine birds. LSU Museum of Natural Science researchers and research collaborators in Bolivia have authored the first field guide book to birds of Bolivia. "Bolivia is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of biodiversity," said LSU Museum of Natural Science Curator of Birds and John S. McIlhenny Distinguished Professor J.V. Remsen, who is a co-author of Birds of Bolivia. The LSU Museum of Natural Science has the world's largest collection of Bolivian birds, which is the backbone of data for the book and its illustrations. The field guide illustrates all 1,425 bird species of Bolivia and provides a concise synopsis of distribution, habitat, feeding behavior and diet, plumage variations, vocalizations, and behavior for each species, much of which was previously unpublished. Birds of Bolivia is also the first field guide to birds to apply computer algorithms called "ecological niche modeling" to map species distributions. These maps are more precise and objective than those in traditional field guides. The book is the culmination of decades of research by LSU Museum of Natural Science researchers. Remsen began LSU's field program in Bolivia in 1979. He and LSU Museum of Natural Science staff and students have added 111 bird species to the list of species known from Bolivia. "LSU museum staff and students typically spent two to three months each year from 1979 through 1993 conducting fieldwork in Bolivia," Remsen said. "LSU doctoral candidate and field guide co-author Ryan Terrill has rejuvenated the fieldwork in Bolivia and led the project for the past six years." LSU's recent fieldwork in Bolivia is made possible by support from the Coypu Foundation and other private donors. The nine-person international author team includes two Bolivian researchers. Two of the guide book artists are also Bolivian. "I am proud to be part of one of the only bird field guides to a Latin American country that was written and illustrated in part by home-grown talent," said Remsen, who emphasized the importance of developing in-country resources for the future of ornithology and conservation in Bolivia. Remsen and Terrill also predict that the new field guide will catalyze an increase in ecotourism in Bolivia by visiting bird-watchers. "Guidebooks like this put a lifetime of research into the hands of nature enthusiasts," said LSU Museum of Natural Science Director Robb Brumfield, who has made two research trips to Bolivia. "Natural science research collections make work like this possible, providing opportunities to discover new species, study our planet's rich biodiversity, share this rich knowledge with the public and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards." All proceeds from the book sales will go directly toward bird conservation, ecotourism capacity building and raising environmental awareness in Bolivia through Asociación Armonía, which is the leading bird conservation organization in Bolivia and is committed to protecting the country's most endangered species.


Hammer M.P.,Natural science | Hammer M.P.,South Australian Museum | Adams M.,South Australian Museum | Foster R.,South Australian Museum
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

South Australia is a large Australian state (∼1,000,000 km2) with diverse aquatic habitats spread across temperate to arid environments. The knowledge of freshwater fishes in this jurisdiction has advanced considerably since the last detailed catalogue of native and alien species was published in 2004 owing to significant survey and research effort, spatial analysis of museum data, and incidental records. The updated list includes 60 native and 35 alien species. New additions to the native fauna include cryptic species of Retropinna semoni s.l. (Weber) and Galaxias olidus s.l. (Günther). Two others have been rediscovered after long absences, namely Neochanna cleaveri (Scott) and Mogurnda adspersa (Castelnau). Range extensions are reported for native populations of Galaxias brevipinnis Günther, Leiopotherapon unicolour (Günther), Hypseleotris spp. (hybridogenetic forms) and Philypnodon macrostomus Hoese and Reader. There are five new alien species records (all aquarium species) including Phalloceros caudimaculatus (Hensel), Poecilia reticulata Peters, Xiphophorus hellerii Heckel, Astronotus ocellatus (Agassiz) and Paratilapia polleni Bleeker, with confirmation of Misgurnus anguillicaudatus (Cantor). Other range extensions for alien (exotic or translocated native) species in different drainage divisions (various modes of human-mediated dispersal) include Nematalosa erebi (Günther), Cyprinus carpio Linnaeus, Oncorhynchus mykiss (Walbaum), Salmo salar Linnaeus, Salvelinus fontinalis (Mitchell), Melanotaenia fluviatilis (Castelnau), Atherinosoma microstoma (Günther), Macquaria novemaculeata (Steindachner), Nannoperca australis Günther, Pseudaphritis urvillii (Valenciennes), and Hypseleotris spp. (hybridogenetic forms). New records are a combination of greater available information and new incursions, highlighting the need for ongoing detailed surveys and reporting to detect rare native and alien species.


Mayall M.J.,Imperial College London | Wright V.P.,Natural science
Palaios | Year: 2015

We find the Ibarra et al. (2014) assertion that the Cotham Marble is an indicator of late Triassic mass extinction unconvincing. Their statement that a microbialite facies extends for over 2000km2 is misleading. A distinctive micritic bed is indeed widespread but the distribution of the microbialite facies is patchy and local. The fauna, flora, facies, and sedimentology above and below Cotham Marble are entirely consistent with it developing in a lagoonal setting in an overall transgression. Describing its depositional setting as a 'dead zone' is inappropriate and a distraction from understanding the complex depositional, tectonic, and environmental factors which caused a number of rapid changes in the facies, fauna, and flora during the late Triassic transgression succession in southwestern Britain. Microtubus communis is an important component in the construction of the digitate 'landscape' form of the Cotham Marble. Ibarra et al. (2014) have overlooked some key outcrops of the facies in North Somerset in which small mounds clearly show the intimate development of the start of vertical digitate morphologies associated with the presence of Microtubus communis. Copyright © 2015, SEPM (Society for Sedimentary Geology).


Jawad L.A.,Natural science
Anatomical Record | Year: 2013

Hyperostotic conditions are described in three teleost fishes. Pomadasys stridens, (Haemulidae; 326 mm TL, 314 mm SL), Drepane longimana (Drepanidae; 450 mm, TL, 440 mm SL), and Platax teira (Ephippidae) captured off the coast of Muscat City. There are regions of hyperostosis in four bones in P. stridens, three in D. longimana and seven in P. teira. Size, shape, position, and species-specific characteristics showed wide variation in these three species. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


The sagittae mass asymmetry was in the teleost Carangoides caeruleopinnatus. The value of the asymmetry was calculated as the difference between the mass of the right and left paired otoliths, divided by average otolith mass. The results show that the absolute value of X in C. caeruleopinnatus does not depend on fish length and otolith growth rate, as it does in other symmetrical fish species. However, the absolute value of otolith mass difference increases with the fish length. The value of x falls between -0.2 and +0.2.


Brauer C.J.,Flinders University | Hammer M.P.,Natural science | Beheregaray L.B.,Flinders University
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2016

Understanding how natural selection generates and maintains adaptive genetic diversity in heterogeneous environments is key to predicting the evolutionary response of populations to rapid environmental change. Detecting selection in complex spatial environments remains challenging, especially for threatened species where the effects of strong genetic drift may overwhelm signatures of selection. We carried out a basinwide riverscape genomic analysis in the threatened southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis), an ecological specialist with low dispersal potential. High-resolution environmental data and 5162 high-quality filtered SNPs were used to clarify spatial population structure and to assess footprints of selection associated with a steep hydroclimatic gradient and with human disturbance across the naturally and anthropogenically fragmented Murray–Darling Basin (Australia). Our approach included FST outlier tests to define neutral loci, and a combination of spatially explicit genotype–environment association analyses to identify candidate adaptive loci while controlling for the effects of landscape structure and shared population history. We found low levels of genetic diversity and strong neutral population structure consistent with expectations based on spatial stream hierarchy and life history. In contrast, variables related to precipitation and temperature appeared as the most important environmental surrogates for putatively adaptive genetic variation at both regional and local scales. Human disturbance also influenced the variation in candidate loci for adaptation, but only at a local scale. Our study contributes to understanding of adaptive evolution along naturally and anthropogenically fragmented ecosystems. It also offers a tangible example of the potential contributions of landscape genomics for informing in situ and ex situ conservation management of biodiversity. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd


PubMed | Natural science and Flinders University
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Molecular ecology | Year: 2016

Understanding how natural selection generates and maintains adaptive genetic diversity in heterogeneous environments is key to predicting the evolutionary response of populations to rapid environmental change. Detecting selection in complex spatial environments remains challenging, especially for threatened species where the effects of strong genetic drift may overwhelm signatures of selection. We carried out a basinwide riverscape genomic analysis in the threatened southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis), an ecological specialist with low dispersal potential. High-resolution environmental data and 5162 high-quality filtered SNPs were used to clarify spatial population structure and to assess footprints of selection associated with a steep hydroclimatic gradient and with human disturbance across the naturally and anthropogenically fragmented Murray-Darling Basin (Australia). Our approach included F

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