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The concept of trophic levels is one of the oldest in ecology and informs our understanding of energy flow and top-down control within food webs, but it has been criticized for ignoring omnivory. We tested whether trophic levels were apparent in 58 real food webs in four habitat types by examining patterns of trophic position. A large proportion of taxa(More)
Refugia have been suggested as priority sites for conservation under climate change because of their ability to facilitate survival of biota under adverse conditions. Here, we review the likely role of refugial habitats in conserving freshwater biota in arid Australian aquatic systems where the major long-term climatic influence has been aridification. We(More)
Experimental studies assessing climatic effects on ecological communities have typically applied static warming treatments. Although these studies have been informative, they have usually failed to incorporate either current or predicted future, patterns of variability. Future climates are likely to include extreme events which have greater impacts on(More)
Despite growing awareness of the significance of body-size and predator-prey body-mass ratios for the stability of ecological networks, our understanding of their distribution within ecosystems is incomplete. Here, we study the relationships between predator and prey size, body-mass ratios and predator trophic levels using body-mass estimates of 1313(More)
The hypotheses that beta diversity should increase with decreasing latitude and increase with spatial extent of a region have rarely been tested based on a comparative analysis of multiple datasets, and no such study has focused on stream insects. We first assessed how well variability in beta diversity of stream insect metacommunities is predicted by(More)
Small coastal dolphins endemic to south-eastern Australia have variously been assigned to described species Tursiops truncatus, T. aduncus or T. maugeanus; however the specific affinities of these animals is controversial and have recently been questioned. Historically 'the southern Australian Tursiops' was identified as unique and was formally named(More)
Understanding the foraging ecology and diet of animals can play a crucial role in conservation of a species. This is particularly true where species are cryptic and coexist in environments where observing feeding behaviour directly is difficult. Here we present the first information on the foraging ecology of a recently identified species of dolphin(More)
Stream and river ecosystems are dependent on energetic inputs from their watersheds and thus shifts in land use from forest cover to agriculture will affect stream community composition and function. The disruption of forest-aquatic linkages alters the organic matter resources in agricultural streams. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) is the dominant form of(More)
Oil development in the Arctic has wide-reaching effects on ecosystem health, including both direct habitat destruction and indirect cumulative impacts on the adjacent landscape (Walker & Walker, 1991; NRC, 2003). Vehicle transport is one of the most widespread forms of arctic disturbance (Forbes, Ebersole & Strandberg, 2001). The direct ecological impacts(More)
Most research on the effects of environmental change in freshwaters has focused on incremental changes in average conditions, rather than fluctuations or extreme events such as heatwaves, cold snaps, droughts, floods or wildfires, which may have even more profound consequences. Such events are commonly predicted to increase in frequency, intensity and(More)