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1. Studies seeking to explain local patterns of diversity have typically relied on niche explanations, reflected in correlations with local environmental conditions, or neutral theory, invoking dispersal processes and speciation. 2. We used macroinvertebrate community data from 10 streams that varied independently in local ecological conditions and spatial(More)
The global biodiversity crisis concerns not only unprecedented loss of species within communities, but also related consequences for ecosystem function. Community ecology focuses on patterns of species richness and community composition, whereas ecosystem ecology focuses on fluxes of energy and materials. Food webs provide a quantitative framework to(More)
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)
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)
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)
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)