Biosphere | Zoology | Mollusks
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Utilisation of the introduced New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania - depth-related variance in shell occupancy
Interactions between native and introduced species can help to elucidate the impact of exotic species on the broader community. This work examines utilisation of an introduced gastropod, the New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania. Variation in shell occupancy by hermit crabs was examined across different depths (10, 20, 30 and 40m) within a single site (Dennes Point, SE Tasmania). Sediment cores were taken from 10 and 20 m to compare sediment size structure. A sediment preference trial using the hermit crab Paguristes tuberculatus was also carried out (using sediment from 10m and 20m) to try and determine the low level of hermit crab occupancy at 20m (compared with that at 10m).
Reef Life Survey: Linking volunteer divers, scientists and managers in marine research and conservation - WEBSITE
Reef Life Survey is a program that trains and assists a network of skilled and committed recreational divers to cost-effectively assess the state of the inshore marine environment at the continental scale. The program uses standardised underwater visual census methods employed by SCUBA divers to survey fish and invertebrate species and to record macroalgal and coral cover using photo quadrats - this record refers to the website for this program. By standardising techniques and establishing a monitoring system on a nation-wide scale, the program addresses many of the current problems associated with managing the marine environment, including the paucity, patchiness and variable quality of data on the distribution of and trends to marine biodiversity. A central database is managed for the storage, analysis and dissemination of data collected nationally, with a publicly-accessible web-based portal. The website allows information collected on Australia's marine environment to be accessed in a meaningful form by policy-makers and the general public, including recreational groups, scientists and industry. It also has information and resources for particpating divers and those wishing to become involved. The dataset generated by recreational divers will provide a national framework for monitoring the state of the inshore environment and the identification of those threats and locations of greatest conservation concern. This record points to the online resource for Reef Life Survey: http://www.reeflifesurvey.com/
Utilisation of the introduced New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania - shell preferences
Interactions between native and introduced species can help to elucidate the impact of exotic species on the broader community. This work examines utilisation of an introduced gastropod, the New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania.
This study examined the relationship between personality traits and a number of biological traits in the southern dumpling squid, Euprymna tasmanica. There were 2 contexts in which traits were measured - domain-general or context-specific manner, and four personality traits were measured (shy avoidance-bold aggression, activity, bury persistence and reactivity). Trait expression was context specific, and trait variation was partially explained by maturity and size, but had no links to gender or somatic/reproductive condition.
Behavioural syndromes are important in the context of understanding the evolution of behaviour. This study examines the lifetime development of shy/bold behaviour of dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica). The first component examined correlations of shy/bold behaviour across two test contexts - a threat and a feeding test, measured 5 times during the lifetime of the squid. The second component examined developmental plasticity in shy/bold phenotypes with age and sexual maturity.
Saltmarshes and other coastal, salt-affected sites were sampled at 63 sites selected to cover the full range of saltmarsh types from all around the Tasmanian coast and on King and Flinders Islands. Sampling was conducted within each of the three saltmarsh zones. A faunal survey was conducted to measure the distribution of crustaceans and molluscs in relation to flora and soil conditions.
Utilisation of the introduced New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania - spatial variability in occupancy
Interactions between native and introduced species can help to elucidate the impact of exotic species on the broader community. This work examines utilisation of an introduced gastropod, the New Zealand screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) by native hermit crabs in eastern Tasmania. Samples of screwshells were collected from Bass Strait, Maria Island, Pirates Bay and Dennes Point using a modified scallop dredge or collected by divers. Site location, date, depth, dredge opening size were recorded, and random sub-samples of shells were measured for length and width, and spire damage was scored. Hermit crabs, if present, were identified to species, sexed and measured.
By utilising targeted microprobe technology, the analysis of elements incorporated within the hard bio-mineralised structures of marine organisms has provided unique insights into the population biology of many species. As hard structures grow, elements from surrounding waters are incorporated effectively providing a natural ‘tag’ that is often unique to the animal’s particular location or habitat. The spatial distribution of elements within octopus stylets was investigated, using the nuclear microprobe, to assess their potential for determining dispersal and population structure in octopus populations. This was investigated in adult Octopus pallidus sourced from a commercial fishery in Tasmania.
Population structure and movement of Octopus maorum and Octopus pallidus, and predation on rock lobster
Samples of Octopus maorum and O. pallidus have been collected from the Eaglehawk fishery and as bycatch from southern rock lobster fishery to determine population structure and spatial and temporal trends. Tag recapture study of O. maorum and O. pallidus in Taroona reserve using PIT tags and movement study using acoustic tracking at Taroona reserve and Eaglehawk neck examine the temporal and spatial scales of movement and habitat use. Octopus tracked using VR2's (presence/absence data) and VRAP (triangulated positional data) at both sites.
Heritability of personality traits in dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica) and fitness-related consequences
This study used crosses of wild-caught dumpling squid (Euprymna tasmanica) males to multiple females with known behavioural types to evaluate patterns of additive and residual variance in behavioural traits from offspring under two contexts - a threat and a foraging test. Genetic contributions to behavioural expression were context-dependent. Threat context behaviour had significant heritability, while foraging context behaviour had lesser additive and greater residual components. Female trait variation was not correlated with fecundity. Female foraging boldness (which co-varied with size) explained some variation in brood hatching success. Positive assortion of mate pairs according to shy-bold phenotype determined fertilization success.