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Maurizio Rossetto

Maurizio Rossetto
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust · Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience

PhD

About

346
Publications
55,067
Reads
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Introduction
One of my principal research interests is to understand why species are distributed and assembled the way they are. This involves three main research steps: 1) describe the distribution of diversity; 2) place diversity patterns within a temporal context; 3) explore adaptive responses to local selective filters. In the lab we combine genetic (increasingly genomic), environmental and ecological data to investigate factors that affect diversification across a range of spatial and temporal scales.
Additional affiliations
January 2015 - December 2021
The University of Queensland
Position
  • Professor
March 2002 - May 2020
Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust
Position
  • Principal Investigator
March 1997 - December 2001
Southern Cross University
Education
January 1992 - May 1995
University of Western Australia
Field of study
  • Conservation Biology

Publications

Publications (346)
Article
Full-text available
Fontainea is a plant genus with nine recognised species that occur across the tropical and subtropical rainforests of Australia, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, and Vanuatu. One of these species is cultivated commercially as the source of a cancer therapeutic, and several other species are under threat of extinction. Despite this, the phylogenetic...
Article
Premise: Understanding evolutionary history and classifying discrete units of organisms remains an overwhelming task, and lags in this discipline concomitantly impede an accurate documentation of biodiversity and conservation management. Rapid advances and improved accessibility of sensitive high throughput sequencing tools are fortunately quicken...
Article
Background and Aims Knowledge of the evolutionary processes responsible for the distribution of threatened and highly localised species is important for their conservation. Population genomics can provide insights into evolutionary processes to inform management practices, including the translocation of threatened plant species. In this study, we f...
Article
Full-text available
Accurately detecting sudden changes, or steps, in genetic diversity across landscapes is important for locating barriers to gene flow, identifying selectively important loci, and defining management units. However, there are many metrics that researchers could use to detect steps and little information on which might be the most robust. Our study a...
Article
Full-text available
Over millennia, Indigenous peoples have dispersed the propagules of non-crop plants through trade, seasonal migration or attending ceremonies; and potentially increased the geographic range or abundance of many food species around the world. Genomic data can be used to reconstruct these histories. However, it can be difficult to disentangle anthrop...
Article
Plant collections are important for the conservation of threatened species, and can provide material for ecological restoration. Typically we want collections to have high genetic diversity so populations founded from it are adaptable to future challenges. Sometimes, we have additional objectives for collections, such as enrichment for desirable tr...
Article
The expansions and contractions of a species’ range in response to temporal changes in selective filters leave genetic signatures that can inform a more accurate reconstruction of their evolutionary history across the landscape. After a long period of continental decline, Australian rainforests settled into localised patterns of contraction / expan...
Article
Full-text available
Collaborations between Indigenous and non‐Indigenous scientific researchers are increasingly mandated by global to local conservation policy and research ethics guidelines. Breakdowns occur due to misunderstandings around expected protocols of engagement and cooperation, which are compounded by lack of broader awareness of differences in cultural v...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, 15,521 animal species are listed as threatened by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and of these less than 3% have genomic resources that can inform conservation management. To combat this, global genome initiatives are developing genomic resources, yet production of a reference genome alone does not conserve a speci...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Telopea speciosissima , the New South Wales waratah, is Australian endemic woody shrub in the family Proteaceae. Waratahs have great potential as a model clade to better understand processes of speciation, introgression and adaptation, and are significant from a horticultural perspective. Findings Here, we report the first chromosome-le...
Chapter
The iconic Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) is a critically endangered Australian conifer and one of the world's rarest trees with only 46 mature individuals remaining in the wild. The species is regarded as a “living fossil” and was discovered on the brink of extinction following a natural historical decline. While its discovery has enabled crucial...
Preprint
Full-text available
The iconic Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis) is a critically endangered Australian conifer and one of the world’s rarest trees with only 46 mature individuals remaining in the wild. The species is regarded as a ‘living fossil’ and was discovered on the brink of extinction following a natural historical decline. While its discovery has enabled crucial...
Article
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of values of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 448 traits across 28,640 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxon descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of per...
Article
Full-text available
The creek sandpaper fig of southeastern Australia, Ficus coronata Spin, is culturally significant to Australian traditional owners who made use of the leaves to smooth timber and ate the fruit. The species is thought to have a long history on the continent, with some suggesting a Gondwanan origin. However, distributional patterns and overall ecolog...
Article
Full-text available
We consider approaches for conserving genetic diversity from plant populations whose destruction is imminent. We do this using SNP genotype data from two endangered species, Pimelea spicata and Eucalyptus sp. Cattai. For both species, we genotyped plants from a ‘condemned’ population and designed ex situ collections, characterizing how the size and...
Article
Aim Exchange of plant lineages between Australia and Southeast Asia has had a substantial impact on the evolution of Australia's northern, tropical flora, with important ramifications for its conservation and biosecurity. Despite this, floristic exchange tracks between northern Australia and Southeast Asia remain poorly understood. To address this,...
Article
Full-text available
Refugia play an important role in contributing to the conservation of species and communities by buffering environmental conditions over time. As large natural landscapes worldwide are declining and are increasingly threatened by extreme events, critical decision-making in biological conservation depends on improved understanding of what is being p...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms underlying species divergence remains a central goal in evolutionary biology. Landscape genetics can be a powerful tool for examining evolutionary processes. We used genome‐wide scans to genotype samples from populations of eight Angophora species. Angophora is a small genus within the eucalypts comprising common and ra...
Article
Full-text available
Owing to decreasing costs and increased efficiency, it is now conceivable that conservation genomic information can be used to improve the effectiveness of recovery programs for many, if not most, threatened plants. We suggest that a simple genomic study be viewed as an initial step in conservation decision-making, as it informs long-term recovery...
Preprint
Full-text available
We introduce the AusTraits database - a compilation of measurements of plant traits for taxa in the Australian flora (hereafter AusTraits). AusTraits synthesises data on 375 traits across 29230 taxa from field campaigns, published literature, taxonomic monographs, and individual taxa descriptions. Traits vary in scope from physiological measures of...
Article
Full-text available
Ecological restoration requires balancing levels of genetic diversity to achieve present-day establishment as well as long-term sustainability. Assumptions based on distributional, taxonomic or functional generalizations are often made when deciding how to source plant material for restoration. We investigate this assumption and ask whether species...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
The movement (or invasion) of plant lineages from Sunda (the Malay Archipelago) into Sahul (mainland Australia) has resulted in a present‐day Australian rain forest flora of mixed ancestries. Floristic integration increased during the Quaternary when continental vegetation was subjected to recurrent expansion/contraction cycles. To date, this expan...
Article
Full-text available
Synthesizing trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Species traits are widely used in ecological and evolutionary science, and new data and methods have proliferated rapidly. Yet accessing and integrating disparate data sources remains a considerable challenge, slowing progress t...
Article
Aim: Large-scale patterns in flower and fruit traits provide critical insights into selection processes and the evolutionary history of plant lineages. To isolate and identify the role of selective pressures including different plant-animal interactions, and the factors driving trait evolution, we investigate convergence and divergence between flow...
Article
Full-text available
With the aim to solve long-standing problems of taxonomic delimitation within the E. obovatus species complex (E. obovatus G.Don, E. arnhemicus F.Muell., E. sp. Mt Bellenden Ker (L.J.Brass 18336) Qld Herbarium and E. coorangooloo J.F.Bailey & C.T.White), diversity and relatedness were assessed using a combined population genetics and morphometric a...
Article
The chance discovery of an unusual Ficus specimen near Katherine in the Northern Territory prompted an investigation into hybridisation between two morphologically distinct endemic Australian sandpaper figs, Ficus aculeata A.Cunn. ex Miq. and F. coronulata Miq. In this study, genome-wide scans and morphological measurements were used to investigate...
Article
Full-text available
Context Climate refugia—areas that remain suitable for species during periods of climate disruption—have played an important role in species persistence over time. Identifying and protecting these refugia is a key climate change adaptation approach for conservation planning. Objectives To identify climate refugia for Australian tropical/sub-tropic...
Article
Full-text available
Unraveling the origins of Malesia's once vast, hyperdiverse rainforests is a perennial challenge. Major contributions to rainforest assembly came from floristic elements carried on the Indian Plate and montane elements from the Australian Plate (Sahul). The Sahul component is now understood to include substantial two-way exchanges with Sunda inclus...
Article
Full-text available
Hybridisation is a complex process that has important evolutionary consequences. In the case of rare species, a comprehensive understanding of inter-specific hybridisation can be critical for their conservation and management. Eucalyptus tetrapleura is a rare species of ironbark that is restricted to a 40 km × 100 km area around Grafton on the Nort...
Article
Translocations of threatened species can reduce the risk of extinction from a catastrophic event. For plants, translocation consists of moving individuals, seeds, or cuttings from a native (source) population to a new site. Ideally a translocation population would be genetically diverse and consist of fit founding individuals. In practice, there ar...
Article
Full-text available
Niche partitioning can lead to differences in the range dynamics of plant species through its impacts on habitat availability, dispersal, or selection for traits that affect colonization and persistence. We investigated whether niche partitioning into upland and riparian habitats differentiates the range dynamics of two closely related and sympatri...
Preprint
Full-text available
Synthesising trait observations and knowledge across the Tree of Life remains a grand challenge for biodiversity science. Despite the well-recognised importance of traits for addressing ecological and evolutionary questions, trait-based approaches still struggle with several basic data requirements to deliver openly accessible, reproducible, and tr...
Article
The timing and tempo of the processes involved in community assembly are of substantial concern to community ecologists and conservation managers. The fossil record is a valuable source of data for studying past changes in community composition, but it is not always detailed enough to allow the process of community assembly to be resolved at region...
Article
Full-text available
Correlations between plant species occurrences and climate are used as evidence of ecological sorting and climate sensitivity. However, because observed patterns may be spatially and historically contingent, interpretations of compositional responses to spatial differences in climate should ideally consider past climatic fluctuations, edaphic facto...
Article
The wet forests of south-east Australia can be coarsely divided into cool-temperate communities characterised by relictual Gondwanan lineages with a history of persistence in scattered refugia, and subtropical communities showing stronger Malesian floristic influences, with post-glacial expansion dynamics. Insights into the assembly and dynamics of...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Translocation is the deliberate transfer of plants or regenerative plant material from an ex situ collection or natural population to a new location, usually in the wild. It includes reintroduction, introduction, reinforcement, assisted migration and assisted colonization. This document provides best-practice guidelines for conservation translocati...
Article
Full-text available
Here we present ‘Restore and Renew’, a replicable framework for gathering and interpreting evolutionary, ecological and genomic data in support of restoration practices. In an era of rapid climatic change and continuous widespread clearing, revegetation projects need to focus on producing resilient and long‐term self‐sustaining populations. Restore...
Article
Full-text available
PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Nuclear microsatellite markers were developed for population genetic analysis of the threatened paleoendemic conifer Pherosphaera hookeriana (Podocarpaceae). METHODS AND RESULTS: Fifteen variable loci were identified showing one to 13 alleles per population, with seven loci displaying at least four alleles in all populations,...
Article
Full-text available
Novel restoration approaches are required to provide food and habitat for declining bird populations, particularly as pressures increase from growing human populations and climate change. Fig (Ficus) species support many frugivores but there is a gap in our knowledge about the importance of these insect-pollinated plants to insectivores. We tested...
Article
Full-text available
Speciation is a complex process that is fundamental to the origins of biological diversity. While there has been considerable progress in our understanding of speciation, there are still many unanswered questions, especially regarding barriers to gene flow in diverging populations. Eucalyptus is an appropriate system for investigating speciation mec...
Article
Natural history collections are alternative data sources to plot-based species inventories for analysing macroecological species turnover. Herbarium records sample diversity well at regional level and are taxonomically validated. However, they are ad hoc from a sampling perspective, generating spatial and taxonomic biases. The implications of biase...
Article
Full-text available
To evaluate how biogeographical and ecological processes influenced species distributions and community assembly in a continental rain forest flora with mixed biogeographical origins. Continental Australia. We identified 795 species with Sahul ancestry (Australian rain forest flora of Gondwanan origin) and 604 species with Sunda ancestry (rain fore...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Prehistoric human activities have contributed to the dispersal of many culturally important plants. The study of these traditional interactions can alter the way we perceive the natural distribution and dynamics of species and communities. Comprehensive research on native crops combining evolutionary and anthropological data is reveali...
Data
Interview questions and anthropological evidence. (DOCX)
Data
Short video showing a brief summary of a workshop held in early 2017, and aimed at bringing together Indigenous communities from the east coast of Australia to share and revive knowledge on Black Bean processing as a staple food item. (MP4)
Data
Environmental niche models. (DOCX)
Data
Additional genomic information. (DOCX)
Data
Selected cultural data examples. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims: Investigating species distributions across geographic barriers is a commonly utilized method in biogeography to help understand the functional traits that allow plants to disperse successfully. Here the biogeographic pattern analysis approach is extended by using chloroplast DNA whole-genome 'mining' to examine the functional...
Article
Full-text available
In their Perspective “Do not publish” (26 May, p. 800), D. Lindenmayer and B. Scheele warn that publishing location data for rare, endangered, or newly described species could promote wildlife poaching, strain landholder relations, and accelerate habitat destruction. To prevent these outcomes, they recommend that researchers withhold such location...
Article
Full-text available
Premise of the study: Phenotypic plasticity is an important means through which organisms cope with environmental variability. We investigated seedling plasticity in the green ash eucalypts within a phylogenetic framework to examine the relationship between plasticity and evolutionary history. The green ashes are a diverse group, which include the...
Article
Full-text available
Transects that traverse substantial climate gradients are important tools for climate change research and allow questions on the extent to which phenotypic variation associates with climate, the link between climate and species distributions, and variation in sensitivity to climate change among biomes to be addressed. However, the potential limitat...
Article
Full-text available
Transects that traverse substantial climate gradients are important tools for climate change research and allow questions on the extent to which phenotypic variation associates with climate, the link between climate and species distributions, and variation in sensitivity to climate change among biomes to be addressed. However, the potential limitat...