1. We investigated factors hypothesized to influence introduction success and sub-sequent geographical range size in 52 species of bird that have been introduced to mainland Australia.
2. The 19 successful species had been introduced more times, at more sites and in greater overall numbers. Relative to failed species, successfully introduced species also had a greater area of climatically suitable habitat available in Australia, a larger overseas range size and were more likely to have been introduced successfully outside Australia. After controlling for phylogeny these relationships held, except that with overseas range size and, in addition, larger-bodied species had a higher probability of introduction success. There was also a marked taxonomic bias: gamebirds had a much lower probability of success than other species. A model including five of these variables explained perfectly the patterns in introduction success across-species.
3. Of the successful species, those with larger geographical ranges in Australia had a greater area of climatically suitable habitat, traits associated with a faster population growth rate (small body size, short incubation period and more broods per season) and a larger overseas range size. The relationships between range size in Australia, the extent of climatically suitable habitat and overseas range size held after controlling for phylogeny.
4. We discuss the probable causes underlying these relationships and why, in retrospect, the outcome of bird introductions to Australia are highly predictable.
|Author||Richard P. Duncan, Mary Bomford, David M. Forsyth and Louise Conibear|
|Secondary title||The Journal of Animal Ecology|