The Role of Species Traits in Establishment Success

Tim M. Blackburn, Julie L. Lockwood and Phillip Cassey

in Avian Invasions

Published in print June 2009 | ISBN: 9780199232543
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191715983 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Avian Biology

 The Role of Species Traits in Establishment Success

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This chapter considers the influence of species-level traits in the establishment success of exotic birds. Previous treatments of such traits have failed to find consistent associations between species traits and establishment success. However, framing the issue in terms of the small population problem again provides useful insights into the role of species-level traits, and allows some general conclusions to be drawn about the roles of population growth rates, the predisposition to Allee effects, and the ability to cope with novelty in aiding establishment. This approach to sorting through the influence of species' traits on establishment success should provide a suitable framework for similar explorations within other exotic taxa. The more widespread confusion over the importance of species' traits to establishment success may be a by-product of failing to view the influence of these traits within the context of the small population paradigm.

Keywords: all-or-none pattern; population growth rates; body size; Allee effects; sexual selection; migration; niche breadth; behavioural flexibility; immunocompetence

Chapter.  11668 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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