Patterns of success in passeriform bird introductions on Saint Helena
- Cite this article as:
- Brooke, R.K., Lockwood, J.L. & Moulton, M.P. Oecologia (1995) 103: 337. doi:10.1007/BF00328622
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Ecologists have long attempted to predict the success of species that are introduced into foreign environments. Some have emphasized qualities intrinsic to the species themselves, whereas others have argued that extrinsic forces such as competition may be more important. We test some of the predictions made by both the extrinsic and intrinsic hypotheses using passeriform birds introduced onto the island of Saint Helena. We found direct evidence that extrinsic forces are more important predictors of successful invasion. Species introduced when fewer other species were present were more likely to be successful. In a direct test of the alternative hypothesis that intrinsic forces play a more prominent role in success or failure, we found a tendency for species which successfully established on Saint Helena to be also successful when introduced elsewhere. However, the vast majority of species unsuccessful at establishing on Saint Helena had probabilities of success outside Saint Helena of 50% or greater, making this result somewhat equivocal. Finally, we found no evidence to support the hypothesis that species that are successful early are those that are intrinsically superior invaders. These results are consistent with similar analyses of the introduced avian communities on Oahu, Tahiti, and Bermuda.