, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 491-500

Predictors of Introduction Success in the South Florida Avifauna

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Abstract

Biological invasions are an increasing global challenge, for which single-species studies and analyses focused on testing single hypotheses of causation in isolation are unlikely to provide much additional insight. Species interact with other species to create communities, which derive from species interactions and from the interactions of species with the scale specific elements of the landscape that provide suitable habitat and exploitable resources. I used logistic regression analysis to sort among potential intrinsic, community and landscape variables that theoretically influence introduction success. I utilized the avian fauna of the Everglades of South Florida, and the variables body mass, distance to nearest neighbor (in terms of body mass), year of introduction, presence of congeners, guild membership, continent of origin, distribution in a body mass aggregation or gap, and distance to body-mass aggregation edge (in terms of body mass). Two variables were significant predictors of introduction success. Introduced avian species whose body mass placed them nearer to a body-mass aggregation edge and further from their neighbor were more likely to become successfully established. This suggests that community interactions, and community level phenomena, may be better understood by explicitly incorporating scale.