Biological Invasions

, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp 1403-1407

First online:

Does Darwin’s Naturalization Hypothesis Explain Fish Invasions?

  • Anthony RicciardiAffiliated withRedpath Museum, McGill University Email author 
  • , Miriam MottiarAffiliated withRedpath Museum, McGill University

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Darwin’s naturalization hypothesis predicts that introduced species tend not to invade areas containing congeneric native species, because they would otherwise compete with their close relatives and would likely encounter predators and pathogens that can attack them. An opposing view is that introduced species should succeed in areas where native congeners are present because they are more likely to share traits that pre-adapt them to their new environment. A test of both these hypotheses using data on fish introductions from several independent regions fails to support either viewpoints. In contrast to studies of nonindigenous plants, our results suggest that taxonomic affiliation is not an important general predictor of fish invasion success.


biotic resistance colonization exotic species invasion success nonindigenous species prediction