Morphological assortment in introduced Hawaiian passerines
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To evaluate the role of competition in structuring communities, we conducted morphological analyses on the surviving species of passerine birds that were successfully introduced to the Hawaiian islands. Forty-nine species have been introduced a total of 111 times to five of the six main islands. There have been 33 extinctions. Our analyses were done at two separate organizational levels: all species introduced to an island; and all forest-dwelling species. If competition determines which species can coexist, and the intensity of competition is correlated with morphological similarity, then the surviving species should be overdispersed in morphological space. Further, sets of surviving species that coexist should be regularly positioned in morphological space. At the island-wide organizational level, the surviving species were neither overdispersed nor regularly positioned in morphological space. However, at the forest-wide level the surviving species were not only highly overdispersed, they were also regularly positioned when compared to randomly assembled communities.
KeywordsCompetition morphological analysis community structure
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