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Biological Invasions

, Volume 18, Issue 2, pp 583–595 | Cite as

An overlooked invader? Ecological niche, invasion success and range dynamics of the Alexandrine parakeet in the invaded range

  • Leonardo Ancillotto
  • Diederik Strubbe
  • Mattia Menchetti
  • Emiliano Mori
Original Paper

Abstract

Parrots and parakeets (Aves, Psittaciformes) are prominent among avian invaders, as more than 16 % of living species are currently breeding with at least one population outside their native range. Most studies have been carried out on ring-necked and monk parakeets, as they are the most successful invasive parrots globally. Recently, however, reports of invasive Alexandrine parakeet Psittacula eupatria have increased. Here, we summarize the current knowledge on the current occurrence of Alexandrine parakeets outside the natural range and assess the degree of niche conservatism during the invasion process. Our results show that Alexandrine parakeets have established invasive populations predominantly in Europe, parts of the Middle east and Far Eastern countries such as Japan and Singapore. During the ongoing invasion of Europe, the Alexandrine parakeet considerably expanded its niche into colder climates with respect to those occupied in the native range. Our results offer some support to the hypothesis that interspecific facilitation with previously established ring-necked parakeets Psittacula krameri may contribute to niche expansion and invasion success of congeneric Alexandrine parakeets. Species Distribution Models including both native and invaded range occurrence data predict a high invasion risk across multiple parts of the globe where the species is currently not yet present, thus indicating a high potential for the species for further invasion success and range expansion.

Keywords

Interspecific facilitation Niche conservatism Psittaciformes Psittacula eupatria Range expansion 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank (in alphabetical order) Yassin Darvish, Detlev Franz, Fahroud Kassal, Panagiotys Kouvropalos, Josè Postigo and Assaf Shwartz, for their help in data gathering. Luis Reìno kindly provided us with the data on the trade of P. eupatria in Europe (CITES). We acknowledge the support provided by European Cooperation in Science and Technology COST Action ES1304 (ParrotNet) for the realisation of this paper. The contents of this paper are the authors’ responsibility and neither COST nor any person acting on its behalf is responsible for the use that might be made of the information contained in it.

Supplementary material

10530_2015_1032_MOESM1_ESM.docx (35 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 34 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonardo Ancillotto
    • 1
  • Diederik Strubbe
    • 2
    • 3
  • Mattia Menchetti
    • 4
  • Emiliano Mori
    • 5
  1. 1.Wildlife Research Unit, Laboratorio di Ecologia Applicata, Dipartimento di AgrariaUniversità degli Studi di Napoli Federico IIPorticiItaly
  2. 2.Evolutionary Ecology GroupUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  3. 3.Terrestrial Ecology UnitGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  4. 4.Dipartimento di BiologiaUniversità di FirenzeSesto FiorentinoItaly
  5. 5.Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie, Forestali ed AlimentariUniversità di TorinoGrugliascoItaly

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