Competition and introduction regime shape exotic bird communities in Hawaii

  • Gamarra J
  • Montoya J
  • Alonso D
 et al. 
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Complex combinations of historical and local-regional processes determine the assembly of ecological communities. We investigated such processes in the Hawaiian introduced avifauna, comprising 140 years of historical records of invasions and extinctions of birds. Here the particular introduction regime (i.e., colonization attempts and number of introduced species) and priority effects constitute the historical (and regional) component, and competition is the local component. These processes are theoretically supported by means of a Lotka-Volterra model of species competition, finding that changes in the specific introduction regime might result in different extinction dynamics. Both field data and model outcomes support the biotic resistance hypothesis, so that the invasibility of new incomers decrease with species richness. Finally, we found that the resistance to new invaders depends on the particular introduction regime. Thus, community assembly models built to predict the success of exotic species should consider more scenarios than random introduction regimes.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Bird invasions
  • Community assembly
  • Competition
  • Hawaiian exotic avifauna
  • Introduction regime
  • Invasibility
  • Lotka-Volterra model
  • Non-random species introductions
  • Priority effects

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