The role of species traits and taxonomic patterns in alien bird impacts

Shirley, Susan M. and Kark, Salit (2009) The role of species traits and taxonomic patterns in alien bird impacts. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 18 4: 450-459. doi:10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00452.x

Author Shirley, Susan M.
Kark, Salit
Title The role of species traits and taxonomic patterns in alien bird impacts
Journal name Global Ecology and Biogeography   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1466-822X
Publication date 2009-07
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1466-8238.2009.00452.x
Open Access Status
Volume 18
Issue 4
Start page 450
End page 459
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Aim  To test whether the distribution of alien bird impacts varies across bird families and regions of origin, and to investigate whether species traits associated with successful introductions can predict which species will have negative impacts in the new area of introduction.

Location  Europe and the Mediterranean Basin.

Methods  Combining historical information and published literature about negative economic, biological and human health impacts, we compared the distribution of impacts among bird families and native origins of bird species for three major types of impact (economic, biodiversity and human health). We examined the relationships between ecological, biological and reproductive characteristics of species and the severity of the impacts.

Results  The majority of alien species with reported impacts originated from the Afrotropical, Indo-Malayan and Palaearctic biogeographical regions. The distribution of alien bird species in Europe with reported impacts shows a taxonomic bias and largely mirrors patterns of establishment. While most species had primarily either economic or biodiversity impacts, several species in the Anatidae, Corvidae, Passeridae, Phasianidae and Sturnidae families were associated with moderate to serious negative impacts on both economic resources and native biodiversity. After controlling for taxonomic effects, species with the greatest overall impacts were habitat generalists and multi-brooded, while species with smaller bodies and the tendency to form large feeding or roosting flocks were linked with greater impacts on native biodiversity.

Main conclusions  This study presents the first synthesis of published impact data for alien birds and provides a broad-scale perspective on factors that contribute to their impacts. The results show that accounting for both species traits and taxonomy improves our ability to predict the impacts of alien bird species. Because several species are currently in the early stages of establishment in Europe, there may be an opportunity to limit negative impacts with efforts that promote proactive strategies against species and families possessing the above characteristics. 
Keyword Alien birds
Biological invasions
Species traits
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Biological Sciences Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 22 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Mon, 02 Sep 2013, 16:19:09 EST by System User on behalf of School of Biological Sciences