Human-related processes drive the richness of exotic birds in Europe

Chiron, Francois, Shirley, Susan and Kark, Salit (2009) Human-related processes drive the richness of exotic birds in Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 276 1654: 47-53. doi:10.1098/rspb.2008.0994

Author Chiron, Francois
Shirley, Susan
Kark, Salit
Title Human-related processes drive the richness of exotic birds in Europe
Journal name Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0962-8452
Publication date 2009-01
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rspb.2008.0994
Open Access Status
Volume 276
Issue 1654
Start page 47
End page 53
Total pages 7
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2009
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Both human-related and natural factors can affect the establishment and distribution of exotic species. Understanding the relative role of the different factors has important scientific and applied implications. Here, we examined the relative effect of human-related and natural factors in determining the richness of exotic bird species established across Europe. Using hierarchical partitioning, which controls for covariation among factors, we show that the most important factor is the human-related community-level propagule pressure (the number of exotic species introduced), which is often not included in invasion studies due to the lack of information for this early stage in the invasion process. Another, though less important, factor was the human footprint (an index that includes human population size, land use and infrastructure). Biotic and abiotic factors of the environment were of minor importance in shaping the number of established birds when tested at a European extent using 50×50 km2 grid squares. We provide, to our knowledge, the first map of the distribution of exotic bird richness in Europe. The richest hotspot of established exotic birds is located in southeastern England, followed by areas in Belgium and The Netherlands. Community-level propagule pressure remains the major factor shaping the distribution of exotic birds also when tested for the UK separately. Thus, studies examining the patterns of establishment should aim at collecting the crucial and hard-to-find information on community-level propagule pressure or develop reliable surrogates for estimating this factor. Allowing future introductions of exotic birds into Europe should be reconsidered carefully, as the number of introduced species is basically the main factor that determines the number established. 
Keyword Exotic birds
Community level
Introduced species
Propagule pressure
Human footprint
Hierarchical Partitioning
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
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