The global distribution and drivers of alien bird species richness

Dyer, Ellie E., Cassey, Phillip, Redding, David W., Collen, Ben, Franks, Victoria, Gaston, Kevin J., Jones, Kate E., Kark, Salit, Orme, C. David L. and Blackburn, Tim M. (2017) The global distribution and drivers of alien bird species richness. PLoS Biology, 15 1: . doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2000942

Author Dyer, Ellie E.
Cassey, Phillip
Redding, David W.
Collen, Ben
Franks, Victoria
Gaston, Kevin J.
Jones, Kate E.
Kark, Salit
Orme, C. David L.
Blackburn, Tim M.
Title The global distribution and drivers of alien bird species richness
Journal name PLoS Biology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1545-7885
Publication date 2017-01-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1371/journal.pbio.2000942
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 15
Issue 1
Total pages 25
Place of publication San Francisco, CA, United States
Publisher Public Library of Science
Language eng
Subject 2800 Neuroscience
2400 Immunology and Microbiology
1300 Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
1100 Agricultural and Biological Sciences
Abstract Alien species are a major component of human-induced environmental change. Variation in the numbers of alien species found in different areas is likely to depend on a combination of anthropogenic and environmental factors, with anthropogenic factors affecting the number of species introduced to new locations, and when, and environmental factors influencing how many species are able to persist there. However, global spatial and temporal variation in the drivers of alien introduction and species richness remain poorly understood. Here, we analyse an extensive new database of alien birds to explore what determines the global distribution of alien species richness for an entire taxonomic class. We demonstrate that the locations of origin and introduction of alien birds, and their identities, were initially driven largely by European (mainly British) colonialism. However, recent introductions are a wider phenomenon, involving more species and countries, and driven in part by increasing economic activity. We find that, globally, alien bird species richness is currently highest at midlatitudes and is strongly determined by anthropogenic effects, most notably the number of species introduced (i.e., “colonisation pressure”). Nevertheless, environmental drivers are also important, with native and alien species richness being strongly and consistently positively associated. Our results demonstrate that colonisation pressure is key to understanding alien species richness, show that areas of high native species richness are not resistant to colonisation by alien species at the global scale, and emphasise the likely ongoing threats to global environments from introductions of species.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 10989
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Biological Sciences Publications
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