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Diversity 2015, 7(3), 229-241; doi:10.3390/d7030229

The Importance of Scaling for Detecting Community Patterns: Success and Failure in Assemblages of Introduced Species

1
Geological Survey, Nebraska Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0961, USA
2
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment, Box 7050, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
3
Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
4
Resilience Center, Vancouver Island, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5S5, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Tom Oliver
Received: 14 May 2015 / Revised: 15 June 2015 / Accepted: 17 June 2015 / Published: 26 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biodiversity and Global Change)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [408 KB, uploaded 26 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

Community saturation can help to explain why biological invasions fail. However, previous research has documented inconsistent relationships between failed invasions (i.e., an invasive species colonizes but goes extinct) and the number of species present in the invaded community. We use data from bird communities of the Hawaiian island of Oahu, which supports a community of 38 successfully established introduced birds and where 37 species were introduced but went extinct (failed invasions). We develop a modified approach to evaluate the effects of community saturation on invasion failure. Our method accounts (1) for the number of species present (NSP) when the species goes extinct rather than during its introduction; and (2) scaling patterns in bird body mass distributions that accounts for the hierarchical organization of ecosystems and the fact that interaction strength amongst species varies with scale. We found that when using NSP at the time of extinction, NSP was higher for failed introductions as compared to successful introductions, supporting the idea that increasing species richness and putative community saturation mediate invasion resistance. Accounting for scale-specific patterns in body size distributions further improved the relationship between NSP and introduction failure. Results show that a better understanding of invasion outcomes can be obtained when scale-specific community structure is accounted for in the analysis. View Full-Text
Keywords: body size; community assembly; community structure; competition; Hawaii; Introduced; Oahu body size; community assembly; community structure; competition; Hawaii; Introduced; Oahu
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Allen, C.R.; Angeler, D.G.; Moulton, M.P.; Holling, C.S. The Importance of Scaling for Detecting Community Patterns: Success and Failure in Assemblages of Introduced Species. Diversity 2015, 7, 229-241.

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