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Are there body size implications for the success of globally introduced land birds?

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Verbal models have hypothesized a relation between body size and the successful introduction of animal species. This relation is largely based on studies of intrinsic rate of increase in what have been termed “colonizing” species. From these studies it has been predicted that introduction success should be negatively correlated with body size across taxa but positively correlated within closely related taxa. I examine this relation for globally introduced land birds. Introduced land birds are, on average, larger bodied than extant land bird species. Across species, families, and higher family nodes, global introduction success is significantly related to decreasing body size. However, within taxa there is a significant positive relationship between introduction success and body size. I discuss possible explanations for the observed relations and conclude that an indirect but genuine relationship between the introduction success of land birds and their body size is currently the most plausible.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2001

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