Evol Ecol Res 3: 521-535 (2001)     Full PDF if your library subscribes.

Patterns of success in game bird (Aves: Galliformes) introductions to the Hawaiian islands and New Zealand

Michael P. Moulton,1 James G. Sanderson2 and Ronald F. Labisky1

1Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, PO Box 110430, Gainesville, FL 32611-0430 and 2Conservation International, 1919 M Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20036-3521, USA

Author to whom all correspondence should be addressed.
e-mail: moultonm@wec.ufl.edu


Most species of birds introduced to oceanic islands belong to one of two orders, Passeriformes or Galliformes. Among passeriforms on several islands, interspecific competition has been identified as a factor limiting introduction success. One pattern associated with interspecific competition among introduced passeriform birds is morphological over-dispersion. We tested for morphological over-dispersion among surviving sets of introduced galliforms on the six main Hawaiian Islands and New Zealand. At least 45 galliform species have been introduced to these islands. Overall, we found that game birds were consistently over-dispersed morphologically. The effect was most pronounced on New Zealand and least evident on Moloka’i and Kaua’i. On four islands (Hawai’i, Maui, Lana’i, O’ahu), the surviving species showed intermediate levels of morphological over-dispersion. We also re-evaluated the role of introduction effort in limiting introduction success and found the evidence supporting this hypothesis to be weak. Our results suggest that community-level factors, including environmental factors and interspecific competition, play an important role in determining the outcome of galliform introductions.

Keywords: competition, game birds, introductions, morphological over-dispersion, oceanic islands.

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