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A test of Darwin's naturalization conundrum in birds reveals enhanced invasion success in presence of close relatives
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  • Daniel Sol,
  • Joan Garcia-Porta,
  • César González-Lagos,
  • Alex Pigot,
  • Joseph Tobias,
  • Christopher Trisos
Daniel Sol
CREAF
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Joan Garcia-Porta
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Centre de Recerca Ecologica i Aplicacions Forestals
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César González-Lagos
Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins
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Alex Pigot
University College London Division of Biosciences
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Joseph Tobias
Imperial College London
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Christopher Trisos
University of Maryland at College Park
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Abstract

Despite biological invasions are one of the main environmental problems of the twenty-first century, there is still no theoretical or empirical agreement on whether a high phylogenetic relatedness between exotic and native species positively or negatively affect invasion success. To resolve this conundrum, it has been proposed that the effect might be scale-dependent, being negative at smaller spatial scales and positive at larger scales. Here we show that this scale-dependent pattern may be a sampling artefact associated with species-area effects and a non-random pattern of species introductions. We support this conclusion with simulations and empirical data on invaded and non-invaded avian communities in regions from five continents. We further show that at smaller-scales ---where these artifacts are negligible--- invasion success generally increases with the presence of closely-related species, but that predictive accuracy largely depends on considering the influence of human-related disturbances in facilitating invasions.