loading page

A test of Darwin's naturalization conundrum in birds reveals enhanced invasion success in presence of close relatives
  • +3
  • Daniel Sol,
  • Joan Garcia-Porta,
  • César González-Lagos,
  • Alex Pigot,
  • Joseph Tobias,
  • Christopher Trisos
Daniel Sol
Author Profile
Joan Garcia-Porta
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona Centre de Recerca Ecologica i Aplicacions Forestals
Author Profile
César González-Lagos
Universidad Bernardo O'Higgins
Author Profile
Alex Pigot
University College London Division of Biosciences
Author Profile
Joseph Tobias
Imperial College London
Author Profile
Christopher Trisos
University of Maryland at College Park
Author Profile


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.