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The role of life history traits in mammalian invasion success

Capellini, I.; Baker, J.; Allen, W.L.; Street, S.E.; Venditti, C.

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I. Capellini

J. Baker

W.L. Allen

C. Venditti


Why some organisms become invasive when introduced into novel regions while others fail to even establish is a fundamental question in ecology. Barriers to success are expected to filter species at each stage along the invasion pathway. No study to date, however, has investigated how species traits associate with success from introduction to spread at a large spatial scale in any group. Using the largest data set of mammalian introductions at the global scale and recently developed phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that human-mediated introductions considerably bias which species have the opportunity to become invasive, as highly productive mammals with longer reproductive lifespans are far more likely to be introduced. Subsequently, greater reproductive output and higher introduction effort are associated with success at both the establishment and spread stages. High productivity thus supports population growth and invasion success, with barriers at each invasion stage filtering species with progressively greater fecundity.


Capellini, I., Baker, J., Allen, W., Street, S., & Venditti, C. (2015). The role of life history traits in mammalian invasion success. Ecology Letters, 18(10), 1099-1107.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 23, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 21, 2015
Publication Date Oct 1, 2015
Deposit Date Aug 9, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 24, 2017
Journal Ecology Letters
Print ISSN 1461-023X
Electronic ISSN 1461-0248
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 10
Pages 1099-1107


Published Journal Article (278 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
© 2015 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by CNRS and John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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