The role of behavioural variation across different stages of the introduction process

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Human activities are responsible for the movement of individuals from thousands of different species to new regions each day, some of which are deliberate while others are not (Elton, 1958; Davis, 2009; Richardson, 2011; Lockwood et al., 2013). For those that become invasive, establishment and spread are the final stages of what, in many cases, would have already been a long and treacherous journey (Blackburn et al., 2011; Chapple et al., 2012a). Indeed, to be successful, the invader would have had to overcome a series of successive hurdles and challenges to reach and establish in their new home in what is essentially the culmination of a multi-stage process (i.e. transport, introduction, establishment, spread) (Blackburn et al., 2011; Chapple et al., 2012a; Lockwood et al., 2013). An inability to negotiate any one of these stages or barriers results in the ultimate failure of the invasion (Blackburn et al., 2011; Chapple et al., 2012a). This ‘filtering’ process is important because it is expected to reduce propagule size (i.e. propagule pressure), which in turn can affect both establishment and spread.

While a range of species-level (e.g. life history, habitat generalist, diet) or abiotic traits (climatic match been source and introduced regions) have been shown to be predictors of introduction success within particular taxonomic groups (Kolar and Lodge, 2001; Colautti et al., 2006; Hayes and Barry, 2008), propagule pressure is often the primary determinant of establishment and invasion success in many animals (Lockwood et al., 2005; Simberloff, 2009; Blackburn et al., 2015). Behaviour may contribute to determining propagule pressure. This is because it affects the likelihood of extinction by demographic stochasticity and Allee effects (Taylor and Hastings, 2005; Drake and Lodge, 2006; Tobin et al., 2011). Since behaviour mediates how animals interact with their environment, it should also influence the propensity for individuals to be transported (via either deliberate or unintentional means) and their ability to transition through each stage of the introduction process (Holway and Suarez, 1999; Chapple et al., 2012a, b; Carrete et al., 2012). Indeed, in several taxa, the inclusion of behavioural traits improves the predictions of establishment success (Sol et al., 2002, 2008; Suarez et al., 2005; Blackburn et al., 2009).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBiological Invasions and Animal Behaviour
EditorsJudith S. Weis, Daniel Sol
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781139939492
ISBN (Print)9781107077775
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016

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