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© Biodiversity Research Group

Interactions Between Invasive Species


Alien species are often studied within a single-species framework, focusing on the species ecology, distribution and impacts. However, species do not invade a vacuum. The actual outcomes of a species introduction and its impacts often depend on the alien species’ interactions with other native and non-native species. In our project, we are developing a spatially explicit database of invasive bird introductions, distribution and impacts across Australia. Using historical information, published books, papers, reports and atlas sources, we generated a spatially explicit, introduction event-based database of introduction records of birds in Australia. This allows us to examine spatial patterns of success and failure of multiple introductions across Australia and across groups, studying spatial and temporal trends.

We compare results for Australia with an earlier continental-scale study we led in Europe and the Mediterranean, aiming to disentangling the relative role of climatic, biotic and socioeconomic factors shaping invasion at a continental scale. Outcomes can help policy makers to more effectively mitigate biotic invasion threats, prioritise action and to spatially allocate actions and efforts. As a detailed case study, we are also examining the importance of species interactions in the establishment of the Indian myna and the effect of its interactions with other alien and native urban exploiters.


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Photo credit: Steve Gray

Project Aim

This study aims to address a major gap in our understanding of invasions by undertaking an examination of the role of interactions between bird species in determining the dynamics and outcomes of biological invasions. The project will integrate data on dispersal, demography, breeding and behavioral interactions into one framework to understand invasion processes. We will study the highly invasive Indian (common) myna, a bird pest from India, as a model system and aim to examine its interactions with others species and how these interactions and its breeding and movement (dispersal) affect its invasion success. This aims to provide information in determining future management of this highly detrimental avian pest, listed as one of the 100 worst invaders of all groups globally.



Project Proposal