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The widely held hypothesis that enlarged brains have evolved as an adaptation to cope with novel or altered environmental conditions lacks firm empirical support. Here, we test this hypothesis for a major animal group (birds) by examining whether large-brained species show higher survival than small-brained species when introduced to nonnative locations.(More)
Dissecting components of population-level variation in seed production and the evolution of masting behavior. – Oikos 102: 581 – 591. Mast-fruiting or masting behavior is the cumulative result of the reproductive patterns of individuals within a population and thus involves components of individual variability, between-individual synchrony, and endogenous(More)
The arrival of humans on oceanic islands has precipitated a wave of extinctions among the islands' native birds. Nevertheless, the magnitude of this extinction event varies markedly between avifaunas. We show that the probability that a bird species has been extirpated from each of 220 oceanic islands is positively correlated with the number of exotic(More)
Many fundamental traits of species measured at different levels of biological organization appear to scale as a power law to body mass (M) with exponents that are multiples of 1/4. Recent work has united these relationships in a "metabolic theory of ecology" (MTE) that explains the pervasiveness of quarter-power scaling by its dependence on basal metabolic(More)
The finding that passeriform birds introduced to the islands of Hawaii and Saint Helena were more likely to successfully invade when fewer other introduced species were present has been interpreted as strong support for the hypothesis that interspecific competition influences invasion success. I tested whether invasions were more likely to succeed when(More)
We studied vegetation change on 142 permanently marked transects spread throughout tussock grasslands of Otago and Canterbury, in areas subject to both pastoral and conservation management. The transects were established between 1982 and 1986 and re-measured between 1993 and 1999, providing a record of vegetation change at each site over an interval varying(More)
Our understanding of broad taxonomic patterns of plant naturalizations is based entirely on observations of successful naturalizations. Omission of the failures, however, can introduce bias by conflating the probabilities of introduction and naturalization. Here, we use two comprehensive datasets of successful and failed plant naturalizations in New Zealand(More)
Darwin acknowledged contrasting, plausible arguments for how species invasions are influenced by phylogenetic relatedness to the native community. These contrasting arguments persist today without clear resolution. Using data on the naturalization and abundance of exotic plants in the Auckland region, we show how different expectations can be accommodated(More)
The enemy release hypothesis is a common explanation for species invasions, suggesting that introduced species benefit from leaving behind natural enemies in the native range. However, any such advantage may attenuate over time. In this study, we test a prediction of this more dynamic enemy release hypothesis: that non-native plant species that became(More)
Naturalized plants can have a significant ecological and economic impact, yet they comprise only a fraction ot the plant species introduced by humans. Darwin proposed that introduced plant species will be less likely to establish a self-sustaining wild population in places with congeneric native species because the introduced plants have to compete with(More)