Richard P Duncan

Learn More
There has been a dramatic growth in research on biological invasions over the past 20 years, but a mature understanding of the field has been hampered because invasion biologists concerned with different taxa and different environments have largely adopted different model frameworks for the invasion process, resulting in a confusing range of concepts, terms(More)
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)
Treelines are temperature sensitive transition zones that are expected to respond to climate warming by advancing beyond their current position. Response to climate warming over the last century, however, has been mixed, with some treelines showing evidence of recruitment at higher altitudes and/or latitudes (advance) whereas others reveal no marked change(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)
Theory suggests that introduction effort (propagule size or number) should be a key determinant of establishment success for exotic species. Unfortunately, however, propagule pressure is not recorded for most introductions. Studies must therefore either use proxies whose efficacy must be largely assumed, or ignore effort altogether. The results of such(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)
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 cycles of temporal autocorrelation. Extending prior work by Herrera, we explore the interrelationships of these components using data(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)
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)