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Data from: A theory of island biogeography for exotic species

Citation

Burns, Kevin C. (2015), Data from: A theory of island biogeography for exotic species, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.5f695

Abstract

The theory of island biogeography has played a pivotal role in the way ecologists view communities. However, it does not account for exotic species explicitly, which limits its use as a conservation tool. Here, I present the results of a long-term study of plant communities inhabiting an archipelago of small islands off the coast of New Zealand and derive a modified version of the theory of island biogeography to predict differences in the turnover and diversity of native and exotic species. Empirical results showed that, although species richness of both native and exotic plant species increased with island area, native species consistently outnumbered exotic species. Species turnover increased with species richness in both groups. However, opposite to species-area patterns, turnover increased more rapidly with species richness in exotic species. Empirical results were consistent with the modified version of the theory of island biogeography, which distinguishes exotic species from native species by decoupling extinction rates of exotic species from island area, because they are represented by only small populations at the initial stages of invasion. Overall results illustrate how the theory of island biogeography can be modified to reflect the dynamics of exotic species as they invade archipelagos, expanding its use as a conservation tool.

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