Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The role of life history traits in mammalian invasion success

Capellini, Isabella; Baker, Joanna; Allen, William L.; Street, Sally E.; Venditti, Chris


Isabella Capellini

Joanna Baker

William L. Allen

Sally E. Street

Chris Venditti


John Wiens


Why some organisms become invasive when introduced into novel regions while others fail to even establish is a fundamental question in ecology. Barriers to success are expected to filter species at each stage along the invasion pathway. No study to date, however, has investigated how species traits associate with success from introduction to spread at a large spatial scale in any group. Using the largest data set of mammalian introductions at the global scale and recently developed phylogenetic comparative methods, we show that human-mediated introductions considerably bias which species have the opportunity to become invasive, as highly productive mammals with longer reproductive lifespans are far more likely to be introduced. Subsequently, greater reproductive output and higher introduction effort are associated with success at both the establishment and spread stages. High productivity thus supports population growth and invasion success, with barriers at each invasion stage filtering species with progressively greater fecundity.


Capellini, I., Baker, J., Allen, W. L., Street, S. E., & Venditti, C. (2015). The role of life history traits in mammalian invasion success. Ecology letters, 18(10), 1099-1107.

Acceptance Date Jul 23, 2015
Online Publication Date Aug 21, 2015
Publication Date 2015-10
Deposit Date Sep 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Nov 23, 2017
Journal Ecology letters
Print ISSN 1461-023X
Electronic ISSN 1461-0248
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 18
Issue 10
Pages 1099-1107
Keywords Alien species; Biological invasions; Colonisation success; Demography; Invasion pathway; Life history theory; Mammals; Phylogeny; Propagule pressure; Range expansion
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Copy of article first published in: Ecology letters, 2015, v.18, issue 10.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations