Population density and geographical range size in the introduced and native passerine faunas of New Zealand

T.M. Blackburn, K.J. Gaston, R.P. Duncan

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    The current avifauna of New Zealand comprises species with two distinct origins: those that evolved in New Zealand or colonized naturally from neighbouring landmasses, and those that were deliberately introduced to the islands by European settlers. Elsewhere, it has been shown that for species introduced to New Zealand from Britain there is a positive interspecific correlation between the geographical range sizes attained in both countries. Since positive relationships between abundance, measured either as population size or density, and geographical range size are a near ubiquitous feature of assemblages of closely related animal species, this suggests that species' abundances may also be so correlated between the two countries. Here, data for 12 passerine bird species introduced to New Zealand from Britain are used to compare population densities and density-range size relationships in their native and alien ranges. In addition, the density-range size relationship for 12 passerine bird species that can be considered native to New Zealand is compared to that for the introduced species. The geographical range size and the mean and maximum densities of introduced species in New Zealand were significantly positively correlated with those values for the same species in Britain. However, in no case was the relationship between mean density and range size significant. While not statistically significant, density-range size relationships for introduced species are similar in New Zealand and Britain, but those for introduced and native species in New Zealand are quite different. Implications of these patterns are discussed.
    Original languageUndefined
    Pages (from-to)209-221
    Number of pages13
    JournalDiversity and Distributions
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 2001

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