Introduced birds and the fate of Hawaiian rainforests

Jeffrey T Foster, Scott K. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

70 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The Hawaiian Islands have lost nearly all their native seed dispersers, but have gained many frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants through introductions. Introduced birds may not only aid invasions of exotic plants but also may be the sole dispersers of native plants. We assessed seed dispersal at the ecotone between native- and exotic-dominated forests and quantified bird diets, seed rain from defecated seeds, and plant distributions. Introduced birds were the primary dispersers of native seeds into exotic-dominated forests, which may have enabled six native understory plant species to become reestablished. Some native plant species are now as common in exotic forest understory as they are in native forest. Introduced birds also dispersed seeds of two exotic plants into native forest, but dispersal was localized or establishment minimal. Seed rain of bird-dispersed seeds was extensive in both forests, totaling 724 seeds of 9 native species and 2 exotics with over 85% of the seeds coming from native plants. Without suitable native dispersers, most common understory plants in Hawaiian rainforests now depend on introduced birds for dispersal, and these introduced species may actually facilitate perpetuation, and perhaps in some cases restoration, of native forests. We emphasize, however, that restoration of native forests by seed dispersal from introduced birds, as seen in this study, depends on the existence of native forests to provide a source of seeds and protection from the effects of ungulates. Our results further suggest that aggressive control of patches of non-native plants within otherwise native-dominated forests may be an important and effective conservation strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1248-1257
Number of pages10
JournalConservation Biology
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Fingerprint

Birds
rainforest
rain forests
Seed
bird
birds
seed
seeds
understory
seed rain
seed dispersal
Restoration
Rain
rain
ecotones
ecotone
introduced plants
ungulate
ungulates
introduced species

Keywords

  • Extinction
  • Introduced birds
  • Invasion biology
  • Native plants
  • Non-native plants
  • Seed dispersal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Cite this

Introduced birds and the fate of Hawaiian rainforests. / Foster, Jeffrey T; Robinson, Scott K.

In: Conservation Biology, Vol. 21, No. 5, 10.2007, p. 1248-1257.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Foster, Jeffrey T ; Robinson, Scott K. / Introduced birds and the fate of Hawaiian rainforests. In: Conservation Biology. 2007 ; Vol. 21, No. 5. pp. 1248-1257.
@article{e7a26add78bf4f709257683b180064ae,
title = "Introduced birds and the fate of Hawaiian rainforests",
abstract = "The Hawaiian Islands have lost nearly all their native seed dispersers, but have gained many frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants through introductions. Introduced birds may not only aid invasions of exotic plants but also may be the sole dispersers of native plants. We assessed seed dispersal at the ecotone between native- and exotic-dominated forests and quantified bird diets, seed rain from defecated seeds, and plant distributions. Introduced birds were the primary dispersers of native seeds into exotic-dominated forests, which may have enabled six native understory plant species to become reestablished. Some native plant species are now as common in exotic forest understory as they are in native forest. Introduced birds also dispersed seeds of two exotic plants into native forest, but dispersal was localized or establishment minimal. Seed rain of bird-dispersed seeds was extensive in both forests, totaling 724 seeds of 9 native species and 2 exotics with over 85{\%} of the seeds coming from native plants. Without suitable native dispersers, most common understory plants in Hawaiian rainforests now depend on introduced birds for dispersal, and these introduced species may actually facilitate perpetuation, and perhaps in some cases restoration, of native forests. We emphasize, however, that restoration of native forests by seed dispersal from introduced birds, as seen in this study, depends on the existence of native forests to provide a source of seeds and protection from the effects of ungulates. Our results further suggest that aggressive control of patches of non-native plants within otherwise native-dominated forests may be an important and effective conservation strategy.",
keywords = "Extinction, Introduced birds, Invasion biology, Native plants, Non-native plants, Seed dispersal",
author = "Foster, {Jeffrey T} and Robinson, {Scott K.}",
year = "2007",
month = "10",
doi = "10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00781.x",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "21",
pages = "1248--1257",
journal = "Conservation Biology",
issn = "0888-8892",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell",
number = "5",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Introduced birds and the fate of Hawaiian rainforests

AU - Foster, Jeffrey T

AU - Robinson, Scott K.

PY - 2007/10

Y1 - 2007/10

N2 - The Hawaiian Islands have lost nearly all their native seed dispersers, but have gained many frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants through introductions. Introduced birds may not only aid invasions of exotic plants but also may be the sole dispersers of native plants. We assessed seed dispersal at the ecotone between native- and exotic-dominated forests and quantified bird diets, seed rain from defecated seeds, and plant distributions. Introduced birds were the primary dispersers of native seeds into exotic-dominated forests, which may have enabled six native understory plant species to become reestablished. Some native plant species are now as common in exotic forest understory as they are in native forest. Introduced birds also dispersed seeds of two exotic plants into native forest, but dispersal was localized or establishment minimal. Seed rain of bird-dispersed seeds was extensive in both forests, totaling 724 seeds of 9 native species and 2 exotics with over 85% of the seeds coming from native plants. Without suitable native dispersers, most common understory plants in Hawaiian rainforests now depend on introduced birds for dispersal, and these introduced species may actually facilitate perpetuation, and perhaps in some cases restoration, of native forests. We emphasize, however, that restoration of native forests by seed dispersal from introduced birds, as seen in this study, depends on the existence of native forests to provide a source of seeds and protection from the effects of ungulates. Our results further suggest that aggressive control of patches of non-native plants within otherwise native-dominated forests may be an important and effective conservation strategy.

AB - The Hawaiian Islands have lost nearly all their native seed dispersers, but have gained many frugivorous birds and fleshy-fruited plants through introductions. Introduced birds may not only aid invasions of exotic plants but also may be the sole dispersers of native plants. We assessed seed dispersal at the ecotone between native- and exotic-dominated forests and quantified bird diets, seed rain from defecated seeds, and plant distributions. Introduced birds were the primary dispersers of native seeds into exotic-dominated forests, which may have enabled six native understory plant species to become reestablished. Some native plant species are now as common in exotic forest understory as they are in native forest. Introduced birds also dispersed seeds of two exotic plants into native forest, but dispersal was localized or establishment minimal. Seed rain of bird-dispersed seeds was extensive in both forests, totaling 724 seeds of 9 native species and 2 exotics with over 85% of the seeds coming from native plants. Without suitable native dispersers, most common understory plants in Hawaiian rainforests now depend on introduced birds for dispersal, and these introduced species may actually facilitate perpetuation, and perhaps in some cases restoration, of native forests. We emphasize, however, that restoration of native forests by seed dispersal from introduced birds, as seen in this study, depends on the existence of native forests to provide a source of seeds and protection from the effects of ungulates. Our results further suggest that aggressive control of patches of non-native plants within otherwise native-dominated forests may be an important and effective conservation strategy.

KW - Extinction

KW - Introduced birds

KW - Invasion biology

KW - Native plants

KW - Non-native plants

KW - Seed dispersal

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=34648840124&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=34648840124&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00781.x

DO - 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2007.00781.x

M3 - Article

C2 - 17883490

AN - SCOPUS:34648840124

VL - 21

SP - 1248

EP - 1257

JO - Conservation Biology

JF - Conservation Biology

SN - 0888-8892

IS - 5

ER -