Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

The rapid spread of invasive Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto in the continental USA follows human-altered habitats.

Abstract

Understanding factors related to the range expansion trajectory of a successful invasive species may provide insights into environmental variables that favour additional expansion or guide monitoring and survey efforts for this and other invasive species. We examined the relationship of presence and abundance of Eurasian Collared Doves Streptopelia decaocto to environmental factors using recent data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to understand factors influencing its expansion into the continental USA. A zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model was used to account for excess zero observations because this species was not observed on the majority of survey routes, despite its large geographical range. Model fit was improved when we included environmental covariates as compared with the null model, which only included distance from the route where this species was first observed. Probability of zero count was positively related to the distance from the first route and road density and was inversely related to minimum temperature and distance to coast. Abundance of the species was positively related to road density and was inversely related to annual precipitation and distance to coast. Random intercept by land-cover type also improved model fit. Model fit was improved with the ZIP model over the standard Poisson model, suggesting that presence and abundance of this species are characterized by different environmental factors. However, overall low accuracy of model-predicted presence/absence and abundance with the independent validation dataset may indicate either that there are other explanatory factors or that there is great uncertainty in the species' colonization process. Our large-scale study provides additional evidence that the range expansion of this species tends to follow human-altered landscapes such as road and agricultural areas as well as responding to general geographical features such as coastlines or thermal clines. Such patterns may hold true for other invasive species and may provide guidelines for monitoring and assessment activities in other invasive taxa.