The effect of local species composition on the distribution of an avian invader.
Estimating the potential distribution of invasive species has been primarily achieved by employing species distribution models (SDM). Recently introduced joint species distribution models (JSDM) that include species interactions are expected to improve model output. Here we compare the predictive ability of SDM and JSDM by modelling the distribution of one of the most prolific avian invaders in the world, the common myna (Acridotheres tristis), in a recent introduction in Israel. Our results indicate that including information on the local species composition did not improve model accuracy, possibly because of the unique characteristics of this species that include broad environmental tolerance and behavior flexibility. However, the JSDM provided insights into co-occurrence patterns of common mynas and their local heterospecifics, suggesting that at this time point, there is no evidence of species exclusion by common mynas. Our findings suggest that the invasion potential of common mynas depends greatly on urbanization and less so on the local species composition and reflect the major role of anthropogenic impact in increasing the distribution of avian invaders.