Biological Invasions

, Volume 15, Issue 10, pp 2147–2156 | Cite as

Preference for an invasive fruit trumps fruit abundance in selection by an introduced bird in the Society Islands, French Polynesia

  • Erica N. Spotswood
  • Jean-Yves Meyer
  • James W. Bartolome
Invasion Note

Abstract

Introduced plants with fleshy fruit can alter the dietary decisions of frugivorous birds in their novel ranges by producing fruit of higher quality or by producing fruit in greater abundance. We used fruit choice experiments with wild-caught captive Red-vented Bulbuls (Pycnonotus cafer) on the tropical Pacific island of Moorea, French Polynesia, to determine whether this bird prefers the fruit of a highly invasive tree (Miconia calvescens) over three other fruit (one alien, two native) and to determine whether birds would eat less preferred fruit when it was more abundant than preferred fruit. Birds showed consistent preferences, and chose M. calvescens more than any other species. Birds selected more abundant fruit first when a single species was presented. However, when both fruit species and abundance were modified simultaneously, patterns of preference for particular species remained intact while the response to abundance disappeared. Results imply that dietary preferences are more important than small-scale variations in abundance for fruit selection. The strong preference for M. calvescens suggests that Bulbuls will select the fruit even in habitats where it is rare.

Keywords

Frugivory Miconia calvescens Pycnonotus cafer Feeding preference Invasive plants 

Supplementary material

10530_2013_441_MOESM1_ESM.docx (32 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 31 kb)

References

  1. Amsberry LK, Steffen JE (2008) Do contrastingly colored unripe fruits of the neotropical tree Ardisia nigropunctata attract avian seed dispersers? Biotropica 40:575–580CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aslan C, Rejmanek M (2012) Native fruit traits may mediate dispersal competition between native and non-native plants. NeoBiota 12:1–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bates D, Sarkar D (2007) lme4: Linear mixed-effects models using S4 classes. R package version 0.999Google Scholar
  4. Blendinger PG, Loiselle BA, Blake JG (2008) Crop size, plant aggregation, and microhabitat type affect fruit removal by birds from individual melastome plants in the Upper Amazon. Oecologia 158:273–283PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruner A (1979) Red-vented Bulbul now in Tahiti. Elepaio 40:92Google Scholar
  6. Carlo TA, Collazo JA, Groom MJ (2003) Avian fruit preferences across a Puerto Rican forested landscape: pattern consistency and implications for seed removal. Oecologia 134:119–131PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Clark JS, Lewis M, Horvath L (2001) Invasion by extremes: population spread with variation in dispersal and reproduction. Am Nat 157(5):537–554Google Scholar
  8. Duggin J, Gentle C (1998) Experimental evidence on the importance of disturbance intensity for invasion of Lantana camara L. in dry rainforest-open forest ecotones in north-eastern NSW, Australia. For Ecol Manag 109:279–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fourdrigniez M, Meyer JY (2008) Liste et caractéristiques des plantes introduites naturalisées et envahissantes en Polynésie française. Contribution à la Biodiversité de Polynésie française N. 17 Délégation à la Recherche, Papeete, TahitiGoogle Scholar
  10. Gosper CR, Vivian-Smith G (2006) Selecting replacements for invasive plants to support frugivores in highly modified sites: a case study focusing on Lantana camara. Ecol Manag Restor 7:197–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Holyoak DT, Thibault JC (1984) Contribution à l’étude des oiseaux de Polynésie Orientale Mémoires du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle Série A. Zoologie, Tome 127:62–183Google Scholar
  12. Hou D (1978) Anacardiaceae. In: Van Steenis CGGJ (ed) Flora Malesiana, Series I, SpermatophytaGoogle Scholar
  13. Levey DJ (1988) Spatial and temporal variation in Costa Rican fruit and fruit-eating bird abundance. Ecol Monogr 58:251–269CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Levey DJ, Moermond TC, Denslow JS (1984) Fruit choice in neotropical birds: the effect of distance between fruits on preference patterns. Ecology 65:844–850CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Meyer JY (1996) Status of Miconia calvescens (Melastomataceae), a dominant invasive tree in the Society Islands (French Polynesia). Pac Sci 50:66–76Google Scholar
  16. Meyer JY (1998) Observations on the reproductive biology of Miconia calvescens DC (Melastomataceae), an alien invasive tree on the island of Tahiti (South Pacific Ocean). Biotropica 30:609–624CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Meyer JY (2010) The Miconia saga: Twenty years of study and control in French Polynesia (1988–2008). In: Loope LL, Meyer JY, Hardesty BD and Smith CW (eds) Proceedings of the international Miconia Conference. Maui Invasive Species Committee and Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii and Manoa, Honolulu, Keanae, Maui, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  18. Moermond TC, Denslow JS (1983) Fruit choice in neotropical birds: effects of fruit type and accessibility on selectivity. J Anim Ecol 52:407–420CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Monnet C, Thibault JC, Varney A (1993) Stability and changes during the twentieth century in the breeding landbirds of Tahiti (Polynesia). Bird Conserv Int 3:261–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Pinheiro J, Bates D, DebRoy S, et al. (2011) nlme: Linear and Nonlinear Mixed Effects Models. R package version 3.1–101Google Scholar
  21. R Development Core Team (2011) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing R Foundation for Statistical Computing. Available at: http://www.R-project.org
  22. Reaser JK, Meyerson LA, Cronk Q et al (2007) Ecological and socioeconomic impacts of invasive alien species in island ecosystems. Environ Conserv 34:98–111CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Richardson DM, Allsopp N, D’Antonio CM et al (2000) Plant invasions: the role of mutualisms. Biol Rev Camb Philos Soc 75:65–93PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Schaefer HM, Schaefer V (2006) The fruits of selectivity: how birds forage on Goupia glabra fruits of different ripeness. J Ornithol 147:638–643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Smith AC (1988) Flora Vitiensis Nova: a New Flora of Fiji, vol 4. National Tropical Botanical Garden, LawaiGoogle Scholar
  26. Sobral M, Larrinaga AR, Guitián J (2010) Fruit-size preferences in Wild and Naive Eurasian Blackbirds (Turdus merula) Feeding on Oneseed Hawthorn (Crataegus Monogyna). Auk 127:532–539CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Spotswood EN (2010) Dispersal of Miconia calvescens by birds in the Society Islands (French Polynesia) In: Loope LL, Meyer JY, Hardesty BD and Smith CW (eds) Proceedings of the international Miconia Conference. Maui Invasive Species Committee and Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, University of Hawaii and Manoa, Honolulu, Keanae, Maui, HawaiiGoogle Scholar
  28. Spotswood EN (2011) Interactions of Avian Frugivores and Invasive Trees in French Polynesia. Environmental Science, Policy and Management. University of California, Berkeley, California, USAGoogle Scholar
  29. Spotswood EN, Meyer JY, Bartolome JW (2012) An invasive tree alters the structure of seed dispersal networks between birds and plants in French Polynesia. J Biogeogr 39:2007–2020CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stephens DW, Krebs JR (1986) Foraging theory. Princeton university Press, PrincetonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica N. Spotswood
    • 1
    • 3
  • Jean-Yves Meyer
    • 2
  • James W. Bartolome
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA
  2. 2.Délégation à la RecherchePapeete, TahitiFrench Polynesia
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations