Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Biological invasions as a selective filter driving behavioral divergence

Chapple, David G.; Naimo, Annalise C.; Brand, Jack A.; Michelangeli, Marcus; Martin, Jake M.; Goulet, Celine T.; Brunton, Dianne H.; Sih, Andrew; Wong, Bob B. M.


Biological invasions are a multi-stage process (i.e., transport, introduction, establishment, spread), with each stage potentially acting as a selective filter on traits associated with invasion success. Behavior (e.g., exploration, activity, boldness) plays a key role in facilitating species introductions, but whether invasion acts as a selective filter on such traits is not well known. Here we capitalize on the well-characterized introduction of an invasive lizard (Lampropholis delicata) across three independent lineages throughout the Pacific, and show that invasion shifted behavioral trait means and reduced among-individual variation-two key predictions of the selective filter hypothesis. Moreover, lizards from all three invasive ranges were also more behaviorally plastic (i.e., greater within-individual variation) than their native range counterparts. We provide support for the importance of selective filtering of behavioral traits in a widespread invasion. Given that invasive species are a leading driver of global biodiversity loss, understanding how invasion selects for specific behaviors is critical for improving predictions of the effects of alien species on invaded communities.Invasive species are a leading driver of global biodiversity loss. Here, the authors show that the process of invasion itself can promote behavioral changes important to the success of widespread invaders, with implications for understanding the effects of alien species on invaded communities.

Published in

Nature Communications
2022, Volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 5996