The role of inter-individual variation behaviour in alien species range expansion. A comparison of common mynas on the front and the back of the eastern Australian invasion wave. (#855)
In recent centuries, human activity has led to widespread introductions of species to new areas in which they were not previously found. These species, often termed alien, exotic or introduced species, sometimes establish breeding populations, spread beyond the original point of introduction and become invasive. Some of these species are currently continuing to expand their geographical range. These ‘ongoing’ invasions offer the unique opportunity to investigate in real time the biological mechanisms that underpin an invasive species’ range expansion. In this study, we used the common (Indian) myna (Acridotheres tristis), a species that is currently expanding its geographical range across the east coast of Australia, as a model system to test the prediction that individuals on the invasion front should be more exploratory, more innovative, and more social. Results will be discussed in the light of recent suggestions that these traits might facilitate invasion of new areas in alien species.