Monk parakeet invasion success : a role for nest thermoregulation and bactericidal potential of plant nest material?
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Biological invasions. - Dordrecht
, p. 1305-1315
University of Antwerp
Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity, economy and human wellbeing. To mitigate these threats, identifying and halting the introduction of potentially invasive species is crucial. Although progress has been made in elucidating mechanisms underlying invasion success, the role of species behavioral strategies has only received scant attention. Here, we use the invasion of monk parakeets in Santa Catarina state, southern Brazil to study whether behavioral strategies such as nest thermoregulation and the ability to self-medicate against pathogens contribute to the establishment success of invading species. We relate data on monk parakeet reproductive success to ambient temperatures in- and outside nesting chambers and test the bactericidal potential of plants transported to the nest by breeding monk parakeets. Compared to breeding data from other invaded ranges and parts of the species native range, our results suggest both thermoregulation and the use of bactericidal plants could potentially influence monk parakeet reproductive success. Thermoregulation maintains stable temperatures of incubator chambers compared to large fluctuations (especially hotter extremes) outside the nest. At least one of the plants brought to the nest effectively inhibited growth of pathogenic bacteria. The union of these two factors could increase reproductive rates and may consequently aid the expansion of the species in new non-native environments.