Statistical and Actuarial Sciences Publications

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Ornithological Applications

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Global biodiversity is increasingly threatened by the spread of invasive species. Understanding the mechanisms influencing the initial colonization and persistence of invaders is therefore needed if conservation actions are to prevent new invasions or strive to slow their spread. The Eurasian Collared-Dove (Streptopelia decaocto, EUCO) is one of the most successful avian invasive species in North America; however, to our knowledge, no study has simultaneously examined the role that climate-matching, human activity, directional propagation, and local density have in this invasion process. Our research expands upon a cellular-automata-based hierarchical model developed to assess directional invasion dynamics to further quantify the impacts of climate, elevation, and land cover type on the spread of EUCO in North America. Our results suggest that EUCO’s dispersal patterns can largely be explained by the effects of habitat, climate, and environmental conditions at different stages of the invasion process rather than some innate preferred north-westerly spread. Specifically, EUCO initially colonized warm and wet grassland habitats and tended to persist in urban areas. We also found that while EUCO were more likely to spread to the northeast of existing habitats, directional preference did not drive persistence and recolonization events. These findings highlight the importance of incorporating both neighborhood effects and environmental factors in the modelling of range-expanding species, adding to the toolset available to researchers to model invasive species spread. Further, our research demonstrates that historical records of invasive species occurrences can provide the data resources needed to disentangle the characteristics driving species invasion and enable predictions that are of critical importance to resource managers.


This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Ornithological Applications following peer review. The version of record [Invasion dynamics of the European Collared-Dove in North America are explained by combined effects of habitat and climate. Ornithological Applications (2023)] is available online at:

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.