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Establishment of exotic parasites: the origins and characteristics of an avian malaria community in an isolated island avifauna

  • John G. Ewen
  • Staffan Bensch
  • Tim M. Blackburn
  • Camille Bonneaud
  • Ruth Brown
  • Phillip Cassey
  • Rohan H. Clarke
  • Javier Perez-Tris
Publiceringsår: 2012
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 1112-1119
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Ecology Letters
Volym: 15
Nummer: 10
Dokumenttyp: Artikel
Förlag: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing


Knowledge of the processes favouring the establishment of exotic parasites is poor. Herein, we test the characteristics of successful exotic parasites that have co-established in the remote island archipelago of New Zealand, due to the introduction of numerous avian host species. Our results show that avian malaria parasites (AM; parasites of the genus Plasmodium) that successfully invaded are more globally generalist (both geographically widespread and with a broad taxonomic range of hosts) than AM parasites not co-introduced to New Zealand. Furthermore, the successful AM parasites are presently more prevalent in their native range than AM parasites found in the same native range but not co-introduced to New Zealand. This has resulted in an increased number and greater taxonomic diversity of AM parasites now in New Zealand.



  • Biology and Life Sciences
  • Avian malaria
  • introduced birds
  • introduction success
  • invasive
  • parasites
  • New Zealand


  • Malaria in birds
  • BECC
  • Molecular Ecology and Evolution Lab
  • ISSN: 1461-023X

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