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Patterns and drivers of taxonomic and functional changes in oceanic island bird assemblages
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  • Filipa Soares,
  • Ricardo Faustino de Lima,
  • Ana Rodrigues,
  • Pedro Cardoso,
  • Thomas Matthews,
  • Jorge Palmeirim
Filipa Soares
Universidade de Lisboa

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Ricardo Faustino de Lima
Centre for Ecology Evolution and Environmental Changes
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Ana Rodrigues
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Pedro Cardoso
University of Helsinki
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Thomas Matthews
University of Birmingham
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Jorge Palmeirim
Centro de Ecologia Evolucao e Alteracoes Ambientais
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Oceanic islands are among the most transformed ecosystems in the world, with many having experienced major biotic changes through the combined effects of species extinctions and introductions. We map global patterns of taxonomic and functional change in 64 oceanic island bird assemblages and investigate whether these patterns can be explained by either island characteristics (geography, climate) or anthropogenic factors (human occupation, connectivity). The Hawaiian and Mascarene islands stand out as hotspots of taxonomic and functional change, but all islands changed taxonomically and functionally, mostly gaining species but losing functional richness. Island isolation and aridity can explain some of the observed variation in levels of change, but anthropogenic factors have a stronger effect. Remote humid islands have a stronger susceptibility to assemblage turnover and should be prioritized for conservation through the protection of native species and their ecosystems, and by preventing further introductions.