Morphological dispersion of introduced Hawaiian finches: evidence for competition and a Narcissus effect

Michael P. Moulton, Julie L. Lockwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Morphological analyses were conducted on finch species introduced to Oahu, Hawaii. As many as 25 species of finches representing four families (Emberizidae, Fringillidae, Ploecidae, Estrildidae) have been introduced to Oahu. Of these, 15 species currently have established wild populations. When compared with pools of 25 and 23 species introduced to Oahu, the 15 surviving species are morphologically overdispersed. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that competition has influenced the outcome of these introductions. We also tested the hypothesis that surviving introduced finches in one habitat (sugarcane fields) were morphologically overdispersed. When the seven surviving finch species found in sugarcane were compared with the pools of 25 and 23 species, they too were morphologically overdispersed. However, when the seven sugarcane species were compared with a species pool consisting of only the surviving 15 species found across Oahu, they were not morphologically overdispersed. This result suggests that morphological analyses of community structure based only on comparisons of assemblages of surviving species may be biased by a Narcissus effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-55
Number of pages11
JournalEvolutionary Ecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1992
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics


  • Narcissus effect
  • Oahu, Hawaii
  • community structure
  • introduced finches
  • morphological analyses
  • principal components


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