Colonization of Exploded Volcanic Islands by Birds: The Supertramp Strategy

Science  17 May 1974:
Vol. 184, Issue 4138, pp. 803-806
DOI: 10.1126/science.184.4138.803


After volcanic explosions or tidal waves had defaunated several islands near New Guinea, bird species number rapidly returned to equilibrium on coral islets and rapidly returned to quasi-steady-state values limited by regrowth of vegetation in lowland forest of larger islands. However, reequilibration in montane forest has been limited by slow dispersal of the birds. Colonists have been drawn disproportionately from r-selected "supertramrip" species, which maintain much higher population densities than do K-selected faunas, perhaps due to selection for resource overexploitation by the latter.