Invasion success: does size really matter?


  • Editor, F. Boero

A. W. Miller E-mail:


The recent paper by Roy et al. (2001) presents a compelling relationship between range limit shifts, climatic fluctuations, and body size for marine bivalves in the fossil record. However, their extension of body size as a correlate for contemporary marine bivalve introductions is problematic and requires further scrutiny. Unlike their analysis of the fossil assemblage, the approach used for contemporary invasions does not adequately control for dispersal mechanism (vector) or source region. First, their analysis included mariculture species, intentionally introduced because of their large size, creating a vector-specific bias. Second, successful invaders from multiple source regions (Northern Hemisphere) were compared with potential invaders from a single source region (north-eastern Pacific), leaving both source and vector as uncontrolled variables. We present an analysis of body size for bivalve introductions from a single vector and source region, indicating no correlation between body size and invasion success when eliminating intentional introduction, source region and transport vector as confounding factors.