We used airborne imaging spectroscopy and scanning light detection and ranging (LiDAR), along with bioacoustic recordings, to determine how a plant species invasion affects avian abundance and community composition across a range of Hawaiian submontane ecosystems. Total avian abundance and the ratio of native to exotic avifauna were highest in habitats with the highest canopy cover and height. Comparing biophysically equivalent sites, stands dominated by native Metrosideros polymorpha trees hosted larger native avian communities than did mixed stands of Metrosideros and the invasive tree Morella faya. A multi-trophic analysis strongly suggests that native avifauna provide biotic resistance against the invasion of Morella trees and exotic birds, thus slowing invasion "meltdowns'' that disrupt the functioning of native Hawaiian ecosystems.
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