Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation by Robert J. Whittaker

By Robert J. Whittaker

Island biogeography is the examine of the distribution and dynamics of species in island environments. as a result of their isolation from extra common continental species, islands are perfect locations for distinctive species to adapt, yet also they are areas of focused extinction. no longer strangely, they're largely studied by means of ecologists, conservationists and evolutionary biologists alike. there isn't any different contemporary textbook committed exclusively to island biogeography, and a synthesis of the numerous contemporary advances is now past due. This moment version builds at the luck and popularity of the 1st, documenting the hot advances during this fascinating box and explaining how islands were used as average laboratories in constructing and trying out ecological and evolutionary theories. furthermore, the publication describes the most methods of island formation, improvement and eventual dying, and explains the relevance of island environmental background to island biogeography. The authors reveal the massive value of islands as hotspots of biodiversity, and as locations from which disproportionate numbers of species were extinguished via human motion in old time. Many island species are this present day threatened with extinction, and this paintings examines either the executive threats to their endurance and a few of the mitigation measures that may be installed play with conservation recommendations adapted to islands.

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CA ϭ Central America, MX ϭ Mexico, JA ϭ Jamaica, CU ϭ Cuba, NH ϭ northern Hispaniola, SH ϭ southern Hispaniola, PR ϭ Puerto Rico, LA ϭ Lesser Antilles, SA ϭ South America. (e) Simplified scheme showing the relative positions of the land areas, increased distance apart indicating increased barriers to dispersal. Areas that were largely inundated are designated with water wave symbols. ) of dissection. 6 million years), thus demonstrating that dissection is indeed a function of age of the volcano.

G. the Galápagos; Darwin 1845). Low islands tend to have relatively dry climates. High islands tend to generate heavy rainfall, although they may also have extensive dry areas in the rain shadows, providing a considerable environmental range in a relatively small space. Even an island of only moderate height, such as Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), with a peak of 360 m and general plateau elevation of only 150–250 m, benefits from orographic rainfall, allowing rain forest to be sustained through a pronounced dry season (Renvoize 1979).

The case that New Zealand’s biota constitutes a Gondwanan ‘time-capsule’ entirely explicable through long isolation of a full assemblage of species (a vicariance model) has been contested on the basis of evidence indicating more recently colonization of many lineages. As McGlone (2005) has put it ‘ . . for New Zealanders in particular, abandoning “Time Capsule of the South Seas” for “Fly-paper of the Pacific” will be a wrench. But it has to happen . . ‘ And indeed many features of New Zealand’s biogeography are comparable with those of true oceanic island archipelagos such as Hawaii, strongly suggesting that much of its biota has colonized after the break-up of Gondwanaland, by long-distance dispersal (Pole 1994; Cook and Crisp 2005).

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