Lovejoy's islands

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Lovejoy's islands were a group of groves in the Amazon Rainforest surrounded by clearings, created by Thomas Lovejoy.[1]

Lovejoy discovered that when these forests became small patches, they lost their biodiversity, trees started to die, and birds left. The smallest groves were all edge, biologically speaking.

Purpose of the Experiment[edit]

Lovejoy's experiment tested the effect of the cutting off of natural areas into small parcels, a process that has taken place throughout most of the world.

Natural Biological Islands[edit]

A good example of a natural Lovejoy island is the Sky Islands of Arizona and Sonora, high elevation oases of northern plants and animals above the deserts.

As one would expect, many tropical islands are also naturally cut off from the outside world, while some of these are less diverse than the continents, other islands such as the Galapagos and Madagascar contain species found nowhere else.

See also[edit]