The Theory of Island Biogeography

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The Theory of Island Biogeography
The Theory of Island Biogeography, first edition.jpg
Cover of the first edition
Author Robert MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson
Illustrator John Kyrk
Country United States
Language English
Subject Insular biogeography
Publisher Princeton University Press
Publication date
1967
Media type Print (Hardcover and Paperback)
Pages 203
ISBN 0691088365

The Theory of Island Biogeography is a 1967 book by Edward O. Wilson and Robert MacArthur which laid the foundations for the study of island biogeography.[1] An edition with a new preface by Wilson was published in 2001.

Summary[edit]

Wilson and MacArthur try to predict species richness based on island size (area) and isolation (distance). This theory does not try to predict species composition or abundance. It also considers species richness to be in dynamic equilibrium between immigration and extinction. Extinction and colonization rates are affected by island size and distance. Larger islands have more species and closer islands have more species. Species richness depends on size and distance. The theory also explains that more species means lower colonization rates and higher extinction rates.[2]

In the figure shown below, the intersection point represents dynamic equilibrium between immigration and extinction. At these points, species richness is neither increasing nor decreasing. The term "island" was used as an example for biogeographical purposes. The "island" is any area of habitat suitable for a specific ecosystem, surrounded by an expanse of unsuitable habitat. The theory of island biogeography was experimentally tested by E. O. Wilson in the mangrove islands in the Florida Keys. The islands were fumigated to clear the arthropod populations in order to study species richness. The immigration of species onto the island were then observed and was found that the species completely recolonized within a year. The island that were closer to the mainland recovered at a faster rate, which follows the theory if island biogeography. The mangrove islands were all relatively the same size and could not be studied to see if larger islands had higher species diversity.[3]




See also[edit]


References[edit]

  1. ^ MacArthur, Robert H.; Edward O. Wilson (1967). The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. pp. 203 pp. ISBN 978-0-691-08836-5. 
  2. ^ MacArthur, R. H., and E. O. Wilson. 1963. An Equilibrium Theory of Insular Zoogeography. Evolution 17:373–387.
  3. ^ MacArthur, R. H., and E. O. Wilson. 1963. An Equilibrium Theory of Insular Zoogeography. Evolution 17:373–387.


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