Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Science - 285 pages
Islands, being discrete, internally quantifiable, numerous, and varied entities, provide us with natural laboratories for developing theories and models of how evolution works. Work on evolution on islands has a long-established biogeographical pedigree, stretching back to the work of Darwinand Wallace, and generating ideas, theories, and models that have played a central role in the development of mainstream ecology, evolutionary biology, and biogeography. Island Biogeography is a new textbook, aimed at advanced undergraduates and graduate students. The first comprehensive book to bewritten on the topic since 1981, it provides a much needed synthesis of recent developments across the discipline, linking current theoretical debates with applied island ecology. The book covers the following diverse themes: the nature and formation of island environments, and their specialcontribution to global biodiversity; micro- and macro- evolutionary change on islands, and the frameworks by which these changes may be understood; island ecological theories concerning species numbers, species assembly, and composition; a critical assessment of the contribution of island theoriesto conservation biology; and finally, an assessment of the human impact on island biodiversity, setting out the tremendous scale of anthropogenic extinctions, and assessing the current threats and remedies. Written by an author who has been researching and teaching island biogeography for manyyears, Island Biogeography is wide-ranging, authoritative, and accessible to students from across geography and the life sciences. The first truly modern textbook on a fascinating and important subject in evolution and ecology.
 

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Contents

The natural laboratory paradigm
1
Island environments
7
Biodiversity hotspots
33
Speciation and the island condition
53
Arrival and change
64
Emergent models of island evolution
83
Species numbers games
113
Community assembly and dynamics
144
Island theory and conservation
192
The human impact on island ecosystems
228
Further reading
257
Index
279
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About the author (1998)

Robert Whittaker is in the School of Geography at University of Oxford.

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