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. because of their isolation from extra common continental species, islands are perfect locations for precise species to adapt, yet also they are areas of targeted extinction. no longer strangely, they're commonly studied by means of ecologists, conservationists and evolutionary biologists alike.

There isn't any different contemporary textbook dedicated exclusively to island biogeography, and a synthesis of the various fresh advances is now past due. This moment version builds at the luck and acceptance of the 1st, documenting the hot advances during this intriguing box and explaining how islands were used as average laboratories in constructing and checking out ecological and evolutionary theories. additionally, the publication describes the most procedures of island formation, improvement and eventual death, and explains the relevance of island environmental background to island biogeography. The authors exhibit the massive importance of islands as hotspots of biodiversity, and as areas from which disproportionate numbers of species were extinguished by means of human motion in historic time. Many island species are this day threatened with extinction, and this paintings examines either the manager threats to their endurance and a few of the mitigation measures that may be installed play with conservation options adapted to islands.

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Additional info for Island Biogeography: Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation

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Two of the largest intraplate island clusters are the Canary and Cape Verde island groups, both in the central Atlantic and including a number of active volcanoes. Until recently, it was held possible that the Canaries were of mixed origins, with the easternmost—Lanzarote and Fuerteventura—being landbridge islands, once connected to Africa (Sunding 1979). However, it is now established beyond doubt that the entire archipelago is oceanic in origin, and that the gap of 100 km and more than 1500 m depth between the eastern islands and the African continent has never been bridged.

However, there is some measure of agreement that stand levels have not exceeded present levels by more than a few metres within the past 340 000 years. The most widely accepted figure for Pleistocene minima is of the order of Ϫ130 m, although in places it may have been greater than this (Bell and Walker 1992; Nunn 1994). This order of sealevel depression, given present lithospheric configuration, is sufficient to connect many present-day islands—such as mainland Britain—to continents, thus allowing biotic exchange between land areas that are now disconnected.

Finally, some 50 000 BP, the small islets north of Lanzarote (La Graciosa, Montaña Clara, and Alegranza) and Fuerteventura (Lobos) were built, giving the Canary archipelago its present shape (Fig. 9f). With the exception of La Gomera, which has been dormant for some 2–3 Ma, the islands have remained active, with some 15 volcanic eruptions in Lanzarote, Tenerife, and La Palma in the last 500 years (Anguita et al. 2002). In addition to the building, collapse, and erosion of the islands, eustatic sea-level changes during the Pleistocene have alternately doubled and halved the emerged area of the archipelago, from approximately 7500 km2 during interglacials to some 14 000 km2 during stadials (García-Talavera 1999).

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