More than two decades after its publication, MacArthur and Wilson's equilibrium model of insular biogeography continues to provide the conceptual foundation for investigating the distribution of species on islands and the composition of insular biotas. During this period, studies of the distributions of mammals among insular habitats have tested, modified, and extended MacArthur and Wilson's simple formalism to enhance greatly our understanding of the complexities of biogeographic patterns and processes. The papers in this symposium summarize many of the past contributions of mammalian biogeographers and introduce important new data and ideas. The diversity of biological characteristics and associated distributional patterns exhibited by mammals has facilitated this endeavour. Some insular mammalian faunas appear to represent approximate equilibria between opposing rates of contemporary colonization and extinction. Other faunas are currently decreasing in diversity because of extinctions, owing either to natural habitat fragmentation that has occurred since the Pleistocene or to human activities within the last few centuries. Still other faunas have been increasing in diversity (at least until recent human impacts) because limiting rates of origination, both colonization and speciation, have been extremely low. The questions and analyses of island biogeography can also be applied to continents with comparable overall results: the distributions of continental faunas reflect the consequences of similar processes of colonization, speciation and extinction. Analyses of insular distributions show unequivocally that probabilities of extinction, colonization and speciation are highly deterministic and vary in predictable ways among different taxa and archipelagos. These findings have important implications for applying the theory and data of insular biogeography to the pressing practical problems of designing natural reserves to preserve native species.
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society – Oxford University Press
Published: May 1, 1986
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera