Concluding remarks: historical perspective and the future of island biogeography theory

Concluding remarks: historical perspective and the future of island biogeography theory MacArthur and Wilson’s equilibrium theory revolutionized the field of island biogeography and, to a large degree, ecology as well. The theory, which quickly became the ruling paradigm of island biogeography, has changed little over the past three decades. It has not kept pace with relevant theory and our growing appreciation for the complexity of nature, especially with empirical findings that species diversity on many islands: 1) is not in equilibrium; 2) is influenced by differences in speciation, colonization, and extinction among taxa; and 3) is influenced by differences among islands in characteristics other than area and isolation. The discipline of biogeography, itself, is in a state of disequilibrium. We may again be about to witness another paradigm shift, which will see the replacement of MacArthur and Wilson’s theory. Wherever this shift may take us, we are confident that the next generation of biogeographers will still look to islands for insights into the forces that shape biological diversity. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Global Ecology and Biogeography Wiley

Concluding remarks: historical perspective and the future of island biogeography theory

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
1466-822X
eISSN
1466-8238
DOI
10.1046/j.1365-2699.2000.00186.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

MacArthur and Wilson’s equilibrium theory revolutionized the field of island biogeography and, to a large degree, ecology as well. The theory, which quickly became the ruling paradigm of island biogeography, has changed little over the past three decades. It has not kept pace with relevant theory and our growing appreciation for the complexity of nature, especially with empirical findings that species diversity on many islands: 1) is not in equilibrium; 2) is influenced by differences in speciation, colonization, and extinction among taxa; and 3) is influenced by differences among islands in characteristics other than area and isolation. The discipline of biogeography, itself, is in a state of disequilibrium. We may again be about to witness another paradigm shift, which will see the replacement of MacArthur and Wilson’s theory. Wherever this shift may take us, we are confident that the next generation of biogeographers will still look to islands for insights into the forces that shape biological diversity.

Journal

Global Ecology and BiogeographyWiley

Published: Jan 1, 2000

Keywords: ; ; ; ; ; ; ;

References

  • Island biology
    Carlquist, S.
  • Zoogeography: the geographical distribution of animals
    Darlington, P.J.
  • On the origin of species by means of natural selection or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life
    Darwin, C.
  • Ecology and evolution of communities
    Diamond, J.M.
  • Conservation biology
    Diamond, J.M.
  • Evolution of mammals on islands
    Foster, J.B.
  • Environmental determination of insular variation in bird species abundance in the Gulf of Guinea
    Hamilton, T.H.; Armstrong, N.E.
  • Body size of mammals on islands: the island rule re‐examined
    Lomolino, M.V.
  • Winter filtering, immigrant selection and species composition of insular mammals of Lake Huron
    Lomolino, M.V.

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