Abstract: The nested subset hypothesis states that the species comprising a depauperate insular biota are a proper subset of those in richer biotas, and that an archipelago of such biotas, ranked by species richness, presents a nested series. The pattern characterizes the distributions of mammals in three different archipelagos, and it appears more strongly developed among faunas in the process of, relaxation (landbridge islands) than in those derived by overwater colonization (oceanic islands). The generality of the nested subset pattern and factors that may produce it are evaluated using distributions of land birds in the New Zealand region. Monte Carlo simulations show that species composition of these insular avifaunas is highly nonrandom, exhibiting significantly nested structure. However, avifaunas on nine oceanic islands lack the structure typical of all islands together or of the 22 landbridge islands. Thus, distinctive patterns of species composition, as well as species number, may distinguish landbridge and oceanic islands.
Conservation Biology – Wiley
Published: Dec 1, 1987
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