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Publication Information

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Title: Island Biogeography Theory: Emerging Patterns and Human Effects

Author: Guo, Qinfeng;

Date: 2015

Source: Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences 5 p.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Islands are conventionally (and narrowly) referred to as isolated lands in surrounding waters. However, in broad senses and when loosely defined, ‘islands’ also include insular areas or entities such as mountain tops, lakes (e.g., potholes in northern Great Plains in North America), oasis (in deserts), and springs (especially in deserts) that support unique species assemblages relative to surrounding habitats (e.g., Brown, 1978; Lomolino et al., 2006). Mostly because of the insular nature, habitats on oceanic islands are often different from those on the nearest mainland even when latitudes (climates) and the sizes (areas) are the same. For example, islands often support unique species assemblages with proportionally more rare and endemic species with small population sizes (e.g., reduced body size or the so-called insular dwarfism and dispersal). Partly because of their unique features (e.g., isolation) and conservation values, islands are extremely attractive for intensive efforts in exploration, research, and conservation (e.g., Kalmar and Currie, 2006).

Keywords: human activity, isolation, species invasions

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Guo, Q.F. 2015. Island biogeography theory: emerging patterns and human effects. Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. 5 p.


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