Presentation on theme: "Island biogeography Island in the Bay of Fundy What controls the number of plant and animal species on this island? Does size matter? Isolation? Habitat."— Presentation transcript:
Island biogeography Island in the Bay of Fundy What controls the number of plant and animal species on this island? Does size matter? Isolation? Habitat variation? Environmental history?
Species - area relationships Johann Reinhold Forster ( ) served as a botanist with Captain Cook. After exploring the islands of the southern Pacific he observed: “Islands only produce a greater or less number of species as their circumference is more or less extensive”. Small islands harbour fewer species. The Forsters’ (father & son) collecting specimens in Tahiti
Species-area relationships Arrhenius (1921) “Species and Area” Gleason (1922) “On the relation between species and area”. Ecology, 3. Gleason censused the plants in 240 1m 2 plots in an aspen wood in northern Michigan. He found 27 species in total, with an average of 4 species per quadrat.
Species-area relationships Preston (1962) “The canonical distribution of commonewss and rarity”. Ecology, 43. Preston introduced the ‘Arrhenius equation’: S = cA z where S is number of species, A is plot area, and c and z are constants.
c Applying the Arrhenius equation to Gleason’s data: z = slope c = intercept
Variations in value of c e.g. insects e.g. mammals plants
Variations in the value of z real world cases ( )
What controls the species- area curve?
What do these have in common?
West Indian avifaunas
Avifaunal evidence from oceanic islands
MacArthur and Wilson’s “Theory of Equilibrium Island Biogeography” (1967) = equilibrium species number
The effects of island size
Species-area curve, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos plant diversity and microclimate: area is a proxy for habitat variability <300 m >500 m
Plant diversity in the south Pacific: is the variability controlled by habitat variation?
The effects of island distance
Probability of success with target distance (metaphor)
Dispersal probability with island distance
Avifaunal diversity in the south Pacific: the effects of distance from PNG
Testing the MacArthur and Wilson theory A. Natural experiments - Krakatau/Rakata
Bird and mammal diversity on the remnant islands of Krakatau vs. the biodiversity of neighbouring islands remnants neighbours Rakata
Rakata bird colonization McArthur & Wilson’s equilibrium predictions from nearby islands: 30 bird species 40 yrs to equilibrium; turnover: 1 species/yr. ? Survey dates
Rakata: plant colonization
Rakata: plant immigration and extinction
Testing the theory: artificial experiments I: defaunation and colonization Small mangrove islands in the Florida keys
Testing the theory: artificial experiments II: colonization of artificial substrates Fouling panels
Variations in turnover rate at equilibrium
Extending the theory “Insularity is moreover a universal feature of biogeography. Many of the principles graphically displayed in the Galapagos Islands and other remote archipelagos apply in lesser or greater degree to all natural habitats” e.g. mountain-top alpine areas; islands of trees at the arctic treeline, urban parks, lakes, bogs, desert oases, clearcuts, islands of fragmented habitat, and even individual rocks, plants, etc.
Lake and bog islands
Mountain islands Distribution of alpine tundra ecosystems in BC; an archipelago formed by hundreds of ± discrete islands separated by forest and prairie in the neighbouring valleys.
Vacant urban lots Crowe, L. M Lots of weeds: insular phytogeography of vacant urban lots. J. Biogeography 6: Vacant urban lot, Philadelphia
Fragmented habitat islands “the breakup of a large landmass into smaller units would necessarily lead to the extinction or local extermination of one or more species and the differential preservation of others” Alphonse de Candolle, 1855 True for all habitats; e.g. Wisconsin woodlands