Arthropods on islands: colonization, speciation, and conservation

Annual Review of Entomology
Rosemary G Gillespie, George K Roderick

Abstract

Islands have traditionally been considered to be any relatively small body of land completely surrounded by water. However, their primary biological characteristic, an extended period of isolation from a source of colonists, is common also to many situations on continents. Accordingly, theories and predictions developed for true islands have been applied to a huge array of systems, from rock pools, to single tree species in forests, to oceanic islands. Here, we examine the literature on islands in the broadest sense (i.e., whether surrounded by water or any other uninhabitable matrix) as it pertains to terrestrial arthropods. We categorize islands according to the features they share. The primary distinction between different island systems is "darwinian" islands (formed de novo) and "fragment" islands. In the former, the islands have never been in contact with the source of colonists and have abundant "empty" ecological niche space. On these islands, species numbers will initially increase through immigration, the rate depending on the degree of isolation. If isolation persists, over time species formation will result in "neo-endemics." When isolation is extreme, the ecological space will gradually be filled through speciation...Continue Reading

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Methods Mentioned

BETA
lava tube

Related Concepts

Arthropods
Biological Evolution

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