Concepts, Theory, and Data
This chapter present a brief overview of the theory, concepts, and analytical tools of island biogeography, focusing on the aspects of colonization and extinction dynamics appropriate to continental islands in a setting such as Barkley Sound. It first discusses the main elements of the MacArthur-Wilson (M/W) equilibrium theory of island biogeography. The M/W theory considers that colonization rates are primarily a function of island isolation and decrease with distance, whereas extinction rates are primarily functions of island size and decrease with increasing island area. The chapter also relates observed colonization and extinction rates on Barkley Sound islands to island size and isolation, and shows that colonization and extinction rates differ among taxa; and that rates also differ among islands, with island size and isolation affecting the former.
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