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Habitat islands and the equilibrium theory of island biogeography: testing some predictions

January 1, 1988

Species-area data from a study of marsh birds are used to test five predictions generated by the equilibrium theory of island biogeography. Three predictions are supported: we found a significant species-area relationship, a non-zero level of turnover, and a variance-mean ratio of 0.5. One prediction is rejected: the extinction rates were not greater on small islands. The results of one test are equivocal: the number of species on each island was not always the same. As Gilbert (1980) suggests, a strong species-area relationship alone does not validate the theory. The avian communities we studied were on habitat islands, not true islands, and underwent complete extinction annually. Thus caution must be used before applying the theory to these and other habitat islands.

Citation Information

Publication Year 1988
Title Habitat islands and the equilibrium theory of island biogeography: testing some predictions
DOI 10.1007/BF00376947
Authors M. Brown, J.J. Dinsmore
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Oecologia
Index ID 1002338
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization National Wetlands Research Center