Supersaturated Island Faunas: A Species-Age Relationship for Lizards on Post-Pleistocene Land-Bridge Islands

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  03 Mar 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4332, pp. 996-998
DOI: 10.1126/science.199.4332.996


Lizard faunas on post-Pleistocene land-bridge islands in the region of Baja California were examined for the effect of island age on species diversity. Species diversity and age are significantly correlated; and when the variation in species diversity attributable to area and latitude are removed, the corrected species diversity plotted against island age produces a relaxation or extinction curve. These results provide evidence for supersaturated faunas which are relaxing to lower levels of species diversity consistent with the equilibrium theory of island biogeography.