Island Biogeography Redux, with a Speciation Twist

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Science  02 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5544, pp. 1007-1008
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5544.1007

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The Birds of Northern Melanesia Speciation, Ecology, and Biogeography. Ernst Mayr and Jared M. Diamond. Oxford University Press, New York. 2001. 528 pp. $55. ISBN 0-19-514170-9

The result of a 30-year collaboration (and building on field work that Mayr began in 1929), this monograph analyzes the distribution of the 195 breeding land and freshwater birds species across 76 islands of the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagoes east of New Guinea. The authors argue that the avifauna provides examples of all stages in speciation and can serve as a model system for consideration of those processes and of other problems of interest to population biologists.