Island biogeography: Taking the long view of nature’s laboratories

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Science  01 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6354, eaam8326
DOI: 10.1126/science.aam8326

Dynamics of island biodiversity

Fifty years ago, MacArthur and Wilson published their influential book, The Theory of Island Biogeography. This work provided a quantitative framework for understanding the ecological processes governing the diversity of species on oceanic islands. Whittaker et al. review the subsequent progress in the field, focusing particularly on the integration of the ecological model with island geophysical dynamics. Recent work is showing how immigration, speciation, and extinction respond to the phases of emergence, development, and submergence in oceanic islands.

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