Birds in paradise: biogeography in the subtropics

Animal Ecology In Focus

Biogeography is often more complicated than the species-area relationship as discussed in a Journal of Animal Ecology paper testing multiple extensions of island biogeography theory. Sam Ross, lead author of the study, is a PhD student at Trinity College Dublin studying ecological responses to global change. Sam has additional interests in community ecology and macroecology, and works closely with colleagues at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University in Japan. Here, he describes how this work fits into the long history of biogeography research.

Blog header pic Light-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus sinensis), one of the species of interest in the Ryūkyū archipelago (Photo: Sam Ross)

The species-area relationship is considered one of the only ‘rules’ in ecology. We have observed more species on larger ‘islands’ (whether true islands or simply some habitat patch of interest) in studies of different plants and animals all around the world. When MacArthur and Wilson…

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