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Plants on Islands: Diversity and Dynamics on a Continental Archipelago

Martin L. Cody
Copyright Date: 2006
Edition: 1
Pages: 269
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  • Book Info
    Plants on Islands
    Book Description:

    This thorough and meticulous study, the result of nearly a quarter-century of research, examines the island biogeography of plants on continental islands in Barkley Sound, British Columbia. Invaluable both because of its geographical setting and because of the duration of the study,Plants on Islandssummarizes the diversity, dynamics, and distribution of the approximately three hundred species of plants on more than two hundred islands. Martin Cody uses his extensive data set to test various aspects of island biogeographic theory. His thoughtful analysis, constrained by taxon and region, elucidates and enhances the understanding of the biogeographic patterns and dynamics. He provides an overview of the basic theory, concepts, and analytical tools of island biogeography. Also discussed are island relaxation to lower equilibrium species numbers post-isolation, plant distributions variously limited by island area, isolation and climatic differences, adaptation to local abiotic and biotic environments within islands, and the evolution of different island phenotypes. The book concludes with a valuable consideration of equilibrium concepts and of the interplay of coexistence and competition. Certain to challenge,Plants on Islandsis among the first books to critically analyze the central tenets of the theory of island biogeography.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-93272-2
    Subjects: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-5)

    In 1846 sir joseph hooker delivered an intriguing paper to the Linnaean Society in London on the flora of the Galapagos Islands, the results of a study he had undertaken at the request of his friend Charles Darwin. Subsequently published in 1849, the paper raised and discussed issues that remain at the heart of most research on island plants. He described the Galapagos Islands as being of rather recent volcanic origin, and the flora as remarkable for its paucity of species, believed at the time to number around 265; over 20% of the species were ferns (Pteridophytes) and sunflower relatives...

  5. 2 Islands in Barkley Sound, British Columbia
    (pp. 6-35)

    Vancouver Island (Fig. 2.1) lies between 48° and 51° N latitude. The largest island on the west coast of North America, it is part of the western Canadian province of British Columbia and the home of the provincial capital, Victoria. The island was named after George Vancouver (1757–1798), the English navigator who completed its first circumnavigation in 1792. This achievement was not Vancouver’s first voyage to the region, though. He had served earlier with Capt. James Cook (1728–1779) on Cook’s second (1772–1775) and third (1776–1780) voyages to the Pacific. On this last voyage, Cook sought the...

  6. 3 Island Biogeography: CONCEPTS, THEORY, AND DATA
    (pp. 36-55)

    In this chapter I present a brief overview of the theory, concepts, and analytical tools of island biogeography, and illustrate them where possible with my own examples as I go. It can be brief because the topic is well covered, and in much detail, in several recent treatments such as Rosenzweig (1995), Brown and Lomolino (1998), and Whittaker (1998). Mine is also a narrow overview, in that it is concerned chiefly with aspects of colonization and extinction dynamics appropriate to continental islands in a setting such as Barkley Sound. This necessarily will leave a lot of interesting biogeography unmentioned. Thus,...

  7. 4 Species Number, Island Area, and Isolation
    (pp. 56-73)

    In this chapter I consider the numbers of plant species on the Barkley Sound islands and evaluate the extent to which species numbers vary over time. I assess whether the data support an equilibrium value for island species counts, and how these counts are related to the more obvious variables of island area and isolation, and less obvious variables such as island topography and position within Barkley Sound. However, as discussed above, the number of species on at least larger continental or land-bridge islands may not be at equilibrium in terms of the longer view, owing to the historical legacy...

  8. 5 Nestedness and Assembly Rules
    (pp. 74-115)

    A common representation of distributional data, species occurrences over a range of sites, is in the form of a species-by-sites matrix (SSM). Conventionally, species are listed in the rows of the matrix and the sites in columns; generally SSM entries are presence-absence data, namely, 1’s or 0’s. SSM databases are standard format for many sorts of ecological and biogeographical studies and are amenable to a wide range of analytical and statistical techniques. These include, among many others, the ordination or classification of species and sites to reveal distributional patterns among species and species richness or diversity patterns among sites (e.g.,...

  9. 6 Species Turnover in Space and Time
    (pp. 116-137)

    Through time, new plant species colonize and become established on islands in Barkley Sound continuously, just as old residents fall off the island roster as they become locally extinct. Since colonization and extinction rates are approximately equal over time (Fig. 3.4), an island’s list of resident plant species remains about the same length, although the names change and species turnover is recorded as a function of time. Turnover between censuses taken in adjacent years is particularly informative, as it enables computation of actual colonization and extinction rates (see chapter 5, the discussion of shoreline plants), at least of reasonable estimations...

  10. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  11. 7 Dispersal Syndromes, Incidence, and Dynamics
    (pp. 138-179)

    The older literature on plant dispersal is largely descriptive and phenomenological (Ridley 1930; van der Pijl 1982), but it provides a broad background to the natural history and the remarkable diversity of the means by which plant propagules manage to reach new habitat. The review of the ecology of seed dispersal by Howe and Smallwood (1982) set the stage for more recent experimental and analytical approaches, which have developed markedly since that time. Resurgent interest in dispersal questions has produced a variety of promising approaches, and two edited volumes provide good coverage of new theory and new technique and give...

  12. 8 Ecological and Evolutionary Shifts on Continental Islands
    (pp. 180-204)

    The topic of this chapter really began at the end of the previous one (chapter 7) where I described, for some of the wind-dispersed forbs in the family Asteraceae, the changes in the morphology of the achene/pappus on islands relative to mainland populations. The changes were statistically detectable over time intervals of a decade or so after initial establishment and were interpreted in the light of strong selection for a reduced dispersal capacity on islands. This, then, is just the same phenomenon, the same process, and indeed same result that we had discussed earlier in plants on much more isolated...

    (pp. 205-216)

    Much of the material I have presented on island plants was strongly numerical and necessarily analytical; after the facts are bared, the data analyzed, the patterns and processes sketched out and at least partially understood, it seems useful to sit back and breathe deeply, metaphorically at least, and attempt to pick out the main lessons derived from the study. In this last chapter, I attempt an overview of the island biogeographic picture in Barkley Sound plants and point out where the more interesting population biology and ecology was found. Some of the results of the study were surprising and and...

  14. Appendixes
    (pp. 217-247)
    (pp. 248-255)
  16. INDEX
    (pp. 256-259)