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The Theory of Island Biogeography (Princeton Landmarks in Biology) Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-0691088365 ISBN-10: 0691088365

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Landmarks in Biology (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691088365
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691088365
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,819 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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"Anyone interested in the history of modern ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology should be aware of the content and impact of this seminal work."--Sharon Kingsland, Journal of the History of Biology

From the Back Cover


"MacArthur and Wilson's is arguably the most influential book in biogeography in the last hundred years. With its emphasis on on-going processes of colonization and extinction, it provided a new framework to explain patterns in species diversity and served as a counterpoint to hypotheses relying on chance and solitary historical events. Many of the antecedents for what we now call conservation biology, invasion biology, and landscape ecology had their origins here."--Ted Case, University of California, San Diego



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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Originally published as part of the Princeton University Press' Monographs in Population Biology series, Robert MacArthur's and Edward O. Wilson's "Theory Of Island Biogeography" is regarded by many as the most influential tome in theoretical ecology published in the latter half of the 20th Century. Its importance is due to its success in predicting the causes and outcomes of variations in species diversity across a wide range of habitats, not only tropical islands. Furthermore it is the underlying theory behind current research in conservation biology. And it has played a magnificient role in analyzing fluctuations in taxonomic diversity from both marine and continental fossil records across the span of more than half a billion years of Earth history. MacArthur and Wilson conceived of a simple, yet conceptually fruitful equilibrium model of species diversity, recognizing that species diversity is often in a state of flux between varying rates of species immigration (or perhaps, speciation) and extinction. This then novel way at looking at species diversity combined MacArthur's sound mathematical reasoning with Wilson's excellent field biogeographic research (Yet those who are not mathematically inclined should not feel intimidated; their theoretical arguments are made through lucid, exquisite prose.). Without a doubt, their equilibrium theory of island biogeography is one of the finest achievements of 20th Century ecology.
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18 of 24 people found the following review helpful By "whreid" on July 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
Robert McArthur was on he knew was his last speaking trip across the country when I heard him in Boulder in the winter of 1974. He didn't talk about death; he talked about life and how it works. He wrote one short equation on the blackboard, then talked about it for an hour. No long after he was dead, but he was the real young lion, he changed ecology forever. His start was simple: look at avifauna in terms of foliage height diversity, but he did not stop there.
Wilson? He's brilliant in his own way, of course, but I'm betting his contribution to Island Biogeography was criticism and editing.
People have spent a lot of time attacking parts of this book, an equation here, an equation there. And if you don't like equations at all, skip them and go for the ideas. This was the seminal book, the start of the New Era, where complex ideas can be encapsulated in a brief expression, then turned around and it's implications tested. It will teach you how to think.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Richmond on August 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book that spawned a new sub-field in ecology as well as providing a major theoretical approach to conservation issues. Island biogeography provided us with a new way to view biodiversity as it related to space. A wonderful book.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Kristin McClendon on February 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
I appreciate the timing of the shipment however as I read the book, every time I turn a page, the previous page comes out so as I am reviewing I have to be careful to keep the pages together and in order. Unfortunate since it was a new book and I will need to reference it over the next year which will prove frustrating with all loose pages.
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