Island Biogeography Virtual Lab.docx - Name:_ Class:_...

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Name:__________________________________________Class:______ Date:__________________________Virtual Lab: Island BiogeographyBackground:Island biogeography is the study of community diversity on islands. One of the variables studiedis the rate of colonization by additional species – called recruitment. The farther an island isfrom the mainland (or the source of colonists), the less frequently new colonists will arrive andbecome established. Also, the larger an island, the more likely it is more colonists to “find” thatspace and establish themselves on the island.Another variable is the carrying capacity of the island. Small islands contain fewer resourcesand support populations of fewer individuals. Small populations are more susceptible to localextinction; so small islands have fewer species than equivalent large islands. Small islands alsohave a higher ratio of perimeter to area than larger islands.This is important because at theborders of habitats, the physical conditions are often a combination of the conditions of eitherhabitat. An example on oceanic islands is the perimeter of the forest, which will be buffeted bysalt spray, while the forest’s center will not be.This creates an “edge effect.”The principles from island biogeography can easily be applied to terrestrial situations. Forexample, alpine habitats are usually separated by lowland habitats, and lake habitats areseparated by terrestrial and stream habitats. Fragmented habitats, such as rainforest parcelsseparated by farmlands, can be considered “islands.” Many wildlife managers have taken theeffects of “island” size into account and have begun to link smaller fragments of habitat togetherusing small corridors to effectively increase the island size. (Costa Rica is an example.)Therehas also been increasing concern that if a catastrophe damages a nature preserve that isessentially an island, the preserve may not recover quickly unless there is a source of colonists

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Term
Fall
Professor
professor_unknown
Tags
Species III, Set island

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