Tuesday, October 14, 2014

My Year of Darwin 10/14/2014: Extinction on islands: Darwin wrong again

 Charles Darwin

"On a small island, the race for life will have been less severe, and there will have been less modification and less extermination." Charles Darwin, Origin of Species 1st edition (on Kindle)

Interesting thesis but I think it's wrong. Why? According to MacArthur and Wilson's Island Biographic Theory (IBT), small islands have higher extinction rates because populations are smaller and smaller populations are more likely to become extinct.  

Robert H. MacArthur and Ed O. Wilson outlined IBT in their 1967 book The Theory of Island Biogeography. I consider this to be the second most important book for ecologists. I have a copy signed by Wilson on my bookshelf!

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