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22. Fundamentals of Biogeography (Routledge
23. The Ecology and Biogeography of
24. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography
25. The Unified Neutral Theory of
26. Dynamic Biogeography (Cambridge
27. Late Quaternary Mammalian Biogeography
28. The Biogeography of the Oceans,
29. Biogeography of the southern end
30. Biogeography in a Changing World
31. Extinction and Biogeography of
32. Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus
33. Island Biogeography : Ecology,
34. Biogeography and Adaptation: Patterns
35. Biogeography of Mediterranean
36. Basic Biogeography
37. Global Biogeography
38. Biogeography and Biodiversity
39. Biogeography and Ecology in South-America.
40. The Settlement of the American

Paperback: 321 Pages (2007-08-30)
list price: US$66.77 -- used & new: US$49.99
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Asin: 075754570X
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22. Fundamentals of Biogeography (Routledge Fundamentals of Physical Geography)
by Richard John Huggett
Hardcover: 456 Pages (2005-01-07)
list price: US$230.00 -- used & new: US$229.98
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Asin: 0415323460
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Fundamentals of Biogeography presents an accessible, engaging and comprehensive introduction to biogeography, explaining the ecology, geography, history and conservation of animals and plants. Starting with an outline of how species arise, disperse, diversify and become extinct, the book examines: how environmental factors (climate, substrate, topography, and disturbance) influence animals and plants; investigates how populations grow, interact and survive; how communities form and change; and explores the connections between biogeography and conservation.

The second edition has been extensively revised and expanded throughout to cover new topics and revisit themes from the first edition in more depth. Illustrated throughout with informative diagrams and attractive photos and including guides to further reading, chapter summaries and an extensive glossary of key terms, Fundamentals of Biogeography clearly explains key concepts in the history, geography and ecology of life systems. In doing so, it tackles some of the most topical and controversial environmental and ethical concerns including species over-exploitation, the impacts of global warming, habitat fragmentation, biodiversity loss and ecosystem restoration. ... Read more

23. The Ecology and Biogeography of Nothofagus Forests
Hardcover: 414 Pages (1996-03-27)
list price: US$72.00 -- used & new: US$64.55
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Asin: 0300064233
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Focusing on the tree species Nothofagus, or southern beech, ecologists and biogeographers here provide a comprehensive examination of the distribution, history, and ecology of this species that predominates in forests from highland New Guinea at the equator to the subantarctic latitudes of Tierra del Fuego. The Nothofagus genus offers a fascinating key to understanding historical plant geography and modern vegetation patterns. ... Read more

24. The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction
by David Quammen
Paperback: 704 Pages (1997-04-14)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$8.44
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Asin: 0684827123
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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David Quammen's book, The Song of the Dodo, is a brilliant, stirring work, breathtaking in its scope, far-reaching in its message -- a crucial book in precarious times, which radically alters the way in which we understand the natural world and our place in that world. It's also a book full of entertainment and wonders.

In The Song of the Dodo, we follow Quammen's keen intellect through the ideas, theories, and experiments of prominent naturalists of the last two centuries. We trail after him as he travels the world, tracking the subject of island biogeography, which encompasses nothing less than the study of the origin and extinction of all species. Why is this island idea so important? Because islands are where species most commonly go extinct -- and because, as Quammen points out, we live in an age when all of Earth's landscapes are being chopped into island-like fragments by human activity.

Through his eyes, we glimpse the nature of evolution and extinction, and in so doing come to understand the monumental diversity of our planet, and the importance of preserving its wild landscapes, animals, and plants. We also meet some fascinating human characters. By the book's end we are wiser, and more deeply concerned, but Quammen leaves us with a message of excitement and hope.Amazon.com Review
In a wonderful weave of science, metaphor, and prose, DavidQuammen, author ofTheFlight of the Iguana, applies the lessons of island biogeography - the study of thedistribution of species on islands and islandlike patches of landscape- to modern ecosystem decay, offering us insight into the origin andextinction of species, our relationship to nature, and the future ofour world. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

2-0 out of 5 stars Would be better at one-third the length
Did you ever have one of those professors in college who tried just a little too hard to be cool by using four-letter words and making what they imagined to be irreverent quips?

Ever have one of those professors who would drift away into unrelated personal stories? And who would then try to return to the main subject but not remember at what point they had departed it and so repeat large chunks of what they had already covered?

Ever encounter an undergraduate who was trying to stretch his 5 pages of good material into 15?

Combine these three types and you'll have a good idea of what David Quammen's writing is like in this book. The actual meat of the book concerning the development of the field of island biogeography might have been presented in a hundred pages, but Quammen stretches this out into 700 pages and over 170(!) individual short chapters. Examples are drawn out beyond all helpfulness and are then repeated again and again. His regular use of profanity is gratuitous. It adds nothing and only distracts. He drifts off into personal travelogue that has nothing to do with his subject. He spends more time explaining why we can ignore the nasty old mathematics of ecology than it would have taken to give a quick synopsis of how the math has been applied.

This is one of the strangest aspects of this book; for a work supposedly about a branch of science, it is incredibly hostile toward science at times. Who needs calculus? Quammen throws out like one of those "hip" professors. Who needs logarithms? Well, "dude," anyone who intends to include an entire chapter about mathematical ecological models does. Quammen assumes his reader shares his hatred for anything "besmeared" with math and so simply glosses over it. Just as he begins to get past the surface of a new theory, he pulls back and apologizes to his readers for boring them.

Quammen writes well, but doesn't seem to know what kind of book he's writing. He maybe wants to present the science, but apparently assumes his readers will yawn off if he tries to go into any real depth and so resorts to gossip about the scientists themselves. He maybe wants to write a travelogue, and has to stretch to fit these passages into his main theme. Ultimately, Quammen himself draws no conclusions, ventures no new ideas. The book succeeds as a long diversion into a topic of some currency, but that's about it. It provides very little hard information in its 700 pages.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful biological adventure that's incredibly educational
It's been years since I finished reading this and I still find myself thinking about it often.Mr. Quammen takes us on an informative scientific journey while visiting some amazing places around the world, all based around the theme of island biogeography.My favorite book of his (I have them all).I look forward to reading it once again in the near future!

5-0 out of 5 stars Think the subject is dry? Think again.
This is one of my all-time favorite books. If you're put off by the title's mention of "island biogeography," get over it. The subject is fascinating, and like all of Quammen's work, it's explained in an understandable, even enjoyable, manner. And if the subject does interest you, you'll be thoroughly educated and entertained. I'm referring the lay reader of course (a group to which I belong), but I suspect that, given Quammen's felicity with words (his earlier career was as a novelist), even people with some experience in the field will enjoy it (and they will get the added enjoyment of carping about details).

The book isn't just about science. It's history, travel, biography, and more. More than any other book I've read, I've pushed this book on friends to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent work!
This is a fascinating look at evolution and biology in the microcosms of islands.There are plenty of fine works out there about evolution, and lots of good books about biodiversity, but here the central question is "what happens if we have a very limited environment?an environment where there may not be any predator species, an environment which may have only limited interactions with other environments?"So, for example, he recounts the investigations into the return of biota to Krakatoa (this has been done before).But he also looks closely at Hawaii, the Galapagos, Komodo, and other islands.Quammen visits most of these places--from inhospitable islands off Baja California to Mauritius and other spots--he wants to see firsthand.Some of the islands are not islands in the usual sense--small pockets of jungle left in Brazil, mountains in Nevada, for example.If you're a small animal that thrives at, say, elevations over 9000 feet, you probably are not going to be able to cross 30 miles of desert to reach another mountain.The tepuis of Venezuela could have been covered here as well.

Perhaps the most interesting parts of the book for me were two tales.The first is about Mauritius and the extinction of the dodo.Humans are of course the culprit, or so we assume.But it turns out that a significant contribution came from the introduction of the crab-eating macaque monkeys to this island in the 1600's.How they got there is a deep mystery--pigs, chickens, goats, etc, are understandable, but the macaques are not very good pet material, to say the least--suspicion falls on the Dutch.The second tale is about the extinction of a number of native birds on Guam--a rapid and measurable decline, with a traceable line of disappearance--from the south to the north.Much like the recent problems with honeybee populations in the US, there were lots of suggestions and finger-pointing--DDT, etc.The culprit turned out to be a poisonous bird-eating tree snake, introduced inadvertently from the Solomon Islands.On Guam the snake had no natural enemies and multiplied--prodigiously.It is estimated that there are 13000 of these snakes (which grow to about 5 feet) per square mile on Guam.That's a mind-boggling 20 per acre.Think of your little house in the US on your quarter-acre lot, and then imagine that on your quarter-acre lot are 5 5-foot long poisonous snakes.These are tree snakes and so climb well.If you have ever (as I have) seen a 5-foot long blacksnake sunning itself on your second-story windowsill and you're cursed with an imagination, think of walking out your front door and having a large poisonous snake drop on you from the overhanging gutter.

Quammen is a great storyteller.By visiting the locations, he can make things really come to life, so to speak.I was never particularly interested in visiting Guam, and I'm not scared of snakes, but now Guam has even less attraction!This book does a really fine job in showing how evolution operates, and it also addresses important environmental issues.A fine work indeed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding...
David Quammen is a damned good writer. This is excellent news for you, the presumptive reader, because this book is looooooong and at times unavoidably recondite.

As a layman's propadeutic for ecology, however, you really can't ask for much more. Quammen knows that SOME jargon is inescapable, but he doesn't deploy it with an airy "Look it up, a-hole!" He gently takes your hand and guides you along through the morass of theoretical ecology...and he has an uncannily accurate sense of just how much academic blibbety-blab one can tolerate, before a narrative volte-face is necessary.

At such junctures, Quammen will insert an anecdote, a joke, a story, something INTERESTING, to ENGAGE you, to get you past the hump, and ready for another ten pages or so of aridity. (A spoonful of sugar...) Truly, he is to be commended...instead of writing a highfalutin, self-aggrandizing work of "scholarship," he's written a book that is both scientifically sound and READABLE.

It's a boon to the subject of ecology and indicates his intellectual security: he doesn't want to flaunt his considerable smarts--he wants you to LEARN SOMETHING. (And you will.) From Darwin to E.O. Wilson, all bases are covered; and though Quammen never attempts to camouflage his own sensibilities, the book is not tendentious (like Guns, Germs, and Steel).

As a "read," the first part is better than later chapters, and there is a definite sense of losing steam. But though the returns start to diminish, the slope always stays positive, and experiences a sharp up-tick at the very end. (If I could get through the section on the Concho water snake, so can you.)

This is simply a superb, edifying book. It's good for you, no matter what you believe, no matter what your perspective. ... Read more

25. The Unified Neutral Theory of Biodiversity and Biogeography
by Stephen P. Hubbell
Kindle Edition: 375 Pages (2001-03-31)
list price: US$64.00
Asin: B001HBHWS4
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Despite its supreme importance and the threat of its global crash, biodiversity remains poorly understood both empirically and theoretically. This ambitious book presents a new, general neutral theory to explain the origin, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity in a biogeographic context.

Until now biogeography (the study of the geographic distribution of species) and biodiversity (the study of species richness and relative species abundance) have had largely disjunct intellectual histories. In this book, Stephen Hubbell develops a formal mathematical theory that unifies these two fields. When a speciation process is incorporated into Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson's now classical theory of island biogeography, the generalized theory predicts the existence of a universal, dimensionless biodiversity number. In the theory, this fundamental biodiversity number, together with the migration or dispersal rate, completely determines the steady-state distribution of species richness and relative species abundance on local to large geographic spatial scales and short-term to evolutionary time scales.

Although neutral, Hubbell's theory is nevertheless able to generate many nonobvious, testable, and remarkably accurate quantitative predictions about biodiversity and biogeography. In many ways Hubbell's theory is the ecological analog to the neutral theory of genetic drift in genetics. The unified neutral theory of biogeography and biodiversity should stimulate research in new theoretical and empirical directions by ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and biogeographers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thorough book on neutral theory in ecology by the man himself
The author presents a thorough case for his neutral theory of biogeography. He gives a full historical account of its development, and presents plenty of results from publications and simulations, essentially expounding point for point the search for more precise answers to the questions, why are there so many species, and why are they distributed they way they are? Full of interesting insights, and many points are applicable to other sciences as well - economics come to mind. One thing that might have been useful is a more explicit discussion of other neutral theories, say the theories of genetic drift, which predate Hubbell's equal named "ecological drift".But within its stated scope the book is very complete and highly readable as well. Maybe I should mention that I am writing as a scientist - it is not a typical pop science book to read on the train. It truly is a science book. It does not demand much prior knowledge but it does demand attention.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good theory, poor explication
Hubbell's work is interesting and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, his writing ability leaves a lot to be desired. As an applied mathematician working with biologists personally I think you should:
1. Specify your (mathematical) model *without* examples or justifications first.
Hubbell mixes his models with examples and rambling justifications. Poorly constructed ones if you ask me. This makes it hard to pull out what exactly the model is sometimes.
2. Make derivations clear and concise and if complicated put them in appendices. Hubbell does none of these. His mathematical reasoning and writing is far below the standard in science and although impressive for an ecologist, substandard for anyone else. He would have strongly benefitted from having a trained mathematician co-write or at least edit his mathy sections. Many of the results are either well known or would be explained differently by someone trained in the explication of mathematics. The importance of this is huge since the result is sometimes his statements are totally unclear. For example, on page 124 he says "as the sample size increase towards infinity..." This is a sample from a finite sized population. So he should be clear and say either sample with replacement, or also taking the population size to infinity, (which is it!) otherwise it doesn't make sense.

I also find his egoism (common in my experience with ecologists) disappointing. While he may have come up with a new theory of biodiversity, he did not come up with many of the underlying models. Unfortunately, he barely pays any respect to the countless other people who paved the way for his results. For example, his species abundance distribution is just the Ewen's sampling formula from population genetics, derived in 1972. In fact, the model side of the entire theory comes straight out of population genetics. Yes it explains something different, but it would be nice to see something at least some acknowledgement of that (something he is clearly aware of since he cites many of the popgen papers).

Also, the reference list is incomplete and the index is one of the worst I have come across recently. Paying for a good indexer is always worth the money.

In short, the ideas in this book are important, but the book itself is cluttered and not as clear as it could be. So I average 5 stars and 1 star and get 3 stars.

4-0 out of 5 stars Towards a unified thoery, but not there yet
A couple of years ago, Dr. Jim Brown (Univ. New Mexico) wrote an article in the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) website indicating that he had not seen any really significant new ideas in ecology during the last few year. Well, we have one.
In the hierarchy of biological systems, ecology deals with the highest and most complex levels. Explanation for patterns of abundance and distribution of organisms have been either too specific that only applies to a few species or even one, or too general that can not be tested (remember the ghost of competition's past).
Ecologists working at the community level have mostly been guided by the general principle that interactions tend to determine the diversity of communities. On the larger scale of biogeography, researchers considered that local diversity tends to be a function of a regional species pool. This debate became very contested in the early 1980's and continued for almost a decade, without any meaningful progress.Nonetheless, significant achivements in both areas of inquiry were made.
Hubbell takes advantage of the increased large-scale reasearch in community ecology (like the Smithsonian-MAB biodiversity network of plots) coupled with the ever more manipulative and reductionist approach to biogeography. Is important to add here Hubbell's own contribution to biodiversity research is substantial.Furthermore, the originality of the work is what sets this monograph appart from the last few in the series. The application of random walk models (i.e., ecological drift) to the organization of communities is not a truly new approach. What make is unique is that then he incorporates immigration and extinction rates across space (classical MacArthur-Wilson), and can then predict a range of abundances and distributions.He supplies ample data from tropical systems that agree with model's predictions. The more interesting aspect is when the data doesn't agree.Here there is plenty of productive work to be performed.
One point that Hubbell makes concerning the "triviality" of the nuetrality assumption.Can there be cases when the differential survival of individuals lead to deviations from the theory's prediction?I think that the assumption of neutrality is not as trivial as Hubbell makes it.
Overall, is probably one of the most intriguing and original works of the last decade.If you are interested in ecology, biogeography, and even conservation, this book will challenge what you know and how should we look at patterns and process of biodiversity. ... Read more

26. Dynamic Biogeography (Cambridge Studies in Ecology)
by R. Hengeveld
Paperback: 264 Pages (1992-08-28)
list price: US$48.00 -- used & new: US$42.93
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521437563
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Biogeography is an increasingly important area for ecology, dynamic biogeography being the study of biological patterns and processes on a broad scale both geographically and temporally. In this book, the spatial patterns and processes studied in dynamic biogeography are presented from an ecological perspective. Dynamic Biogeography opens with a survey of the different approaches encountered within the subject. The remainder of the book is arranged into four parts. The first is concerned with patterns of concordance; both quantitative and qualitative classifications are discussed. Geographical trends in species' diversity and biological traits are viewed, with Part 3 leading into areography or the analysis of species ranges. The book is drawn together by an overview of all the scales of variation and a glimpse into the future of biogeography. ... Read more

27. Late Quaternary Mammalian Biogeography and Environments of the Great Plains and Prairies (Scientific Papers Vol Xxii)
 Paperback: 491 Pages (1987-10)
list price: US$20.00
Isbn: 0897921127
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28. The Biogeography of the Oceans, Volume 32 (Advances in Marine Biology)
Hardcover: 598 Pages (1997-11-12)
list price: US$177.00
Isbn: 0120261324
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This is a special volume on ocean biogeography containing chapters bringing the wealth of knowledge of Russian scientists to a global audience. Ocean biogeography was the subject of much marine research carried out by the former USSR, where extensive facilities were provided on a world-wide scale. Volume 32 is devoted to the geographical and vertical distribution of life in the open oceans, including the great depths. The contributions range widely from plankton and squid to the bottom fauna of the bathyal, abyssal, and hadal zones. This volume will help bridge the gap between Russian and western marine biogeographers and will be of interest to a wide range of marine biologists.

Advance in Marine Biology contains up-to-date reviews of all areas of marine science, including fisheries, science and macro/micro fauna. Each volume contains peer reviewed papers detailing the ecology of marine regions. ... Read more

29. Biogeography of the southern end of the world;: Distribution and history of far-southern life and land, with an assessment of continental drift (McGraw-Hill paperbacks)
by Philip Jackson Darlington
 Paperback: 236 Pages (1968)

Asin: B0006BTNJ2
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30. Biogeography in a Changing World (Systematics Association Special Volumes)
Hardcover: 232 Pages (2006-11-01)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$56.70
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Asin: 0849380383
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Hampered by a confusing plethora of approaches and methods, biogeography is often treated as an adjunct to other areas of study. The first book to fully define this rapidly emerging subdiscipline, Biogeography in a Changing World elucidates the principles of biogeography and paves the way for its evolution into a stand-alone field.

Drawing on contributions from leading proponents of differing methods within biogeography, the book clearly defines the differing, sometimes conflicting, perspectives in the field and their correspondingly different methodological approaches. This gives readers the opportunity to refocus on a range of issues including the role of biological processes such as vicariance, dispersal and extinction in biogeographical explanation, the possibility of biogeographical pattern, and the role of geological reconstructions in biogeographic explanation. The book also explores the discipline’s current relationship with other disciplines and discusses potential developments. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars The first book on a new science
Biogeography is a new discipline being formed by people approaching the problems of plant and animal distribution by combining the skills from diverse fields. The problem with biogeography is that it is so new that there isn't even a standard definition of what it is.

In August of 2005 a symposium was held with the title 'What is Biogeography.' The symposium provided a forum for a range of viewpoints and the way it is practiced. This book brings together the papers from the meeting, plus additional material, to provide a broad-based perspective on the nature of biogeography. The wide range of authors come from all across Europe and America.

A major part of the book, but a bit understated, is the exploration of the discipline's current relationship with other disciplines and discusses portntial development. This is intended to pave the way for its evolution into a stand-alone field. ... Read more

31. Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds
by David W. Steadman
Paperback: 480 Pages (2006-10-15)
list price: US$47.50 -- used & new: US$31.99
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Asin: 0226771423
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Sprinkled across the tropical Pacific, the innumerable islands of Oceania are home to some of the most unique bird communities on the planet, and they sustain species found nowhere else on earth. Many of the birds that live in this region are endangered, however; many more have become extinct as a result of human activity, in both recent and prehistoric times.

Reconstructing the avian world in the same way archeologists re-create ancient human societies, David Steadman—a leading authority on tropical Pacific avian paleontology—has spent the past two decades in the field, digging through layers of soil in search of the bones that serve as clues to the ancient past of island bird communities. His years of indefatigable research and analysis are the foundation for Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds, a monumental study of the landbirds of tropical Pacific islands—especially those from Fiji eastward to Easter Island—and an intricate history of the patterns and processes of island biology over time. 

Using information gleaned from prehistoric specimens, Steadman reconstructs the birdlife of tropical Pacific islands as it existed before the arrival of humans and in so doing corrects the assumption that small, remote islands were unable to support rich assemblages of plants and animals. Easter Island, for example, though devoid of wildlife today, was the world’s richest seabird habitat before Polynesians arrived more than a millennium ago. The forests of less isolated islands in the Pacific likewise teemed with megapodes, rails, pigeons, parrots, kingfishers, and songbirds at first human contact. 

By synthesizing data from the distant past, Steadman hopes to inform present conservation programs. Grounded in geology, paleontology, and archeology, but biological at its core, Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds is an exceptional work of unparalleled scholarship that will stimulate creative discussions of terrestrial life on oceanic islands for years to come.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Tropical Pacific bird communities: Digging up the bones of evolution past
Oceania is one of the most fascinating biogeographic regions in the world, with a unique avian biodiversity which has risen over evolutionary time on a myriad of islands, of various sizes, spread across the western part of the Pacific. Characterized by a high degree of endemism, specialization, and unusual community composition, these contemporary avifaunas have been and continue to be at great direct and indirect risk from human activities - which have already causedwidespread extinctions (Steadman 1995). Frequently, the only traces allowing the reconstruction of avian communities are bones: a silent language palaeontologists understand and use to gain insights into long-gone outcomes of selection in one of the most intriguing playgrounds of evolution.

In Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds, David Steadman, a curator in the Division of Ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History in Gainesville, presents the results of more than twenty years of digging, excavating, and measuring hundreds of thousands of bones from more than 25,000 specimens from Hawaii to New Zealand. It marks the final step of a research effort which has resulted in the discovery of dozens of extinct species, previously unknown to science, and many more awaiting description It has also yielded valuable new data on tropical Pacific island species' biogeography and diversity. We now know that many Pacific Island bird communities were much more species rich than previously thought, flightlessness was more common and widespread, and on many islands the arrival of humans was directly followed by a sharp decline in vertebrate diversity -a fact previously well-documented on only a few islands. Steadman has achieved his goal and provided a natural history account of tropical island bird communities, with more detail and depth than ever before and with a great passion and drive. At a time dominated by molecular techniques, he managed to find funds, field sites, establish cooperation networks to generate a wealth of unseen empirical data. The result is impressive and weighs heavily, not only in terms of the more than six hundred pages the volume mounts to.

Steadman has structured his work into four parts, preceded by an introductory preface that sets the stage for the presentation of his findings. Part I (chapters 1-4) describes in detail the geography and geology, terrestrial flora and fauna, human history and availability of specimens, both dead and alive, on islands and in museums. It is very rich in detail, with regional and topographical maps, geological sketches, reflections on aspects of human geography, including photographs of archaeological artefacts and excavation sites, even detailed lists of field trips can be found. Part II (chapters 5-8) is concerned with species diversity in the four focal regions covered by the book: Melanesia, West Polynesia, East Polynesia and Micronesia including remote central Pacific islands. Again, rich in maps, this part of the book provides lists, sometimes down to the species level, of the occurrence of birds in the different geographic regions, again occasionally resolved down to the archipelago or island level. In Part III (chapter 9-15), the information structuring changes to taxa, encompassing megapodes, rails, pigeons and doves, parrots, other non-passerine land birds, passerines and finally seabirds. The chapter is rich in tables down to the species level of occurrences of species, on archipelago to island levels, and generously illustrated with photographs. Finally, part IV (chapter 16-22) addresses topics revolving around the rich data assembled: extinction, dispersal, colonization, faunal attenuation, equilibrium and turnover, species-area relationships, community ecology, conservation biology. At the end, a concluding chapter is added. Analyses offered, and used to draw conclusions, include: species-area plots, over different time scales (pre-human to today); graphs describing the representation of different genera on islands and island groups; and also visual materials, addressing ecological key factors such as trophic niche occupancy. A very personal `final word' wraps up this last part.

Although sometimes lengthy to read, repetitive (e.g. most obviously, the same photograph, figure 1-14, appears three times throughout the book) and loaded with information from many other areas of science, to a questionable degree of necessity, the book's strengths clearly lie in the enormous level of detail and the amount of novel data presented that are now accessible to the scientific community. Its weaknesses, however, reveal themselves in the preface, and even more so in the last chapter. Instead of using his data to test current theories on island biogeography, proposed by previous authors - such as Edward O. Wilson, Robert MacArthur (MacArthur and Wilson 1967), Ernst Mayr and Jared Diamond (Mayr 1942; Mayr and Diamond 2001) - Steadman chooses to criticize the leaders in the field based on very shaky grounds. The level of analysis presented in this book is very superficial and crude, omitting thorough testing of assumptions of current theory for which previously data was largely missing. While it may be argued that it would be too far-reaching to address detailed predictions, one would at least expect basic conceptual points to be addressed. It is, for instance, known that the number of species (S) on islands is influenced by area (A), distance (D) and elevation (L), which are on a regular basis effects addressed by statistical analyses, and that incomplete sampling, as is the case in this work, necessitates possible correction by estimation before using data in any analytical context. None of this can be found for prehistoric data. This book is full of anecdotal evidence, specific examples, and detailed conclusions. However, proper links between them are largely missing.

`I see little value in reducing a complex biological situation to an equation ...' writes the author in the preface. Yet of what value are data gathered at an unprecedented level of detail if not used to derive general patterns and test current theories on how bird communities on islands evolve? To go beyond the descriptive accounts of natural historians was exactly what MacArthur and Wilson believed was necessary when they first published their `Theory of Island Biogeography' in 1967 (see back cover of MacArthur and Wilson 1967). A true large-scale understanding of ecosystem organization and evolution cannot be derived from a pile of bird bones - a historical perspective is certainly valuable, but without integration into a modern biological framework, the beliefs, expectations, speculations and predictions presented in this book are hardly useful. The transition from belief to conclusion in science requires the mandatory step of data gathering and statistical hypothesis testing - the latter of which Steadman has largely chosen to ignore. The most fantastic dataset is useless unless one knows how to analyze it in order to further knowledge. Steadman's approach to `... sit around the same campfire, pass the bottle and swap lies' may not be the appropriate answer to contemporary problems in particular of conservation biology, and I see little ground for the author to claim that the `trend in science away from natural history and toward specialization and theory is out of control', as Steadman seems to believe. Today's extinction crisis is highly unlikely to be effectively dammed solely by digging up bones of the ghosts of evolution past. Instead, we need to accurately interpret this valuable data, and use it to better understand the complex evolutionary processes structuring nature. In the long run, this will prove the only way to improve the survival of the fascinating bird diversity of the western Pacific.

In summary I would, despite shortcomings, consider the volume well worth reading and as presenting impressive data. Once completely analyzed, the findings of Steadman's work will noticeably improve our knowledge on the evolutionary history of island avifaunas and beyond and find integration into the history of island biogeography as a milestone of progress.

Stefan M. Klose, Ulm, Germany, and Brisbane, Australia


MacArthur RH, Wilson EO (1967) The Theory of Island Biogeography. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ
Mayr E (1942) Systematics of the Origin of Species. Columbia University Press, New York
Mayr E, Diamond J (2001) The Birds of Northern Melanesia - Speciation, Ecology and Biogeography. Oxford University Press, New York
Steadman DW (1995) Prehistoric extinctions of pacific island birds - biodiversity meets zooarchaeology. Science 267:1123-1131

(submitted to Ecotropica as a book review in Jan 2007) ... Read more

32. Ecology and Biogeography of Pinus
Paperback: 548 Pages (2000-07-31)
list price: US$95.00 -- used & new: US$85.50
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Asin: 0521789109
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Pinus is a remarkable genus of trees with a very large distribution range in the northern hemisphere. Where they occur, pines usually form the dominant vegetation cover and are extremely important components of ecosystems. They also provide a wide range of products for human use. In many cases exploitation and other human pressures are threatening the survival of natural pine forests, although pines are also widely grown in commercial plantations, both within and outside their natural range. This book presents a definitive review of pine ecology and biogeography written by forty of the world's leading authorities on this important genus. In the face of increasing human pressure and global climate change, it provides an essential source of reference for all those concerned with the management of natural and planted pine forests. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book; wealth of ecological data & insight
This is a terrific book with a lot of appeal not only to people interested in pines, but to a wide audience of ecologists, land managers, foresters and graduate students in ecology. There are 22 chapters by authors from 4continents, with close to 3000 references. The book offers a wealth ofinsight into the effects of humans, fire, evolution and systematics ofpines, reproduction and life histories, pines and invasive ecology andmore.It may be too expensive for many readers, but get your library tobuy a copy, at least.J. Gurevitch, Associate Professor of Ecology andEvolution, State Univ. of NY at Stony Brook. ... Read more

33. Island Biogeography : Ecology, Evolution and Conservation
by Robert J. Whittaker
Paperback: 304 Pages (1999-02-18)
list price: US$96.00 -- used & new: US$79.16
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Asin: 0198500203
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Work on evolution on islands has a long-established biogeographical pedigree, stretching back to the work of Darwin and Wallace. Research generated ideas, theories, and models which have played a central role in the development of mainstream ecology, evolutionary biology, and biogeography.

Island Biogeography is a new textbook, aimed at advanced undergraduates and graduate students. This is the first comprehensive book to be written on the topic since 1981. It provides a much needed synthesis of recent development across the discipline, linking current theoretical debates with applied island ecology. Some themes that the book covers include: the nature and formationof island environments, island ecological theories concerning species numbers, species assembly, and composition, and an assessment of the human impact on island biodiversity.

Written by an author who has been researching and teaching biogeography for many years, Island Biogeography is wide-ranging, authoritative, and accessible to students from across geography and the life sciences. This is the first truly modern textbook on a fascinating and important subject in evolution and ecology. ... Read more

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5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well-organised and highly-readable
This book is an excellent and much-needed textbook of Island Biogeography. The approach taken by Dr. Whittaker blends detail and overview, and the book is well-organised, informative and interesting. He says at thebeginning of the book that he hopes to "provide access for students ofdiffering backgrounds and disciplines to the full array of islandbiogeographical themes and issues." I think this book does justthat.

The book starts by stressing the importance of islands as arenasfor the study of the natural world: 'natural laboratories' in which thecomplexity of nature may be simplified, enabling the development andtesting of theories of general importance. Dr. Whittaker then moves fromthe general and long-term (beginning with the physical and biologicalproperties of islands themselves) to the more specific and shorter-term(including island evolution, species richness and endemism, and islandtheories). He finishes by applying the theories and insights gained fromwork on islands to present-day conservation issues.

There is sufficientdetail to give the reader a fair understanding of the issues addressed, butnever so much that the text gets dull or bogged. Throughout, the book iswell-referenced, with appropriate and informative references, and providesplenty of encouragement for the reader to delve further into theliterature. Considerable clarity is achieved, even when discussingcomplicated and contentious issues, and on many occasions Dr. Whittakerdemonstrates his considerable ability to be insightful and pertinent. Hemaintains a fair and balanced outlook, even when he addresses opinions andauthors that oppose his own work. There is also an air of pragmatism to hisarguments that others would do well to emulate. This is borne out, forinstance, in his treatment of the SLOSS (single large or several smallnature reserves) debate, and in the way he manages to reconcile a number ofdichotomies in the literature by noting that various apparently-conflictingtheories actually represent different points along continua. As might beexpected from the background of the author, Chapters 7 and 8, which dealwith island ecological theory, are particularly impressive: erudite andauthoritative, while still being interesting and highly readable. Thesechapters deal with areas in which Dr. Whittaker is well known for hisprofessional contribution (in which he has published papers of considerableinternational repute).

Overall, I thoroughly recommend this book toanyone with any interest in island biogeography. Written primarily as atextbook for undergraduate students, it will provide very sound reading forstudents encountering the subject for the first time. It will be all themore useful for the fact that (to my knowledge), there is no other textbookwritten within the last 20 years that covers an equivalent subject area.But it will also interest experts in the field, who may well learnsomething from it, as well as finding it a useful reference for relatedliterature. It will be a good addition to any science-related library, aswell as to the personal collections of students of relevant subjects. ... Read more

34. Biogeography and Adaptation: Patterns of Marine Life
by Geerat J. Vermeij
Paperback: 352 Pages (1978-01-01)
list price: US$46.00 -- used & new: US$41.39
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Asin: 0674073762
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The driving forces of natural selection leave their traces in the shapes of living creatures and their patterns of distribution. In this thoughtful and wide-ranging discussion of evolutionary process and adaptive response, Geerat Vermeij elucidates the general principles that underlie the great diversity of marine forms found in the world's great oceans.

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35. Biogeography of Mediterranean Invasions
Paperback: 504 Pages (2008-06-05)
list price: US$90.00 -- used & new: US$77.34
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Asin: 0521063906
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The Mediterranean basin, California, Chile, the western Cape of South Africa, and southern Australia share a Mediterranean climate characterized by cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. These five regions have differing patterns of human settlement, but similarities in natural vegetation and some faunal assemblages. These likenesses are enhanced with time by an increasing level of biotic exchange among the regions.An initiative of a subcommittee of SCOPE (Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment), which realized that the integrity of many natural ecosystems is being threatened by the ingress of invasive species, this book uniquely documents the introduced floras and faunas, especially plants, buds, and mammals, in these five regions of Mediterranean climate, and aims to increase our understanding of the ecology of biological invasions. In doing so, it points a way to more effectively manage the biota of these regions. ... Read more

36. Basic Biogeography
by N.V. Pears
 Paperback: 368 Pages (1985-07-29)

Isbn: 0582301203
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37. Global Biogeography
by J.C. Briggs
Paperback: 472 Pages (1996-11-01)
list price: US$96.95
Isbn: 0444825606
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This book significantly expands the coverage of this subject given by its predecessor Biogeography and Plate Tectonics (1987). Global Biogeography traces global changes in geography and biology from the Precambrian to the Recent (with worldwide coverage in chronological order); examines the evolutionary effects of the major extinctions, and discusses contemporary biogeographic regions within the context of their historic origins. It is now apparent that the biotas of the various biogeographical regions have had, and still maintain, a dynamic relationship with one another; much more than was previously thought. This is shown to be true for all three of the earth's primary habitats; marine, terrestrial and freshwater (as is clearly demonstrated in this volume).

The book is splendidly illustrated with 122 text figures, an extensive bibliography, index, together with a set of biogeographic maps illustrating continental and terrain outlines from the mid-Cambrian to the Recent. University students (both advanced undergraduate and graduate level) will find it an excellent text book. For professionals in Biogeography this is a convenient reference work. ... Read more

38. Biogeography and Biodiversity (Igu Commission Contribution to International Year of Planet Earth)
Hardcover: 340 Pages (2009-01)
list price: US$60.00 -- used & new: US$52.74
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Asin: 8131602486
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39. Biogeography and Ecology in South-America. Volume II (Monographiae Biologicae) (v. 2)
Hardcover: 516 Pages (1969-06-30)
list price: US$242.00 -- used & new: US$216.08
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Asin: 9061930715
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40. The Settlement of the American Continents: A Multidisciplinary Approach to Human Biogeography
by C. Michael Barton, Geoffrey A. Clark, David R. Yesner, Georges A. Pearson
Hardcover: 281 Pages (2004-10-01)
list price: US$75.00 -- used & new: US$60.18
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Asin: 0816523231
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The human settlement of the Americas was not a simple process, and today there is no consistent argument favoring a particular scenario. This book approaches the question from a biogeographical perspective in order to provide a better understanding of the mechanisms and consequences of this unique event. It considers many of the questions that continue to surround the peopling of the western hemisphere, focusing not on sites, dates, and artifacts but rather on theories and models that attempt to explain how the colonization occurred. ... Read more

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