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Essay: The equilibrium theory of island biogeography: paradigm shift over 50 years

Hardenbol, A.A. (2014) Essay: The equilibrium theory of island biogeography: paradigm shift over 50 years. Bachelor's Thesis, Biology.

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The equilibrium theory was created over 50 years ago and it is considered the first paradigm of ecology. But how does this theory apply to the knowledge of today? Studies done to test the equilibrium theory showed that for undisturbed situations a dynamic equilibrium was attained but not for islands with occasional disturbances (be that anthropogenic or natural). Furthermore, over time flaws have been discovered in the equilibrium theory, like other variables besides size and isolation affecting immigration and extinction, different effects of size and isolation, no differentiation between species and a lack of speciation as a mode of species enrichment. Newer models that try to incorporate some of these basic elements are mentioned in this paper, e.g. the General Dynamic Model and finally, based on all the arguments presented, it is concluded that the equilibrium theory is a perfect null theory because through the reasons we find why an equilibrium is not obtained, we expand our knowledge of what factors play a role in shaping insular species compositions.

Item Type: Thesis (Bachelor's Thesis)
Degree programme: Biology
Thesis type: Bachelor's Thesis
Language: English
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2018 07:57
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2018 07:57

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