Oceanic island biogeography: Nomothetic science of the anecdotal

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Islands get more than their fair share of attention from biogeographers, macroecologists and evolutionary biologists. Adding to this existing bias, I claim that oceanic islands, especially oceanic island archipelagos (and among them, especially the Hawaii, the Canaries, Azores and, of course, the Galapagos) attract much more scientific attention than the insights they offer warrant. This focus on oceanic islands ignores other island types that may be better heuristic tools for studies of general ecological, biogeographic and evolutionary dynamics. The evolutionary and ecological dynamics of landbridge and continental islands are often as fast, dramatic, interesting and insightful, and merit more attention from island biogeographers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers of Biogeography
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017


  • Continental islands
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Heuristic models
  • Island types
  • Landbridge islands
  • Natural laboratories
  • Oceanic archipelagos


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