Island biogeography at Lake Manapouri — theory and practice
- Botany Department, University of Otago
Explanations for the island species-area effect are discussed. The equilibrium theory of island biogeography is outlined and discussed in reference to three separate studies of island biogeography on the islands at Lake Manapouri.
The Lake Manapouri studies, based on both vascular plants and bryophytes, using fixed and variable sized plots show little evidence to support the equilibrium theory and it is concluded that habitat diversity offers a better explanation for observed island species richness.
The method of sampling is considered to be important in testing the various explanations for the island species-area effect.
The application of the equilibrium theory to reserve design is discussed. It is concluded that conservation of habitat is important rather than a particular area or shape as such. Individual species ecology is important in considering reserve design for endangered species.