The study of patterns and processes of evolution on islands has played an important role in the development of general theories of how and why evolution occurs. Small, discrete pieces of the environment, islands are frequently isolated from the continental processes of gene flow. They are often inhabited by unique species, like the Komodo dragon, dodos, or daisies as tall as trees. They may display remarkable rapidity of diversifying evolution - nearly 1000 species
of fruit-fly were formed in the Hawaiian archipelago in only a few million years. Thus, it is easy to see why islands have been referred to as 'natural experiments'. Such studies are continuing to yield exciting new fields for investigation as theoreticians attack questions of genetic change in
island models and empirical biologists seek explanations of adaptive radiations in archipelagos. This unique book surveys our current knowledge and understanding of island evolution in eighteen chapters written by experts on various aspects of microevolution, speciation, and adaptive radiation. They cover the major trends and processes displayed by plants and animals, on tropical and temperate zone islands, and in lakes and tropical forest refugia. The book closes with a discussion of several
unresolved issues that deserve further study. No other book has been published that focuses solely on the evolutionary processes that occur in islands. This will be of interest to all students and researchers in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology.
`This volume contains thirteen chapters based on a Royal Society discussion meeting (1995) but revised and updated with new introductory chapters by the editor to each of the three main sections of the book. They cover patterns on islands and microevolution; speciation; and radiations, communities and biogeography. A new contribution on adaptive plant evolution is also included.'
`I would certainly add Evolution on Islands to the essential reading list...: indeed it focused my mind more clearly on both the potential and the pitfalls.'
Jeremy Holloway, Heredity, 81, 120124.
The contributed chapters are almost all excellent, and the book is well worth reading, particularly for those interested in speciation.J Coyne, Evolution, 52(6) P1877, 1998
1: Grant: Patterns on islands and microevolution
2: Barrett: The reproductive biology and genetics of island plants
3: Berry: Evolution of small mammals
4: Pemberton et al: The maintenance of genetic polymorphism in small island populations: large mammals in the Hebrides
5: Thorpe, Malhotra: Molecular and morphological evolution within small islands
6: Grant: Speciation
7: Barton: Natural selection and random genetic drift as causes of evolution on islands
8: Hollocher: Island hopping in Drosophila: genetic patterns and speciation mechanisms
9: Grant, Grant: Speciation and hybridization of birds on islands
10: Schluter: Ecological speciation in postglacial fishes
11: Clarke et al: How `molecular leakage' can mislead us about island speciation
12: Grant: Radiations, communities and biogeography
13: Losos: Ecological and evolutionary determinants of the species-area relation in Caribbean anoline lizards
14: Rüber et al: Lake level fluctuations and speciation in rock dwelling cichlid fish in Lake Tanganyika, East Africa
15: Prance: Islands in Amazonia
16: Mallet, Turner: Biotic drift or the shifting balance - did forest islands drive the diversity of warningly coloured butterflies?
17: Givnish: Adaptive plant evolution on islands : classical patterns, molecular data, new insights
18: Grant: Epilogue and questions