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Island Biogeography

This excel workbook demonstrates the principles of the MacArthur-Wilson theory of Island Biogeography. It allows the user to define the mainland species pool, area of the island, and distance of the island from the mainland. Graphical output included species richness equilibrium at varying island size and distance. The workbook also allows the user to calculate a species-area function for data entered into the data input page. Several datasets on island area and species richness are included for various types of islands and species. Variables and formulas are defined in the accompanying tutorial.


John R. Jungck, Beloit College
Jennifer A Spangenberg, Beloit College

Published by: BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium

OS: win98, win2000, winXP

User Manuals and Curricular Materials
Popular Text Citations

Donovan, T M.; Welden, C W. (2002) Spreadsheet Exercises in Ecology and Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Brown, J. H., and A. C. Gibson. (1983). Biogeography. C. Mosby Co.: London, United Kingdom.

Gotelli, N J. (2001) A Primer of Ecology. 3rd Edition. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Harris, Larry D. (1984). The Fragmented Forest: Island Biogeography Theory and the Preservation of Biotic Diversity. University of Chicago Press: Chicago, Illinois.

Research Articles

Holl K D, Crone E E, 2004 Applicability of landscape and island biogeography theory to restoration of riparian understorey plants. Journal of Applied Ecology 41: 922-933.

Hovestadt T, Joachim P H, Eduard L K, 2005 Spatial patterns in species-area relationships and species distribution in a West African forest-savanna mosaic. Journal of Biogeography 32: 677-684.

Russell J C, Clout M N, McArdle B H, 2004 Island biogeography and the species richness of introduced mammals on New Zealand offshore islands. Journal of Biogeography 31: 653-664.

Jolicoeur, P. (1963). "The multivariate generalization of the allometry equation." Biometrics 19.: 497-499.

Gilbert, F. S. (1980). "The equilibrium theory of island biogeography: fact or fiction?" Journal of Biogeography Z: 209-235.

Brown, J. H., and M. V. Lomolino. (1989). Independent discovery of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography." Ecology ZQ (6):1954-1957

Education Research & Pedagogical Materials

Donovan, T M.; Welden, C W. (2002) Spreadsheet Exercises in Ecology and Evolution. Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates, Inc.

Data Sources

Island Biogeography Datasets by The International Biogeography Society

Tutorial & Background materials

Island Biogeography by Mike Palmer

Biogeography – Island Biogeography by

Biodiversity and Conservation: A Hypertext Book by Peter Bryant

Jungck John R., Spangenberg Jennifer A () Island Biogeography. A module of the Biological ESTEEM Collection, published by the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. URL: