Islands are particularly valuable to biogeographers
because their sharp boundaries provide clarity.
, who study isolated ecosystems, have influenced this field through their observation that the rate of species extinction in an isolated patch of habitat, such as a woodlot, increases as the size of the patch decreases.
However, one notable gap is a synthesis of the place in conservation of the largest insect order, Coleoptera, which are virtually ubiquitous in terrestrial and freshwater environments and immensely diverse in their richness and biology as well as being of interest to pest managers, collectors, biogeographers
, conservation biologists and, indeed, naturalists and ecologists of many persuasions.
For decades, biogeographers
have recognized that the highly varied plant and animal communities of northern Mexico ate produced by gradients in temperature and precipitation, which in turn are a consequence of the complex interplay of latitude, longitude, and elevation (White, 1949; Marshall, 1957; Martin, 1958; Martin et al.
The somewhat anomalous behavior of the carnivores in relation to their physical environment could easily be considered as a disposable characteristic for biogeographers
when choosing a biological group for testing theories of continental gradients.
divide the Holarctic region into two subunits, Palaearctic and Nearctic, lying in the Old and New World respectively.
This led biogeographers
to start to use the concept of the "sub-desert" to refer to arid zones with visible vegetation but no trees, and unsuitable for exploitation by humans.
However, some cladistic biogeographers
have stated that dispersal either does not occur between isolated habitats, or is so unpredictable that it cannot be studied.
and phytosociologists have long recognized the role of environmental and historical factors in regional- to continental-scale patterns of plant community composition, current knowledge remains general and qualitative.
The efforts of both classical biogeographers
(Burgess and Franz 1978; Swift et al.
Quammen tells the story well, mixing accounts of travels to exotic islands with visits to modern island biogeographers
in their natural habitats.
Here we have a rare and successful interpretation of a city's development as seen through the eyes of a group of geographers--climatologists, geomorphologists, biogeographers
, economic geographers, urban and historical geographers among others--whose insights are skillfully melded into a highly readable and instructive collection of essays.