Synthesis reveals that island species–area relationships emerge from processes beyond passive sampling

2021 | journal article; research paper. A publication with affiliation to the University of Göttingen.

Jump to: Cite & Linked | Documents & Media | Details | Version history

Cite this publication

​Synthesis reveals that island species–area relationships emerge from processes beyond passive sampling​
Gooriah, L.; Blowes, S. A.; Sagouis, A.; Schrader, J.; Karger, D. N.; Kreft, H.   & Chase, J. M.​ (2021) 
Global Ecology and Biogeography30(10) art. geb.13361​.​ DOI: 

Documents & Media

GEB_GEB13361.pdf1.32 MBUnknown



Gooriah, Leana; Blowes, Shane A.; Sagouis, Alban; Schrader, Julian; Karger, Dirk N.; Kreft, Holger ; Chase, Jonathan M.
Abstract Aim The island species–area relationship (ISAR) quantifies how the number of species increases as the area of an island or island‐like habitat gets larger and is one of the most general patterns in ecology. However, studies that measure the ISAR often confound variation in sampling methodology and analyses, precluding appropriate syntheses of its underlying mechanisms. Most ISAR studies use only presence–absence data at the whole‐island scale, whereas we planned to use a framework that applies individual‐based rarefaction to synthesize whether and how the ISAR differs from the null expectation of the passive sampling hypothesis. Location Five hundred and five islands from 34 different archipelagos across the world, including oceanic islands, lake islands and forest islands. Major taxa studied Local assemblages of plants, invertebrates, herpetofauna, birds and mammals. Methods We collated local‐scale species abundance data from multiple archipelagos (median of 12 islands per study) and used a rarefaction‐based approach to synthesize the relationship between island size and (1) sample effort‐controlled rarefied species richness, or (2) an effective number of species derived from the probability of interspecific encounter (an index of community evenness). Results When we applied rarefaction to control for sampling effort, the numbers of species and their relative abundances across all studies differed from the passive sampling hypothesis. Our measure of evenness also increased with island size, suggesting that the disproportionate effects we observed influenced both rarer and more common species. We found few associations between the slope of this effect and island type or taxon, but we did find that island archipelagos with greater elevational heterogeneity also deviated more from the null expectation than those with less heterogeneity. Main conclusions Using a synthetic approach across island archipelagos, we reject the null expectation that passive sampling causes the ISAR and instead suggest that ecological mechanisms leading to disproportionate (non‐random) effects on larger relative to smaller islands are predominant.
Issue Date
Global Ecology and Biogeography 
Fakultät für Forstwissenschaften und Waldökologie ; Burckhardt-Institut ; Abteilung Biodiversität, Makroökologie und Biogeographie 
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft



Social Media