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- DescriptionDespite its supreme importance and the threat of its global crash, biodiversity remains poorly understood both empirically and theoretically. This ambitious book presents a new, general neutral theory to explain the origin, maintenance, and loss of biodiversity in a biogeographic context. Until w biogeography (the study of the geographic distribution of species) and biodiversity (the study of species richness and relative species abundance) have had largely disjunct intellectual histories. In this book. Stephen Hubbell develops a formal mathematical theory that unifies these two fields. When a speciation process is incorporated into Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson's w classical theory of island biogeography, the generalized theory predicts the existence of a universal, dimensionless biodiversity number. In the theory, this fundamental biodiversity number, together with the migration or dispersal rate, completely determines the steady-state distribution of species richness and relative species abundance on local to large geographic spatial scales and short-term to evolutionary time scales. Although neutral, Hubbell's theory is nevertheless able to generate many bvious, testable, and remarkably accurate quantitative predictions about biodiversity and biogeography. In many ways Hubbell's theory is the ecological analog to the neutral theory of genetic drift in genetics. The unified neutral theory of biogeography and biodiversity should stimulate research in new theoretical and empirical directions by ecologists, evolutionary biologists, and biogeographers.
- Author BiographyStephen P.Hubbell is Professor of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia and Staff Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He is the author of more than one hundred papers in tropical plant ecology, theoretical ecology, and plant-animal interactions. He has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Pew Scholar Award in Conservation and the Environment. He is Chairman of the National Council for Science and the Environment (formerly the Committee for the National Institute for the Encironment) and the inventor of Extinction: The Game of Ecology.
- Author(s)Stephen P. Hubbell
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication09/04/2001
- SubjectEnvironment & Planning
- Series TitleMonographs in Population Biology
- Series Part/Volume Numberv. 32
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note123 line illus.
- Weight428 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine20 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
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