Similarity of the flora of the Erie Islands: implications for conservation biology



Using a compiled list of the vascular flora for 21 islands in the western basin of Lake Erie, Preston's resemblance measure and Connor and Simberlof's Null Hypothesis I were applied to native and alien species subsets in order to examine how these findings fit within the equilibrium theory. Based on Preston's measure, it was found that the similarity of species between island pairs was more likely to fit with MacArthur and Wilson's equilibrium theory when native species were considered than when alien species were considered. Native species have restricted distributions - especially those found on the smaller islands - and appear to be less randomly distributed about the islands. This study also found that a large component of the alien flora is widespread in its distribution, and appears to be randomly distributed among most of the islands.