Journal of Biogeography

Cover image for Vol. 43 Issue 10

Edited By: Peter Linder

Impact Factor: 3.997

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2015: 5/49 (Geography Physical); 26/149 (Ecology)

Online ISSN: 1365-2699

Associated Title(s): Diversity and Distributions, Global Ecology and Biogeography

Virtual Issue

Journal of Biogeography Virtual Issue: The species-area relationship: an exploration of that 'most general, yet protean pattern'

Journal of Biogeography cover

The generality of the increase in the number of species with the physical space sampled, the species–area relationship, is a fundamentally important biological pattern, of considerable significance for conservation biogeography. This virtual issue of the Journal of Biogeography serves to illustrate the development of ideas concerning the various forms of the species–area relationship from 1974 (the first volume of the journal) to the present day. It features an editorial introduction alongside a set of 24 papers previously published in the journal. The selection includes a number of influential contributions to understanding species–area relationships and their application and we hope may be of value to researchers and educators.


Whittaker & Triantis (2012) The species–area relationship: an exploration of that ‘most general, yet protean pattern’.

Developing the model set: methodological considerations

Flather, C.H. (1996) Fitting species–accumulation functions and assessing regional land use impacts on avian diversity.
Journal of Biogeography, 23, 155–168.

Tjørve, E. (2003) Shapes and functions of species–area curves: a review of possible models.
Journal of Biogeography, 30, 827–835.

Tjørve, E. (2009) Shapes and functions of species–area curves (II): a review of new models and parameterizations.
Journal of Biogeography, 36, 1435–1445.

Williams, M.R., Lamont, B.B. & Henstridge, J.D. (2009) Species-area functions revisited.
Journal of Biogeography, 36, 1994–2004.

Dengler, J. (2009) Which function describes the species–area relationship the best? A review and empirical evaluation.
Journal of Biogeography, 36, 728–744.

Gentile, G. & Argano, R. (2005) Island biogeography of the Mediterranean Sea: the species–area relationship for terrestrial isopods.
Journal of Biogeography, 32, 1715–1726.

The form and shape of the curve: theoretical considerations and empirical evaluation

Lomolino, M.V. (2000) Ecology's most general, yet protean pattern: the species–area relationship.
Journal of Biogeography, 27, 17–26.

Lomolino, M.V. & Weiser, M.D. (2001) Towards a more general species–area relationship: diversity on all islands, great and small.
Journal of Biogeography, 28, 431–445.

Williamson, M., Gaston, K.J. & Lonsdale, W.M. (2001) The species–area relationship does not have an asymptote!
Journal of Biogeography, 28, 827–830.

Matter, S., Hanski, I. & Gyllenberg, M. (2002) A test of the metapopulation model of the species–area relationship.
Journal of Biogeography, 29, 977–983.

Tjørve, E. & Tjørve, K.M.C. (2011) Subjecting the theory of the small-island effect to Ockham’s razor.
Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1836–1839.

Triantis, K.A., Guilhaumon, F. & Whittaker, R.J. (2012) The island species–area relationship: biology and statistics.
Journal of Biogeography, 39, 215–231.

Improving upon ISARs

Triantis, K.A., Mylonas, M., Lika, K. & Vardinoyannis, K. (2003) A model for the species–area–habitat relationship.
Journal of Biogeography, 30, 19–27.

Jonnson, M., Englund, G. & Wardle, D.A. (2011) Direct and indirect effects of area, energy and habitat heterogeneity on breeding bird communities.
Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1186–1196.

Species–area relationships applied

Krauss, J., Steffan-Dewenter, I. & Tscharntke, T. (2003) How does landscape context contribute to effects of habitat fragmentation on diversity and population density of butterflies?
Journal of Biogeography, 30, 889-900.

Kier, G., Mutke, J., Dinerstein, E., Ricketts, T.H., Kuper, W., Kreft, H., Barthlott, W. (2005) Global patterns of plant diversity and floristic knowledge.
Journal of Biogeography, 32, 1107–1116.

Karger, D.N., Kluge, J., Krömer, T., Hemp, A., Lehnert, M. & Kessler, M. (2011) The effect of area on local and regional elevational patterns of species richness.
Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1177–1185.

Algar, A.C. & Losos, J.B. (2011) Evolutionary assembly of island faunas reverses the classic island–mainland richness difference in Anolis lizards.
Journal of Biogeography, 38, 1125–1137.

From the JSTOR archive

Johnson, M.P. & Simberloff, D.S. (1974) Environmental determinants of island species numbers in the British Isles.
Journal of Biogeography, 1, 149–154.

Shmida, A. & Wilson, M.V. (1985) Biological determinants of species diversity.
Journal of Biogeography, 12, 1–20.

Zimmerman, B.L. & Bierregaard, R.O. (1986) Relevance of the equilibrium theory of island biogeography and species–area relations to conservation with a case from Amazonia.
Journal of Biogeography, 13,133–143.

Deshaye, J. & Morisset, P. (1988) Floristic richness, area, and habitat diversity in a hemiarctic archipelago.
Journal of Biogeography, 15, 747–757.

Dunn, C.P. & Loehle, C. (1988) Species–area parameter estimation: testing the null model of lack of relationship.
Journal of Biogeography, 15, 721–728.

Watters, G.T. (1992) Unionids, fishes, and the species–area curve.
Journal of Biogeography, 19, 481–490.