Biogeography of Insular Biotas



Another branch of our research concerns factors affecting the biogeography of insular populations and communities.


Although important differences exist, empirical research on both real islands and habitat islands is relevant to management of landscapes fragmented by human activities. 


Here, we combine theoretical research (e.g., development of the Constraint-based model of Dynamic Island Biogeography; see Publications) and empirical studies in Mexico, Costa Rica, and Venezuela.

Our current projects in this area include:

•    The effects of hysteresis and species traits on the mammalian fauna of an isolated Venezuelan cloud forest (Robert Anderson).

•    Predictive mapping of vegetation using ecological niche models and support vector machines (Erica Johnson).

•    Estimating shifts in environmental suitability over recent decades using climatic time series (Gonzalo Pinilla).

•    A conservation assessment for the range-restricted rodent Peromyscus ochraventer (Bethany Johnson).

Map of northern Falcón, Venezuela, showing the Istmo de los Médanos, which connects the Península de Paraguaná to the "mainland."  Note the Serranía de San Luis (the east-west mountain range in the south) and the Cerro Santa Ana (the tiny, circular mountain on the Península de Paraguaná (see Anderson et al., 2012).