Geography 200
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Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This video presentation gives a good description of why islands have a varied and different forms of species on the islands.  The isolation gives them a strong hold in their particular environment but this is a double edged sword because they lack predation or stronger comparators so they become very adapted to their place but cannot compete when a stronger adaptor for generalized environment comes to the island.  Like cats that are brought to the isolated island and then proceed to cause mass extinctions.

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

Corine Ramos's curator insight, December 8, 2015 8:19 PM

Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents.  Soem extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking. 

 

Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and argicultural land uses) has rendered 'islands' out of the wilderness that isn't being used by humanity.  Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).


Tags: biogeography, environment, ecology, Australia, Oceania.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:06 PM
Island Biogeography is the theoretical explanations as to why species occurs, it also studies the species composition and species richness on an island.. it is not specific to land masses around water. Isolation gives species a strong place in their environment. The fact that new species and things show up are amazing, but sometimes new species are not properly adapted because there is no other general force against them and they do not ever learn to defend themselves.
Rescooped by Elizabeth Bitgood from Geography Education
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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 2014 10:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:40 PM

Isolation can lead to some remarkable examples of evolution. This "tree lobster" is an example of that. On an island cut off from many predators and hold little resources, the tree lobster has found a way to survive.

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:52 PM

A truly remarkable story.  A prehistoric 'stick' insect that lived on an island off the coast of Australia was obliterated by rats that came to the island on English ships.  Everyone thought they were extinct until one day some researchers found 24 of them living on a remote piece of land not too far from the insect's homeland.  This was an uninhabited piece of rock, essentially, with very little to offer any life form but the stick insects found just enough to survive.  How they got here is unknown but after the find and a sleepless zoo worker, this insect is flourishing in captivity.  The move to release them back into the wild is ongoing.

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Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors

Penguins from Space: A New Satellite Census Doubles the Known Population of Emperors | Geography 200 | Scoop.it
High-resolution imaging has allowed scientists to produce the first full count of Antarctica's emperor penguins...

 

Before this, there was no way to to gather reliable penguin statistics.  Geospatial technologies are now providing us the tools to teach us more about the biogeography of penguins.  The applications of geospatial technologies are endless.   


Via Seth Dixon
Elizabeth Bitgood's insight:

The use of modern technology to better understand nature is fascinating.  The ability to count penguins from space in a way that could not happen without satellites because of the harsh environment.  Maybe someday they will find bigfoot with a satellite or maybe not.

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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 16, 2014 7:48 AM

In the beginning of the semester we talked about how geography is always changing. Our understanding of geography does as well. This new technology helps people have a clearer picture of the wildlife that exists on Antarctica. Because of its harsh environment the amount we know about this barren continent has been limited. As technology improves we will be able to gain more accurate information about Antarctica.

Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 16, 2014 12:58 PM

Using this new technology, animal can be monitored and helped by the satellites. Having a way to accurately know the population of a species is incredible,  because now we can know which species are in danger of extinction and we can take steps to help them. Before the use of the satellite,  the population of Emperor penguins was found to be 595, 000 and the colonies of penguins was found to be 46 instead of the previous 38, so without this technology there have been penguins that may have needed help, but now they will get proper attention.

Kendra King's curator insight, April 13, 2015 9:27 PM

Technology never ceases to amaze me. As the article described, the use of satellite imagining recently showed that the “population count” of the emperor penguin is “found nearly twice as many...as did previous studies.” Prior to the use of satellite imaging, the method to obtain this type of data was done by people actually being around the area. As the new numbers showed this was inaccurate because so much of the artic can’t be reached by the human population. I think this brings up an interesting notion. We define our landscape based on what we see. Yet, what we see doesn’t always capture what is actually on earth. As such, I wonder if more penguin colonies have disappeared then the one the British intuition noticed. We won’t know, but at least now thanks to technology a better grasp of the situation can happen. Maybe with more concrete data about the effects of global warming on Antarctic more non-believers could be swayed. All in all, I think the technology is beneficial. The only down side about this technology is the possibility for misuse. If we can now figure out the penguin population down to which ones are adults, imagine just what else this technology can due in the name of “geographic research.”