Speciation and Biogeography of Birds

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Author: Ian Newton

Publisher: Academic Press

ISBN: 0080924999

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 656

View: 2843

This book should be of value to anyone interested in bird evolution and taxonomy, biogeography, distributional history, dispersal and migration patterns. It provides an up-to-date synthesis of current knowledge on species formation, and the factors influencing current distribution patterns. It draws heavily on new information on Earth history, including past glacial and other climatic changes, on new developments in molecular biology and palaeontology, and on recent studies of bird distribution and migration patterns, to produce a coherent account of the factors that have influenced bird species diversity and distribution patterns worldwide. Received the Best Bird Book of the Year award for 2004 from British Birds magazine. * Winner of the British Birds/British Trust for Ornithology, Bird Book of the Year 2004! * The first book to deal comprehensively with bird speciation and biogeography * Up-to-date synthesis of new information * Clearly written * No previous book covers the same ground * Many maps and diagrams * Makes difficult and widely scattered information accessible and easily understood * A sound base for future research * Takes full account of recent developments in molecular biology

The Birds of Northern Melanesia

Speciation, Ecology, and Biogeography

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Author: Ernst Mayr,Jared Diamond

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780195349665

Category: Science

Page: 548

View: 1351

Speciation is the process by which co-existing daughter species evolve from one ancestral species - e.g., humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas arising from a common ancestor around 5,000,000 years ago. However, many questions about speciation remain controversial. The Birds of Northern Melanesia provides by far the most comprehensive study yet available of a rich fauna, composed of the 195 breeding land and fresh-water bird species of the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagoes east of New Guinea. This avifauna offers decisive advantages for understanding speciation, and includes famous examples of geographic variation discussed in textbooks of evolutionary biology. The book results from 30 years of collaboration between the evolutionary biologist Ernst Mayr and the ecologist Jared Diamond. It shows how Northern Melanesian bird distributions provide snapshots of all stages in speciation, from the earliest (widely distributed species without geographic variation) to the last (closely related, reproductively isolated species occurring sympatrically and segregating ecologically). The presentation emphasizes the wide diversity of speciation outcomes, steering a middle course between one-model-fits-all simplification and ungeneralizable species accounts. Questions illuminated include why some species are much more prone to speciate than others, why some water barriers are much more effective at promoting speciation than others, and whether hypothesized taxon cycles, faunal dominance, and legacies of Pleistocene land bridges are real. These years of study have resulted in a huge database, complete with distributions of all 195 species on 76 islands, together with their taxonomy, colonization routes, ecological attributes, abundance, and overwater dispersal. Color plates depict 88 species and allospecies, many of which have never been seen before. For students of speciation, Northern Melanesian birds now constitute a model system against which other biotas can be compared. For population biologists interested in other problems besides speciation, this rich database can now be mined for insights.

The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited

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Author: Jonathan B. Losos,Robert E. Ricklefs

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 140083192X

Category: Science

Page: 496

View: 8415

Robert H. MacArthur and Edward O. Wilson's The Theory of Island Biogeography, first published by Princeton in 1967, is one of the most influential books on ecology and evolution to appear in the past half century. By developing a general mathematical theory to explain a crucial ecological problem--the regulation of species diversity in island populations--the book transformed the science of biogeography and ecology as a whole. In The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited, some of today's most prominent biologists assess the continuing impact of MacArthur and Wilson's book four decades after its publication. Following an opening chapter in which Wilson reflects on island biogeography in the 1960s, fifteen chapters evaluate and demonstrate how the field has extended and confirmed--as well as challenged and modified--MacArthur and Wilson's original ideas. Providing a broad picture of the fundamental ways in which the science of island biogeography has been shaped by MacArthur and Wilson's landmark work, The Theory of Island Biogeography Revisited also points the way toward exciting future research.

Ten Thousand Birds

Ornithology since Darwin

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Author: Tim Birkhead,Jo Wimpenny,Bob Montgomerie

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400848830

Category: Nature

Page: 544

View: 789

Ten Thousand Birds provides a thoroughly engaging and authoritative history of modern ornithology, tracing how the study of birds has been shaped by a succession of visionary and often-controversial personalities, and by the unique social and scientific contexts in which these extraordinary individuals worked. This beautifully illustrated book opens in the middle of the nineteenth century when ornithology was a museum-based discipline focused almost exclusively on the anatomy, taxonomy, and classification of dead birds. It describes how in the early 1900s pioneering individuals such as Erwin Stresemann, Ernst Mayr, and Julian Huxley recognized the importance of studying live birds in the field, and how this shift thrust ornithology into the mainstream of the biological sciences. The book tells the stories of eccentrics like Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen, a pathological liar who stole specimens from museums and quite likely murdered his wife, and describes the breathtaking insights and discoveries of ambitious and influential figures such as David Lack, Niko Tinbergen, Robert MacArthur, and others who through their studies of birds transformed entire fields of biology. Ten Thousand Birds brings this history vividly to life through the work and achievements of those who advanced the field. Drawing on a wealth of archival material and in-depth interviews, this fascinating book reveals how research on birds has contributed more to our understanding of animal biology than the study of just about any other group of organisms.

Bird Species

How They Arise, Modify and Vanish

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Author: Dieter Thomas Tietze

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 3319916890

Category: Science

Page: 266

View: 6763

The average person can name more bird species than they think, but do we really know what a bird “species” is? This open access book takes up several fascinating aspects of bird life to elucidate this basic concept in biology. From genetic and physiological basics to the phenomena of bird song and bird migration, it analyzes various interactions of birds – with their environment and other birds. Lastly, it shows imminent threats to birds in the Anthropocene, the era of global human impact. Although it seemed to be easy to define bird species, the advent of modern methods has challenged species definition and led to a multidisciplinary approach to classifying birds. One outstanding new toolbox comes with the more and more reasonably priced acquisition of whole-genome sequences that allow causative analyses of how bird species diversify. Speciation has reached a final stage when daughter species are reproductively isolated, but this stage is not easily detectable from the phenotype we observe. Culturally transmitted traits such as bird song seem to speed up speciation processes, while another behavioral trait, migration, helps birds to find food resources, and also coincides with higher chances of reaching new, inhabitable areas. In general, distribution is a major key to understanding speciation in birds. Examples of ecological speciation can be found in birds, and the constant interaction of birds with their biotic environment also contributes to evolutionary changes. In the Anthropocene, birds are confronted with rapid changes that are highly threatening for some species. Climate change forces birds to move their ranges, but may also disrupt well-established interactions between climate, vegetation, and food sources. This book brings together various disciplines involved in observing bird species come into existence, modify, and vanish. It is a rich resource for bird enthusiasts who want to understand various processes at the cutting edge of current research in more detail. At the same time it offers students the opportunity to see primarily unconnected, but booming big-data approaches such as genomics and biogeography meet in a topic of broad interest. Lastly, the book enables conservationists to better understand the uncertainties surrounding “species” as entities of protection.

Extinction and Biogeography of Tropical Pacific Birds

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Author: David W. Steadman

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226771423

Category: Science

Page: 594

View: 4601

This book is a study of the land birds of tropical Pacific islands—especially those from Fiji eastward to Easter Island. The author reconstructs the birdlife of tropical Pacific islands as it existed before the arrival of humans. By synthesizing data from the distant past, Steadman hopes to inform present conservation programs.

Ornithology, Evolution, and Philosophy

The Life and Science of Ernst Mayr 1904-2005

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Author: Jürgen Haffer

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9783540717782

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 474

View: 652

This book is the first detailed biography of Ernst Mayr. He was an ‘architect’ of the Synthetic Theory of Evolution, and the greatest evolutionary biologist since Charles Darwin, influential historian and philosopher of biology, outstanding taxonomist and ornithologist, and naturalist. He is one of the most widely known biologists of the 20th century. Mayr used the theories of natural selection and population thinking as theoretical models within the framework of historical biological studies. He suggested that various competing paradigms may exist side by side and more or less pronounced ’revolutions’ may occur in different fields from time to time. Changes of concepts have a much stronger effect on the development of biological sciences than the discovery of new facts. Mayr was the first to emphasize the role of biopopulations, thereby pointing out the basic difference between ’population thinking’ and typological essentialism. Population thinking takes into consideration the uniqueness of each individual and unlimited variation of populations which may lead to the development of new species. On the other hand, typologists assume that the unchanging essence of each species determines variation and fixed limits of variation preclude speciation from occurring except through saltation. Jürgen Haffer majored in geology and paleontology obtaining a PhD degree at the University of Göttingen. He became an exploration geologist and lived in South and North America, Iran, Egypt, and Norway. During these assignments he studied the bird faunas of Amazonia and Iran and has been in close communication with Ernst Mayr. He also co-published a biography of Erwin Stresemann, Mayr’s teacher and friend in Berlin, Germany.