Synopses & Reviews
Alfred Russel Wallace is best known as the codiscoverer, with Charles Darwin, of natural selection, but he was also historyandrsquo;s foremost tropical naturalist and the father of biogeography, the modern study of the geographical basis of biological diversity. Island Life has long been considered one of his most important works. In it he extends studies on the influence of the glacial epochs on organismal distribution patterns and the characteristics of island biogeography, a topic as vibrant and actively studied today as it was in 1880. The book includes historyandrsquo;s first theory of continental glaciation based on a combination of geographical and astronomical causes, a discussion of island classification, and a survey of worldwide island faunas and floras.and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;and#160;The year 2013 will mark the centennial of Wallaceandrsquo;s death and will see a host of symposia and reflections on Wallaceandrsquo;s contributions to evolution and natural history. This reissue of the first edition of Island Life, with a foreword by David Quammen and an extensive commentary by Lawrence R. Heaney, who has spent over three decades studying island biogeography in Southeast Asia, makes this essential and foundational reference available and accessible once again.
andldquo;Though Alfred Russel Wallace wasnandrsquo;t the first island biogeographer (neither was Darwin), he was the Kepler of the field, the Linnaeus, the Chuck Berryandmdash;the sturdy giant upon whose shoulders stand those who have come later and seen farther. This book, Island Life, is the foundational text.andrdquo;
andldquo;Along with Darwin, Alfred Russel Wallace must be considered one of the pioneers of evolution, a fundamental principle to truly understand the history of earth.andrdquo;
and#8220;Island Life is a classic work that focuses specifically on island biogeography, and it represents one of Wallaceand#8217;s most important contributions. Fortunately, the first edition (1880) has been reissued to commemorate the centennial of Wallace's death. This new version begins with a brief foreword by author David Quammen and a thorough sixty-page introduction by Lawrence Heaney, one of the foremost modern scholars on island biogeography, especially for Southeast Asia. and#160;Heaneyand#8217;s detailed commentary is a wonderful addition that updates the original book. . . . Highly recommended.and#8221;
and#8220;Island Life remains a good read, even after more than a hundred years. It offers an insight into the development of logical thought and the evolution of ideas based on observable evidence. This reprint, with its insightful commentaries, is a reminder of what constitutes a publishing classis and a milestone in biological understanding.and#8221;
and#8220;The value in reprinting this book rests not only in making it more easily accessible to modern readers, but also in its outstanding introduction and commentary by island biogeographer Lawrence R. Heany. . . . Just like Darwinand#8217;s Origin of Species, the structure of Island Life has a powerful logic. For each chapter, Wallace marshals impressive evidence from a variety of disciplines. . . . Wallace has much to say that is still worth reading today.and#8221;
and#8220;This new edition features an interesting foreword by David Quammen on the circumstances of Wallaceand#8217;s life and work: in spite of Wallaceand#8217;s collaboration with Charles Darwin, the explorer we regard as the father of biogeography was often held at armsand#8217; length by the scientific in-crowd due to his quirky nonscientific interests. That changed with the publication of Island Life, which firmly reestablished Wallaceand#8217;s scientific credibility as one of the preeminent scholars of his time. This edition also features a detailed commentary by Lawrence Heaney. . . . Heaney effectively moves Wallace out of Darwinand#8217;s shadow, without lessening the achievements of either man, by arguing convincingly that Wallaceand#8217;s scientific contributionand#8212;and perhaps his most important contributionand#8212;extends well beyond the codiscovery of natural selection. . . . An essential read for anyone interested in the complex distribution of life on Earth.and#8221;
As the co-formulator with Charles Darwin of the theory of biological evolution via natural selection, naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913) argued that plant and animal species develop throughout organic history. Wallace focused special attention on the diversity of tropical life forms and became acutely aware of the adaptive relationship between each species and its particular environment: an ongoing relationship that is necessary for survival and reproduction. After amassing empirical evidence from the Malay Archipelago, Wallace wrote Island Life (1881) in order to document the dynamic realtionship between organisms and their climatic habitats. Anticipating our present concern with both endangered species and vanishing environments, Wallace's ecological studies helped substantiate the fact of evolution. This book is an excellent example of long-term research and the far-reaching insights such scientific projects hold for understanding and appreciating the evolving life on Earth.
About the Author
Alfred Russel Wallace (1823andndash;1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist, as well as a prolific author.Lawrence R. Heaney is curator and head of the Division of Mammals at the Field Museum in Chicago. He is the author of two books on island biodiversity and has coedited three others, including Frontiers of Biogeography.
Table of Contents
Foreword by David Quammen
Introduction and Commentary by Lawrence R. Heaney
THE DISPERSAL OF ORGANISMS; ITS PHENOMENA, LAWS, AND CAUSES.
Remarkable Contrasts in the distribution of Animalsandmdash;Britain and Japanandmdash;Australia and New Zealandandmdash;Bali and Lombokandmdash;Florida and Bahama Islandsandmdash;Brazil and Africaandmdash;Borneo, Madagascar, and Celebesandmdash;Problems in Distribution to be found in every countryandmdash;Can be solved only by the combination of many distinct lines of inquiry, biological and physicalandmdash;Islands offer the best subjects for the study of distributionandmdash;Outline of the subjects to be discussed in the present volume
THE ELEMENTARY FACTS OF DISTRIBUTION.
Importance of Locality as an essential character of Speciesandmdash;Areas of Distributionandmdash;Extent and Limitations of Specific Areasandmdash;Specific range of Birdsandmdash;Generic Areasandmdash;Separate and overlapping areasandmdash;The species of Tits as illustrating Areas of Distributionandmdash;The distribution of the species of Jaysandmdash;Discontinuous generic areasandmdash;Peculiarities of generic and family distributionandmdash;General features of overlapping and discontinuous areasandmdash;Restricted areas of Familiesandmdash;The distribution of Orders
CLASSIFICATION OF THE FACTS OF DISTRIBUTION.andmdash;ZOOLOGICAL REGIONS.
The Geographical Divisions of the Globe do not correspond to Zoological Divisionsandmdash;The range of British Mammals as indicating a Zoological Regionandmdash;Range of East Asian and North African Mammalsandmdash;The Range of British Birdsandmdash;Range of East Asian Birdsandmdash;The limits of the Palandaelig;arctic Regionandmdash;Characteristic features of the Palandaelig;arctic Regionandmdash;Definition and characteristic groups of the Ethiopian Regionandmdash;Of the Oriental Regionandmdash;Of the Australian Regionandmdash;Of the Nearctic Regionandmdash;Of the Neotropical Regionandmdash;Comparison of Zoological Regions with the Geographical Divisions of the Globe
EVOLUTION AS THE KEY TO DISTRIBUTION.
Importance of the Doctrine of Evolutionandmdash;The Origin of New Speciesandmdash;Variation in Animalsandmdash;The amount of variation in North American Birdsandmdash;How new species arise from a variable speciesandmdash;Definition and Origin of Generaandmdash;Cause of the extinction of Speciesandmdash;The rise and decay of Species and Generaandmdash;Discontinuous specific areas, why rareandmdash;Discontinuity of the area of Parus palustrisandmdash;Discontinuity of Emberiza schoeniclusandmdash;The European and Japanese Jaysandmdash;Supposed examples of discontinuity among North American Birdsandmdash;Distribution and antiquity of Familiesandmdash;Discontinuity a proof of antiquityandmdash;Concluding Remarks
THE POWERS OF DISPERSAL OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS.
Statement of the general question of Dispersalandmdash;The Ocean as a barrier to the dispersal of Mammalsandmdash;The dispersal of Birdsandmdash;The dispersal of Reptilesandmdash;The dispersal of Insectsandmdash;The dispersal of Land Molluscaandmdash;Great antiquity of Land-shellsandmdash;Causes favouring the abundance of Land-shellsandmdash;The dispersal of Plantsandmdash;Special adaptability of Seeds for dispersalandmdash;Birds as agents in the dispersal of Seedsandmdash;Ocean currents as agents in Plant dispersalandmdash;Dispersal along mountain-chainsandmdash;Antiquity of Plants as Affecting their distribution
GEOGRAPHICAL AND GEOLOGICAL CHANGES: THE PERMANENCE OF CONTINENTS.
Changes of Land and Sea, their nature and extentandmdash;Shore-deposits and stratified rocksandmdash;The Movements of Continentsandmdash;Supposed oceanic formations; the Origin of Chalkandmdash;Fresh-water and Shore-deposits as proving the Permanence of Continentsandmdash;Oceanic Islands as Indications of the permanence of Continents and Oceansandmdash;General stability of Continents with constant change of formandmdash;Effect of Continental Changes on the Distribution of Animalsandmdash;Changed distribution proved by the extinct animals of different epochsandmdash;Summary of evidence for the general permanence of Continents and Oceans
CHANGES OF CLIMATE WHICH HAVE INFLUENCED THE DISPERSAL OF ORGANISMS: THE GLACIAL EPOCH.
Proofs of the recent occurrence of a Glacial Epochandmdash;Morainesandmdash;Travelled Blocksandmdash;Glacial deposits of Scotland: the andldquo;Tillandrdquo;andmdash;Inferences from the glacial phenomena of Scotlandandmdash;Glacial phenomena of North Americaandmdash;Effects of the Glacial Epoch on animal lifeandmdash;Warm and cold periodsandmdash;Palandaelig;ontological evidence of alternate cold and warm periodsandmdash;Evidence of interglacial warm periods on the Continent and in North Americaandmdash;Migrations and extinctions of Organisms caused by the Glacial Epoch
THE CAUSES OF GLACIAL EPOCHS.
Various suggested causesandmdash;Astronomical causes of changes of Climateandmdash;Difference of Temperature caused by varying distances of the Sunandmdash;Properties of air and water, snow and ice, in relation to Climateandmdash;Effects of snow on Climateandmdash;High land and great moisture essential to the initiation of a Glacial Epochandmdash;Perpetual snow nowhere exists on lowlandsandmdash;Conditions determining the presence or absence of perpetual Snowandmdash;Efficiency of Astronomical causes in producing Glaciationandmdash;Action of meteorological causes in intensifying Glaciationandmdash;Summary of causes of Glaciationandmdash;Effect of clouds and fog in cutting off the Sunandrsquo;s heatandmdash;South Temperate America as illustrating the influence of Astronomical causes on Climateandmdash;Geographical changes how far a cause of Glaciationandmdash;Land acting as a barrier to ocean-currentsandmdash;The Theory of interglacial periods and their probable characterandmdash;Probable effect of winter in aphelion on the climate of Britainandmdash;The essential principle of climatal change restatedandmdash;Probable date of the last Glacial Epochandmdash;Changes of the sea-level dependent on Glaciationandmdash;The planet Mars as bearing on the theory of excentricity as a cause of Glacial Epochs
ANCIENT GLACIAL EPOCHS, AND MILD CLIMATES IN THE ARCTIC REGIONS.
Mr. Crollandrsquo;s views on ancient Glacial Epochsandmdash;Effects of Denudation in destroying the evidence of remote Glacial Epochsandmdash;Rise of sea-level connected with Glacial Epochs a cause of further denudationandmdash;What evidence of early Glacial Epochs may be expectedandmdash;Evidences of Ice-action during the Tertiary Periodandmdash;The weight of the negative evidenceandmdash;Temperate climates in the Arctic Regionsandmdash;The Miocene Arctic floraandmdash;Mild Arctic climates of the Cretaceous Periodandmdash;Stratigraphical evidence of long-continued mild arctic conditionsandmdash;The causes of mild Arctic climatesandmdash;Geographical conditions favouring mild northern climates in Tertiary timesandmdash;The Indian Ocean as a source of heat in Tertiary timesandmdash;Condition of North America during the Tertiary Periodandmdash;Effect of high excentricity on warm Polar climatesandmdash;Evidences as to climate in the Secondary and Palandaelig;ozoic Epochsandmdash;Warm Arctic climates in early Secondary and Palandaelig;ozoic timesandmdash;Conclusions as to the climates of Secondary and Tertiary Periodsandmdash;General view of Geological Climates as dependent on the physical features of the Earthandrsquo;s surfaceandmdash;Estimate of the comparative effects of geographical and physical causes in producing changes of climate
THE EARTHandrsquo;S AGE, AND THE RATE OF DEVELOPMENT OF ANIMALS AND PLANTS.
Various estimates of Geological Timeandmdash;Denudation and deposition of Strata as a measure of Timeandmdash;How to estimate the thickness of the Sedimentary Rocksandmdash;How to estimate the average rate of deposition of the Sedimentary Rocksandmdash;The rate of Geological change probably greater in very remote timesandmdash;Value of the preceding estimate of Geological Timeandmdash;Organic modification dependent on Change of Conditionsandmdash;Geographical mutations as a motive power in bringing about Organic Changesandmdash;Climatal revolutions as an agent in producing Organic Changesandmdash;Present condition of the Earth one of exceptional stability as regards Climateandmdash;Date of last Glacial Epoch and its bearing on the Measurement of Geological timeandmdash;Concluding Remarks
INSULAR FAUNAS AND FLORAS.
THE CLASSIFICATION OF ISLANDS.
Importance of Islands in the study of the Distribution of Organismsandmdash;Classification of Islands with reference to Distributionandmdash;Continental Islandsandmdash;Oceanic Islands
OCEANIC ISLANDS :andmdash;THE AZORES AND BERMUDA.
THE AZORES, OR WESTERN ISLANDS.
Position and physical featuresandmdash;Chief Zoological features of the Azoresandmdash;Birdsandmdash;Origin of the Azorean bird-faunaandmdash;Insects of the Azoresandmdash;Land-shells of the Azoresandmdash;The flora of the Azoresandmdash;The dispersal of seedsandmdash;Birds as seed-carriersandmdash;Facilities for dispersal of Azorean plantsandmdash;Important deduction from the peculiarities of the Azorean fauna and flora
Position and physical featuresandmdash;The Red Clay of Bermudaandmdash;Zoology of Bermudaandmdash;Birds of Bermudaandmdash;Comparison of the bird-faunas of Bermuda and the Azoresandmdash;Insects of Bermudaandmdash;Land Molluscaandmdash;Flora of Bermudaandmdash;Concluding remarks on the Azores and Bermuda
THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS.
Position and physical featuresandmdash;Absence of indigenous Mammalia and Amphibiaandmdash;Reptilesandmdash;Birdsandmdash;Insects and Land-shellsandmdash;The Keeling Islands as illustrating the manner in which Oceanic Islands are peopledandmdash;Flora of the Galapagosandmdash;Origin of the Flora of the Galapagosandmdash;Concluding Remarks
Position and physical features of St. Helenaandmdash;Change effected by European occupationandmdash;The Insects of St. Helenaandmdash;Coleopteraandmdash;Peculiarities and origin of the Coleoptera of St. Helenaandmdash;Land-shells of St. Helenaandmdash;Absence of Fresh-water Organismsandmdash;Native vegetation of St. Helenaandmdash;The Relations of the St. Helena Compositandaelig;andmdash;Concluding remarks on St. Helena
THE SANDWICH ISLANDS.
Position and Physical featuresandmdash;Zoology of the Sandwich Islandsandmdash;Birdsandmdash;Reptilesandmdash;Land-shellsandmdash;Insectsandmdash;Vegetation of the Sandwich Islandsandmdash;Peculiar features of the Hawaiian Floraandmdash;Antiquity of the Hawaiian Fauna and Floraandmdash;Concluding observations on the Fauna and Flora of the Sandwich Islandsandmdash;General Remarks on Oceanic Islands
CONTINENTAL ISLANDS OF RECENT ORIGIN: GREAT BRITAIN.
Characteristic Features of Recent Continental Islandsandmdash;Recent Physical Changes of the British Islesandmdash;Proofs of Former Elevationandmdash;Submerged Forestsandmdash;Buried River Channelsandmdash;Time of Last Union with the Continentandmdash;Why Britain is poor in Speciesandmdash;Peculiar British Birdsandmdash;-Fresh-water Fishesandmdash;Cause of Great Speciality in Fishesandmdash;Peculiar British Insectsandmdash;Lepidoptera confined to the British Islesandmdash;Peculiarities of the Isle of Man Lepidopteraandmdash;Coleoptera confined to the British Islesandmdash;Trichoptera peculiar to the British Islesandmdash;Land and Fresh-water Shellsandmdash;Peculiarities of the British Floraandmdash;Peculiarities of the Irish Floraandmdash;Peculiar British Mosses and Hepaticandaelig;andmdash;Concluding Remarks on the Peculiarities of the British Fauna and Flora
BORNEO AND JAVA.
Position and physical features of Borneoandmdash;Zoological features of Borneo: Mammaliaandmdash;Birdsandmdash;The affinities of the Borneo faunaandmdash;Java, its position and physical featuresandmdash;General character of the fauna of Javaandmdash;Differences between the fauna of Java and that of the other Malay Islandsandmdash;Special relations of the Javan fauna to that of the Asiatic continentandmdash;Past geographical changes of Java and Borneoandmdash;The Philippine Islandsandmdash;Concluding Remarks on the Malay Islands
JAPAN AND FORMOSA.
Japan, its position and Physical featuresandmdash;Zoological features of Japanandmdash;Mammaliaandmdash;Birdsandmdash;Birds common to Great Britain and Japanandmdash;Birds peculiar to Japanandmdash;Japan Birds recurring in distant areasandmdash;Formosaandmdash;Physical features of Formosaandmdash;Animal life of Formosaandmdash;Mammaliaandmdash;Land birds peculiar to Formosaandmdash;Formosan birds recurring in India or Malayaandmdash;Comparison of faunas of Hainan, Formosa, and Japanandmdash;General Remarks on Recent Continental Islands
ANCIENT CONTINENTAL ISLANDS: THE MADAGASCAR GROUP.
Remarks on Ancient Continental Islandsandmdash;Physical features of Madagascarandmdash;Biological features of Madagascarandmdash;Mammaliaandmdash;Reptilesandmdash;Relation of Madagascar to Africaandmdash;Early history of Africa and Madagascarandmdash;Anomalies of distribution and how to explain themandmdash;The birds of Madagascar as indicating a supposed Lemurian Continentandmdash;Submerged Islands between Madagascar and Indiaandmdash;Concluding remarks on andldquo;Lemuriaandrdquo;andmdash;The Mascarene Islandsandmdash;The Comoro Islandsandmdash;The Seychelles Archipelagoandmdash;Birds of the Seychellesandmdash;Reptiles and Amphibiaandmdash;Fresh-water Fishesandmdash;Land Shellsandmdash;Mauritius, Bourbon, and Rodriguezandmdash;Birdsandmdash;Extinct Birds and their probable originandmdash;Reptilesandmdash;Flora of Madagascar and the Mascarene Islandsandmdash;Curious relations of Mascarene plantsandmdash;Endemic genera of Mauritius and Seychellesandmdash;Fragmentary character of the Mascarene Floraandmdash;Flora of Madagascar allied to that of South Africaandmdash;Preponderance of Ferns in the Mascarene Floraandmdash;Concluding Remarks on the Madagascar Group
ANOMALOUS ISLANDS: CELEBES.
Anomalous relations of Celebesandmdash;Physical features of the Islandandmdash;Zoological character of the Islands around Celebesandmdash;The Malayan and Australian Banksandmdash;Zoology of Celebes: Mammaliaandmdash;Probable derivation of the Mammals of Celebesandmdash;Birds of Celebesandmdash;Bird-types peculiar to Celebesandmdash;Celebes not strictly a Continental Islandandmdash;Peculiarities of the Insects of Celebesandmdash;Himalayan types of Birds and Butterflies in Celebesandmdash;Peculiarities of shape and colour of Celebesian Butterfliesandmdash;Concluding Remarksandmdash;Appendix on the Birds of Celebes
ANOMALOUS ISLANDS: NEW ZEALAND.
Position and Physical features of New Zealandandmdash;Zoological character of New Zealandandmdash;Mammaliaandmdash;Wingless birds living and extinctandmdash;Recent existence of the Moaandmdash;Past changes of New Zealand deduced from its wingless Birdsandmdash;Birds and Reptiles of New Zealandandmdash;Conclusions from the peculiarities of the New Zealand Fauna
THE FLORA OF NEW ZEALAND: ITS AFFINITIES AND PROBABLE ORIGIN.
Relations of the New Zealand Flora to that of Australiaandmdash;General features of the Australian Floraandmdash;The Floras of South-eastern and South-western Australiaandmdash;Geological explanation of the differences of these two florasandmdash;The origin of the Australian element in the New Zealand Floraandmdash;Tropical character of the New Zealand Flora explainedandmdash;Species common to New Zealand and Australia mostly temperate formsandmdash;Why easily dispersed plants have often restricted rangesandmdash;Summary and Conclusion on the New Zealand Flora
ON THE ARCTIC ELEMENT IN SOUTH TEMPERATE FLORAS.
European species and genera of plants in the Southern Hemisphereandmdash;Aggressive power of the Scandinavian floraandmdash;Means by which plants have migrated from north to southandmdash;Newly moved soil as affording temporary stations to migrating plantsandmdash;Elevation and depression of the snow-line as aiding the migration of plantsandmdash;Changes of climate favourable to migrationandmdash;The migration from north to south has been long going onandmdash;Geological changes as aiding migrationandmdash;Proofs of migration by way of the Andesandmdash;Proofs of migration by way of the Himalayas and Southern Asiaandmdash;Proofs of migration by way of the African Highlandsandmdash;Supposed connection of South Africa and Australiaandmdash;The endemic genera of plants in New Zealandandmdash;The absence of Southern types from the Northern Hemisphereandmdash;Concluding remarks on the New Zealand and South Temperate floras
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION.
The present volume is the development and application of a theoryandmdash;Statement of the Biological and Physical causes of dispersalandmdash;Investigation of the facts of dispersalandmdash;of the means of dispersalandmdash;of geographical changes affecting dispersalandmdash;of climatal changes affecting dispersalandmdash;The Glacial Epoch and its causesandmdash;Alleged ancient glacial epochsandmdash;Warm polar climates and their causesandmdash;Conclusions as to geological climatesandmdash;How far different from those of Mr. Crollandmdash;Supposed limitations of geological timeandmdash;Time amply sufficient both for geological and biological developmentandmdash;Insular faunas and florasandmdash;The North Atlantic Islandsandmdash;The Galapagosandmdash;St. Helena and the Sandwich Islandsandmdash;Great Britain as a recent Continental Islandandmdash;Borneo and Javaandmdash;Japan and Formosaandmdash;Madagascar as an ancient Continental Islandandmdash;Celebes and New Zealand as anomalous Islandsandmdash;The Flora of New Zealand and its originandmdash;The European element in the South Temperate Florasandmdash;Concluding Remarks