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Evolution in Isolation

The Search for an Island Syndrome in Plants

Kevin C. Burns (Victoria University of Wellington)

$124.95

Hardback

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Cambridge University Press
16 May 2019
Oceanic islands are storehouses for unique creatures. Zoologists have long been fascinated by island animals because they break all the rules. Speedy, nervous, little birds repeatedly evolve to become plump, tame and flightless on islands. Equally strange and wonderful plants have evolved on islands. However, plants are very poorly understood relative to animals. Do plants repeatedly evolve similar patterns in dispersal ability, size and defence on islands? This volume answers this question for the first time using a modern quantitative approach. It not only reviews the literature on differences in defence, loss of dispersal, changes in size, alterations to breeding systems and the loss of fire adaptations, but also brings new data into focus to fill gaps in current understanding. By firmly establishing what is currently known about repeated patterns in the evolution of island plants, this book provides a roadmap for future research.
By:   Kevin C. Burns (Victoria University of Wellington)
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 156mm,  Spine: 15mm
Weight:   510g
ISBN:   9781108422017
ISBN 10:   1108422012
Pages:   236
Publication Date:   16 May 2019
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  College/higher education ,  Undergraduate ,  Primary
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kevin C. Burns is Professor at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has been a practicing researcher for fifteen years and has published over 100 papers in scientific journals including Ecology, Ecology Letters, and Science. Burns is fascinated by how organisms evolve on islands and has worked on archipelagos across the globe, including New Caledonia, New Zealand, Chatham Islands, California Islands and Lord Howe Island.

Reviews for Evolution in Isolation: The Search for an Island Syndrome in Plants

'Kevin C. Burns has provided a beautifully written, well-paced and enjoyable review of island syndromes. He opens with a focus on some iconic animals, which he deploys to highlight the challenges involved in building on initial 'natural history' observations, to develop and then rigorously examine clear hypotheses of how evolution in isolation favours particular functional traits and syndromes. The following five chapters set out to review specific plant syndromes, each of which is clearly described, illustrated with examples (and some well selected figures), carefully considered and then rounded off with a clear set of conclusions. Burns succeeds in putting together a rigorous synthesis of existing information on island plant syndromes. Any student of island biology, from undergraduates to seasoned researchers will be sure to find something of interest in this book.' Robert J. Whittaker, University of Oxford 'Kevin C. Burns has provided a beautifully written, well-paced and enjoyable review of island syndromes. He opens with a focus on some iconic animals, which he deploys to highlight the challenges involved in building on initial 'natural history' observations, to develop and then rigorously examine clear hypotheses of how evolution in isolation favours particular functional traits and syndromes. The following five chapters set out to review specific plant syndromes, each of which is clearly described, illustrated with examples (and some well selected figures), carefully considered and then rounded off with a clear set of conclusions. Burns succeeds in putting together a rigorous synthesis of existing information on island plant syndromes. Any student of island biology, from undergraduates to seasoned researchers will be sure to find something of interest in this book.' Robert J. Whittaker, University of Oxford


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