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Oceanic islands offer biologists unparalleled opportunities to study evolutionary processes and ecological phenomena. However, human activity threatens to alter or destroy many of these fragile ecosystems, with recent estimates suggesting that nearly half of the world's insular endemics are threatened with extinction. Bringing together researchers from around the world, The Biology of Island Floras illustrates how modern research methods and new concepts have challenged accepted theories and changed our understanding of island flora.
Particular attention is given to the impact of molecular studies and the insights that they provide into topics such as colonisation, radiation, diversification and hybridisation. Examples are drawn from around the world, including the Hawaiian archipelago, Galapagos Islands, Madagascar and the Macronesian region. Conservation issues are also highlighted, with coverage of alien species and the role of ex situ conservation providing valuable information that will aid the formulation of management strategies and genetic rescue programmes.
List of contributors
Preface Juli Caujape-Castells
1. Introduction, islands and plants David Bramwell
2. The reproductive biology of island plants Daniel J. Crawford, Gregory J. Anderson and Gabriel Bernardello
3. Spatial methodology in historic biogeography of islands Paula Posadas, Jorge V. Crisci and Liliana Katinas
4. Origin and evolution of Hawaiian endemics: new patterns revealed by molecular studies Sterling C. Keeley and Vicky A. Funk
5. Origins and evolution of Galapagos endemic vascular plants Alan Tye and Javier Francisco-Ortega
6. The plants of the Caribbean Islands: a review of the biogeography, diversity and conservation of a storm-battered biodiversity hot-spot Michael Maunder, Melissa Abdo, Rosalina Berazain, Colin Clubbe, Francisco Jimenez, Angela Leiva, Eugenio Santiago-Valentin and Javier Francisco-Ortega
7. The biogeography of Madagascar palms John Dransfield and Mijoro Racotoarinivo
8. Evolution and biogeography of the flora of the Socotra Archipelago (Yemen) Lisa M. Banfield, Kay Van Damme and Anthony G. Miller
9. Biogeography and conservation of the flora of New Caledonia David Bramwell
10. Phytogeography and relationships of the Pitcairn Islands flora Steve Waldren and Naomi Kingston
11. Chromosomes and evolution in New Zealand endemic Angiosperms and Gymnosperms Brian G. Murray and Peter J. de Lange
12. Jesters, red queens, boomerangs and surfers: a molecular outlook to the diversity of the Canarian endemic flora Juli Caujape-Castells
13. Endemism and evolution in Macaronesian and Mediterranean Limonium taxa M. Dolores Lledo, Per O. Karis, Manuel B. Crespo, Michael F. Fay and Mark W. Chase
14. Dispersal, diversity and evolution in the Macaronesian Cryptogamic floras Alain Vanderpoorten, Ben Laenen, Rosalina Gabriel, Juana M. Gonzalez-Mancebo, Fred J. Rumsey and Mark A. Carine
15. Invasive alien species and islands Michael Kiehn
16. Ecology, demography and conservation in the Galapagos Islands flora Ole Hamann
17. New directions and challenges for the conservation of the flora of Madagascar Stuart Cable
18. Climate change and island floras David Bramwell
19. Conservation status of endemic plants on Isla de Coco, Costa Rica: applying IUCN red list criteria on a small island Jennifer L. Trusty, Herbert C. Kesler, Jorge Rodriguez and Javier Francisco-Ortega
20. Botanical gardens and the conservation of island floras Sara Oldfield
21. The hazardous future of island floras Vernon H. Heywood
David Bramwell is Director of the Jardin Botanico Canario 'Viera y Clavijo'- Unidad Asociada CSIC. His current research interests include the monitoring and mapping of wild populations of threatened species, the preparation of a Flora of the Macaronesia, mapping species decline worldwide, molecular studies of genetic diversity in small populations and the effects of climate change on island plants.
"It is without doubt 'a must' for the bookshelf of any researcher focusing on island life [...] and provides a group of interesting chapters, either general or focused on specific island groups, that is a significant contribution to summarising our present knowledge of the biology of island floras [...] and 'a must' for the bookshelf of any researcher focusing on island life."
– Frontiers of Biogeography
"This book should be on the bookshelf of every biologist who teaches plant evolution, plant systematics, ecology and conservation as well as decision-makers and organizations who seek to preserve biology."
– Harold W. Keller, Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas
"This book provides an excellent overview of the current knowledge and research on island plants. It is a valuable guide and a good read for anyone interested in the biology of island floras worldwide."
– Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society