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      Late Quaternary climate change shapes island biodiversity

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          Abstract

          Island biogeographical models consider islands either as geologically static with biodiversity resulting from ecologically neutral immigration-extinction dynamics, or as geologically dynamic with biodiversity resulting from immigration-speciation-extinction dynamics influenced by changes in island characteristics over millions of years. Present climate and spatial arrangement of islands, however, are rather exceptional compared to most of the Late Quaternary, which is characterized by recurrent cooler and drier glacial periods. These climatic oscillations over short geological timescales strongly affected sea levels and caused massive changes in island area, isolation and connectivity, orders of magnitude faster than the geological processes of island formation, subsidence and erosion considered in island theory. Consequences of these oscillations for present biodiversity remain unassessed. Here we analyse the effects of present and Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) island area, isolation, elevation and climate on key components of angiosperm diversity on islands worldwide. We find that post-LGM changes in island characteristics, especially in area, have left a strong imprint on present diversity of endemic species. Specifically, the number and proportion of endemic species today is significantly higher on islands that were larger during the LGM. Native species richness, in turn, is mostly determined by present island characteristics. We conclude that an appreciation of Late Quaternary environmental change is essential to understand patterns of island endemism and its underlying evolutionary dynamics.

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          Most cited references 42

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          The Phanerozoic record of global sea-level change.

           K. Miller (2005)
          We review Phanerozoic sea-level changes [543 million years ago (Ma) to the present] on various time scales and present a new sea-level record for the past 100 million years (My). Long-term sea level peaked at 100 +/- 50 meters during the Cretaceous, implying that ocean-crust production rates were much lower than previously inferred. Sea level mirrors oxygen isotope variations, reflecting ice-volume change on the 10(4)- to 10(6)-year scale, but a link between oxygen isotope and sea level on the 10(7)-year scale must be due to temperature changes that we attribute to tectonically controlled carbon dioxide variations. Sea-level change has influenced phytoplankton evolution, ocean chemistry, and the loci of carbonate, organic carbon, and siliciclastic sediment burial. Over the past 100 My, sea-level changes reflect global climate evolution from a time of ephemeral Antarctic ice sheets (100 to 33 Ma), through a time of large ice sheets primarily in Antarctica (33 to 2.5 Ma), to a world with large Antarctic and large, variable Northern Hemisphere ice sheets (2.5 Ma to the present).
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            Balancing biodiversity in a changing environment: extinction debt, immigration credit and species turnover.

            Here, we outline a conceptual framework for biodiversity dynamics following environmental change. The model incorporates lags in extinction and immigration, which lead to extinction debt and immigration credit, respectively. Collectively, these concepts enable a balanced consideration of changes in biodiversity following climate change, habitat fragmentation and other forcing events. They also reveal transient phenomena, such as biodiversity surpluses and deficits, which have important ramifications for biological conservation and the preservation of ecosystem services. Predicting such transient dynamics poses a serious conservation challenge in a time of rapid environmental change.
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              ORIGINAL ARTICLE: A general dynamic theory of oceanic island biogeography

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Nature
                Nature
                Springer Science and Business Media LLC
                0028-0836
                1476-4687
                April 2016
                March 30 2016
                April 2016
                : 532
                : 7597
                : 99-102
                Article
                10.1038/nature17443
                27027291
                © 2016

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