The species–area relationship does not have an asymptote!

Authors: Williamson, M.; Gaston, K.J.; Lonsdale, W.M.

Source: Journal of Biogeography, Volume 28, Number 7, July 2001 , pp. 827-830(4)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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To attack a widespread myth.Location


Simple mathematical logical and empirical examples.Results

As both species and area are finite and non-negative, the species–area relationship is limited at both ends. The log species–log area relationship is normally effectively linear on scales from about 1 ha to 107 km2. There are no asymptotes. At the intercontinental scale it may get steeper; at small scales it may in different cases get steeper or shallower or maintain its slope.Main conclusion

The species–area relationship does not have an asymptote.

Keywords: Birds; Species–area relationship; continents; islands; lumbricids; plants

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Publication date: July 1, 2001

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