Skip to main content

Oceanic islands as model systems for ecological studies

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The purposes of this paper are to suggest that a greater use of model systems would advance our understanding of ecology, and to illustrate that oceanic islands are valuable model systems for ecosystem studies in particular. Location

The illustrations discussed herein result from studies in the Hawaiian Islands. Methods

Sequences of sites that are similar in most respects but differ widely in temperature, precipitation or substrate age have been developed and analysed in the Hawaiian Islands. Process studies, experiments and models arrayed on these gradients are used to determine fundamental controls over ecosystem processes, with a precision that cannot be duplicated in continental ecosystems. Results

Increasing temperatures enhance rates of decomposition to a greater extent than plant production, in soil organic matter as well as litter. Ecosystem-level losses of N by fractionating pathways are greater in drier sites. Sea spray and long-distance dust transport play increasing roles in the nutrient economy of ecosystems as soils become progressively older. Main conclusions

All of the results describe processes that occur in continental as well as island ecosystems, but a number of features of islands make the processes more amenable to analysis on islands.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Ecosystem processes; Hawai'i; gradients; model systems; nitrogen; oceanic islands; phosphorus; weathering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA

Publication date: 2002-05-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more