The Origins and Ecology of the Galapagos Islands

  • Daniel KelleyEmail author
  • Kevin Page
  • Diego Quiroga
  • Raul Salazar
Part of the Geoheritage, Geoparks and Geotourism book series (GGAG)


Oceanic islands have a series of characteristics that make them unique for understanding biological evolutionary processes. One of the main characteristics of oceanic islands is that the distance between the mainland and the islands acts as an important biological filter. In the case of archipelagoes, the distance between islands is also an important factor that generates the conditions for the generation of speciation process in the case of many organisms. Many species of plants and animals are not able to survive the long-distance travel and of those organisms that are able to arrive, few succeed in becoming established on islands. This is a characteristic that explains the existence of certain biological processes that are typical of oceanic islands, including the founder effect, genetic drift, disharmonic biota, adaptive radiation, dwarfism and gigantism, ecological release, high endemism and rapid island evolution.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Kelley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kevin Page
    • 2
  • Diego Quiroga
    • 3
  • Raul Salazar
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Natural ResourcesHocking CollegeNelsonvilleUSA
  2. 2.Geodiversity & HeritageSandford, DevonUK
  3. 3.Universidad San Francisco de QuitoCumbayaEcuador
  4. 4.Biological Expeditions GalapagosPuerto Baquerizo MorenoEcuador

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