Biogeographic Patterns among Milkweed Insects

  • Richard P. Seifert
Conference paper
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


Biogeographers have recognized two main patterns associated with the distributions of organisms. First, it has commonly been reported that tropical environments have a higher species richness and diversity than do temperate environments (Darwin 1859, Wallace 1876, Richards 1952, MacArthur 1965, 1969, 1972, Pianka 1966, 1978, Slobodkin and Sanders 1969). Second, islands have a consistently depauperate fauna and flora when compared with mainland regions of similar areas and climates (MacArthur and Wilson, 1963, 1967, Allan et al. 1973, Carlquist 1974, Simberloff 1974). Janzen (1968, 1973a) has suggested that many of the patterns of species accumulation on islands should occur, both evolutionarily and ecologically, for the accumulation of insect species on their host plants. Studies of host plants as ecological islands for their insect fauna have included examinations of the relationship of host species geographic distribution to insect species richness (Opler 1974, Strong 1974a, 1974b, Strong et al. 1977, Cornell and Washburn 1979, Lawton and Price 1979) and the relationship of local host plant patch size to insect species richness (Seifert 1975, Raupp and Denno 1979, Denno et al., Chapter 9).


Species Richness Insect Species Biogeographic Pattern Island Biogeography Tropical Island 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1981

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  • Richard P. Seifert

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